“Are the bad foods really bad?” asks David Grotto, RD, LDN, for WebMD. It’s that time of year where people make New Year’s resolutions, and often, these goals involve healthy eating and losing weight. Usually, this results in the all-or-nothing attitude, with consumers vowing to never eat a certain food ever again in order to reach their desired weight. Grotto says this is a mistake and encourages folks to enjoy five particular foods in 2012 that Americans are usually too quick to eliminate from their diet.
Grotto lists his top-five foods and sets the record straight on these power foods with the bad reputations. Guess which food was listed as number one?
1. Beef. “Heart disease continues to be the number-one killer of both men and women in this country and controlling cholesterol levels is thought to be the most effective way of reducing the risk of heart disease. Meat is usually the first diet element to get the old heave-ho when it comes to cholesterol management. However, a study that appeared this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that including lean beef, such as sirloin, in a heart-healthy diet was as effective for lowering cholesterol as traditional heart-healthy diets.
“In this study, two heart-healthy diets, such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, that contained up to 1 oz. of beef/day, and a modified DASH diet containing upwards of 5.4 oz. of beef/day (renamed BOLD for Beef in a Optimal Lean Diet) were randomly assigned to participants. All diets were equally effective in reducing LDL cholesterol (about a 10% reduction). ‘What’s so unique about this study is that though all of the diets provided less than 7% saturated fat, this was the first time that lean beef was included and found to be as effective for lowering LDL cholesterol,’ says distinguished professor Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD from Penn State University. ‘The take home message is that lean beef can be included in a heart-healthy diet and, best yet, there are 29 cuts of beef that fall into the lean category.’”
Roasted nuts, chocolate, whole eggs and coffee rounded out the list. You can read the entire article and the benefits of these foods here.
“Worry not, citizen. Including these supposed bad boys in your healthy New Years diet seems to fit just fine. Now your only problem is to come up with something else to give up in their place. How about giving up ‘giving up?’” concludes Grotto.
Not that I was giving any of these foods up in 2012, but it’s reassuring to know that a diet with beef and chocolate (my two favorites!) is actually good for us. Spread the good word that steak and burgers are healthy additions to a well-balanced diet! How do you enjoy these top-five foods? Tell us about your New Year’s resolutions in the comments section below.