Healthy Foods That Get a Bad Rap
Sometimes it’s tough to know what food is good for you and what’s not. Sometimes it seems like one week something is declared a super food, and the next it’s deemed unhealthy—although the latter could be based on the results of a not-so-methodical study that may have been funded by a competing food organization. Here's a look of some healthy foods that in recent years have wrongly received a bad rap.
Despite a 2012 study suggesting that egg yolks are nearly as bad for your arteries as cigarette smoke, researchers at MIT say eggs have been wrongly vilified.
Further, an article about eggs on Harvard School of Public Health's website reads, "While it's true that egg yolks have a lot of [dietary] cholesterol. . . eggs also contain nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease, including protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate."
Potatoes have been blamed for many health problems, especially insulin resistance related to Type 2 diabetes and weight gain. However, no clinical studies have shown a clear connection. Potatoes, meanwhile, are a great source of potassium, vitamin C and fiber.
Do watch out for processed potato products, however, such as potato chips, which contain trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients.
Bananas tend to get a bad rap because they're high in carbs, but they're also high in other important nutrients, especially potassium. Bananas also contain a type of dietary fiber known as "resistant starch" that has been linked to a rise in post-meal fat-burning.
Bananas are an excellent snack to have pre- and post-workout, giving your tired muscles an extra pop of potassium necessary to refuel.
Some say soy prevents cancer, others think it promotes it, and some claim too much soy can help men develop unwanted oversized breasts.
Soy is rich in antioxidants, specifically phyto-estrogens, which can affect hormone levels. Some have tried to link soy with reproductive cancers, especially breast cancer. However, more research suggests the opposite is probably true, and that soy may actually be protective. It also may protect against prostate cancer.
As for oversized breasts, soy doesn't seem to be a catalyst. According to many meta-analyses on the subject, soy did not show any de-masculinizing effects in monkeys or humans.
Coffee has a bad reputation because too much of it can make you feel anxious and jittery, prevent you from sleeping, and sometimes mess with your stomach. The good news is that two to four eight-ounce cups a day (with or without caffeine) may reduce your risk of dementia, diabetes and liver cancer.
Nuts are full of fat, but it's the good, unsaturated, heart-healthy kind. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats, almonds are full of protein and vitamin E, and pistachios are a good source of antioxidants.