It seems every time you turn around there is another researcher saying something you love is bad for you.
BUT I have some really good news for those of you, who, like me, are addicted to Joe, Dirt, Mud, Java, Cuppa, Go Juice, Jitter Juice, Brain Juice, Expresso, or just plain coffee.
AND, not only will I show that coffee is good for you, I will explain just why Brown Rice, one of those favorite health foods is actually bad for you – in actual fact, it is WORSE for you than White Rice!
Bacon, cold cuts, booze, even coffee have suffered over the years from these periodic food safety attacks.
Booze, especially red wine in moderation, not only isn’t bad for you, it actually has positive health benefits.
Bacon? Sorry, still bad because of dangerous nitrites.
The same, unfortunately, although to a lesser degree of risk, goes for cold cuts for the same reason. Nitrites help preserve food which is important for meat kept in refrigerators for months at a time. (It can easily be argued that, up until the ’60s in developed countries, nitrites saved many lives by preventing food spoilage so there was more food available and even preventing food poisoning.)
However, I can live without bologna, even mortadella (which no one around Punxsutawney, PA has even heard of, not even at an “Italian” deli.)
Bacon I will still eat in moderation, just a few pounds each year, but I would quickly become suicidal without daily coffee intake and I know a lot of others who agree.
Fortunately, the cumulative evidence from medical studies according to clinics such as The Mayo Clinic and moderately reliable (GRIN) medical schools such as Harvard, conclude that coffee actually helps prevent suicide AND that’s just the beginning of a long list of benefits you get from consuming coffee.
The benefits of coffee intake are now undeniable and some of the ways coffee is good for you will definitely surprise you.
Please note that the benefits from coffee aren’t due to the caffeine found in REAL coffee, so a coke or other wake up soda tea, or energy drink is not a substitute for real, brewed coffee. Decaf is probably good for you but I haven’t seen any tests which address that question and the chemical process which removes caffeine may also remove the benefits of coffee and perhaps even add new dangers. (Unless you use the Swiss Water Method)
(Tea, by the way, is also very good for you, just not the same way coffee is good so have that wake-up morning coffee, an energizing cuppa with lunch, but also follow the British afternoon tea tradition.)
Reduces post-workout pain by 45%
Increases fiber intake
Protects your liver from cirrhosis (Yea, Irish Coffee!)
Reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s
Helps prevent heart disease
Protects against developing Parkinson’s
Strengthens DNA (reducing age-related deterioration)
Reduces the risk of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Reduces the risk of colorectal cancer
Now the USDA recommends 3-5 cups of coffee/day
Whether you are a fan of macrobiotics and the macrobiotic diet or just health conscious and believe white is bad but brown is good when it comes to food, you should be surprised to learn that brown rice contains a heavy metal poison and is therefore actually bad for you.
(NOTE, although I am citing facts from clinical trials and studies, not my bias, I am NOT a fan of weird diets, having watched a beautiful young model trust brown rice and full macrobiotic diet to treat her cancer back in the ’60s. Yep, they rented out her apartment in six months, she had bought the six-foot farm instead. I personally prefer any of the several kinds of white (read polished) rice than brown rice simply from the texture and taste viewpoint and never thought there was enough benefit to brown rice that I would give up the taste profile I preferred.)
What is Brown Rice?
Common brown rice is simply regular long grain rice but with the outer shell left intact. White rice just has the brown husk removed.
In other words, brown rice is just plain rice and white rice is brown rice with the brown part polished off.
Brown rice isn’t, as some think, related to wild rice. In fact, wild “rice” isn’t actually rice.
The supposed benefits of brown rice are all found in the brown part which is bran and the only real benefit is that bran is bulk and can slow digestion of carbs.
Yes, there are nutrients in the brown husk which aren’t in the white part of the rice, but Americans who are health food educated and affluent enough to prefer the more expensive brown rice are probably highly over fed anyway and hardly need be concerned about the loss of a few vitamins and micronutrients lost in milling or polishing rice.
In addition, there are chemicals in rice called phylates (a.k.a. phytates or phthalates) which block the absorption of nutrients.
Story on phylates from The Guardian.
Now we see that the additional bran and possibly accessible nutrients are marginally (extremely marginally) beneficial for some people if they don’t just get bran in other parts of their diets and if don’t make their food choices from an otherwise decent menu or take a multivitamin.
Brown Rice good news/bad news
On the brown rice downside, the much-maligned, often deservedly much-maligned FDA (Food and Drug Administration) with their incredibly stupid, misleading, and WRONG food pyramid which is known to be influenced by lobbyists, actually does some useful research.
The latest published FDA tests relate to arsenic content in foods.
Unlike the brown part of brown rice which has a few minimal benefits, there really isn’t anything good about combining arsenic and human food (although it is great in rat food), not since Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet “Formula 606” which treated syphilis using a compound of arsenic, has arsenic been considered a good thing, and even then, only as a chemotherapy poison, not as a regular food ingredient.
And, guess what, brown rice contains arsenic!
It turns out that the recent FDA tests of various foods proved that brown rice contains a significant amount of arsenic because the rice plant pulls the metal out of the soil.
It turns out that the arsenic in brown rice is almost entirely found in the brown or bran part of the rice grains.
The good news is that the much more popular plain white rice is arsenic free because white rice is simply brown rice with the brown shell polished off which also removes the arsenic.
Bottom Line Poisoning Babies?
Those snooty, healthier than thou health food nuts you know are actually poisoning themselves by eating that disgusting brown rice while you are happily eating more healthful Peking (Bejing?) Duck with that bland but comforting cup of Chinese restaurant white rice.
But seriously there are reasons to be very concerned with the test results from groups like Consumer Reports (August 16, 2018) which looked at baby food (babies absorb more heavy metals from their food than no longer growing adults.)
Consumer Reports Quotes on baby food tests
• Every product (baby food) had measurable levels of at least one of these heavy metals: cadmium, inorganic arsenic, or lead.
• About two-thirds (68 percent) had worrisome levels of at least one heavy metal.
• Fifteen of the foods would pose potential health risks to a child regularly eating just one serving or less per day.
• Snacks and products containing rice and/or sweet potatoes were particularly likely to have high levels of heavy metals.
• Organic foods were as likely to contain heavy metals as conventional foods.