Coffee, Nuts, Eggs, Red Wine (April 2006)
Experts used to believe that coffee could cause hypertension and heart disease.
In the 1990’s refused the link with heart attacks; a 2002 Johns Hopkins study found that, while male drinkers had higher blood pressure than nondrinkers, coffee was not a major factor. Recent studies suggest that coffee may help ward off Parkinson’s and diabetes, pregnant women may want to limit their intake.
Most fat in nuts is “good”, unsaturated fat that when combined with nuts’ fiber and antioxidants- could lower risk of heart disease. Recent studies- including 1998 Harvard research on women eating 5 oz. of nuts a week- have solidified the connection. Cut bad fats; substitute in several ounces of nuts each week.
For decades, doctors believed that cholesterol-laden eggs were a major contributor to heart disease; in the 80’s, Americans started to limit their intake.
A ’99 analysis by Harvard scientists found that eating up to one egg a day didn’t increase the risk of heart disease or stroke in healthy people. Other studies have suggested that eggs don’t raise cholesterol levels appreciably. Experts say eggs are fine in moderation.
In the early ‘90’s, red wine, which contains compounds like resveratrol, was thought to be especially good for heart health. But a 1996 Harvard study of beer, wine and spirits showed that drinking any alcoholic beverage in moderation, not just red wine, can be linked to lower rates of heart disease.
Now experts say that 1-2 glasses a day may lower the risk of heart attack, but caution against starting to drink for health benefits alone.