Remember when you were a kid and someone told you to not eat chocolate because it gave you spots? Or that eating too much potato makes you fat? That you shouldn’t eat the egg yolk, only the whites? Now when you look at those foods it's hard to see anything else.
These days we are pretty much drowning in food myths, constantly being told about all our bad diet decisions—but are we shying away from foods we should actually be eating? What if you were to find out that food you’ve avoided most of your life… is not so bad after all.
Here are the most popular foods we mistakenly believe are unhealthy, but that we can (and should) happily enjoy.
I’m not saying that re-enacting Bridget Jones every Friday night with a family sized block of Dairy Milk is a good decision—even though it might feel like that at the time—because eating your body weight in choc isn’t quite what I mean when I say that we can enjoy chocolate, especially dark chocolate, and still be healthy. A good bit of dark chocolate is amazing for your brain function and heart circulation (see, who said it doesn’t mend a broken heart?) Plus, here's a little secret: studies over the last 10 years have shown that there is no link between eating chocolate and spots. It has actually been found to be good for your skin!
A life without cheese is just plain wrong, so lucky for you it’s not a decision you need to consider any time soon—enjoying a big old chunk of the good stuff is actually good for you, especially after exercising. Certain cheeses are packed of powerful nutrients and proteins, and they contain all the essential amino acids necessary for the growth and repair of muscles. So next time you’re working out, two words: grilled haloumi. Job done.
Cheese + chocolate + a bottle of red = Friday sorted. And you don’t even need to wake up on Saturday full of food and guilt, because this is another one that has a bad rep. Again, obviously in moderation (straw-pedoing that cheap Shiraz at a house party isn’t quite what I had in mind). But a glass of wine is already well-known for being heart healthy, and can apparently help with weight loss and reduce forgetfulness. Well, maybe not tonight...
#4 Olive Oil
There’s a reason Mediterraneans live longer than us—and it’s not just because they consider a siesta as a staple. Although we bet that’s got something to do with it... They eat one of the world's healthiest diets, rich in fruits, vegetables, proteins and most importantly olive oil. Lots and lots of olive oil. (Oh, and red wine of course!) With its high levels of fatty acids and anti-inflammatory benefits, you might want to leave the coconut oil for moisturising and cook with a bit more olive oil. Did you know its properties actually mimic the effects of ibuprofen?
#5 Full Fat Milk
Small skinny latte with one sweetener please—hands up who orders that? But did you know drinking full fat milk has actually been found to be healthier than drinking its skinny alternative? A recent study found that choosing full fat reduces the risk of diabetes by 46%, and it’s also rich in calcium and holds an essential combination of nutrients that you won’t find in skinny.
The big one, we’ve all done it—you want to lose weight so you think that cutting out carbs is the best decision, because of course it’s all these nasty carbs that are making you fat… only, it’s not. First of all, they’re a mood boosting food—when you eat carbs they are laden with high levels of serotonin. That fact will make you feel even happier when you realise that eating a balanced diet of carbs can actually promote weight loss, as they are full of dietary fibre. You need carbs for fuel and energy and to metabolise fats. Eat them. Now.
I pity the person who tries to tell me coffee is bad for you. I couldn’t care less, I’m already planning when I get to enjoy my next latte. Thankfully this is another one with an unfounded bad rep—drinking coffee is in fact great for protecting the heart and improving brain function and performance, especially physical performance. It stimulates the nervous system, and also prompts the breakdown of body fat. Who’d have thought on your next coffee break you are pretty much burning fats? Better make it a double. And make it quick.
Image credit: Iamafoodblog.com
Need some more healthy-inspo? Check out Melbourne's Best Salads That Actually Fill You Up!