Why Butter, Beer, and More "Unhealthy" Foods Are Back on the Diet Menu

Who said you can't have your beer, butter, eggs, and potatoes—and eat them, too?

Food is a lot like fashion. One season we're swearing off don'ts like Canadian tuxedos, the next season we can't get enough of denim-on-denim. And fortunately for men who want to sport super-svelte bodies under their clothes, new research shows these once-blacklisted foods deserve a spot back on your plate.

Thanks to the backlash against trans-fatty margarine, Americans are eating more butter than they have at any other time in the past 40 years, according to recent info from the American Butter Institute. It's perfect timing, as a new meta-analysis of nearly 80 studies (on over half a million people) on fat consumption found that eating more saturated fat doesn't increase your risk for heart disease. Plus, saturated fat is actually better than carbs at raising levels of good cholesterol and lowering levels of triglycerides (fat deposits in the blood). Opt for grass-fed, organic spreads whenever possible. As far as your health (and taste buds) are concerned, it's worth the extra cash.

It turns out hoppy is code word for "light." Hops, the flowers used as a flavoring and stabilizing agent in beer, are full of flavonoids (antioxidants) that research has found promote muscle mass, and more muscle means a faster metabolism. What's more, researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute discovered that some flavonoids found in hops pack a greater free-radical-fighting punch than those found in red wine and tea.

And for once, we don't mean sweet potatoes. Compared to other vegetables, white veggies are richer in many easy-to-miss nutrients, including fiber, potassium, and magnesium, according to a recent nutritional review. Plus, one matchup of 38 common foods found that, calorie-for-calorie, white potatoes are the most filling one around.

You'll never have to eat an egg-white omelet again: In recent years, a slew of studies have come to the yolk's defense, showing that the cholesterol bombs (a single yolk packs nearly your full daily dose of dietary cholesterol) have little effect on raising blood-cholesterol levels. Plus, the yolk is the most nutrient-rich part of the egg. It's packed with protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate—all of which can lower your risk of heart disease, not to mention helping you shed any unwanted pounds.

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Photo courtesy of Trunk Archives.
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