Many of us indulge in various forms of junk food … from candy to potato chips to ice cream and everything in between.  Of course we aren’t pigging out for our health … but it turns out that some junk food is healthier than we may have thought.  See if your favourite guilty pleasure shows up on this list of Junk Food that is Actually good for you!

Butter

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Not all of the dairy product is created equal, in terms of health benefits.  Butter from bovines that eat grass yields a superior product that contains Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin K2, which serves to decalcify arteries.  Butter from cows that eat corn and processed grain are not so good for you.  Try Kerrygold for the better butter from grass-fed bovines.

Chocolate

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There’s no shame in being a chocoholic … so long as you stick to dark chocolate, which is made from cocoa butter rather than the milk-based butter found in milk chocolate.  The darker version is said to contain compounds like flavonoids, which are also found in green tea and red wine.  Relatively low in sugar, dark chocolate has been gaining a reputation as a potential superfood.

Blue Candy and Sports Drinks

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Sometime it’s not so bad to have the blues … as long as it pertains to a particular food dye called Coomassie Brilliant Blue.  The substance is what gives candies like M&Ms, and sports drinks like Gatorade their blue coloration.  According to experts, the dye might one day be used to treat spinal cord injuries in humans.  Studies have found that when the blue dye was injected into rats with spinal cord damage, it accelerated their recovery and ability to walk.

Bacon

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Is there any food that has been so beloved and reviled.  For those of you who love the taste and aroma of the precious pork product, there’s some good news:  Bacon has a lot of protein, and has less saturated fat than many cuts of beef.  It also contains Omega 3 fatty acids which can help prevent heart disease (pretty ironic) … and a nutrient called choline which may even help prevent dementia.

Wine

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We’ve heard about the potential health benefits provided by wine for some time now.  Red wine in particular has been favored for its benefits.   Having the occasional glass of  red vino has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke among other maladies.  It contains a chemical called Resveratrol … which is found in grape skins and could help protect against the aforementioned conditions, as well Alzheimer’s.  Experts say Pinot Noir contains the most antioxidants of any other alcoholic beverage.

 Burritos

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Here’s another food choice that is generally perceived to offer little in the way of health benefits.  But it all depends on how the burrito is prepared.  If the ingredients are fresh in house and include meat that is free of antibiotics, along with brown rice your odds of a healthy meal increase.  Leave off the sour cream or cheese, and substitute fajita vegetables.  And the best overall choice is likely bean burritos, which provide a lot of protein and dietary fiber, but little in the way of saturated fat.

 Beer

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The earliest evidence of beer dates back to around 3500 BC … although some estimates push that back even further (to 8500 BC).  After water and tea, it’s the most widely consumed beverage on the planet. Even so, you don’t necessarily equate a brewski with good health. Yet, studies have show that moderate intake of the beverage can help to decrease the risk of stroke, cardiac disease and diabetes.  Hops used in beer contain anti inflammatory qualities that can help with digestive issues.  And another ingredient, yeast, is known to contain nutrients like potassium and B vitamins.  Thanks to the yeast, bread is sometimes called ‘liquid bread’, although it’s not a meal unto itself.  Some might dispute that, though.

Beef Jerky

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When you see this item in a convenience store, you probably don’t equate it with healthy eating.  But beef jerky actually does contain a high amount of protein, while adding little sugar to your diet.  That means it can make you feel fuller for a longer period of time, and won’t elevate your blood sugar.  Added salt content is a drawback, though.  So make sure to find the brands that are low-sodium and made from all-natural ingredients.

Cheese Whiz

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This product has often been labelled as junk food … but it turns out the pasteurized spread has more beneficial qualities than imagined.  It contains a natural trans fat called Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) … which has been demonstrated to possess anti-cancer properties.  In fact, Cheez-Whiz has been shown to contain more CLA than any type of traditional cheese.