Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 38: RAW CATFISH NUGGETS

  WHY WE AVOID IT: Catfish are ugly bottom-feeders that suck on pond muck. Many people consider them a “junk” fish. Many avid fishermen will admit that the best thing to do when you realize you’ve got a catfish on the line is to just cut the line. Besides, nuggets are the leftover flesh chunks after the beautiful filets have…


CHOCOLATE

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 37: CHOCOLATE

  WHY WE AVOID IT: The elixir of the Mayans has had its fair share of controversies since science started looking at it. Accused of causing acne outbreaks, migraines, heartburn, insomnia, obesity and high cholesterol, chocolate is the love affair we are ashamed to indulge in. WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: The modern chocolate bar…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 35: CARROTS

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 35: CARROTS

  WHY WE AVOID IT: When the glycemic index (GI) made waves among scientists and health enthusiasts, carrots got a bad rap. The GI gives a measure of how quickly blood sugar and insulin levels rise after eating a certain type of food compared to glucose or white bread. High GI foods are associated with increased risk of…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 34: AVOCADO

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 34: AVOCADO

  WHY WE AVOID IT: An unfortunate victim of fat-phobia propaganda that considers all fats fattening. WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: With 84% of their calories coming from fat, it’s true that they’re a fatty food. But it’s mostly monounsaturated fats, the same type of fat that makes olive oil healthy and does not contribute to weight…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 33: BLOOD SAUSAGE

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 33: BLOOD SAUSAGE

  WHY WE AVOID IT: Blood is for vampires, not day walkers. Made with congealed pork blood, gelatin and spices, the black color of these sausages is disturbing to many. Besides, eating blood is banned in many religions. WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: If you’re traveling to parts of Europe or Asia, there will be blood. The dish is a…


Part 32: BEEF BRAINS

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. Part 32: BEEF BRAINS

WHY WE AVOID IT: Zombies aside, even the most enthusiastic carnivore draws the line at brains. Besides, there’s a small chance that you develop variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) from eating the brains of cattle infected with “mad cow disease.” WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: Brains are a concentrated source of DHA, an important…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 31: BUTTER

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 31: BUTTER

WHY WE AVOID IT: Made of pure fat, two-thirds of which is saturated fat. Health authorities have been telling us for years that foods like butter are clogging our arteries and causing heart disease. Even though the evidence proves otherwise, many of us can’t shake our fat phobia. We were told to replace butter with trans-fat laden…


AMARANTH

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 30: AMARANTH

WHY WE AVOID IT: Once the staple of Aztecs, amaranth grains aren’t as widely available as other grains. Some cultures even consider it an annoying weed. The saponin content, a class of compounds that can irritate the gut, is a concern for some people. WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: As a relative of spinach, amaranth grains contain much…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 29: ARAME

WHY WE AVOID IT: Those long brown strands of seaweed on your mixed Japanese salad are often pushed to the edge of your plate because they smell like the ocean floor. A species of kelp, arame can readily absorb minerals from the water, so can become toxic with heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and cadmium if they’re harvested…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 28: CORN SMUT

WHY WE AVOID IT: You know that anything called “smut” has to be gross. True to form, corn smut is a fungal infection that causes disease on corn and looks like a slimy, black, gooey brain. It doesn’t matter how good it tastes -- it looks horrible. WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: The smut is a delicacy in Mexico. Known as huitlacoche…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 27: ALMOND BUTTER

WHY WE AVOID IT: Because it’s high in fat and calories. Compared to peanut butter, it’s a little more expensive and a little more difficult to find. WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: Consider almond butter the healthier cousin to peanut butter. It has more than twice the magnesium, 42% more phosphorus, 692% more calcium, twice as much fiber,…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 26: YERBA MATE

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 26: YERBA MATE

WHY WE AVOID IT: This tea made from a South American herb is said to provide the energy boost of coffee without the added jitters. Yet the taste is off-putting for many. It has been described as a combination of tobacco, weak coffee and hay, with a hint of oak. WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: A common claim is that yerba mate is actually…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 25: POTATOES

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN'T. PART 25: POTATOES

WHY WE AVOID IT: After sugar, starchy carbs like potatoes are one of the first things people cut out when keeping an eye on their weight. WHY WE SHOULD EAT IT: They’re carby, sure, but potatoes aren’t nearly as bad as some people make them out to be. According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, potatoes were wrongly…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 24 : Sauerkraut

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 24 : Sauerkraut

Why we avoid it: Not everyone enjoys the pungent, sour and vinegary taste of fermented cabbage unless it’s piled on top of a hot dog and slathered with mustard. It’s definitely an acquired taste. Why we should eat it: Like kimchi, sauerkraut combines the nutritional excellence of cabbage with the probiotic power of fermentation.…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 23: SOUR CREAM

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 23: SOUR CREAM

Why we avoid it: About 90% of its calories come from fat, at least half of which is saturated. If you were told to limit your saturated fat intake and to choose low-fat dairy products, you probably avoided sour cream. Why we should eat it: Sour cream is made by introducing certain types of lactic-acid bacteria to regular cream and…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 23: WHEATGRASS

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 23: WHEATGRASS

Why we avoid it: It tastes horrible. A shot of wheatgrass tastes like a freshly mowed lawn. It’s strong stuff and not for the fainthearted. Why we should eat it: Proponents will agree that it tastes and smells awful, but they’ll knock back a few ounces because they want to reap its health benefits. Although most health claims for…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 22: SWEETBREAD

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 22: SWEETBREAD

Why we avoid it: The name sounds very carby, but sweetbreads are actually the nasty bits of veal, lamb or piglets. Sweetbreads are the thymus gland or the pancreas of the animal, and they automatically turn off a lot of people. Why we should eat it: Sweetbreads are actually praised for their silky texture, which is rare in most…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 21: GHEE

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 20: OSSO BUCO

Why we avoid it: Ghee is 100% saturated fat, the stuff that cardiologists tell us (or used to tell us if they’re up-to-date on their scientific literature) to avoid if we want to reduce the risk of heart disease. Ghee is clarified butter that is popular in Indian cuisine, made by separating milk solids and water from the…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 20: OSSO BUCO

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 20: OSSO BUCO

Why we avoid it: Osso buco literally translates as "bone’s hole," and is simply an inch and a half slab of shank with tough meat surrounding a large bone with a hole in the middle. What’s inside that bone hole is the fatty, rich, spongy, bloody gelatinous marrow. Bone marrow is gristly and icky, and the texture can freak some…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 18: SALMON

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 18: SALMON

Why we avoid it: Concern has been raised over the safety of farmed vs. wild salmon in regards to mercury contamination. Most people don’t eat enough cold-water fatty fish as it is, and fears of mercury toxicity don’t help matters. Why we should eat it: High levels of mercury have been associated with increased risk of cancer and…