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Don’t think of them as bad foods

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

In these days when ads flash all over the internet warning you NOT to eat these four foods or seven foods or 10 foods, when one food is blamed for all the ills of mankind, or the magical healing of every disease, it’s really hard to figure out what’s what.

Here’s some good news from USA Today.

Potatoes are not the demons they’re made out to be. A spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says potatoes, calorie-for-calorie, are filling. They are high in Vitamin C and fiber.

But don’t load up on fries and chips. Instead eat the skin on your potato and serve it with a little cheese, low-fat Greek yogurt, sour cream or salsa.

Green bananas

Eat your bananas when they are still green (my favorite way) because they are high in “resistent starch,” which doesn’t break down or raise blood sugar.

Green bananas can help control appetite, stabilize blood sugar and disperse energy slowly to prevent food binges.

Popcorn — sorry, no movie theater butter — it’s a whole grain that’s healthy without butter or salt. Umm, try herbs, cocoa, parmesan, cayenne pepper or a little flavored salt.

Breakfast is OK

Coffee, no matter what you’ve heard, does not increase your risk for  heart disease or cancer. It can even lower chances of Type 2 diabetes.

You can drink up to 5 cups a day without a problem — just hold the sugar and go easy on the cream.

Eggs and butter can be good for you, too. Look for organic butter and pasture-raised eggs.

Oils and fats are part of a healthy diet, because they absorb nutrients from other foods. Eggs are high in protein and have Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins D and K. If you are already high cholesterol, cut back on eggs, but otherwise, much of cholesterol comes from too much sugar and fat.

To wash it all down, you can have fruit juices, as long as you drink the kind with no added flavors or sugars. In other words, squeeze or whizz it up yourself.

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