10 Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

These 10 foods might surprise you with their stealthy health benefits, from avocados to spaghetti and meatballs.
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Avocado

So it may seem weird for a fruit (yes, avocados are fruits) to contain fat, but avocados are one of the few produce items that do. Their heart-protecting monounsaturated fats are actually one of the things that make them so healthy. Eating these green guys can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke — so go ahead and have some of that guacamole.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Thanks to the iron and protein from the beef, lycopene from the tomato sauce and energy-producing carbs from the pasta, this dish is a healthy trifecta. If you stick to modest portions and lean beef, you can enjoy its benefits without overdoing it. Limit yourself to three ounces of meat and a cup of cooked pasta per serving. Pump up the health benefits by using whole-wheat pasta and adding mushrooms to the meatballs to add fiber and cut fat.

Get the Recipe: Lighter Spaghetti and Meatballs

Bananas

Often bashed for their high sugar and carb content, bananas are a ridiculously healthy fruit that everyone can enjoy. A small banana has the same calories, carbs and fiber as an apple. They also come packed with vitamins C and B6 and good-for-your-heart potassium. Try slicing and baking them for a sweet snack.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter may indeed contain fat, but 30 percent of your daily calories should come from healthy fats, for which peanut butter is a great choice. The nutty spread is also a good way to get protein, fiber and vitamin E. The same goes for whole peanuts or nuts such as almonds and walnuts — they're a great way to get your daily dose of healthy fats.

Coffee

Along with adding a little pep to your step, coffee is teeming with antioxidants. Research has linked drinking the brewed beverage to a decreased risk of type-2 diabetes and improved mental health as you age. 

Corn

Some folks frown on corn because it's a starchy vegetable. Well, it is starchy — because it's actually a grain! One cup of corn kernels has 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber (that's more than 25 percent of the daily recommendation) and energy-producing B-vitamins. You can also eat corn in a wide variety of ways — polenta, tortillas and popcorn are all healthy whole-grain options.

Burritos

Burritos can be a healthy choice: When filled with vegetables, rice, beans and small portions of meat, these Tex-Mex treats can cover all your nutrition bases in one tortilla. Opt for 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas and lay off the sour cream and loads of cheese to keep the calories and fat in check. White beans, fresh avocado and shredded chicken fill these burritos from Ellie Krieger.

Get the Recipe: Chicken and Bean Burrito Verde

Chicken Thighs

Dark meat chicken has a bad rep for being fatty and artery-clogging, but it's actually the skin you should be avoiding. Dark meat, like avocados, is high in healthy monounsaturated fats. Thighs are also more affordable than skinless chicken breasts, so they're an all-around smart addition to your weeknight dinner routine. Ree Drummond simmers chicken thighs in a homemade sauce before adding to rigatoni.

Get the Recipe: Rigatoni with Chicken Thighs

Eggs

Eggs do contain some cholesterol, but that doesn't mean they're a total no-no. According to the American Egg Board, healthy individuals can eat up to two eggs per day without significantly affecting blood cholesterol levels. Eggs are also full of vitamins A, D and the antioxidant lutein. Don't skip the yolks; there's just as much protein there as in the whites.

Potatoes

Yet another veggie shunned for its starch content, potatoes are a nutrition powerhouse! A medium potato has 165 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 10 percent of your daily iron and 70 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.