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…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 17: OYSTERS

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 17: OYSTERS

Why we avoid it: People either love them or hate them -- there’s no in between. They look like giant gobs of snot swimming in seawater. Why we should eat it: Oysters are the richest source of zinc you can find, which is likely why they have the reputation of being an aphrodisiac. Zinc is a key mineral for sperm production and…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 16: NATTO

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 16: NATTO

Why we avoid it: It’s stinky, stringy, slimy, and sticky. Kind of like snot. Natto is made by soaking and steaming soybeans, mixed with Bacillus subtilis and aged in a warm spot until fermented. YouTube is full of people gagging on, or gamely choking down, natto as a challenge. Why we should eat it: It’s worth trying to acquire a…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 15: MILLET

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 15: MILLET

Why we avoid it: Although millet is a major food source in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, it’s considered birdseed in Europe and North America. We don’t eat Alpo or Purina, so why would we eat bird food? Why we should eat it: Millet is not just for the birds. In addition to being gluten-free, millet is considered one…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 14: MARMITE

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 14: MARMITE

Why we avoid it: Marmite, a Brit favourite, is famous for its slogan "Love It, Or Hate It." It’s a sticky, gloopy, salty spread made from yeast extract. It tastes like stale, acrid sardines. Vegemite, a similar yeast extract preparation, is a favourite in Australia. The two brands look and taste different, but they’re both pretty…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 13: CALF LIVER

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 13: CALF LIVER

Why we avoid it: Offal (organ meat) is not appealing to many people. The texture and metallic taste probably turned you off as a kid, and you’ve probably hated it ever since. A popular objection to eating liver is the belief that it stores toxins. It’s true that the liver neutralises toxins, but these are usually eliminated or…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 12: KOHLRABI

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 12: KOHLRABI

Why we avoid it: It’s a weird-looking vegetable. It looks a cross between an octopus and an alien space pod. What exactly do you do with it? Why we should eat it: Kohlrabi, along with broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and Brussels sprouts, is a cultivar of wild cabbage and thus contains the same nutritious power of the…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 11: KETCHUP

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 11: KETCHUP

Why we avoid it: America's favourite condiment is not particularly healthy. After tomatoes, the next major ingredient is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This cheap sweetener causes huge spikes in your blood sugar levels and is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. Not only should we all avoid anything with HFCS in it, but…


oods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 10: HEMP MILK

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 10: HEMP MILK

Why we avoid it: Hemp is the same species as marijuana, a psychoactive plant that is illegal in many parts of the world. That association alone is enough to turn off the straight and narrow. Why we should eat it: Hemp is indeed a variety of cannabis, but the concentration of the psychoactive substance -- tetrahydrocannabinol or…


Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 9: DURIAN

Foods you avoid BUT SHOULDN’T Part 9: DURIAN

Why we avoid it: It stinks. You can’t be blamed for checking under your shoes when you pass this large spike-covered green fruit in Asian markets. It smells like a combination of rotten meat, sour milk, old gym shoes, with a hint of dog feces and raw sewage. It smells so awful that some hotels and public transportation in…