Nine surprising guilty pleasure foods that are healthier than you think

According to a new report, these nine foods often considered a guilty pleasure or eaten in moderation are healthier than you might think.

Treats like chocolate, cheese or even a cup of coffee contain the nutrients the human body needs, Dr. Stephen Dahmer, director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, told Vogue magazine. Potatoes, eggs, butter, whole milk, nuts and fatty fish may also be beneficial, according to the doc.

Many Americans are naive about what standards qualify a food as healthy, which has led to long-standing misconceptions about what we eat, Dahmer said.

Many foods people eat are healthier than previously thought, a doctor has explained. pressmaster stock.adobe.com

Potatoes, for example, have a reputation for being loaded with carbs.

However, what is often overlooked about starchy vegetables is that they are rich in flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids, which play an important role in protecting against cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to Science Daily.

Studies have also found that potatoes improve insulin sensitivity and may benefit the gut microbiome.

Eggs can be a hit or miss for the eater and are sometimes avoided due to high cholesterol.

But when it comes to this food, its low risk high reward, as eggs provide an excellent source of protein while being packed with nutrients like choline, biotin, and vitamin A.

The everyday foods that most people eat are sometimes overlooked, as some are packed with vitamins and nutrients that, surprisingly, are said to fight cardiovascular disease or other serious illnesses.  zvkate stock.adobe.com

The everyday foods that most people eat are sometimes overlooked, as some are packed with vitamins and nutrients that, surprisingly, are said to fight cardiovascular disease or other serious illnesses. zvkate stock.adobe.com

Cheese and butter were also added to the list, with both having the common denominator of providing healthy fats and immune-boosting functionality.

These foods are rich in probiotics that support gut health and immune function. Fermented foods have long been overlooked or avoided, despite their potential to promote digestive health and overall well-being, Dahmer told Vogue.

Cheese contains nutrients, vitamin B12 and phosphorus.

Vitamin B12 is vital to the body as it helps keep blood and nerve cells intact.

Some researchers believe that high-quality cheese could even reduce the levels of harmful LDL cholesterol in the body and reduce the risk of stroke.

Another dairy product, whole milk, made the list despite the growing popularity of non-dairy alternatives such as almond and oat milk.

Whole milk is rich in nutrients and has been linked to reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, a recent study showed.

Fish was named as a food that is healthier than is often believed.

Oily fish provides the body with all the healthy fats it needs, as well as protein.

But, it goes beyond that, according to Dahmer.

I regularly advise patients to reconsider certain foods that have been unfairly demonized, and one of those groups includes fats, especially those found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines, he said.

These foods contain healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3s, which are beneficial for heart health, brain function, and overall well-being.

Other good-for-you fat- and protein-bound foods are nuts.

Oily fish provides the body with all the healthy fats it needs, as well as protein.  Sunny Forest stock.adobe.com

Oily fish provides the body with all the healthy fats it needs, as well as protein. Sunny Forest stock.adobe.com

It is a snack that provides a wide variety of nutrients with fats, fiber and other essential vitamins for the body.

But more than that, nuts can help control blood sugar levels.

Regular consumption has been linked to improved heart health, reduced inflammation, better blood sugar control and support for weight management, Dahmer said.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list is chocolate.

Whole milk, a hit or miss for people who choose to include it in their diets, has been linked to reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Crashoran stock.adobe.com

Whole milk, a hit or miss for people who choose to include it in their diets, has been linked to reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Crashoran stock.adobe.com

Chocolate in its purest form is rich in polyphenols and antioxidant compounds that provide blood flow to the heart and reduce inflammation.

Research shows that chocolate also helps brain function and boosts immunity.

Coffee is the ultimate shock of healthy items to consume.

While it goes without saying that drinking too much cuppa or joe isn’t good for the body, it can have benefits for its drinkers when consumed in moderation.

When not consumed in excess, coffee is said to be rich in antioxidants that help reduce the risk of various diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, according to the report.

So with that said, more coffee please!

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