This post will look at 12 demonized foods that are actually good for you and explain why there is a misconception about them. Learn that these foods are meant to be enjoyed and do have health benefits!
Nutrition can sometimes have a trendy aspect to it, and fad foods and diets come and go. One minute a diet is all the rage, and the next day it’s gone.
Thankfully, there is a trend that is currently on the rise and staying there, and that is a movement toward eating wholesome foods.
My friends, eating overly processed foods is becoming less and less of an accepted thing, and as a healthy lifestyle influencer, I’m pretty happy to see it!
Clean-eating is the best way to go, and those that embrace the lifestyle soon start to see how good they feel once they’ve begun to eat that way.
But, despite that, some foods included in a clean-eating diet still make the list of foods that you shouldn’t eat.
I describe them as demonized foods that are actually good for you. They provide tons of nutritional benefits, yet many people have the wrong idea about them.
So, I’ve written this post to dispel the myths about demonized foods. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
WHICH CARBS ARE BAD FOR YOU?
Processed carbs are bad for you. This is a quick explanation of what I mean:
- Juice, for example, is a food whereby the fiber has been removed, and you are essentially drinking water and sugar.
- Have a piece of fresh fruit instead, and the fiber is still present.
- Packaged foods that are highly processed, like granola bars, contain a lot of sugar and not much else.
- And as well, foods like sweetened yogurt should be replaced with clean-eating full-fat, plain Greek yogurt.
- Processed carbs are empty calories.
IS HEALTHY FAT GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
Yes, healthy fat is indeed good for weight loss.
Still, healthy fats are often looked down upon just because of the word fat. People are afraid of the word and automatically start thinking about clogged arteries, calorie-counts, and putting on weight.
But, there are ways that healthy fats can contribute to weight loss:
- Omega-3’s and 6’s are essential to healthy living. They help your brain and your cells and give you the energy you need to live a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise. Movement, in the form of cardio and weight training, helps you lose weight.
- You absorb nutrients better when combined with healthy fats. The vitamins in a salad will be absorbed better when combined with fat like avocado.
- Fat keeps you full by stimulating hormones that signal you’ve had enough and are content.
- Healthy fats, like avocado and olive oil, are whole foods, not processed. Avoiding processed foods helps with weight loss and overall good wellbeing.
EAT FOOD IN MODERATION
Before we get started, let’s talk about moderation. Everything should be eaten in moderation. It’s all about taking charge of what you are eating and enjoying food.
Because really, that is what eating healthy is all about, whether you are dieting to lose weight, eating a certain way to control a health condition, or simply choosing more nutritious foods as a way to feel better.
Eating in moderation is key. And you’ll see what I mean as we look at the demonized foods that are actually good for you. When we demonize foods, we often look at only part of the picture and not the entire aspect of the food. What do I mean? You’ll see when we take a look at the first demonized food, which is eggs.
A lot of people, when they think of eggs, automatically worry about cholesterol, when that should not be the case at all. If you are an egg lover and want to eat more eggs, read my post on the 10 Benefits of Eggs and Why You Should Eat Them More Often! You’ll see that there are many benefits to eating eggs, like how they are beneficial for eye health and even lower the risk of heart disease.
2. OLIVE OIL
Extra virgin olive oil is super healthy. It contains antioxidants and fatty acids, along with Vitamins E and K. Olive oil also has anti-inflammatory effects. Yes, olive oil is high in calories, but used in moderation, the benefits are many. Use it in salads as a super-good-for-you alternative to store-bought salad dressings.
3. FULL-FAT DAIRY
This is another demonized food that is actually good for you. It’s so awesome that I dedicated an entire post to the topic!
Full-fat dairy works to fill you up with protein and healthy bacteria that support your digestive system. When you eat a full-fat dairy product like plain Greek yogurt, it means that you are enjoying food that is not over-processed or full of sugar. People fear the words full-fat but shouldn’t because there are typically fewer calories in the full-fat version than there are in a low-calorie version of the same food.
4. COCONUT OIL
Like olive oil, coconut oil is a healthy food. It contains medium-chain triglycerides that reduce hunger, make you feel full, and give you extra energy, thus increasing your metabolic rate. Enjoy in moderation, the same as you would with olive oil. A tablespoon of coconut oil in your favorite smoothie is perfect!
A lot of people avoid avocado because they think it’s too fattening. In fact, they have a ton of nutrients and contain fiber, which is excellent for your digestive health. I explain more about that in my post on fiber. Avocados are low in carbs and high in heart-healthy fats. Meaning, yes, they are demonized but actually good for you.
Let’s talk a little about carbs. People often hear the word carbs and want to run the other way, but stop! Think sweet potatoes, quinoa, strawberries, and yummy legumes. Of course, you don’t want to eat processed, high-sugar foods, but good carbs in fruits, veggies, and grains give your body needed fuel.
Too much coffee isn’t good for anyone. But moderate amounts (like everything we are discussing) can be healthy. It’s true – coffee comes with a long list of benefits. Here are a few:
- Improves mood
- Boosts your metabolism
- May help with depression
- May lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes
8. RED MEAT
Of course, when we mention red meat, we are referring to it in the clean-eating form. We’re talking healthy steaks, roasts, and other types of meat that are not processed in any way. Animal protein aids in muscle function and also helps to build muscle mass. Processed meats, on the other hand, contain nitrates. They are not good for you.
Nuts and nut butters are nutrient-dense but must be eaten in moderation. Yes, you can enjoy them every day, and they are a high-fiber treat that is good for your heart. They do have a fair amount of calories (a one-ounce serving of almonds has 161 calories), but including them in a healthy diet is smart – and they reduce hunger and cravings, preventing you from snacking on junk foods.
Chocolate is a demonized food that is actually good for you, much to the surprise of many. It contains flavanols, which aid in insulin sensitivity. As well, yummy chocolate can be a stress reducer and can improve artery function. Make sure that the chocolate you eat is 80% cacao to get the most benefit.
11. WHOLE GRAINS
Many people avoid products with grains, assuming they have too many carbs. But as long as you eat whole grains, you can enjoy them. Indulge in super-healthy quinoa (a high-protein grain) and oats, and when you are baking, use flours like buckwheat and spelt. Whole grains like oats are known to reduce inflammation and reduce belly fat. Grains are great for the digestive system, too.
Cheese is often avoided because people think it’s a high-fat food. Sure, there is fat in cheese. But there is also calcium, Vitamin B12, and healthy fatty acids. Indulge in every type of cheese in moderation, knowing that you are eating a good-for-you food.
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