Healthy foods do not have to be boring. Some foods that may seem like guilty pleasures can be good for you. What matters is how you prepare them and how often they’re on your table. Eating healthy means enjoying great food in moderation.
Take pasta for example. It’s low in fat and salt and keeps you satisfied longer, so you’re less likely to snack or overeat. But watch what you put on it. If you cover it in a rich alfredo sauce, you can boost the fat and salt. Try some whole-grain pasta with olive oil and a bit of Parmesan instead.
Healthy Foods: Red Meat
It has to be the right kind: We’re not talking prime rib or greasy hamburgers. Lean red meat – when you’ve trimmed off all the fat you can see — is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and iron. And in small portions, it’s been shown to lower LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.
Healthy Foods: Popcorn
Yes indeed, popcorn.
Junk food, right? Not so much. It’s a whole grain that’s loaded with fiber, which helps fill you up and keeps you regular. It also has vitamin B, manganese, and magnesium, as well as antioxidants, which may protect you against disease and cell damage. The key to keeping it healthy is to go easy on the salt and butter.
Healthy Foods: Honey
This natural sweetener is full of antioxidants that can protect your cells and be good for inflammation. It also can help with the mix of bacteria in your gut, which is important for digestion and getting nutrients from food.
Healthy Foods: Peanut Butter
Yes, indeed, it has quite a bit of fat. But it’s mostly the unsaturated kind, which isn’t bad for you. Studies have shown that people who eat nuts or peanut butter regularly are less likely to get heart disease or type 2 diabetes than people who rarely eat them. It’s also a good source of something many Americans need more of: potassium. To make the most of it, go the unsalted route.
Healthy Foods: Chocolate
It’s all about the flavonoids, which may help protect you from cell damage. They also may lower your blood pressure, improve blood flow to your brain and heart, and make you less likely to have certain kinds of heart disease. Dark chocolate is best because it has the most cocoa, the most flavonoids, and the least sugar. Eat in moderation and enjoy!
Healthy Foods: Eggs
They give you a full range of B vitamins and amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. They also have some nutrients that aren’t in a lot of foods, like vitamin D and selenium. And eggs make you feel full for a while, which makes them such a great way to start the day.