Junk food- we know what it consists of and while most of us can’t totally get off it; we understand that cutting back can be a god thing. Interestingly enough, some of the most well- known junk foods we’ve come to know over the years have actually turned out to be more beneficial than we first realized.

10. Cheez Whiz

Cheez Whiz

Ya, right! If one thing is for certain, cheezwhiz has personality but absolutely no nutritional value. After all, it’s aman- made synthetic cheese product, right? Think again. Sure, it’s loaded with emulsifiersand stabilizing agents but this processed cheese is also a very high source ofsomething called conjugated linoleic acid. According to researchers, thisnatural trans-fat is one of the most powerful cancer fighters around and cheezwhiz has the most of it in comparison to any other cheese. 

9. Pizza

Pizza

  When we learned about nutrition in school, manyof us were told that pizza was one of those ‘IFFY’ foods. That is, it had somenutritional value but often had a lot of salt and fat included.  In fact, pizza can be loaded with calcium,fiber, vitamins and antioxidants if it’s made right. This means staying awayfrom frozen pizza and that local chain that uses a lot of cheese and processedmeats. Instead, add vegetables like onions and peppers and cut back on cheeseto take your pizza from the dark side over to a healthy choice.

8. Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

  It’s hard to imagine eating some of yourfavorite foods without a healthy dose of hot sauce. Often seen as having nonutritional value and being a likely source of heart burn, hot sauce was oftenclustered into the junk food category because it offered no real benefits. Notanymore. Hot Sause contains something called capsaicin. This compound has beenshown to curb appetite levels. By controlling the levels of hormones that tellus if we are full or hungry. 

7. Sour Cream

Sour Cream

Like ketchup, for year’s people thought therewas little redeeming quality to the sour cream they dumped on their foods.After all much of the calories come fat which is saturated. It actually isn’tas bad as we once thought. A two tablespoon serving has half the calories of asingle tablespoon of mayonnaise an there’s less saturated fat than you’d findin a 12 oz. glass of 2% milk. Plus, it has a little calcium and your potatojust wouldn’t taste the same without it. 

6. Ketchup

Ketchup

Loaded with sugar and/ or high fructose cornsyrup which dangerously spikes our blood sugar levels, we have often been toldthat there is little redeeming quality when it comes to using ketchup. This maynot totally be the case. In fact, find brands that don’t have added highfructose corn syrup and this junk food sauce can actually have some realbenefits. Ketchup is loaded with very powerful antioxidant lycopene.Researchers have linked lycopene as a successful treatment for cardiovasculardisease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes and male infertility. 

5. Chocolate Bars

Chocolate Bars

Most people lovechocolate but we often associate this treat with high levels of fat sugar.Chocolate also contains flavonoids, thanks to the cocoa used. Flavonoids havebeen shown to be good for your heart and circulatory system. The darker thechocolate, the more flavonoids are present. As an added bonus, most of the fatin this case is made up of oleic and stearic acids, both considered to be goodfats. Of course, this doesn’t make it a health food and moderation is stillkey.

4. Popcorn

Popcorn

Popcorn is often considered a healthyalternative to chips but empty calories as well. Throw on some buttery toppingor other seasoning and you’ve likely got a full- out junk food on your hands.It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Popcorn is loaded with fiber and hasthe benefit of containing a healthy dose of antioxidants which can help preventheart disease and certain cancers. In fact, research has shown that in theworld of snack food, popcorn has the most polyphenol antioxidant levels of anyother snack.

3. Pork Rinds

Pork Rinds

Deep fried pig skin- how on earth is this junkfood healthy? Ok, so pork rinds aren’t going to replace your daily serving ofvegetables but this snack food isn’t as junky as you once thought. A 1 ounceserving contains 17 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat. That’s more proteinand less fat than is found in a serving of most potato chips. Additionally,pork rinds contain a healthy dose of oleic and stearic acids which are actuallyhealthy fats that don’t raise your cholesterol levels.

2. Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky

1.      comes to health. After all, it’s driedmeat in bag. Actually, beef jerky is high in protein and is a snack that won’tthrow off your sugar and insulin levels. Even better, there are low sodiumvarieties which can make this misunderstood snack appropriate for athletes andeven those of you looking to keep the weight down while enjoying a tasty treat.

1. M & M’s

M & M’s

M & M’s  are delicious but how on earth can this candybe considered healthy? After all, it’s just sugar and food coloring. Turns out,the food coloring is actually what gives these tasty little guys a healthy sideeffect. Specifically, the dye used in blue M $ MS has been linked to areduction in damage caused in spinal injuries; the rodents showed improvedrecovery and the ability to walk.  Thisdoesn’t make M & MS healthy for the majority of us, but now we don’t haveto feel so bad when filling our mouths with this delicious candy.

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