Pork chops, beef tenderloin, chocolate — some of these foods have a bad rep. But they are actually good for you. If you’re on a diet, you’ll be happy to learn about these ten surprisingly diet-friendly foods:
If you think mushrooms don’t have any real nutritional value, here’s some news: Mushrooms are the only vegetable source of vitamin D, a nutrient many people don’t get enough of. Though mushrooms contain only a small amount of vitamin D, research suggests that sunlight may give it a boost. One study found that exposure to five minutes of ultraviolet light may boost vitamin D levels in a serving from 4% of the Daily Value to as much as 100%. Also, many popular mushroom varieties like white, portabella, and crimini are good sources of the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin.
Pork rivals lean poultry as a healthy choice for complete protein. Pork tenderloin is as lean as a skinless chicken breast, and any cuts from the loin are leaner than a skinless chicken thigh. Pork steaks or roasts from the leg are also excellent choices. Plus, pork is a great source of the B vitamins niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and B6.
Small portions of dark chocolate may help to reduce high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and the risk of diabetes by boosting insulin sensitivity. Seventy-percent dark chocolate is best, and you should eat no more than 1.5 ounces in a sitting. That way, the health benefits come without added pounds.
Ounce for ounce, beef tenderloin has about the same caloric and fat content as skinless chicken thighs. Rich in protein and vitamin B12, beef is also a good source of selenium, zinc, iron, and phosphorus. Dressed with any one of a variety of sauces and accompanied by sides, beef tenderloin is a sensible entree for a healthy dinner.
At just 75 calories, an egg is packed with nutrients. One egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals. It also contains protein and healthy unsaturated fats. Egg yolks do have a lot of cholesterol in them — just over 200 milligrams. But an egg a few times a week will keep you heart-healthy, especially if you eat less meat, poultry, and dairy. If the cholesterol has you worried, there are always egg whites. They also a rich source of protein.
You can receive significant perks from coffee, both caffeinated and decaf. Studies show that drinking coffee regularly may help to prevent Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and even headaches. Researchers also think coffee may improve memory and decrease your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Though research continues, the health benefits of drinking coffee now appear to the outnumber the downsides.
Spices boost the flavor of dishes. Now research shows that it may boost your health, too. Turmeric and cinnamon are suspected to contain disease-fighting compounds. And they may contain a range of anti-inflammatory and possibly anticancer properties.
Packed with some 30 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, pistachios are also the nut with the lowest amount of calories and fat. As a snack or in salads, pistachios are a tasty and healthy indulgence.
The fat in avocados is high, but it’s healthy. A fifth of a medium-sized avocado has about 50 calories. Packed with nutrients, avocados have nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. In moderate amounts, avocados add zest to sandwiches, salads, and dips.
If you prepare potatoes yourself, they are a nutritious, versatile, and inexpensive food that should have a place in a healthy diet. One medium-sized potato with skin has just 160 calories. And it’s loaded with potassium and fiber. Baked, mashed, or roasted, potatoes make a wonderful addition to any healthy meal.
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