We get bombarded with "new" health information so often, it's hard to keep track of what's good for you and what's not. Sure, there's an intuitive aspect that tells you fruits and vegetables are the way to go over chips and candy, water is better than soda and almost anything that comes in a plastic container is processed with chemicals. But there are some good-for-you vittles out there that have gotten a bad rap and are better for you than you've been told. Here's a list of foods that will definitely lift that feeling of guilt we get when we think we've gone overboard.
The great coffee debate never ends. Turns out a couple of cups of joe per day are not going to kill you. In fact, coffee has been studied and is shown to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease and Type 2 diabetes. Though more research needs to be done, one study said two cups per day can lead to a 25% reduction in colon cancer risk. So don't feel guilty about your morning perk. Just go light on the additions of cream and faux sugar to stay on the healthy track.
It's true eggs contain a large amount of cholesterol and for those with a cholesterol problem, doctors say steer clear. Most of us, however, don't have that issue and will benefit from eating a few whole eggs per week. High in protein and the good kind of fat, they also have vitamins A and B12. So put a few little guys in a pot of boiling water to be cut up and added to salads and sammies at lunchtime.
You may have heard this one before, but it bears repeating for us chocoholics out there. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao can reduce high blood pressure. Give yourself the green light to buy a bar and have a square to yourself every day. An added bonus is that satiating your sweet tooth can help you stave off cravings for that Snickers bar or brownie.
We've all heard the hype about nuts. They're good for you, but can be high in unhealthy fats and even oils. Problem is, who can remember which is which? Stick to the little green guys. Pistachios are one of the lowest fat (and best tasting) nuts. They also happen to have over 30 vitamins and minerals as well as reduce the risk of eyesight loss to due age, which is called macular degeneration.
Aren't avocados only good for you in moderation? Nope. You can eat avocados on the regular because the 20 vitamins and minerals and good fat it contains really outweigh the negatives. It's store-bought and restaurant guacamole made from avocados you need to be weary of, that stuff is loaded down with preservatives and fat.
Keep the skin on and make them at home so you can control how much salt, oil and sour cream you eat with them and you've got yourself a very healthy side dish. Potatoes have gotten a bad rap because of all the extra things we add to them (butter and fried bacon) and because of our carb-obsessed society. As long as potatoes aren't the only thing you're eating, and you stay away from eating them exclusively as french fries, you can eat them along with your meals on a regular basis.
Fromage! So many women list this as a guilty pleasure and they don't have to! While some cheeses are less healthy than others, there are a handful you should never feel guilty about adding to a fresh salad or eating for a snack. Cheese fills you up so you're less tempted to open a bag of Lay's in between meals and has important calcium to give. Feta, parmesan, cottage, Swiss and mozzarella are all good.
A six-pack in one sitting is not a good idea for your health, but one glass of beer has cardiac benefits because it opens up the arteries around the heart. How often should you have that one glass? A few times per week is safe. And if you're worried about calories, there are plenty of light options available.
There's a rumor going round that spicy foods and sauces speed up your metabolism. The truth is, most of us won't consume enough of either to make a noticeable difference. But hot sauce provides other benefits. It's a substitute for other condiments laden with oil and fat, has no sugar and adds flavor to anything that seems lacking in that department. There's a reason why Frank's makes mini bottles to take with you wherever you go.
Pork and Beef
Over the years, both of these have been demonized as fatty and bad for your overall health. But there's a trick to keeping these very flavorful meats in your diet. Know the right cut to avoid excess fat. Pork tenderloin, which makes pork chops and roast and even center cut bacon, is comparable to skinless chicken thighs in its calorie count. Same goes for beef tenderloin.