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Get the Skinny on 5 Foods That Undeservedly Get a Bad Rap

Some foods are immediately hailed as health heroes, while other foods are vilified, often unnecessarily. In today’s Get the Skinny, Molly has 5 common foods and drinks that get a bad reputation — that isn’t deserved. And not only are they not necessarily bad for you, a few actually have some health benefits, as well.

Coffee.

It’s loaded with antioxidants, coffee is linked to a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, gallstones, and Parkinson’s disease, and can also help to relieve headaches, improve athletic performance, & boost brainpower.

Beer.

Red wine gets the glory when it comes to alcohol and heart disease, but all types of alcohol are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, including an increase in ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Beer contains vitamins B6, folate, and niacin, and, like coffee, beer is also a good source of antioxidants, with darker brews often having a greater concentration of antioxidants.

Mayonnaise.

It’s not a ‘health food’ by any means, but with soybean oil or canola oil, eggs, and vinegar as the main ingredients in most brands, mayo isn’t nearly the nutritional disaster that it’s often perceived to be. It’s relatively low in saturated fat (1.5 grams per tablespoon), cholesterol (5 mg) and sodium (90 mg).

The biggest concern is calories, since most regular varieties clock in around 100 calories per tablespoon. If you’re watching calories, try one of the many varieties of light (not fat-free) mayonnaise. The taste and texture is still acceptable to most of my clients, with one-third to one-half the calories of regular mayo.

Bacon.

With nearly 120 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, and 200 mg of sodium per ounce, not to mention the added nitrites that are linked to cancer and heart disease, we get it. But not all types of bacon are bad.

To keep calories and saturated fat in check, look for center-cut pork bacon or turkey bacon – most have just 25 to 30 calories and less than one gram of saturated fat per slice. And if you’re looking for bacon with no added nitrites, keep an eye out for brands like Applegate, Welshire Farms, and Hormel’s Natural Choice.

Eggs.

For more than a decade, study after study has shown no connection between eggs and heart disease. Yet there’s still a shadow of doubt – and guilt – surrounding the orangey-yellow goodness of the rich yolks.

The reality: egg yolks are low in saturated fat (1.5 grams per yolk), and rich in choline, a nutrient that plays a key role in fat metabolism and brain development. They’re also a good source of vitamin B12, as well as the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.