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Coffee is Good, Soy Milk is Bad: Which Foods Are Really Healthy?

Coffee is Good, Soy Milk is Bad: Which Foods Are Really Healthy?

Some new research suggests that coffee, once maligned as bad for you, is now being found to be good for you. 

Yes, you can refill your cup.

A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute says that coffee consumption (6 cups a day) can reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. A Swedish study in Breast Cancer Research found that drinking coffee (5 or more cups a day) could lower the risk of post-menopausal, ER-negative breast cancer.

Granted, these findings occurred in participants who drank quite a few cups of coffee, and the results need to be replicated. Reflecting on this change in coffee from health hazard to “good for your health,” Lane Wallace notes in The Atlantic that the Harvard researchers pointed out that excessive coffee consumption has “traditionally been associated with other high-health-risk habits — e.g. drinking more alcohol, smoking, and not exercising,” with the result that the extent to which coffee might benefit your health has been hard to discern.

Wallace also observes that coffee is not the only item that has gone from being thought bad to good (or the reverse) for your health in recent years. From the Atlantic:

Eggs were bad, and then good. The big benefits of soy milk are now suspect, even as coffee is seeing a reprieve. Drinking alcohol is a health risk, but drinking a moderate amount of red wine is good for your heart. On the other hand, a 2002 study by Spanish researchers found that people who drank more than two glasses of wine a day had a dramatically reduced risk of getting a cold. The head could spin, trying to keep up with it all.

Given all of that, I asked the Harvard team what advice they had for the average person, based on their research results.

“I wouldn’t recommend that men change their coffee consumption based on this study (or any single study),” [Kathryn' Wilson [one of the Harvard researchers] answered. “[But] I think this study is part of mounting evidence that you don’t need to feel guilty about your current coffee consumption.”

Perhaps the takeaway lesson is, all things in moderation?

(Except maybe anything that’s deep-fried.)

 

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147 comments

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2:45PM PDT on May 28, 2011

The only soy fit for human consumption is fermented soy (such as miso and tempeh). Give me real milk from a cow or goat any day, organic of course, and raw is better. For vegans, I'd recommend almond milk 1000x over soy milk.

9:46AM PDT on May 28, 2011

when I was first a vegan I replaced meat with soy substitues..now I just do not eat either.. you get to the point where you do not care.. good thing.

8:45AM PDT on May 28, 2011

Both are good ...in moderation!

6:44AM PDT on May 28, 2011

It's quite simple.
If you have a product and want to sell it, you will do any research just to prove it's good for this or that, but you will hide the bad parts...it's all marketing.
I'll just plant my own vegetables and fruit trees, so I can be free of all this mad consumist cycle.

4:45AM PDT on May 28, 2011

Asian countries have been eating soy for thousands of years, and nothing bad came of that.

Asian are at least a couple of inches shorter than average. :-)

4:38AM PDT on May 28, 2011

Alice, asians don't eat soy products like we do with concentrated soy. They eat tofu, edame, miso and things of this nature where the soy is either fresh or natually fermented. We have factories that take natural soy and concetrate it into an unnatural product.
I had breast cancer. My oncologist told me eat tofu and things like that if want but avoid the concetrated soy products like the plague

6:46PM PDT on May 27, 2011

What?? Asian countries have been eating soy for thousands of years, and nothing bad came of that.

11:54AM PDT on May 27, 2011

studys come and go it depends on who funds them. and what money is behind it

10:45AM PDT on May 27, 2011

Thanks.

4:22AM PDT on May 27, 2011

Moderation in all things is good advice. Also, we must way the advantages and disadvantges of everything though I would be among the last to recommend coffee for health benefits.

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