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4 surprisingly (or not surprising!) healthy foods

ABC4
ABC4
 2022-12-08

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah ( ABC4 ) — What if there was a way to still eat some of your favorite foods even while you diet?

The more foods that you love that you include in your diet, the more likely you’ll stay on your diet. Recently, we talked about the 80/20 diet and how that can impact the longevity of your health. That 20 percent is any food you want, but that 80 should be whole or minimally processed foods. See below for some great ideas on maintaining that 80 percent successfully.

Pasta

This may come as a surprise to some, but pasta can be healthy , especially when you choose a whole-grain noodle. It also comes down to what exactly you put in your meal. Do you overload the noodles with spaghetti sauce? Watch your sodium content. Make your own spaghetti sauce with canned tomatoes, both paste and diced. If you’re a lover of alfredo sauce, then cut your sauce amount in half. The alfredo sauce is high in fat and salt, making you feel fuller for longer. Another option is to have pasta with olive oil and parmesan; if you’re feeling up for it, roast some vegetables and throw them in!

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Popcorn

A lot of people consider this junk food , but just like pasta sauce, it all depends on what you put in your food. Popcorn is rich in fiber, vitamin B, Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin, Vitamin K, antioxidants and more. By cutting the amount of salt and butter you add to your popcorn, you can still enjoy the tasty treat and get all the health benefits.

Coffee

Too high in caffeine, right? Well, it’s all about moderation. Studies have shown there was a decreased risk for certain cancers–contrary to the previous belief that coffee used to cause cancer. The caffeine in coffee is also associated with alertness, energy, and the ability to concentrate–in low doses. High doses may have negative effects such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and increased heart rate. Also, consider having less sugar and/or coffee creamer in your coffee to help decrease your sugar intake.

Chocolate

You may or may have already heard about the possible benefits of chocolate, and there are many benefits , but it’s important to focus on dark chocolate or minimally processed chocolate to receive benefits, such as flavonoids, which may help protect you from cell damage, as well as anthocyanins and phenolic acids. Chocolate may also lower your blood pressure, improve blood flow to your brain and heart, and make you less likely to have certain kinds of heart disease.

To go on a diet is to start a healthier lifestyle. You should consider something long-term to ensure optimal benefits. However, doing something long-term needs to be realistic to your goals. Don’t cut out sugar and fats completely and immediately. Start slow, cutting a little less at a time, and choose more whole grains or minimally processed foods while you do this.

Sources: WebMD and Harvard

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