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7 "Unhealthy" Foods That Aren't Actually Bad for You

You've been led to believe that all carbs are bad and coffee will be the death of you, but is it really as bad as it seems?
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Certain foods are good for you and certain foods are bad for you... right? Well, it's actually a lot more complicated than that. We spoke to Laura Silver, a registered dietitian, and she confirmed that it's more of a spectrum. "There is too much talk about categorizing foods based on whether they are 'good' or 'bad'," says Silver. "Foods simply aren't black and white, there are many shades of grey. In general, the more natural and whole a food is, the healthier it is. The more processed a food is, the less healthy it is."

What about fats and carbs you ask? "There are healthier and less healthy types of fats and carbohydrates — we cannot generalize about all foods in those groups," says Silver. "Less processed carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, and whole grains are absolutely healthy, whereas refined breads, pastas, and pastries are not." Even keeping all of that in mind, Silver says that you should keep in mind that all foods — even the more processed ones — can be enjoyed in moderation.

It can get confusing — and furthermore, certain foods have a bad reputation that's not entirely earned. So, with all that in mind, we've decided to put together a little list of some of the "bad" foods that you might have been avoiding — because it turns out, they might not be quite as unhealthy as you think.

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Chocolate? Healthy? Well, dark chocolate is — a German study found that regular intake of small amounts of dark chocolate will help lower your blood pressure.

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Peanut butter
A two-tablespoon serving of natural peanut butter will give you a decent serving of good fat (like the kind found in avocados and olive oil). It's good for your heart and it also helps appetite regulation, since it's packed with protein and fiber, plus vitamins E and B6, as well as potassium. Also, certain studies have even shown that peanuts can help lower risk of diabetes, or even help manage it.

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You've heard the old wives tales: Caffeine will stunt your growth, give you heart problems and all round just mess with your health. Well, turns out that's only true if you're drinking copious amounts of coffee a day and chugging energy drinks pretty much constantly. But according to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine daily. That means if you have less than four cups a day, you should be totally fine... so don't skip that cold brew.

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Carbonated water
Will the bubbles in fizzy water really cause kidney stones and suck all the calcium from your bones? Nope. The flavored kind might have added sodium, sweeteners or vitamins, but carbonated water's generally not as bad for you as you may have been lead to believe. Jennifer McDaniel, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics told Business Insider that it's just as good to drink as still water and won't really harm you.

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