What are the guilty pleasure foods that are actually good for you?
- Dark Chocolate
- Pork Rind
- Beef Jerky
- Chinese Food
- Ice Cream.
- Red Meat
- Red wine
Several celebrities tied the knot this year – through magazine and television coverage, we got to witness the union of our favorite public figures! Many people gushed over the wedding gown designs, beautiful ceremonies, and receptions. But a lot of people also salivated over the wedding catering. After all, there’s no better time to indulge in some guilty pleasure food than during weddings.
Surprisingly, there are some types of food that are thought of as unhealthy but, are actually good for you! The next time you are out celebrating a wedding or birthday of family or friend, remember that you don’t have to shy away from the following food:
Chocolate has a reputation for being bad for you, but dark chocolate actually isn’t!
Sure, dark chocolate can contain caffeine and tyramine – the latter being a natural chemical that is associated with migraines; but it actually has other healthy ingredients as well. For instance, it contains flavanols, which are antioxidant properties that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. It can also help reduce bad cholesterol, as well as lower your blood pressure! In fact, a study was published involving overweight individuals and how consuming dark chocolate has helped decrease their blood pressure while improving their blood vessel health.
This yummy dessert also has cocoa, which can help improve your circulation and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Popcorn contains carbohydrates that might raise your blood sugar. But did you know that by changing a few things about its toppings, this can actually be healthy?
Forget the heavily flavored popcorn (extra cheese, anyone?) that you usually see in stands outside movie theaters. Popcorn without toppings is actually a snack that is high in fiber and low in cholesterol.
This snack contains phytonutrients, which allows for optimal cellular function and communication. Popcorn can also help you detoxify foreign substances in your body and build a strong immune system. Aside from that, it improves muscle function and helps create healthier tissues and organ systems.
People think that this snack is unhealthy because it is cut from the pigskin and then deep-fried. But, did you know that a 1 ounce serving of pork rinds is healthier than a pack of potato chips? Yes, an ounce of this delicious snack contains 17 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, and absolutely no carbohydrates at all. That’s 9 times the amount of protein (and less fat) that you’ll get in a pack of chips!
Most of pork rinds’ unsaturated fat is oleic acid. This is healthy and can also be found in olive oil. Also, of its fat content, 13% is stearic acid. This saturated fat is considered harmless and does not raise the cholesterol level of your body.
Beef jerky is believed to be unhealthy because it contains a lot of preservatives and is high in sodium. In truth though, this snack is not only high in protein, it also doesn’t raise your insulin level! Insulin is a hormone that signals your body to store fat. Which means that this is an ideal snack if you are trying to lose weight.
Some beef jerky brands contain MSG and sodium nitrate. But there are some that use all-natural ingredients for a reduced total sodium content. When shopping, just remember to check the packaging to see if you are buying a chemical-free beef jerky or not.
Cheese is actually a good course of calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals. These make them the perfect topping to start or end any meal.
Also, certain kinds of cheese have beneficial bacteria that promote the growth of a chain of good fatty acids in your body. These cheeses are gruyère, gouda, cheddar, and parmesan.
Although Chinese food has been stereotypically portrayed to be greasy, salty, and full of calories, there are actually guilt-free options to choose from. These include sweet and sour soup, chop suey, and even chicken and broccoli. Just avoid anything deep-fried or noodle dishes.
Compared to other desserts, ice cream is actually low in calories. A half-cup of vanilla ice cream only contains 140 calories, 14 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of fat. To add a healthy touch to it while making it even tastier, try adding some fruit. Good choices would be a bowl of berries, apples, and bananas.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has labelled red meats as “probable carcinogens”, which has made people fear eating it. However, what people do not realize is red meats are actually good sources of protein, iron, and vitamin B12. It can also help boost one’s metabolism. The key is to eat it in moderation.
Steaks, in particular, are a healthy alternative to processed meats like hotdogs and sausages, which contain preservatives, sodium, and nitrates.
The tradition waffle is actually made of only eggs, milk, and flour which are not known to cause any nutritional harm. It is only when it is drowned in butter and syrup that it becomes unhealthy. Avoid adding these to your waffles and you have a snack that is low in fat and calories.
This may get you intoxicated, but it will do so in a fun and healthy way. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines state that drinking red wine daily (1 glass per day for women; 2 glasses for men) can slow down aging, reduce the risk of getting breast cancer, and prevent dementia. Just make sure that it is sulfite-free.
It turns out that a lot of foods that we have always perceived to be unhealthy are actually healthy. Now, you can eat dark chocolate, popcorn, pork rinds, or beef jerky without feeling guilty!