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Health Benefits Of Food: Both Sides Of The Story

New health trends come and go. One minute, there’s a new superfood, the next minute, it’s bad for you. It’s hard to determine what’s good and bad when there are studies proving both sides. But as the old adage goes, correlation does not equal causation. There may be other factors that could contribute to the positive or negative results of a study, so conclusions should be taken with a grain of salt.

One sided arguments are never the full story. We’ll discuss the good and the bad of common foods which often fall under scrutiny.

It’s common knowledge that avocados contain the “good kind of fat” and this is true. Avocados contain healthy monosaturated fats and are packed with more than 20 vitamins. They improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and are great for vision as they contain natural chemicals that reduce eye damage. The bad news is their high calorie content. If you’re looking to lose weight, avocados might not be the best choice.

Fermented foods are currently experiencing a boom. Pickles fall into that category, providing intestinal and digestive benefits thanks to live (good) bacteria that help regulate the immune system. They can also offer antioxidant protection since the pickling process preserves the natural antioxidants. While these benefits sound good, it is wise to eat pickles in moderation. While they are low in calories, one pickle can contain 49% of your suggested sodium intake.

Coffee seems to be one that teeters the line of being bad and good often. Coffee may help fight Type 2 diabetes with its ability to regulate blood sugar, and has also demonstrated an inverse relationship with the risk of many different cancers. However, coffee contains caffeine, which is often linked negative health effects including insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, rapid heartbeat and more.

Chocolate has been linked to lowered risk of both heart disease and stroke. An NYU study found that people who ate 100 grams of cocoa powder scored higher on memory tests. The downside to this is that the other properties of chocolate won’t help the rest of your body, especially in terms of caloric intake.

Red Wine
In moderation, red wine may help in reducing the risk of heart disease by increasing good cholesterol in your body. It also has the ability to burn fat in tests on mice, however, this may not pertain to humans. Consequently, drinking more than one to two glasses a day may lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, liver problems, and more. Red wine is also high in calories, which can lead to weight gain as well.

Nuts contain many nutrients and can help lower bad cholesterol levels in your blood. But too much can lead to weight gain as nuts have a high fat and calorie content.

Egg yolks contain all the good stuff – calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, folate and panthenic acid, B6 and B12. But, they also contain lots of cholesterol. One egg contains about 185mg of sodium, and our recommended daily intake is 300mg.

Red Meat
Unprocessed lean beef is the best choice when it comes to red meat. Studies show that those who consume more lean beef have higher levels of protein, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins. On the other hand, eating red meat can harden blood vessels and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to another study, people who eat 3 ounces of red meat per day are 13% more likely to die from heart disease or cancer. It is important to remember that moderation is key.

It is said that the hops in beer can help fight inflammation and improve digestion. The high silicon content of beer is said to help promote strong bones. And various studies have found that those who drink about two beers per day are at a 25% lower risk of getting heart disease. But as with any alcohol, it is addictive and can lead to liver disease if over-consumed.

Can you think of any other foods that have been said to be both good and bad for you? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Vine, and Pinterest.

You know what’s always good for your taste buds? Yummy sandwiches from Your Neighborhood Deli. Visit the Brick Market & Deli weekdays from 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm. Online ordering is available a half hour before we open until a half hour before we close.