5 Foods not as Unhealthy as you Think

Not all unhealthy foods live up to their name. Some are surprisingly beneficial to your body and your health. DESIblitz lists 5 foods that are not all bad.

5 Foods not as Unhealthy as you Think

some 'bad' foods are wrongly lumped in the same category as processed junk food

We hear it all the time, “Don’t eat that, it isn’t good for you,” or, “Too much of this will make you ill!”

But surprisingly some of the foods we are told are ‘unhealthy’ aren’t as bad as we think.

There are a multitude of reasons why we are advised not to eat excessive amounts or to steer clear of certain foods. Be it too much sugar, or being packed with fat.

But some ‘bad’ foods are wrongly lumped in the same category as processed junk food. When they actually provide our body with some of the benefits it needs.

Just because they are not linked with fruit or vegetables doesn’t mean they aren’t good for us.

So join DESIblitz as we explore five examples of ‘bad’ food. Which in fact pack a lot of nutrients and healthy stuff that the body needs.

Red Meat

We have all heard that a diet high in red meat consumption can often end in problems.

Consuming a lot of red meat has been associated with cancer, particularly in the bowel and colon. Many people also complain of stomach pains after eating rich, red meat dishes.

This has led many researchers and doctors to believe that over-consumption of red meat may be the culprit for this. But with steaks and beef dishes being so popular in restaurants and homes worldwide, are we all at risk?

More recent studies have suggested that there is no correlation between consuming red meat and health issues. On the contrary, it is more down to how much red meat we consume in one sitting.

The key is keeping an eye on how much you consume. Moderation is the main factor when it comes to this food item. Making sure we eat less than 70 grams of red meat per day is enough to bring our risk of cancer down.

So, when cooking your next steak dish be sure it is unprocessed and lean and you have nothing to worry about! In fact, red meat contains factors which help your heart and blood circulation! Your body will thank you for the protein and mineral boost.

Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple ingredient in a lot of Desi cooking. They are cooked and used in hundreds of different ways. But we have all heard the age-old tale of potatoes being bad for your diet.

Potatoes have a lot of bad press when it comes to the diet game. They are extremely rich in carbohydrates and starch. Meaning that they’re not great for weight loss.

Roasted, fried, baked, no matter how you dress it up, every dietitian will recommend you stay away from these humble meal staples. Because they offer very little nutritional value, right? Wrong!

Potatoes are excellent for a source of fibre. One medium potato contains 4g of the stuff. As well as Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and flavonoids which promote a healthy heart and help prevent cancer too!

Not to mention they contain minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium. Everything you need for a healthy running body.

So next time someone advises you step away from the roast potatoes, inform them of how they are the unsung gems of healthy vegetables!

Pistachio Nuts

Pistachios are one of the oldest nuts in the world.

They are popular in many Desi dessert recipes including ice cream and cakes. But nutritionists dictate that pistachios, along with other nuts, are high in fat and should be avoided or eaten in small amounts.

But, what we fail to realise is that these nuts are high in heart healthy fat that is essential to our bodies!

However, not all nuts are made the same. For example, almonds can help with reducing the risk of heart disease. Whilst pistachios help with weight management and protection against diabetes.

So next time you want a snack – reach for a small bag of mixed nuts. You’ll be doing your heart a favour!

White Rice

Rice is a delicious side dish on many Desi meals. It’s filling, cheap to buy, easy to make, and most of us have it in our cupboards. White rice goes with everything. But, compared to it’s brown counterpart, it’s always been deemed as unhealthy.

Whilst most gym bunnies and healthy eaters reach for the packets of brown rice, it’s important to note that white rice isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be.

Whilst white rice in the US does have a lot of nutrients taken out of it in processing, most white rice is quite healthy.

It is a good source of calories, it contains proteins and fibre which are essential, particularly for things like body building and such.

The Japanese eat rice almost every day and live long, healthy lives. This fact alone shows that white rice can’t be all that unhealthy.

Again, this is one food staple that should be eaten in moderation.

Whilst some nutritionists call it ’empty calories’, the carbohydrates and minerals which the body obtains from white rice are essential and necessary as part of a balanced diet.

Coffee

Coffee is an essential every day beverage in a lot of people’s lives. It’s something we reach for when we first wake up and something we drink throughout the day.

Coffee is one of the most popular and profitable markets now. Go anywhere and you’ll find at least one Starbucks or Costa or independent coffee chain. It is the drink of the moment.

But, how has this ‘unhealthy’ beverage become so popular?

As well as tasting great and having hundreds of different ways it can be served, coffee can also improve cardiovascular health, and help cells from aging. It gives off protection against cancer. Not to mention it improves energy levels and your mood.

Drinking 3-5 cups a day is now deemed as harmless by health officials. Of course, it becomes unhealthier if you add sugar and milk to yours.

For all the above foods, moderation is key. They can each still play a role in maintaining a balanced and healthy diet.

So, next time you’re out shopping and find yourself wondering if you should buy certain products, don’t worry too much about it. Because these five ‘unhealthy’ foods prove that sometimes even bad things can be good for you!

Laura is a Creative and Professional Writing and Media graduate. A huge food enthusiast who is often found with her nose stuck in a book. She enjoys video games, cinema and writing. Her life motto: “Be a voice, not an echo.”