I just turned 60 this week...woot woot! Thank goodness I'm fairly healthy. My philosophy on getting older has always been, "As long as you're this side of the dirt, eat cake and celebrate!" If you've had friends who've passed too young, you know why I feel this way.
At some point in time over the past 6 decades all the beloved foods have been maligned. "Don't eat this, don't eat that!" But it's all about balance. I remember when my grandpa was 90, my grandma saying to him, "Stanley, don't eat that, it's bad for you." My thought was, "Geez, he's 90, let him enjoy something in his life!"
I think the real solution is balance, or call it moderation. My son likes to quote Oscar Wilde,
"Everything in moderation, including moderation."
Makes sense, right?
And I am here to give you some justification for a few of the most maligned foods:
How can any of these be good for us? Well, the news is good...read on.
This creamy, rich dairy product has been healthy and unhealthy by turns since 1855...that's right, in the 19th century Americans were told they should eat oil instead of butter. Bon Appetit published this interesting history of the ups and downs of butter through the years. Fast forward to 2017 and researchers at Tufts University reviewed 9 studies (the numbers are staggering, it's here if you're a nerd like me) and the news is good! Butter seems to be "pretty neutral overall." The researchers refer to butter as a "middle of the road" food; healthier than sugar or starch, but less healthy than many oils. And, apparently, grass-fed butter has even more health benefits. So go ahead, enjoy a little butter, after all, everything's better with butter!
"Drinking Coffee Could Lead to a Longer Life" The headline last July 10, in USC News. But doesn't it stunt our growth and cause ulcers? Nope. According to USC researchers, drinking a cup of coffee each day leads to a 12% lower risk of death from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory, and kidney disease. And if you drink 2 to 3 cups per day, you have an 18% lower risk! More good news, the study results hold true across several ethnicities. So drink up! PS: apparently, caffeinated or decaf doesn't matter, just enjoy a morning cup of joe...or two!
I know, I know, how can chocolate be good for us? Well, eating cocoa and dark chocolate with greater than 60% cacao, has several health benefits. A Brown University study found that these 2 chocolates increase flavanols which reduce insulin resistance and inflammation AND elevate HDL, the good cholesterol! Additionally, a Harvard study found that eating dark chocolate can decrease the incidence of atrial fibrillation. AFib, as it's called, can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and memory loss.
So, I'm going to have my coffee in the morning and a couple pieces of dark chocolate at night. (How about putting chocolate IN the coffee?) And I'll continue to eat cake and celebrate! Maybe I'll make the cake with some cocoa and grass-fed butter!
With the holidays approaching this news should give you some peace of mind. Enjoy the goodies, just don't go overboard! See quote above ;-).