Categorizing food as either "healthy" or "unhealthy" is a confining approach to eating that can frustrate dieters as well as people who are simply trying to maintain their weight. Popular fad diets tend to demonize certain nutrient or food groups, which can result in perfectly healthy foods being cast in an unhealthy light. But it’s important to remember that despite what we are told, even some of our guiltiest eating pleasures can be surprisingly nutritious.
Few foods need to be excluded from a diet as long as some basic healthy eating principles are followed. Many edible indulgences are only “guilty” because of the way they are prepared, and/or their portion sizes. The commercial food industry, with its oversized offerings and reliance on sodium, sugar, and fat, has distorted our views of many perfectly healthy foods. If moderation and portion control are kept in check, no food should be off limits. Steak, popcorn, cheese, and many other “guilty pleasures”, can — and should — be incorporated into our diets, not only because they’re delectable treats, but because they provide important nutrients and health benefits.
Here are nine guilty pleasures that are surprisingly healthy.