More good facts about bad foods


Did you know that drinking tea can protect you from heart disease? Or that eating eggs can improve your memory?

Here are more good reasons to indulge in foods with a 'bad' image.

Bread and pasta

A lot of celebrity diets ban carbohydrates like bread and pasta and advise an increase in the consumption of protein, but they could be setting themselves up for long-term health problems.

Eating a diet rich in protein is also a diet rich in saturated fats. Saturated fats are the 'bad' fats that can lead to heart disease and rocketing cholesterol levels. Protein diets also often lack fibre which can trigger bowel complaints like constipation.

Bread and pasta are both rich in fibre and nutritionists say they should provide at least 50 per cent of your daily calorie intake. Most breads contain about 10 per cent protein and are low in fat.

The best type of bread or pasta to eat is wholemeal or whole grain as it contains all parts of the wheat grain. This gives it a nutty taste and a higher fibre content. Wholemeal bread is nearly three times richer in fibre than white bread and much higher in zinc, B vitamins and iron.

Whole grain breads and cereals also fall into the category of 'slow release' carbohydrates. This means they will maintain your blood sugar levels for longer. If you eat them for breakfast or lunch, you won't experience an energy slump mid-morning or mid-afternoon which leaves you reaching for the biscuit tin.


Eggs have suffered from a bad press since the salmonella scare in the 1980s and have a reputation as artery cloggers, but this is undeserved.

The fat in eggs is largely the healthy type, monounsaturated fat, and eggs are one of the few natural sources of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is normally produced by the action of the sun's rays on the skin, but during the winter when there is less sunshine, your vitamin D levels may drop. Vitamin D is important

as it helps your body absorb calcium, strengthening your bones.

Eggs also provide one quarter of your daily protein requirements and are rich in zinc, vitamins A, D, E and B12. Other essential nutrients found in eggs are selenium and iodene. Iodene helps your thyroid gland work properly which regulates your metabolism.

Perhaps the most important nutrient is lecithin, a chemical which helps the body process fat and cholesterol. It also helps prevent heart disease and has been linked to improved memory skills.

A healthiest way to eat eggs is to boil or poach them as you are not adding any fat. If you insist on your eggs being fried, cook them using a non-stick griddle pan which needs no fat, or gently brush a frying pan with a pure vegetable or olive oil before cooking.

Red meat

Thanks to all the recent health scares, consumption of red meat has plummeted in the UK. But eating less meat could mean that you are not consuming enough protein, iron, fatty acids, vitamin D or vitamin B12, and zinc.

Although you can get all these nutrients from oily fish, the iron in meat is more easily absorbed by the body.

The British Nutrition Foundation warns that if the population continues to eat less meat, iron deficiency could become a major public health issue. Women especially need to eat meat for its high iron content if extra stresses are placed on their bodies like pregnancy or heavy periods.

Zinc is also vital to protect you eyesight in old age, boost your immune system to ward off infections and helps renew and repair your skin cells.

If you want to include meat in your diet, the World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting your intake to 80g of cooked meat a day. This will ensure you get all the right nutrients, but with the minimum health risks associated with eating red meat like heart disease and bowel cancer.

Trimming fat off meat before eating it can make a significant impact to its fat content. When you trim the fat from a rump steak before grilling, you cut the amount of fat by 50 per cent.

The least fatty cut of meat is silverside, with only 4.9g of fat in a 100g serving if you boil it. Roast topside beef - which has much more flavour - has 12g of fat but will provide you with over half the recommended daily amount (RDA) of zinc.


Many detox diets recommend giving up tea to cleanse your system of the harmful benefits of caffeine, but nutritionists now say it may not be that bad for you and can benefit your health.

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking at least two cups of tea a day can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 per cent. This is because catechins - natural plant chemicals found in

tea - are thought to mop up harmful chemicals in the blood and prevent the arteries from hardening.

Scientists from the University of Minnesota have found that tea can also help prevent blood clots from forming, protecting you from heart attacks and strokes. The active ingredients identified were phytochemicals, the plant's natural defence system. Phytochemicals contain antioxidants which neutralise harmful free radicals in the body that could lead to serious medical conditions like cancer.

Green tea has even more health benefits. It is the same plant as black tea, but it has not been fermented before being dried. This means it retains more antioxidants than ordinary tea, giving you even more protection from cancer and heart disease.