There’s an amusing scene in the 1973 Woody Allen film Sleeper, a movie about a man who is frozen and brought back to life 200 years in the future. When he first wakes up, he asks for “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk”, which in 1973 were believed to be good for you. The scientists are puzzled and can’t understand why he didn’t ask for fries, steak, cream pies and hot fudge, which they had long ago discovered were actually health foods.
Sometimes it seems like we’re living in that kind of world. What was once believed to be bad for your health turns out to be quite good for you, and vice versa. It’s hard to keep up with the constantly changing and often conflicting research.
We’ve put together a list of some of the most commonly held beliefs about what’s good and not good for you, and detail what the most recent research says. We can’t guarantee that a new study won’t come out that’ll turn all the current research on its head, but this is the best information we have now.
The Old Conventional Wisdom
There’s been a lot of conflicting advice regarding coffee over the past decade. Well documented and respected studies have shown that people who drink more than three cups of coffee per day have a higher risk than non coffee drinkers of dying prematurely from a heart attack. Other respected studies have shown significant health benefits from drinking coffee. These include a reduced risk of depression, lower blood sugar levels, lower incidence of fatty liver disease and a reduction in the risk of certain types of cancers. Interestingly, some studies have also shown a correlation between coffee consumption and a decreased risk of heart attacks.
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