Coffee v Smoothie


 “When scientists collected data on the coffee drinking habits of 130,000 men and women and then followed them for over 20 years they found that coffee is rather a good thing”.  This is a comment, made yesterday, by Michael Mosley (medical journalist and doctor) from the BBC’s online News Magazine.

The article looks as some evidence based on research into the effects of coffee over a 20 year period.  It seems to come to the conclusion coffee has more benefits for you than a fruit smoothie.  Woo hoo! Thank you, researchers.

Let’s have a look at some of the evidence from the article.  It states that coffee is mildly protective equating to coffee drinkers living longer than non-coffee drinkers (If you’re drinking 2-5 cups per day maximum).  Not sure my heart could take 5 cups of caffeinated coffee a day.  We all know that caffeine keeps you alert which “increases levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin, that are known to improve mood”.  Another benefit is that coffee contains flavonoids which have an antioxidant effect.

So, we drink coffee and keep perky which makes us less depressed plus it’s actually protective: a healthy option. Coffee’s better than fruit, really?

We all know fruit is full of fructose (sugar) but we weigh it up with the fact that fruit is healthy.  It’s good for you.  The research is not denying this and is certainly not stopping you from eating fruit, but it is condemning fruit in its smoothie form.  By stripping away the fibre we are left with what is essentially a sugary liquid.   Due to the increased production of insulin and the loss of antioxidants and fibre there is an increased risk of rectal cancer.  There is also a higher risk of diabetes.  We seem to have forgotten what it is about fruit that’s good for us and at least this research is a little reminder.

The research is interesting but narrow.  As the article states, the researchers haven’t studied types of juice or other potential health benefits.  It also looks like two different studies, so can we actually compare and contrast the results?  Anyhow, it gives us something to talk (gloat) about over our morning coffee.  Maybe the fact we are stressing less over it’s potentially harmful effects will be beneficial to us in the long run.  I’m not a doctor, but am clutching at straws.

To take a look at the original article:

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