There’s nothing more delightful than finding out that a favorite food — one which you considered a guilty pleasure — is actually kind of good for your health. Take red wine, for instance: some years ago, we thought this treat was merely an indulgence — just a bunch of empty calories, and full of alcohol and sugar to boot. But now we know that sipping red wine, in moderation of course, can actually help lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and reduce the risk of depression, among other benefits.
Remember thinking that a creamy guacamole dip was just the biggest extravagance? Now we know that adding avocado to your diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. They’re fatty, yes, but now we know that they’re packed full of good fats — and that’s not just an excuse you can repeat to yourself as you scoop a little extra onto your plate. It’s the truth: avocadoes can help lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and may even prevent Alzheimer’s.
Chocolate used to be thought bad for you too — it was especially blamed for teenage acne and “problem skin,” and was just considered bad for your health in general. Now? Some of the unequivocally most awesome research studies ever performed have determined that the wealth of vitamin A in dark chocolate can actually brighten your skin up, and that chocolate contains health benefits that extend from warding off cancer to improving math scores. Plus, a bar of chocolate can heal mild contact with Dementors, so, you know, there’s that.
In this grand tradition of our favorite indulgence foods suddenly going good-for-you, it turns out that delicious, rich whole milk may actually be better for you than healthy-seeming two-percent or skim. We spoke with Deborah Enos, a certified nutritionist and board member of the American Heart Association, who gave us her opinion on the subject.
“I’ve been in health care for 26 years and I have never consumed a glass of non-fat milk nor have I ever recommended it,” she says. “Why? Since it’s fat-free it will never fill you up! Fat-free foods, dairy or otherwise, will just leave you feeling empty.”
That’s not to say that she recommends going crazy by downing cup after cup of cream and calling it a healthy choice.
“While I believe the ‘jury is still out’ when it comes to consuming large amount of full-fat milk, I have no issue with adding in a serving a day,” she told us.
Now if only we could coax a brilliant research scientists into determining that crème brûlée is actually critical for, um, improving kidney function and memory. We can’t guarantee they’d win any Nobel Prizes, but we’d nominate them for Best Scientists Ever.