Certain foods once deemed harmful by nutritionists have been found to provide essential nutrients to the diet, according to recent studies.
From butter to chocolate, several “bad” foods offer an array of health benefits – within certain limitations.
“What’s old is new again may be the simplest way to avoid whiplash when deciding what’s good to eat,” Elena Ferretti toldFox News. “Some foods that doctors were telling us to avoid just a few years ago are now being heartily embraced.”
Eight foods in particular are gaining a new reputation in the health world:
- The bad: Butter was once believed to cause an array of health problems, particularly heart attacks, said Tracey Black from Don’t Mess With Mama.
- The good: Loaded with vitamins A, E and K2, butter is now believed to have no negative impact on heart health. Margarine, which was created as a “safe” substitute for butter, has been shown to increase heart problems.
- Caution: Black suggested purchasing butter from grass-fed cows to increase health benefits.
- The bad: Nutritionists once labeled both good and bad fats into the same category, Ferretti said, resulting in nuts being viewed as “fat and calorie torpedoes.”
- The good: Nuts actually decrease heart disease and diabetes, as well as provide resveratrol – an antioxidant, Ferretti said.
- Caution: Portion sizes remain key, said Nicci Micco from Eating Well, as nuts contain many calories.
3. Red meat
- The bad – Brynn Mannino from Woman’s Day said that red meat contains saturated fats, which some nutritionists believe can contribute to heart problems.
- The good – Ferretti said that processed meat, rather than red meat, causes heart problems. Burgers, steaks and other types of red meat contain iron, which helps sustain energy levels and provides oxygen to blood, Mannino said. Ferretti also noted that beef provides other nutrients such as protein, zinc and vitamin B.
- Caution – Nutritionists encourage people to consume grass-fed beef, which is healthier, Ferretti said.
- The bad – In the past, salt has been likened to heart attacks, strokes and other serious medical problems, said Sally Fallon Morell from The Weston A. Price Foundation.
- The good – Morell said the human body needs the sodium and chloride ions from salt, which controls fluid volume, acid base levels and blood pressure, among other healthy bodily functions.
- Caution – Carrie Vitt from Deliciously Organic suggests for consumers to use unprocessed salt. Traditional table salt is not only heated and bleached but contains added ingredients, making it a processed food.
- The bad – Because of their high levels of cholesterol, egg yolks were believed to contribute to heart disease, said Katherine Tallmadge from Live Science.
- The good – Recent studies reveal that eggs do not lead to heart problems – rather, whole eggs contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, Ferretti said.
- Caution – People who are battling heart problems should still avoid eggs, despite their added health benefits, Mannino said.