What do you want to believe?

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After hearing a conversation on radio about whether coffee is good for us or not, someone responded saying, “Coffee is not healthy. It is a drug that you’re better off not consuming.” But then another listener responded by quoting a Life Hacker article titled The Science Behind Coffee and Why it’s Actually Good for Your Health.

The article explains that coffee can make you smarter, burns fat and improves physical performance, may drastically reduce your risk of Type II Diabetes, may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, may be extremely good for your liver, may reduce your risk of dying and is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Pretty compelling stuff.

Opinion is divided so we need to decide what we’ll believe. As a coffee drinker I’m going with the health benefits of my morning cuppa … or two.

McDonalds or Subway

We all know that when choosing fast food it’s best to go with a healthy option, such as Subway. Then we read an article like the recent News.com.au piece Subway meals contain nearly as many calories, more salt than McDonald’s, UCLA study finds.

According to new research, the meals contain nearly as many calories and more salt than those in McDonald’s.

Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles found that teenagers who bought Subway meals consumed almost the same calories – and more salt – those who ate a meal at McDonald’s, the Mail Online reports.

The study found eating at both restaurants is likely to lead to overeating and obesity.

The US research will come as a shock to those who consume Subway meals in the belief that they are choosing a healthier option.

So what do we believe?

If we prefer eating burgers and fries we may choose to take that research as evidence that we might as well be eating at McDonalds. On the other hand we may decide that all fast food is the same and so we won’t buy any at all. I would suggest that our menu choices at either outlet will determine how healthy the food is but sometimes we just latch on to the ‘evidence’ that suits us.

Red Wine and Chocolate

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard opposing research telling me that red wine is very good for me, very bad for me, or neither. I’ve heard similar reports about the benefits or otherwise of chocolate.

I happen to enjoy red wine and chocolate so I can take the easy way out and just believe the research that says they’re good for me or I can weigh up the evidence and make an educated choice.

One thing I know for sure is that too much coffee, McDonalds, Subway, red wine and chocolate is not good for me but I think there’s more to be learned than just “everything in moderation”.

So what do you do when faced with differing opinions on what’s good for us and what’s bad for us? Do you throw your hands in the air and say, “I give up” or do you seek to make sense of the data from both sides of the debate?

I’d really be interested in your thoughts.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • Let’s see; I have never drank coffee. I refuse to eat at McDs. It has been awhile since I ate at Subway (I prefer salads anyway cuz too much bread). I have never had a sip of wine of any kind. I pay very little attention to the media garbage and go by what I like and feel is in my best interest to eat.

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