Food & Nutrition

10 Foods That Used to Be Bad for You—but Now Aren’t

These foods once had a bad reputation for people trying to watch their weight or other health numbers, but they can all be part of a balanced, healthy diet if you know how to discriminate and moderate

Bread

Whole grain bread texture backgroundOleksandr Rybitskiy/Shutterstock

Bread gets a bad rap because the body quickly breaks carbohydrates down into sugar. But that fast breakdown also makes carbs the most convenient source of fuel for your body. “I always recommend focusing not on eliminating carbohydrates (you need the energy!), but choosing the right sources,” says culinary nutritionist Sara Haas, RDN, LDN. Highly processed white breads are stripped of most of their nutritional benefits, but whole grains are loaded with fiber to keep you fuller longer. Quit falling for these 21 other common food myths that are wildly untrue.

Pasta

close up of cooked maccheroni pasta tubes food texture backgroundzkruger/Shutterstock

A heaping plate of pasta is the ultimate cheat meal, but new types of pasta are miles ahead of the nutritionally empty white pasta you’ll get at a restaurant. “The pasta aisle is an amazing place now. There are pastas that are higher-protein, higher-fiber, and gluten-free, with a variety of plant-based versions,” says Jenna Braddock, MSH, RD, CSSD, LDN. “Pasta is not an empty food anymore.” Skip the fettuccini Alfredo and try a small portion of lentil or brown rice pasta, loaded up with vegetables. Don’t miss these 15 food myths that make you gain weight.

Fats of any kind

Big juicy grilled beef steak close upVall Rade/Shutterstock

The common thinking used to be that fat makes you fat, but new research shows a more complex picture. “Dietitians view fat as a necessary nutrient for life,” says Haas. Saturated fats (like in red meat) are associated with heart disease, but unsaturated fats (like in olive oil and avocados) could actually improve cardiovascular health and help with weight loss, partially thanks to the fact that they’re so filling.

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