Friday, 24 November 2017

Care2 Healthy Living/Becky Striepe: 6 Foods You Thought Were Unhealthy But Aren't


Care2 Healthy Living | 6 Foods You Thought Were Unhealthy But Aren't
6 Foods You Thought Were Unhealthy But Aren’t
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    By: Becky Striepe
    November 22, 2017

    About Becky
    Follow Becky at @glueandglitter

What makes food healthy or unhealthy? How do good foods get bad reputations? Sometimes, it’s because we prepare an otherwise healthy ingredient in unhealthy ways, and other times we vilify food based on shady, unfounded health claims. Here are some “bad” foods you can embrace once again!
What makes food healthy?

Before we get into a the list of surprisingly healthy foods, let’s talk about what makes a food “unhealthy.” There’s a lot of confusion around food and our health, because the processed food industry has such incredible lobbying power.

In fact, the 2017 the International Food Information Council Foundation’s annual Food and Health Survey found that most Americans receive conflicting information about healthy eating and that we let non-health factors, like price, influence our thinking about what is and isn’t healthy.

But what really makes food healthy or unhealthy?

Wow—is this a loaded question! There is a lot of conflicting information out there about what is and isn’t healthy. I dug through a lot of lists, and here are some qualities of healthy food that popped up on all of them:

    It’s low in sodium.
    It’s a good source of fiber.
    If it contains fats, they’re healthy fats.
    It’s low in added sugars.
    It’s as unprocessed as possible.

Let’s use the list above as a jumping-off point when looking at the foods below.
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What makes food healthy?
Healthy Foods You Thought were Unhealthy
1. Potatoes

Potatoes are one of those foods that get the short shift with very little reason. A whole potato with the skin is a good source of fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin B6 and even calcium.

The problem with potatoes is in how we prepare them. Deep fried French fries, pools of butter and heaps of sour cream are what make potatoes unhealthy. So go ahead and embrace the potato!
2. Carbs

Oh, carbs. We blame them for everything! They’re the other reason that people vilify potatoes and many other foods on this list, but not all carbs are the same. Care2′s Diana Herrington explains, “Your brain, nervous system and muscles require about 60-65 percent carbohydrates to keep them nourished.”

Our bodies run on carbs. The trick is choosing good carbs—like whole grains and vegetables—rather than refined carbohydrates, like you’d find in doughnuts.
3. Fat

Fat is another macronutrient that get a bad rep, and food marketing takes a lot of the blame here. If we vilify all fats, then companies can market low-fat foods that are packed with added sugars and processed ingredients to replace the missing fat.

Like carbs, not all fats are the same. When you’re looking for healthy foods, go for options low in saturated and trans fats in favor of foods containing unsaturated fats.
4. Corn

Corn falls into the same category as potatoes: a healthy food that gets an unhealthy reputation because of the preparations. Sure, corn on the cob or a bucket of popcorn slathered in butter is unhealthy. But whole, organic corn on its own is a healthy whole grain that provides fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

When you stop thinking of corn as a vegetable and recognize it as a whole grain, it’s much easier to eat it in a healthy way.
5. White Rice

White rice is one food that doesn’t hit all of the points on our list of parameters, but when you take a closer look, white rice isn’t so bad. Jordyn Cormier dove into whether brown rice is really healthier than white, and what she discovered was surprising.

Cormier says that brown rice does have more fiber and vitamins, but it also contains more anti-nutrients, which make it harder for your body to absorb the nutrition from your food. White rice is also easier to digest. She also points out that you’re not likely to eat a big bowl of white rice on its own. Chances are, you’re piling on fiber- and nutrient-rich veggies. If the white rice makes that healthy veggie stir fry more appealing, go for it.
6. Pasta

You’d think that pasta, especially conventional pasta, would be associated with weight gain, but last year a study found that it’s not necessarily associated with weight gain.

Like white rice, it’s all about what you pair with that pasta. In the study, pasta eaters were more likely to be eating a Mediterranean diet and eating in moderation overall. This study doesn’t mean that a bowl of fettucini alfredo is suddenly healthy, but it does give us reason to put pasta on a healthy food list, provided you’re pairing it with healthy foods, like veggies and beans.
Related at Care2:

    Surprise! Potatoes are good for you.
    Good vs. Bad Carbs
    Is brown rice really healthier than white?

What makes food healthy or unhealthy? How do good foods get bad reputations? Here are some "bad" foods you can embrace once again!

Images via Thinkstock.
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61 comments
LF F
LF F10 minutes ago

I feel better when I do a semi-vegan diet. But if I eat some vegetables, they don't still w me. I need a little starch to fill that void like a potato. They always seem to coat the tummy so well. Potatoes w balsamic vinegar dressing on it......ahhhhhh
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Jeramie D
Jeramie Dabout an hour ago

What about the arsenic in most rice?
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Kate G
Kate G1 hours ago

good info
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Linda L
Linda L2 hours ago

good
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Wesley Struebing
Wesley Struebing2 hours ago

I agree with the "finding" herre, but first, carbs MUST be monitored very carefully if one is diabetic, and this list will most likely change again in about 6 months or so. Eat a balanced meal (those guidelines haven't changed), in moderation, and Bob's your uncle.
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Mark T
Mark T2 hours ago

Every day is a school day, Ty.
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Sharon B
Sharon B2 hours ago

Thank You!
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Muff-Anne York-Haley
Muff-Anne York-Haley2 hours ago

I love all these things.
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Jan N
Jan N2 hours ago

I eat all of these - no problem.
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Lindsay K
Lindsay K2 hours ago

Thanks for sharing. I think everything in moderation is the best way.
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