It seems as if a new study comes out every other day that reveals which foods are now beneficial or harmful to our health.
While it’s great that science is guiding us toward being healthier, these studies often just cancel each other out. So, which is it, science? Should we eat chocolate daily, or no? Because my heart can’t take it anymore (maybe literally).
Below, we’ve rounded up a list of common foods with studies that totally reversed themselves.
You can eat ’em scrambled, over easy, sunny side-up and more — but should you even eat them at all?
Eggs, specifically their yolks, contain cholesterol, which, according to the American Heart Association, can clog arteries when in excess.
This 2012 study warned people at risk for cardiovascular disease to stay away from regular egg consumption. But another 2012 study defied those suggestions, saying that eating an egg daily actually doesn’t increase any risk for cardiovascular disease or strokes.
So, is brunch still on?
Chances are you know someone who’s addicted to the caffeinated beverage — it might even be you.
Coffee is a $30 billion dollar industry in the United States, but for those habitual drinkers (this goes out to all you Starbucks Rewards Gold members), the effect of coffee on type 2 diabetes is downright confusing.
A 2007 study showed that those who already had type 2 diabetes could be doing long-term harm to their control of glucose by continuing to regularly drink caffeinated beverages. A 2014 study from the Harvard School of Public Health stated otherwise: Those who increased their coffee intake over a period of four years instead lowered their risk for type 2 diabetes by 11%.
3. Red wine
Put down the corkscrew. That long-lived saying that red wine is healthy for your heart — due to the ingredient resveratrol, an antioxidant, which might decrease inflammation — might just be a myth. And a 1996 study showed wine to be the most effective alcohol in reducing risk of coronary heart disease.
However, a 2014 study that tracked the health of 800 residents from two small towns in Italy (a.k.a. Red Wine Central), for nine years says it’s all false. And apparently resveratrol has nothing to do with blood inflammation — according to Richard Semba, one of the study’s researchers, it might just be hype.
4. Dairy milk
We’ve been told since our childhood that milk helps us to grow strong bones, but study results actually differ between men and women. Many studies have shown calcium in milk to prevent bone-loss and help protect bones from fractures, like this 1990 study on women that took place over the course of three years.
However, a 1997 study showed that calcium intake does not reduce bone fractures in males.
5. Red meat
Stop the barbecue. The debate over whether that beef hamburger should be eaten is still up in the air. While one study at Deakin University in Australia found that a lack of red meat in women’s diets was linked to increased anxiety and depression, other studies, such as this one from 2013 insist that eating red meat will surely increase one’s risk for health problems, including type 2 diabetes.
Just like red wine, there are rumors that dark chocolate is jam-packed with health benefits, especially relating to antioxidants.
This 2014 studyinsists that people who consume dark chocolate could have a lower risk of diabetes due to better insulin sensitivity. “The results imply that dark chocolate might delay or prevent the onset of diabetes and prediabetes,” Grace Farhat, one of the researchers of the study, told Scientific American.
But others beg to differ. In the same study that busted the red wine myth, dark chocolate was also found to have no effect on inflammation or cardiac disease — meaning that chocolate square might be delicious, but nonetheless useless.
Even if you’re allergic to nuts, you’ve still probably heard they can help with weight loss or management. But you’ve also probably heard that they’re dangerously high in calories. So, do they make the cut into your regular diet? We still don’t know.
In this 2005 study, 90 subjects ate walnuts every day for six months and then ate none for the following six months, without knowledge that weight was the factor being tracked. All subjects gained weight while eating walnuts, and lost weight when they stopped.
But many experts also insist that nut intake has no effect on a higher body mass index (BMI).
It may seem silly to debate whether a French fry is healthy, but while potatoes are often shunned by the health community, others defend the vegetable.
According to the LA Times, in 2011 Harvard University deemed the potato one of the most dangerous foods to American waistlines after tracking the diets of more than 120,000 health professionals for 12 years. The results showed that daily consumption of potatoes led to an average of 0.8 pounds in weight gain, or 16 pounds in 20 years.
But push aside those fries and chips, and you’ll find a 2013 study that says potatoes are actually one of the most nutritious vegetables — based on qualities like fiber and potassium. And this study aims to reach out to health professionals in building nutritious school lunches.
Now, who’s dreading going grocery shopping?
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