What do you want to believe?

EPSON DSC picture

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.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading What do you want to believe?? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

Curry Killing Cancer

curry_spices.jpgDon’t you just love it when you find out something you enjoy is doing you good?

I’m always fascinated by the research that comes out every now and then to tell us that things like red wine and dark chocolate are good for your health. I fully embrace those findings.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting India a couple of times and have developed a great love of great curries but is curry good for us?

As you know, I spent all last week cycling for cancer on our ride from Perth to Albany. (By the way, you can still sponsor the ride with your donation to Cancer Council WA by going to the secure donations page.) Now a BBC News report is now telling us that curry can be a weapon in the fight against cancer.

An extract found in the bright yellow curry spice turmeric can kill off cancer cells, scientists have shown.

The chemical – curcumin – has long been thought to have healing powers and is already being tested as a treatment for arthritis and even dementia.

Now tests by a team at the Cork Cancer Research Centre show it can destroy gullet cancer cells in the lab.

I know that curry isn’t the complete answer …. but until a complete answer is found I will dedicate the rest of my life to eating as much curry as I can.

Maybe our next ride for cancer can be in India.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Curry Killing Cancer? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.