We all have guilty pleasures that can test our strength to not give into temptation. However, there are some pleasures we should not feel guilty about. At first glance, these 10 foods are risky choices, but their benefits outweigh the bad.
Guilty Pleasure: Guacamole
Guilt: While guacamole should be almost entirely avocado, many mass produced brands use only a small amount of avocado combined with oils and fats. This negatively impacts both the taste and the health benefits of guacamole. Furthermore, the fruit is salty and high sodium.
Pleasure: According to the USDA, when eaten in moderation, this fruit provides our bodies with 20 nutrients that keep us healthy. It consist of vitamins that help maintain a healthy immune and nervous system, prevents plaque build up, support good vision, and lowers cholesterol.
Guilty Pleasure: Bruschetta
Guilt: The bread is not nutritious—We’re talking, high in calories.
Pleasure: The fresh tomatoes are low in fat and calories and add a boost of nutrition. While the olive oil helps with disease prevention and its healthy fats help absorb the tomatoes nutrients. One-quarter of a medium tomato contains just 6 calories and only a trace of fat. That same portion of fresh tomato provides small amounts of vitamins A and C, fiber, folate and vitamin K. At first blush, bruschetta is a risky choice, but the benefits outweigh the bad.
Guilty Pleasure: Dark Chocolate
Guilt: High in caffeine and contains tyramine, a natural chemical that has been associated with causing migraines.
Pleasure: Contains flavanols, which provides antioxidant properties. Capable of reducing the risks of heart disease and cancer, lower blood pressure, and reduce bad cholesterol. A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that overweight individuals who consumed a dark chocolate bar had improved blood vessel health and decreased blood pressure as compared with those who ate a placebo.
Guilty Pleasure: Jamaican Patties
Guilt: If not eaten in moderation can offer high amounts of sodium and fat.
Pleasure: Registered dietitian Carol Harrison, believes the patty is a good example of how meat can be flavored without going over the top in sodium, fat, and offers a balanced meal when paired correctly. Visit DTLA’s Green Grotto Juice Bar and pair their Jamaican beef, veggie or chicken novelties with an acai bowl or fresh-pressed juice to boost its health factor and enjoy a balanced meal.
At a glance, these foods are risky choices, but their benefits outweigh the bad.
Guilty Pleasure: Shrimp
Guilt: This delicious seafood has gotten a bad rap because it is suspected of being high in fat and cholesterol.
Pleasure: High in protein, and low in fat and calories makes a chilled cocktail shrimp a well-balanced festive food. According to the Harvard School of Public Health and The Rockefeller University, steamed shrimp can be safely included in heart-healthy diets for people without lipid problems because it is naturally low in fat.
Guilty Pleasure: Pasta
Pleasure: If you keep your portions small to about 1 cup cooked you’ll gain the health benefits and not the weight. Prepare your next pasta meal with vegetables and lean protein.
Guilty Pleasure: Beef Jerky
Guilt: This unsavory looking strip of meat is loaded with preservatives, and has high-sodium ingredients.
Pleasure: This surprisingly tasty strip is high in protein and does not raise your level of insulin, a hormone that sends a signal to the body to store fat. Although, high in sodium there are all-natural and chemical-free Jerky brands.
Guilty Pleasure: Coconut
Pleasure: In Milk, use a skim version because it has 0 grams of saturated fat. As a superfood, use shredded coconuts as it provides a good source of protein.
Guilty Pleasure: Frozen Yogurt
Guilt: Freezing process may kill some of the healthy attributes and probiotics. It contains more sugar than its creamy cousin, ice cream.
Pleasure: Fro-yo is a healthier choice than ice cream and should be eaten in moderation when shelving your Chobani. Stick to its healthy toppings in nuts and fruits. Frozen yogurt offers the digestive benefits of probiotics, which are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health.
Guilty Pleasure: Popcorn
Guilt: Contains carbohydrates which can raise your blood sugar, especially when eating this snack in one sitting.
Pleasure: This tasty and nutritious snack is high in fiber and low in cholesterol (if eaten without toppings). It contains phytonutrients which allow for optimal cellular function and communication. These nutrients are the catalyst for biochemical reactions creating healthier tissues and organ systems, detoxification of foreign substances, a strong immune system, and improving muscle function.