Fed up with hearing that you can't eat this, that that will clog up your arteries and that your favourite snack will eventually be the death of you?
Well, here's the good news. Many of the things you're eating are actually good for you – and may even help prevent diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
As always, the key is moderation, though.
We list a few of your favourites, and point out why you don't necessarily have to feel guilty about them:
Unfortunately, one can't get around the fact that beer is high in calories. After all, there's a reason why that tube around your stomach is called a "beer belly".
But beer doesn't necessarily have to mean weight gain. In fact, research has showed that, in moderation, it won't pile on the pounds.
Interestingly, one can of light beer contains less energy than a three-quarter cup of milkshake, one glass of guava juice, half a can of Coke or two blocks of milk chocolate. Not bad.
There's even more. The beer you're holding delivers the same antioxidant benefits as a daily glass of wine, thereby cutting your risk of cancer and heart disease. A recent study showed that small amounts of a compound thought to prevent prostate cancer and enlargement can be found in beer.
But three beers instead of one may have the opposite effect, researchers say.
Saying cheers to red wine doesn't mean you have to wave it goodbye.
The flavonoids in this drink, particularly one called resveratrol, as well as the tannins, may increase your HDL ("good") cholesterol and decrease your LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
The heart-healthy effects of cabernet, merlot and their kin appear closely linked to the grapes these wines are made from, since plain grape juice produces similar effects.
It has also been found that resveratrol can improve blood flow in the brain by 30 percent, thereby reducing the risk of stroke, and that raising a glass can help keep your gums strong and healthy.
To top it all, red wine may even help to reduce the risk of lung cancer, especially if you're a guy.
Drink no more than one to two glasses of red wine per day.
A single egg is packed with goodness. And while eggs do contain cholesterol, the effect is not as detrimental as scientists once believed.
For as little as 75 calories, an egg provides 12% of the daily recommended value for protein, as well as a wide variety of other nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, B12 and D, folate, iron, phosphorous and zinc.
A word of warning though: make sure your cholesterol levels are normal before you start including more eggs in your diet. You may be suffering from high cholesterol without even knowing it.
Otherwise, two or three eggs per week could boost your health. Just remember to opt for poached, boiled or scrambled eggs instead of fried ones. And eat your egg with a slice or two of tomato on the side – it will help protect your prostate.
Whoever said that bread is bad for you? Bread is cholesterol-free, low in fat, and fortified with six vitamins and two minerals.
It's an excellent form of carbohydrate, and therefore a good source of fuel to perform your daily activities.
Just make sure that you eat those sarmies in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced eating plan. Eat no more than six to eleven portions of starchy foods per day, depending on how active you are.
Choose fortified bread, preferably the brown or whole-wheat variety, and combine it with other nutritious foods to create a balanced meal, e.g. dairy products, cold meats, fish, egg and peanut butter.
Nuts about nuts? Then you'll be glad to hear that they're good for you, even if these snacks contain a lot of fat.
Peanuts are a great source of the phytochemical resveratrol, which has been linked to a significant decrease in heart disease. Peanuts also have anti-cancer effects and can lower cholesterol levels if they are eaten in place of other high-fat foods.
Eat no more than a tablespoon of nuts five times a week, or you might start piling on the pounds.
- (Carine van Rooyen, Health24, July 2006)