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Could pizza and bacon do a body good?

July 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Just looking at a pan of bacon most likely makes your mouth water. But for years we've been told this piggy is off limits. As it turns out, a petite portion of pork might do your body good."Food is not bad for us. And, in fact, indulgent foods are exactly that ... they're indulgent," said Ashley Koff, dietitian.

Koff says people should enjoy so-called indulgent foods sparingly because many of them contain a bit of good with the bad. In fact, Koff says such foods are often better than reformulated, highly-processed products.

"We've kind of gotten into this realm ... we've taken indulgent foods and then we've made the fat-free version or the sugar-free version," said Koff. "We've basically manufactured a process ... And they, actually, with chemicals and artificial sweeteners and all this other stuff ... may actually be worse for our bodies."

Half of the fat in bacon is saturated, but a good amount of the other half is monounsaturated, or the type of fat proven to be good for your heart because it lowers bad cholesterol levels. At just 20 calories per slice, it can be used as one tasty accessory for salad or soup.

"Maybe I'll make a breakfast burrito, but maybe I'll make it with egg whites," said Koff. "I'll put some hot sauce on there, my bacon in there and maybe use a little bit of avocado for a healthy fat and then we've got a great option."

Pine nuts are high in fat, but because of their pinolenic acid they act as an appetite suppressant. Toasted pine nuts enhance salads and pastas. Plus, a little goes a long way.

Most of us have been drinking skim dairy products for years. However, a Swedish study of 19,000 women found those who ate a serving of full-fat cheese or milk regularly weighed less than those who didn't. In two other studies where full-fat dairy was consumed, calcium was better absorbed and fertility rates increased.

It may be no surprise, but pizza makes the decadent list as well. While a double-stuffed meat lovers special isn't considered reasonable, a nice slice of thin crust cheese pizza with tomato sauce offers calcium, protein and lycopene in each slice. A piece of pie with a side salad is a guilt-free feast.

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