With all the fuss about dieting and keeping our bodies in shape, we try and avoid “junk food.” We concentrate so much on counting our calories that we forget to count the blessings that come in the form of mouthwatering delicacies.
But what if I told you that junk food is not that bad after all? While one can’t really state the oxymoron that junk food is actually healthy, we can safely say that some of these temptations actually have health benefits. Don’t believe me?
Well here are 10 foods on your “don’t” list that actually have health benefits. Check them out.
Sinking your teeth into some heavenly chocolates actually helps you live longer. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers have found that chocolates are high in polyphenols which is known to reduce the risk of mortality by 30% compared to those diets which contain less amounts. “They have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogetic properties,” says study author Cristina Andres-Lacueva, Ph.D. They also help regulate your immune system and cocoa is known for its anti anxiety properties. If you choose dark chocolate, you’ll be loading up on flavonoids, the heart-healthy compounds also found in red wine and green tea. So it’s established - tasty and healthy, chocolates are really as good as sex. So go ahead and indulge!
2. Pork Rinds
This might just come as a shock, but this junk delight actually is protein packed. Though they are cut from pig skin and deep fried, these apparently are not AS unhealthy as they come across to be. 1 ounce of pork rinds contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams of proteins and 9 grams of fat. That’s nine times the protein and less fat than a serving of regular chips. Crunchy pork which is healthy too - why stop munching?
3. Beef Jerky
Though the neighbourhood departmental store might not have its best reputation on display, beef jerky is another mouthwatering protein-packed delight often segregated as junk food. But it helps in controlling insulin levels and thus helps in controlling fat. So snack away, especially if you’re watching your weight!
4. Sour Cream
Yes, yes, we know that almost 90% of sour cream is fat, but consider it in the total amount and it’s not half as bad. A serving of sour cream is generally two full tablespoons which is about 52 calories. That’s half the amount that’s in a single tablespoon of mayonnaise - and less saturated fat than you’d get from drinking a 12-ounce glass of 2 percent reduced-fat milk. See? Not a guilty pleasure after all.
5. Hot Sauce
Good news for the diet conscious! Besides making all our curries tastier, red sauce also makes us lose weight. According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, hot sauce contains capsaicin, a compound that can curb your appetite by reducing levels of the hunger-causing hormone ghrelin and by raising levels of GLP-1, an appetite-suppressing hormone. Not just boosting your flavour, the sauce gives you a hot shape too!
It doesn’t just spice up your fries, made from tomatoes, ketchup is loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. Go organic and you will find 60% more lycopene per gram than conventional brands to spice up your dish.
Just because it’s low on calories, doesn’t mean it’s low on nutrition as well. This movie munchy has high levels of polyphenols, antioxidants that can protect against heart disease and certain cancers. In fact, research shows that popcorn has the highest polyphenol level of all snack foods! As long as it comes without added flavours, you don’t need to control gluttony.
Though not really “junk food” beer is actually good for health. Clocking 150 - 200 calories per serving, beer is great if consumed in moderation. The antioxidant levels in beer are equivalent to that of wine; barley and hops just happen to contain different flavonoids than grapes. And beer’s a significant source of silicon, a key ingredient for increasing bone mineral density. And you thought only wine was good for you? So cheers guys, drink up!
Though butter is a BIG NO NO for all those who are “on a strict diet,” this creamy temptation has quite a few healthy qualities. Studies actually show that the fat in butter helps our bodies better absorb vitamins, like vitamin A, D, E, and K. Make sure you’re following a healthy diet when trying to lose weight, or it may do more harm than good. So maybe a little butter won’t be that bad. After all Butter makes everything taste better.
10. Salad Dressing
Full fat salad dressing hardly has any amount of saturated fat. They also help your body in absorbing the goodness of the salad better. However, if your loading up of fat free salad dressing thinking that it’s alright, think again. The low fat dressings are sweetened to get the taste and ultimately adds up to more than 100 calories. Moreover they do not even have the benefits of the regular dressing. So go ahead and grab some of that full fat dressing! It’s not that bad for you.
Can you believe that these pleasures actually have benefits? So munch on and indulge. Everything great doesn’t have to be guilty!
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