With all the weight loss and nutrition advice available online, it can be difficult to discern which foods are a healthy addition to your diet and which are not. Here are some foods that are commonly on the ‘bad’ list but may not deserve to be there.
NUTS are often put on a list of foods to avoid because they contain fat and are high in calories. However, nuts contain mostly monounsaturated fat, along with some omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower LDL cholesterol levels, and omega- 3 and omega-6 fatty acids help with brain function and cell growth. Nuts also contain essential nutrients like magnesium and selenium. Since nuts are high in calories, a serving size is small, about 1.5 oz. Avoid nuts that are salted or are coated with sugar. Whole nuts can be a choking risk for kids under age five.
POTATOES are a starchy vegetable that has been put on the list of bad foods by low carb weight loss diets. However, when eaten in moderation, a baked potato with the skin on can actually be a healthy addition to a balanced meal. A medium baked potato on its own, without toppings added, is only about 160 calories, and the potato skin contains fiber, which helps you feel full longer. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium, and one potato provides about 4.3 grams of protein.
OLIVES are often perceived as off-limits because they contain fat. However, most of the fat contained in olives is oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat which studies have linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Olives are low-calorie and low glycemic index, which makes them a good replacement for other salty snacks like potato chips. Olives are fermented after they are picked, and, like other fermented foods, may contain probiotic bacteria that help support good digestive health. A serving of olives is small, about 4 or 5 large olives.