Welcome to the Great Debates, where we consider the greatest nutritional controversies of our time. Our goal isn’t to tell you what to think or do, but rather to present both sides of hot-button issues, like coffee (is it good for you?) and breakfast (the most important meal of the day?). What’s being said? Who’s saying it? Then it’s up to you to make your own decisions.
Coffee! Intoxicating miracle elixir, or carcinogenic poison in a paper to-go cup?
The relative merits of the stuff have been hotly contested for centuries. The following historical allegations have been made (in no particular order): coffee causes impotence, blindness, stunted growth, heart attacks, and may increase the risk of bladder cancer.
At the same time, coffee has been been credited with an equal and opposite list of potential health benefits, including (although again not limited to) increased life expectancy; decreased risk of certain cancers, type-2 diabetes, heart attacks (are you sensing some contradictions?), and strokes; lowered risk of depression (in women); and the ability to help undo liver damage.
And so what are we, coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers alike, to do? Should we stop drinking coffee if we drink it? Should we start drinking coffee if we don’t?