Don't you just want the relief of eating your favorite food without guilt?

Unfortunately it's a pretty well known dichotomy in life that food that is delicious is also incredibly unhealthy. Like, yes, I do want onion rings for the tenth day in a row, but I should probably take a break.

Though...sometimes our favorite foods surprise us.

u/ZestyClock asked:

"What 'unhealthy' food is healthier than people think?"

Here were some of those answers.

Poppin' Corn

I love popcorn! A lot of people think it can't be good unless it's drenched in butter, but there are so many healthy popcorn toppings to add to home-popped popcorn.

Ranch: dried dill, dried chives, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper

Dorito: Nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt

Churro: Powdered sugar, cinnamon

BBQ: Paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder
You can pre-mix them and keep them to sprinkle on popcorn. A little goes a long way, a tablespoon of the seasoning mix is more than enough for like 4 cups of popcorn (except for the churro one, you need like 2 tablespoons of sugar to taste it)



Potatoes. Most folks love to fry their potatoes or otherwise eat them with large amounts of things like butter, cheese, bacon, & sour cream. While still not the most nutritious veggie in terms of vitamins & minerals, a simple plain baked potato is under 200 calories and is fantastic for helping big eaters feel fuller with smaller meals.


Staying Freshhhhh

Dietetics and nutrition student/intern here... And my pick is frozen vegetables. There are many people who say fresh produce is the way to go, but many times they are picked before they are ripe to be shipped to the grocery store. Frozen vegetables, on the other hand, are picked at peak ripeness so they tend to have higher concentrations of antioxidants and other micronutrients (other than those that are destroyed by heat when thawed) that would be found in less amounts in fresh produce. So if you can't get your produce locally, frozen vegetables are a great option and they last a long time! Always check labels for added ingredients but most of the time it's just the vegetable!


Grains Grains Grains

Everyone gives white rice a bad rap, saying it'll make you fat... And then you look at Japan, the country with the lowest obesity rate among industrialized countries, where they eat, on average, 82 kg (180 pounds) of white rice per person per year and think MAYBE it's not the white rice that's making people fat.


Tomato Tomahto

Chips and Salsa is considered "junk food" by many. But really it's just the chips that are usually unhealthy.

Salsa is usually really healthy. Especially homemade because it usually has no sugar.

Try replacing the chips with something healthy. Thin cucumber slices with a little bit of salt works really well.


Different Nutrition For Different People

"High calorie" food.

It's only unhealthy per se if you need to lose weight.

That doesn't necessarily make all of that stuff unhealthy though.

It's like everyone forgets underweight people or people who exercise a lot exist.

Lots of people treat those words like synonyms and it's so incredibly misleading.

And to add to that - "serving sizes" are a terrible concept when some people eat 3-5 meals a day and other people 1 or 2.



Eggs. they are high in nutrients and protein. Many people are convinced they are bad for you because they contain quite a bit of cholesterol, but they raise HDL, the good type of cholesterol.

The bad cholesterol, LDL, is found in butter (and other foods.) Not all types of cholesterol are bad and some people don't know that.


Eh...What's Up Doc?

Carrots. I have had two very large people tell me I needed to be careful with carrots because they have so much sugar. I don't think I ever saw either of them with a carrot. Soda? Yeah. Candy? Yeah. Carrots? Nope.


Yup, my partner considers carrots and fruit "junk food" due to their sugar content and doesn't buy them. I mean yeah, they contain sugar, but if I want something sweet it's better that I eat a peach or two with all the vitamins and fibre that they contain instead of cookies or something!


Actual Celiac, Can Confirm

Gluten. People literally have no reason not to eat gluten, it is just protein that comes from wheat. For some reason everyone things they have a "gluten intolerance" now, which is so stupid it hurts my brain.

It sucks for actual celiacs too, because often "gluten free" does not guarantee that it's safe for them to eat, because stupid restaurants will prepare the GF dough on the same workspaces they prepare the normal dough.



Chocolate. A plain dark chocolate bar isn't unhealthy at all. Same with a scoop of ice cream.

Sweet potato fries aren't that bad if they're not drenched in salt and dipped in mayo.

Any "junk" food that you've made at home, like pizza, or stuff you've baked yourself is pretty okay.

I think the bigger problem is that this crap tastes so good that it's hard to limit the portion. You should be able to have a small treat every day, but most people have trouble with the "small" part. I know I do.


The Hops

Beer was safer than water at many points throughout history, particularly in medieval Europe through the onslaught of the bubonic plague. ... A Belgian monk named Arnold famously persuaded people to drink beer in place of water, putting an end to the plague that had devastated the local area


That's A Ton Of Twinkies

Pretty much all food is just fine. In moderation.

So if you want to go crazy and have 2 pieces of cake one day just know that you should probably eat extremely light meals the next day.

For the most part unless you eat nothing but junk food every day (meaning low in nutritional value) you will be just fine. Hell, you can even lose weight if you eat nothing but junk food.

So let's say you eat just Twinkies.

The average male could eat about 12 Twinkies a day (and ONLY those Twinkies) and still lose weight. That would change depending on your initial size of course.

You won't feel good doing this for several days, but technically you could do it. I would also add in vitamin supplements so you don't deprive your body of the necessary nutrients.

Or just do 5-6 pieces of chocolate cake (roughly) would be equal.


Not All Popcorn Is Created Equal

Popcorn... according to Denise Austin a handful of popcorn has more antioxidants than a handful of blueberries... great for me since I pop popcorn all the time.

This does not include microwave popcorn.


Chocoholics Anonymous


Studies show that eating one square of dark chocolate a day can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart by as much as 40 percent. Chocolate reduces LDL (or known as "bad" cholesterol) and promotes flexibility in arteries and veins. This is because dark chocolates contains heart protective antioxidants called flavonoids which like other antioxidants, do their work in the body by corralling cell-damaging free radicals and metallic ions.

Normal chocolate and milk chocolate is also quite healthy but due to the amount of sugar inside of them they are also not quite healthy. So, in conclusion, you can eat chocolate, but not a lot because it is unhealthy if consumed in large amounts

TL;DR : Dark chocolate good for you, but don't eat it a lot


Fats Are Not Fattening

Pretty sure full fat milk is better for you than semi skimmed, and far better than skimmed.

"Fat free" is a phrase pushed by sugar companies to make you think it's healthy.

"Fat free" yoghurts have more shit in them than full fat and is ironically worse for you, but hey, no fat must mean I stay slim and can attract hot guys right?

Semi skimmed milk has sugar in it.

And if there's one thing I hate more than lying, it's skimmed milk. Which is water that is lying about being milk.


It's Also A Vegetable

A fully loaded pizza. It covers all of the food groups in one meal.

Meat group: Ground beef, sausage, pepperoni and so on.

Dairy : Cheese

Vegetables: Tomato sauce and heck the veggies on top as well.

Bread/grains: The crust.

So in moderation pizza done correctly is actually a well rounded meal.


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