WE ALL know some foods are better for us than others, and most of us try to stick mainly to a diet of products which support our health, spurning some of our favourites in the quest to look after ourselves.
But did you know that some of the foods we might think of as being traditionally ‘bad,’ may in fact contain surprising health benefits?
There is in fact a whole host of food and drinks we may be unnecessarily depriving ourselves of when in fact- eaten in moderation- they can actually be good for us. On the other hand, there are also supposedly ‘good,’ products which may be harmful.
The humble potato, a staple part of many meals, has been much criticised in recent years for its high carbohydrate- and sometimes fat- content. And while this may be warranted in the case of potatoes served in the form of French fries, crisps or mash, prepared healthily potatoes can form part of a nutritious, balanced diet.
Baked, boiled, or even roasted, they can leave us feeling fuller for longer, cutting down on the amount of other foods we consume. Potatoes also contain good levels of antioxidants, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese.
Whole milk is another product we tend to avoid out of concerns over its fat content. In fact, some experts believe whole milk contains more vitamin D and Omega 3 oils than skimmed and semi-skimmed varieties. Similarly, cheese often receives a bad reputation, but also contains large quantities of calcium, as well as some amount of almost every vitamin and mineral your body needs to function well.
Even chocolate can hold surprising health benefits. Dark chocolate is thought to contain high levels of antioxidants- the chemicals which help to fight off cancer-causing ones- higher levels than found in even super foods like blueberries. The same benefits do not apply to milk or white chocolate, however, so these are best avoided.
And finally, a look at a supposedly healthy product which can actually cause more harm than good; fruit juice. While we have been for years told that orange juice and other ‘health’ drinks can improve immunity or health, scientists say fruit-based drinks in fact contain high levels of sugar and very few nutritional benefits.
So if you do feel like a juice, it is important to make sure it is 100 per cent natural with no added ingredients, and even then only consume in moderation.