As different diet trends come and go, certain foods get a bad rap. Over the years, two of your most favorite food choices, carbohydrates and fats, topped the forbidden food list almost every time. It’s all thanks to the well-known health trends: the no carb/high fat diets or the high carb/ low fat diets. But times are changing, and health experts and scientist alike are rescinding their previous claims that certain foods should be forbidden from a healthy menu. Especially energy enhancing carbohydrates and nutrient absorbing fats both of which are whole foods your body needs to survive.
After years of hearing how these forbidden foods could harm you, it may surprise you to see that they’re making a comeback. Take your balanced meal plan to a whole new level by adding these five forbidden foods back into your diet. Your body will thank you for it!
The white potato is often mistaken for a refined starch but nothing could be further from the truth.
- One medium potato is an immune boosting superfood which contains 29 percent of our vitamin C recommendations.
- It’s high in potassium, an important electrolyte that gives us energy and reduces muscle cramps, especially after a workout.
The Secret: It’s in the skin. While the meaty part of your potato holds essential vitamins and minerals, the skin holds in the nutrients and provides the potato with fiber. Eat it, too!
Peanut allergies are on the rise, but that doesn’t mean the peanut is toxic for all. If you’re allergy free and you ban the peanut, you’re missing out on an abundance of health benefits.
- The high amount of polyunsaturated fat in just two tablespoons of peanut butter helps prevent heart disease and reduces bad LDL cholesterol.
- It’s packed full of magnesium and manganese, two important minerals that form and maintain strong bones. Two tablespoons of peanut butter hold 12 percent of your daily magnesium needs and a whopping 23 percent of your daily manganese requirements.
The secret: Read the nutrition label. Some peanut butters have high amounts of refined sugars and salt which increase your risk of type II diabetes and heart disease. If you see sugar or salt within the first three ingredients, it’s probably too high to be healthy. Choose another brand.
Sugars are generally banned from a healthy diet because we consume high quantities which cause preventable disease, but not all sugars are created equal. Honey in moderation has preventative nutrients we can benefit from.
- Polyphenols present in honey slow our aging process by combatting reactive oxygen species (molecules that age us).
- Honey enhances our memory by protecting our brain cells and building a strong nervous system.
- Honey contains anti-microbial/anti-fungal peptides which balance good and bad bacteria in our body and reduces fungal infections.
The secret: Not all honey is created equal. It has different health properties depending on the climate, location, and way in which the it is made. Raw honey is more frequently suggested for fighting bad gut bacteria that may cause ulcers in our stomach. Chestnut honey is often suggested for its high polyphenol count. Vary up the types you use in order to get the maximum health benefits honey can provide.
Health experts believed all fats were forbidden, especially saturated fats like butter. These days the ban has been lifted on most fats due to their amazing health benefits. Butter is no different.
- Butter promotes weight loss and prevents obesity due to its high amounts of butyric acid, a fatty acid which ferments in the large intestine, increasing body heat and energy expenditure.
- High amounts of vitamin K2 present in butter reduce your risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
The secret: For your healthiest option choose grass-fed butter. Grass-fed cows produce a higher, nutrient dense butter especially rich in vitamin K2.
After years of being told we’d get acne, increase our waistline and risk our health with certain diseases, it’s exciting to know that chocolate is actually good. Chocolate is healthy, at least in its original form, cacoa.
- Chocolate contains powerful antitumor properties thanks to its high amount of procyanidin, an important phytochemical.
- Flavanols found in cacao dilate your blood vessels which reduces blood pressure.
The Secret: Dark chocolate is the best source of nutrients. Choose raw cacao when possible because the higher the temperature used to make the chocolate, the lower the nutrient value.
When eaten in moderation, the potato can be enjoyed with a pad of butter, and chocolate, honey and peanut butter can create delicious and nutritious snacks. When searching for these once forbidden foods, read the labels and search for non-refined, non-processed whole foods. The key is getting all natural products, free from additives and preservatives because while the ban has been lifted on these five foods, refined sugars are still in the bad books. You don’t want them lurking in your healthy items.