Once someone has been seen in a negative light, people will rarely change their opinion—no matter how strong the rebranding effort may be. (Sorry Bieber, your music might be good now, but we don't know if we can forgive you for that egging incident.)
And the reputations of foods are no different. Once something has been dubbed an "unhealthy" or "fattening" choice, many health-minded folks won't think twice before leaving it in the dust. But not all foods deserve their bad reputations! (Or their good ones, for that matter—health halos, we're looking at you.) With nutrition research emerging every day, there are a number of nutrient-packed eats that scientists are now finding won't pack on the pounds, or contribute to a slew of health issues like we once thought.
In fact, a number of foods that we've been told are "bad" can actually help the scale tip in your favor. Not only that, but they offer many protective health benefits that can help ward off the very disease they were initially connected to. Learn the truth about these misunderstood foods below, and cross them off your "do not eat" list.
1. Everything With Fat
Out with the old: All fat makes you fat. In with the new: The right kinds of fats help increase satiety, maximize your metabolism, protect against heart disease, speed nutrients through your body, and improve your fat-soluble vitamin uptake.
You thought people who eat fat are fat? Well, no, not necessarily. Our bodies need dietary fat (which is why many fats are called "essential") in order to lose weight and function properly. And the right kinds of fats do wonders for weight loss and nutrient intake. Not to mention, most of the minimally processed, high-fat foods also come packaged with many important micronutrients, from vitamins and minerals to free-radical fighting antioxidants to help you stay fit and trim. You won't get that with sugar-laden, low-fat, ultra-processed junk. Case-in-point: many studies have found that when people reduce how much fat they eat, they typically replace it with sugar or carbohydrates, both of which can have disastrous effects on insulin and diabetes risk.
Out with the old: Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, which means eating them will raise your cholesterol levels, putting you at risk for heart disease. In with the new: New research has found that cholesterol levels in our bodies are impacted by the types of fats in our food, not as much from the dietary cholesterol content.