All of us face the constant struggle of wanting to be healthy and fit, but also wanting to eat all the food that ever existed. Its a daily test of willpower that we all too often fail because, you know, cookies are life.
You want to have super flat abs and eat a salad, but you also want to consume a million doughnuts, you know?
Well, as it turns out, there are plenty of delicious, scrumptious foods that are actually healthful.
Here are seven foods you thought were bad for you, but are actually good for you.
Though you mightequate coffee with feeling jittery and having crashes, this delicious liquid is actually good for you, science says!
Here’s the deal: Researchersat Harvard University’s School of Nutrition analyzed data from more than 200,000 men and womento determine whether increasedcoffee consumption actually led to better health outcomes. (This wasn’t some quick study, either. According to the scientists, their analysis comprised”4,690,072 person-years of follow-up.”)
After crunching the numbers, theyfoundthat, compared to non-drinkers, people who drankone tofive cups of coffee per day had”a lower risk of mortality.” They also didn’t observe an increased risk of mortality for peoplewho drank five or more cups per day.
Long, complicated story short: Enjoy that cup of coffee! Just remember to go light on the sugar, syrup and cream, as that can make a good drink go bad (for you). Also, stick to one or two cups a day to avoid that jittery feeling you can get from consuming too much caffeine.
2. Peanut butter
Though it mightfeel more like an indulgence than a healthful food, peanut butteris actually super good for you. (As long as you stick to the kind that doesn’t containadded sugar.)
Yes, peanutbutter ishigh in fat, but fat isn’t always bad, according toDr. Walter Willett, a professor of nutrition at Harvard University. Hewrotein the Harvard Health Letterthat a food’s healthfulness depends on itsbalance of nutrients not just its fat content.
According to Willett, there’s strong scientific evidence showing thatpeople who routinely consume nuts orpeanut butter are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and heart disease. What’s more, apart from offeringa mix of fiber, minerals and vitamins, peanut butter contains roughly the sameratio of unsaturated to saturatedfat as olive oil. He stresses thatratio is important:
“In moderation, some saturated fat is okay. Eating a lot of it, though, promotes artery-clogging atherosclerosis, the process that underlies most cardiovascular disease. In contrast, unsaturated fats, which make up the majority of the fat content in peanut butter, help reduce LDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.”
Yay peanut butter!
Even if you’re not someone who likes togo heavy on the grains, it’s helpful to remindyourselfthat not all breads are bad for you. Seriously, repeat after me: Carbs are not necessarily bad! You just need to optfor whole grains instead of their refined counterparts.
The key is choosing the right type of bread. You’re going to want to skip white bread with a ton of sugar, but don’t shy away fromwhole grains. Whole grains are good for your overall healthand help to keep you energizedfor that workout you have planned for later.
Some people think that yogurt isn’t healthful. And while yogurt with a ton of addedsugar might not be, there are plenty of nutritional benefits associated with certain kindsof yogurt.
Researchers at Tufts University who study the health benefits of yogurt have found thatpeople who regularly consume the delicious dairy treat are more likely to havelower blood pressure than their non-yogurt-eating counterparts.
Just makesure to buy yogurt with live cultures and not a lot of added sugar.You can mix it with fruit for breakfast, or you can use it as areplacement for sour cream in cooking.
According to a recent study published in PLOS ONE,diets low in fat might bedoing more harm than good. That means all that butter you’ve been cutting out of your life forthe past few years might not have been worth it!
While eating butter all day, every day is definitely notsomething you should aspire to,consuming it in moderation is probably okay.Butter’sratio of saturated to unsaturated fat may not be as optimalas olive oil’s or peanut butter’s, but thisresearch suggests saturated fat is better for your healththan processed carbohydrates like sugar.
You cant go wrong with an avocado.
Avocados are basically nutritional gold. They’re delicious. They’re healthful. They’re colorful. They’re divine. They’reamaze.
But don’t just take it from me. Researchers have foundthatavocadosareloaded withfiber as well astons of nutrients and minerals that are good for your body.
Extra guac, please!
Were not saying you should go out and buy three candy bars now that weve stated that chocolate is goodfor you. Andwe’re not notsaying iteither (JK LOL). Still, chocolate is definitely more than just a sweet.
Whenit comes to chocolate’s nutritional benefits, it’s all aboutthe type of chocolate you eat.If you’re looking for a healthful bang for your chocolate buck, then stick with dark chocolate, because the more cocoa the better! Varieties with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa content provide the most heart-healthy properties, science says. Just limit yourself to a few ounces of dark chocolate per day, and you’ll be good to go.