Unhealthy food that is good for you
People tend to fear potatoes because of their reputation as a waist-widening starch. But Sass sees them in a different light. They provide important nutrients like energy-supplying B vitamins and iron, plus vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and fibre, and they are also a source of a fat-burning carb called resistant starch, she says.
People tend to fear potatoes because of their reputation as a waist-widening starch. But Sass sees them in a different light. They provide important nutrients like energy-supplying B vitamins and iron, plus vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and fibre, and they are also a source of a fat-burning carb called resistant starch, she says. "Like fibre, resistant starch fills you up but it doesn't get digested and absorbed, and studies show it triggers your body to burn more fat," she says. Activate that slimming resistant starch by eating them in a cold potato salad. Roast, then chill taters and toss with a mixture of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and garlic.
Yep, you've heard that chocolate is good for you, but many people still don't believe it, says Beller. "It's a health food that nutritionists prescribe," she says. It's brimming with disease-fighting polyphenols. You can find those same good-for-you nutrients in a cup of hot cocoa. Skip the pre-made hot cocoa packets, as these are packed with sugar.
Unlike many dried fruits, raisins aren't sugar bombs. Why? They're just dried grapes. Though most dried fruits contain added sugar or fruit juice, raisins usually do not. You need to mind portions, however. One raisin contains the same number of calories as one grape, but a raisin is much smaller. A cup of grapes shrinks down to a quarter-cup of raisins, making it easy to go overboard.
"Coffee has a reputation as being unhealthy, but in moderation and with the right add-ins, it's actually a superdrink," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. Your morning brew is packed with antioxidants, which may be why regular coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. To drink it and reap the rewards (without jittery side effects), Sass suggests drinking one cup in the morning and then switching to water or green tea. Skip the sugary flavored creamers and add in organic skim or non-dairy milks like almond or coconut.
The whole egg, yolk and all. "One egg contains just 70 calories with 6 grams of high-quality protein, and contrary to popular belief, most of the fat in the yolk is unsaturated," says Sass. Plus, eggs are a weight-loss food, she says. Dieters who ate eggs for breakfast lost 65 per cent more weight than those who ate a bagel for breakfast that was equal in calories.
Chances are you always pick the non-fat yogurt. However, the extra fat helps you keep weight in check. For one, you’ll enjoy the taste more, so you don’t have to eat as much to feel satisfied. Research also suggests that normal-weight women who consume whole-milk dairy products are less likely to gain weight with age, according to a Swedish study.
If you go for whole-milk yogurt, watch your portions a cup of full-fat plain yogurt is 160 calories, while a cup of fat-free is 110 calories. Whole milk also contains more saturated fat 5 grams per cup, or about a quarter of what the American Heart Association recommends in a day.
If you've ever eaten at an Indian restaurant, you've had ghee, which is clarified butter. The good news: ghee tastes so intense that you need only a few drops to adds loads of flavour to any food. "It makes veggies more interesting," says Rachel Beller, RD, author of Eat to Lose, Eat to Win. Plus, one teaspoon has only 45 calories (a teaspoon of olive oil, for comparison, contains 40). Beller combines a teaspoon of olive oil with a half-teaspoon of ghee and uses it to toss roasted or steamed veggies.