BY Tricia Derge
We all have our guilty pleasures. For some of us, those forbidden comforts happen to be food: guacamole and chips, bowls of popcorn, or pints of a favorite brew.
Guess what? Today’s your lucky day! From avocados to beer, these eight guilty pleasures are both delicious and nutritious.
We’ve always been told to skip the avocados because they’re high in fat. But, here’s the truth: avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Basically, they’re loaded with good fats, the kind that can actually help lower blood cholesterol levels. Your guacamole is brimming with important nutrients, and even contains more potassium than bananas.
And, best of all: you don’t even have to eat avocados to benefit from their health benefits. The fruit can play a key role in your healthy hair and skin routine, as the antioxidants and amino acids can help moisturize dry skin and treat sunburns.
Well, that’s a relief! Your morning cup of joe has some surprising health benefits. Besides keeping you awake, studies show that coffee can decrease the risk of dementia in older adults, increase your level of alertness, and improve performance on all kinds of tasks. More shockingly, a study done in Japan found that coffee consumption was linked to a reduced risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease. Plus, studies at Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking coffee can even make you happier and help prevent depression! So, what do you have to lose? Brew a cup before you head to the office tomorrow!
Pass the popcorn! According to researchers at the University of Scranton, the movie snack is rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that prevent damage to the cells. So, what’s the benefit? Well, polyphenols can help prevent degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Unfortunately, microwave popcorn is usually packed with unhealthy additives, so keep it as natural as possible. Try popping your own corn with healthy oils, and finish off the snack with a dash of salt and a little bit of butter.
No need to skip that pint at dinner tonight! New studies suggest that beer is a rich source of dietary silicon, one of the key ingredients in increasing bone mineral density. So…what exactly does that mean in regular people terms? Basically, beers that are especially malty or hoppy can help prevent osteoporosis. What’s the catch? Well, the study proves that moderate beer consumption can help prevent the disease. But, don’t go crazy, it’s not a cure-all.
5. Peanut Butter
We’ve always been told to avoid peanut butter. The creamy, delicious spread is high in fat and calories, but it also possesses quite a few health benefits. Studies confirm that eating five units of peanuts or peanut butter a week can lower your risk for coronary heart disease. The catch? Because the spread is still high in fat, make sure to incorporate it into your diet responsibly. Plus, avoid peanut butter that has added sugar, skip the reduced fat options, and stick to all-natural spreads.
6. Dark Chocolate
Go ahead, enjoy that dark chocolate bar! The sweet has a crazy amount of health benefits. Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and prevent the formation of blood clots. Even weirder…it’s good for your brain! Studies have shown that dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain and the heart, so it helps improve cognitive function and may stave off dementia.
7. Red Wine
One word: antioxidants! Red wine is chock-full of compounds that can slow the signs of aging, and prevent a number of degenerative illnesses like Type-2 diabetes. One compound has been proven to help fight cancer—even after the body’s metabolism converts it to other compounds. As always, moderation is key. Don’t chug the bottle, but enjoy a glass (or two) at dinner.
The truth is beef is fatty. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. About 50% of the fat is estimated to be monounsaturated—aka the “good kind” found in olive oil, avocados, and more. Steak is filled with protein, and you can clearly see where the fat is found, so you can just snip it off for a leaner meal.