Must-Read: Unhealthy Good Foods

Food knowledge is always a dicey proposition. What the doctors believe will kill you one day is seen as something that your body MUST HAVE the next in order to survive. We’re always learning more and more things, and as we are, those things begin to contradict one another. Which is why there are certain foods that we all believe we should stay away from unless we want to die a terribly young death. Or do we?

And so today we’re heading over to where they have a listing of 50 foods that are considered junk foods that actually have some beneficial qualities as well. For instance, among the foods they are touting:

Red Meat

Why we should eat it: The meat controversy arose from observational studies that are always plagued with confounding variables. Take, for instance, the ?healthy user bias.? Folks who are health-conscious and have listened to the mainstream press and vilified red meat are also the same who are likely to refrain from refined sugar, trans fats and processed foods. On the other side of the spectrum, heavy meat eaters tend to be older guys who are very fond of alcohol and cigarettes, don?t eat enough fruits or vegetables, are very sedentary and tend to have other health problems that may or may not stem from their carnivorous habits.

No matter how good you are as a statistician, there are too many factors to consider when studying humans in their natural, complicating habitat. Recent reviews find that the evidence gathered so far is insufficient to support a clear positive correlation between red meat consumption and colorectal cancer, heart disease, stroke or death. And despite claims to the contrary, there?s no consistent evidence demonstrating that the saturated fat in meat significantly raises cholesterol levels. In fact, a large study with almost 60,000 Japanese women found the opposite: The more saturated fat they ate, the lower their risk of stroke. Red meat has been unfairly blamed for the ills of our society. Red meat haters are missing out on an excellent source of heme iron, a form that is absorbed and utilized much more effectively than the non-heme iron found in vegetables. If there?s not enough fish or sunlight in your life, then red meat can contribute significantly to your overall vitamin D intake. This form of vitamin D is absorbed more quickly and easily than other dietary forms. Zinc is also easily absorbed from meat and is a very important source in our diets, especially if we don?t eat enough organ meats and shellfish. Zinc is essential for many physiological functions and forms part of the structure for many proteins and enzymes. The fat of red meat is usually equal parts saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only a small amount of polyunsaturated fat. Grass-fed beef is highly recommended because of the higher content of conjugated linoleic acid, a compound that seems to aid fat loss, and a healthier omega-6:omega-3 ratio. If you were scared of red meat before, fear no more! Eat that (grass-fed) steak guilt free.

Now that’s some good news. Head on over to the above link to check out the other 49 foods that you thought were terrible for you, but now may have to think twice about getting into your body.

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About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.