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Bad Food that is Good for You

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

When trying to lose weight, most of us have been repeatedly told try to avoid saturated fats. Saturated fats have been put on the "bad for you" list by nutritionists and experts for a long time. However, did you know that there are over 15 types of saturated fats ... and some of them are actually heart healthy? A lot of people will be happy about this since for high fat foods really taste good.

Here are six snacks (well, 5 foods and a drink) that deserve some reconsideration.

Pork Rinds

You think they are bad...These puffy snacks are cut from pigskin. Then they're deep-fried.

But... A 1-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams (g) of protein, and 9 g fat. That's nine times the protein and less fat than you'll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips.

Even better, 43% of a pork rind's fat is unsaturated, and most of that is oleic acid—the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13 percent of its fat content is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that's considered harmless, because it doesn't raise cholesterol levels.

Alcohol

You think it’s bad...It has little nutritional value and is the reason we need the term "beer belly."

But.... Harvard scientists discovered in a study of over 18k men that those who had an average of two drinks every day, 5 to 7 days a week, had the lowest risk of heart attack. And researchers at the University of Buffalo found that men who consume that same daily amount have lower levels of abdominal fat than those who drink only once or twice every 2 weeks but down more than four drinks each time.

Beef Jerky

You think it's bad...It's unhealthy meat that's loaded with preservatives.

But...Beef jerky is high in protein and doesn't raise your level of insulin—a hormone that signals your body to store fat. That makes it an ideal between-meals snack, especially when you're trying to lose weight. And while some beef-jerky brands are packed with high-sodium ingredients, such as MSG and sodium nitrate, chemical-free products are available. If you have high blood pressure, check the label for brands that are made from all-natural ingredients, which reduce the total sodium content.

Sour Cream
You think it's bad...you know 90% of its calories are derived from fat, at least half of which is saturated.

But...The percentage of fat is high, but the total amount isn't. Consider that a serving of sour cream is 2 tablespoons. That provides just 52 calories— 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.

Coconut

You think it's bad...ounce for ounce, coconut contains more saturated fat than butter does. As a result, health experts have warned that it will clog your arteries.

But...even though coconut is packed with saturated fat, it appears to have a beneficial effect on heart-disease risk factors. One reason: More than 50 percent of its saturated-fat content is lauric acid. A recent analysis of 60 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that even though lauric acid raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, it boosts HDL (good) cholesterol even more. Overall, this means it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. The rest of the saturated fat is almost entirely composed of "medium-chain" fatty acids, which have little or no effect on cholesterol levels.

Chocolate Bars

You think they're bad....: They're high in both sugar and fat.

But...Cocoa is rich in flavonoids—the same heart-healthy compounds found in red wine and green tea. Its most potent form is dark chocolate. In a recent study, Greek researchers found that consuming dark chocolate containing 100 milligrams (mg) of flavonoids relaxes your blood vessels, improving bloodflow to your heart. What about the fat? It's mostly stearic and oleic acids.

Information from Men’s Health



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