Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Tao of Coffee

Because I love a good cup of coffee in the morning ,I thought I would share this with you ...taken from an internet article I read today-

Coffee is good for you, a new study says. Wait, no, coffee is actually not that good for you, a newer study says. It seems like research on coffee keeps contradicting itself: It is simultaneously the cause of and the cure to everything.
So what’s the truth? We asked nutritionists to weigh in on the science of java.
There’s so much conflicting evidence out there about coffee’s health benefits because, first of all, nutrition science is a relatively young field, says registered dietitian Susan Mitchell. And coffee is a pretty complex beverage, so it’s true that there are both positive and negative health effects to drinking it.
“It’s interesting – so, if you look at how people think about it, it’s as a vehicle of caffeine,” says Rob van Dam, epidemiologist at Harvard University and the National University of Singapore. “So people would talk interchangeably about coffee and caffeine.” But coffee also contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids, he says. “Things we typically see in fruits and vegetables we see in coffee – which is not that surprising considering coffee (comes from) a plant,” van Dam says.
The bad news-
Unfiltered coffee is not great for you.
That means Turkish coffee or coffee made with a French press.
“We know that if you have unfiltered coffee, that there is a substance called cafestol that increases your cholesterol level,” van Dam says. “So if you drink it throughout the day, it can increase your risk of heart disease.” But if you use a filter, or drink instant coffee – or if you only drink French press coffee or Turkish coffee every once in a while – you’re OK, he says. “But if you drink it every day in huge amounts, it may have an effect on your cholesterol levels.”
The caffeine in coffee may be harmful during pregnancy.“We have concerns that high caffeine intake may be detrimental to the fetus,” van Dam says. “Because the fetus can’t metabolize caffeine very well – they don’t have the ability to make it dissolve from the blood stream.” And that can mean the fetus is taking in less nutrition.

“So, for women who are pregnant, although the evidence is not conclusive, we do suggest limiting coffee consumption at this stage of life,” van Dam says.
Lots of cream and sugar in your coffee is not doing your health any good.“The coffee-shop kind of coffees are high in calories because they’re large beverages and they have lots of cream and sugar. It seems obvious, but it’s something to consider,” van Dam says.
The good news-

Coffee has been shown to lessen the risk of some of the country’s most common illnesses. Moderate coffee consumption – one to three cups a day – have been associated with a lower risk for heart attacks, especially in women. Some studies have shown a lower risk for cancers like endometrial, prostate and some breast cancers. And coffee has also been linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
It’s also been shown to lower your risk of diabetes.“Most of our research has been on diabetes – there are 35 studies now on coffee and diabetes,” van Dam says. “These have been quite consistent – people drinking more coffee have a lower risk of diabetes. It is remarkably consistent. It’s hard to imagine another factor that coffee drinkers have that would be so effective.”

And it may help reduce the risk for developing depression. Women who drank two or three cups of coffee a day were 15 percent less likely to develop depression when compared to women who drank just one cup a day, one study found. 

The answer is, as the answer often is: You be you. If you don't like coffee, the evidence of its benefits isn't strong enough for nutrition scientists to recommend that you start drinking it. If you do, the evidence of its harms isn't strong enough for them to recommend that you stop.
“If you like coffee and you don’t have a specific health condition – you can just kind of enjoy your coffee, regularly, as you like it,” van Dam says. “It’s fine to drink three, four, five cups of coffee a day, at least based on what we have found on the research available.”

So what's the final verdict??  Who knows... I'm going to have a cup of coffee.


Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household