For a while now, some of our absolute favourite foods have been put in the category of nutritional shame. After the wedding season or the party months or a long holiday, we give ourselves such a hard time about all the binging. At that stage, we’re ready to do just about anything and try any fad diet to lose weight. In the bargain, we end up eating bowls of broccoli in the week, and six tubs of ice-cream on the weekend! Clearly then, our food balance goes haywire — we don’t actually end up losing any weight, and conveniently put the blame on certain ‘unhealthy foods’.
So today, we’re standing up for these 5 foods that have been given a bad name for all the wrong reasons and are, in fact, good for you.
1. Peanut Butter
Indeed, peanut butter does contain a large amount of fat. But fat is an important macronutrient that our body needs to function efficiently. Besides, you’d rather get fats from unsaturated, good sources like peanut butter, rather than a pretzel snack with saturated fats. Let’s not forget that peanut butter also gives you a lot vitamin E, and is a great vegan source of protein. So many nutrients packed into one tablespoon of peanut butter, and yet we shun it for being “high fat”.
It seems that people are always trying to substitute potatoes with a “healthier alternative that tastes almost as good”. But why settle for “almost as tasty”, when potatoes itself are quite nutritious? We’re being sold mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, zucchini fries replacing regular fries, kale chips substituting normal chips, or baked sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes. While these are all great inventions in the healthy cooking space, I think we can all agree that potatoes are the king of all vegetables, and nothing can replace them. As far as nutrition goes, potatoes are high fibre, high in minerals like potassium and iron, and an energy powerhouse, so don’t shy away from these beautiful spuds. The key is to cook it in a healthy way that retains all its nutrients.
Anything that has melted cheese on top has been labeled as unhealthy. Sure, it is advisable to eat cheese only in well portioned quantities. If you watch your quantity, cheese can actually be a great source of calcium and protein. Also, certain cheese that are made by a fermentation process have the added benefits of probiotics that make your gut healthy. So don’t feel guilty for pimping out your regular omelette with a cheese stuffed one. (Also Read: 7 Health Food Impostors You Need To Avoid)
4. Egg Yolks
If you’re one of those people who orders your breakfast with “egg whites only”, you know what we’re talking about. Ever tried scrambled eggs without the yolk? They’re quite the let down, right? The fat and cholesterol in yolks has given it a bad reputation. It’s only if you eat several eggs per meal that you should remove some of the yolks. But if you eat one to two eggs, don’t compromise on the taste, quantity, vitamin D, and protein content, by throwing the yolks out. If you do that, you reduce the protein content by 50%!
Oh the horror if you eat a piece of chocolate while you’re on a weight loss plan! For dieters, chocolate is blasphemous. “On your cheat day you get to eat a piece of extra dark chocolate only”, they say. These rules are too much, don’t you think? If you’re going to eat just one piece of chocolate on your cheat day, then do you really have to make it extra dark? Yes, extra dark is the healthiest option because it has the least sugar; but you shouldn’t have to worry about that if you’re not eating a whole bar at a time, or if you’re not eating it after every meal. Chocolate is packed with rich nutrients like magnesium, antioxidants, and plant flavonoids. It also releases serotonin, dopamine, and good endorphins, which help manage stress.
This article has probably made your day, because now you’re being told that you can eat all the things you love, without wallowing in guilt after. But the key here is moderation. You have to watch your quantities with the above foods, because going overboard will surely make them unhealthy.
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar