It doesn’t seem that dieting trends will ever go away, and there are so many contradicting facts out there about what is healthy for you and what isn’t. It can make eating your favorite foods really stressful, and even make you feel guilty for it!
But you shouldn’t feel guilty for a small indulgence every once in a while. And to help you feel a little better about some of your favorite foods, check out some of the nutritional benefits of these common comfort foods.
Peanut butter contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium, which contribute to a good immune system, bone health, muscle health, and preventing chronic diseases. So the next time you just need to eat a spoonful (or three) of peanut butter, you should definitely not feel guilty about it. In fact, try to eat at least a serving of peanut butter a day, whether it’s on toast, in a smoothie, or straight out of the jar.
Potatoes get a bad rap because of the many unhealthy things you can make with them – mainly french fries. And as much as you might love to indulge in french fries, you don’t reap all of the nutritional benefits that healthy potatoes offer when they are skinned and deep fried.
Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6 – if you eat the bud in its entirety, skin included. Some great healthy meals to make with potatoes include baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, and baked french fries (that’s right, you can still have french fries).
We are often told that bread is unhealthy, and in many regards, it can be. But if you are eating the right type of bread, it can hold many health benefits for you.
Whole wheat bread (and other whole grains) are full of nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Web MD even states that whole grain diets can reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and some forms of cancer.
So, the next time someone tells you to cut bread out of your diet (unless you have an allergy or intolerance to it), make sure they have all the facts. Because yes, some breads – like white bread with refined flour – can be unhealthy, but others can provide the necessary nutrients that your body needs each day.
Okay, so not all chocolate is healthy for you, unfortunately. But if you love dark chocolate, then you’re going to love this.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, and it helps to improve heart health and aids in cancer prevention. Include dark chocolate with trail mix, in smoothies, in cereal, or just eat it on its own.
And a bite of your favorite chocolate is just good for the soul, so don’t beat yourself up about a small treat every once in a while.
Alright, for all the cheese lovers out there – this one’s for you. Cheese is a great source of calcium, protein, vitamin A, B12, zinc, and phosphorus. And it can also contribute to great dental health! The calcium and phosphates in cheese help put minerals back in your teeth that you might have lost while indulging in other not so healthy treats.
Of course, cheese is only healthy when eaten appropriately and in moderation. Fried cheese is definitely not going to benefit you as much in the health department as fresh cheese. Include cheese cubes or cheese sticks with your lunch or in a snack paired with grapes and whole grain crackers.
Popcorn is a whole grain, and thus, offers many of the same benefits as whole wheat bread – like protein, fiber, and antioxidants. The caveat is that your favorite super mega movie theater buttery popcorn probably isn’t very good for you. Instead, purchase plain popcorn and add seasonings to it. Look on Pinterest for some great popcorn seasoning recipes.
We’ve been warned about eggs our entire lives. “Don’t eat eggs every day if you don’t want to have high cholesterol.”
Despite what we’ve been told, eggs are actually quite healthy for you. The eggs whites are full of protein and vitamin B12, which helps give you good energy to get your day started. Even the egg yolks, which do contain fats and cholesterol, are good for you in moderation.
Don’t be afraid to eat an egg with breakfast each day. If you do find that you are eating eggs frequently, try eating just the eggs whites – or at least less of the yolk – for a good healthy meal.
Food is a basic necessity of life, but it’s so much better when you are able to enjoy it. Everything should be eaten in moderation, but if you keep that in mind, you can continue to eat the foods you love free of guilt.