Healthy Foods That Get a Bad Rap

View as:|
1 of 7

Sometimes it’s tough to know what food is good for you and what’s not. One week a certain food item is deemed a superfood, the next it’s criticized as unhealthy, maybe based on the results of a not-so-methodical study that may have been funded by a competing food organization. Here's a list of some of the more recent foods that have wrongly received a bad rap.


Despite a study recently suggesting 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 said while egg yolks do have high cholestrol, they are packed with nutrients that can help lower the risk for heart disease, such as 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 connection. Potatoes, meanwhile, are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. Do watch out for processed potato products, such as potato chips, which contain trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients.


Bananas tend to get a bad rap because they're high in sugar, but they're also high in other nutrients, especially potassium. Bananas also contain a type of dietary fiber known as "resistant starch" that has been linked to an increase in post-meal fat-burning. Bananas are a great workout snack to refuel your muscles.


Some say soy prevents cancer, others think it promotes it. 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, the opposite is probably true, and soy may actually be protective. It also may protect against prostate cancer.


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 8 oz 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.