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Are there "Bad" Foods That Are Actually Good for You?

 
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I received this as an email this morning:

https://www.allrecipes.com/article/bad-foods-good-for-you/


It talks about all the things that I eat!  Coffee, eggs, potatoes, cheese, avocados, and some others. And dark chocolate!




It appears that there are several articles with this same advice.  Here's another one with some different foods:

https://www.livescience.com/37930-seven-bad-for-you-foods-that-arent.html


I may not agree with everything they say though I feel these are good examples of why it is good to listen to your own body and follow what is best for you and don't pay attention to all the stuff you might read on the internet or even in these articles.
 
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My eating philosophy can be summarized as "Joyful, Grateful Eating". I think that the mental health aspect of nutrition is often overlooked. Eating as if every morsel of food is a potential poison is no way to live.

Yes, we can debate about traces of pesticides and contaminants, but our food and water is mostly free of deadly pathogens, it is not moldy or spoiled, and it's always available. And I am very grateful for that.

Reading about food in the Victorian era, for instance, is quite a wake-up call (Adulteration and Contamination of Food in Victorian England). And keeping in mind that access to safe and plentiful food is a challenge for people all over the world, including in our own communities. Even "industrial food" is a privilege.

I prefer to eat intuitively, with a good dose of common sense and moderation. Of course, if I can feed my kids local organic vegetables, home-baked bread and pasture-raised meat, it certainly increases the joy factor of my food. "Good food" is more flavorful, more nutritious and it makes us all feel better afterwards. And we certainly try to eat in a sustainable way that takes into account the footprint of our food.

But if, for some reason, the only thing available that day are hot dogs... then I'm still grateful for food that will keep their tummies full and that will not kill them because it's been deliberately tainted with lead or mercury, or because it's already visibly spoiled.

I value variety, I value the community aspect of eating, I value the craftsmanship of growing and preparing food, and I value taste. Afterwards, we can micro-optimize for nutriments, especially if someone has a food restriction or health condition that makes it critical to address, say, an iron deficiency. But joy comes first.
 
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Coffee is the one vice I refuse to give up.  I love how it swings from the most harmful thing we can eat to extremely healthy.  I've decided since the studies praising it are roughly equal to the studies damming it, that it's okay for me to drink coffee in moderation.  
 
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Re. the first link - it omitted to put boxed cereals and canned foods into context, i.e. both these can be high in salt and sugar.

On coffee - I won't give this up but, since it raises blood pressure, I don't drink it for a couple of hours before I see my GP if I'm due for a blood pressure check!

Nutritional interactions of our food are very complex but fascinate me.  Recently I stopped making fresh ginger and lemon tea since I learnt ginger depletes iron levels (I was displaying signs of being anaemic).  Iron deficiency is quite common.

A (bad) British custom is to have a cup of tea with a meal but the tannins in black tea and coffee inhibit iron hence robbing the availability of nutrients consumed, although recent studies say it's unlikely to have much of an impact.  Nevertheless,  I adhere to waiting 1½ hours after a meal before taking tea or coffee and having a meal 1 hour after these beverages.
 
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Amy, high blood pressure is called the silent killer because a person usually can't tell that it's dangerously high. Wouldn't it be better to drink coffee as you normally would before going to see your GP so that they can make sure that your BP isn't up and if it is they can give you something to get it regulated?  
 
Amy Francis
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T.J. Stewart wrote:Amy, high blood pressure is called the silent killer because a person usually can't tell that it's dangerously high. Wouldn't it be better to drink coffee as you normally would before going to see your GP so that they can make sure that your BP isn't up and if it is they can give you something to get it regulated?  



I don't drink coffee excessively. To drink coffee before going for a blood pressure test would give a false/artificially higher reading. I am already taking medication for this condition and wish I could find a reliable natural method; extensive research has yielded beetroot as being a contender but, being a natural food, the active ingredient fluctuates i.e. gives no reliable standardised dose.  Thanks for your concern/interest though.
 
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What's bad for one may be good for another. I sometimes get scolded by health nuts for eating so many potatoes. But, I know I have trouble with low potassium levels, and no problem whatsoever with blood sugar. Potatoes are the most concentrated natural source of potassium that there is, so for me, they're a necessity.

On the other hand, I lack the enzymes necessary to obtain protein from plant sources. Nuts and legumes are tasty, but they are NOT protein sources for me. I tend to view them as flavorings rather than food.


I don't judge anybody's eating habits, because I know that health food for one person might be unhealthy for another, and vice-versa. Do what works for you.
 
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