Inside Scope on Medical Truths: Are Your Favorite Foods Healthy?


Donya Forst

Donya Forst, Print Editor

   When many people ponder the idea of medicine or health, they often think about the hospital and what happens when they are already sick. While medicine is important in this case and is often used to cure diseases and make people whole again, preventative medicine is another wonderful type of medicine. Preventative medicine’s goal is to “protect, promote, and maintain health and well-being and to prevent disease, disability, and death.”

   While we are not all doctors or even medical professionals, we can look at what we are eating and putting into our bodies. We all have favorite foods and usually they are the kinds that are considered unhealthy or bad. But this may not always be true. Don’t always believe what you read on the Internet because in many cases, the foods you love may not only be good for you, but they might increase your quality of life in the process.

   Chocolate is one of these foods. While it is well known that chocolate is good for the heart, it has many other unknown, but scientifically proven, benefits.

   Chocolate actually makes people eat less. One study  showed that those who ate small amounts of dark chocolate before presented with a big lunch consumed 17% fewer calories than those who consumed the same amount of milk chocolate. Also, according to The Huffington Post, “Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage from the sun.” Still, I wouldn’t skip the sunscreen.

   Milk chocolate lovers out there shouldn’t worry: While eating milk chocolate may not help you reduce calorie intake or protect you from the sun, there are plenty of other benefits. According to a University of Reading study, chocolate has anti-clotting properties that increases blood flow, which gives your vision and brain an extra boost. An Italian study proved that eating chocolate on a regular basis increases insulin sensitivity, which puts people at a lower risk for diabetes.

   Here’s another baddy but goody: pizza. While pizza may be greasy and contain many fattening ingredients, pizza actually has a number of healthy advantages. According to Elite Daily, “studies have found that bi-weekly pizza eaters were 59 percent less likely to develop cancer of the esophagus, 34 percent less likely to develop throat cancer and cut their chances of getting colon cancer by 26 percent.” Tomatoes also contain an antioxidant compound called lycopene that helps prevent heart disease and other common illnesses. That sounds like a number of good reasons to eat pizza.

   If you are more a fan of  fruit, try some bananas. While many say bananas are not the healthiest fruit because they are full of sugar and calories, they have many health benefits as well. All fruits contain some amount of sugar, and bananas have about the same as others fruits, but they are full of a unique fiber that the body needs but sometimes has trouble absorbing. That fiber can help burn fat. Top the banana off with some peanut butter, which is full of protein, and the snack is filling, so you will be set until the next meal.

   Don’t be afraid to eat your favorite foods. Learn what the pros and cons are. Chances are you could actually be helping yourself by eating “junk” food that really isn’t junk at all. You might be lowering your chance of winding up in the hospital with a disease that could have been easily prevented by eating right – and what you love.