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Coffee: The Plus and the Minus Sides to America's Favorite Obsession

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  • Coffee: The Plus and the Minus Sides to America's Favorite Obsession

    Americans drink over 330 million cups of coffee a day; a hearty number even considering that half of the adult population drinks coffee regularly. Coffee is a hot commodity in America, indeed, weaving its way into just about every office, school break room, kitchen and diner in the country. It s even the most common food consumed for breakfast, according to the American Dietetic Association, and worldwide coffee ranks second only to oil in value.

    Coffee is also one of the most researched beverages around. Some 19,000 studies have been conducted about coffee s health effects, yet results are still conflicting as to whether coffee is really good for you or not.

    Coffee: The Pluses

    Some experts argue that coffee, particularly in moderation (a few cups a day), is not only safe but quite healthy. In fact, a report in Harvard's Women's Health Watch found that regular coffee drinkers gain the following advantages over non-coffee drinkers:
    • A lower risk of type 2 diabetes
    • A reduced risk of gallstones
    • A lower risk of colon cancer
    • Improved cognitive function
    • A reduced risk of liver damage in people at high risk of liver disease
    • A reduced risk of Parkinson's disease
    • Improved endurance performance in long-duration physical activities


    "Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful," says Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Coffee Studies. "For most people, very little bad comes from drinking it, but a lot of good."

    Coffee: The Downside

    Other experts, however, are not so quick to praise America s favorite fuel.

    "I think on average, the consumption of caffeine probably does create a public health risk," says Dr. Jim Lane, a researcher at the DukeUniversity Medical School. "We've been studying this for 15 years, and in every single study that I've ever done, both in the laboratory and studies of people's blood pressures when they live their normal lives, caffeine always raises blood pressure."

    According to Dr. Lane, many Americans consume enough caffeine each day to raise blood pressure and consequently increase their risk of heart attack or stroke 20 percent to 30 percent. Other health risks, including worsening of PMS symptoms, insomnia, heartburn, osteoporosis and reduced fertility, have also been linked to coffee.

    At the heart of the problem, some experts say, is the increasing amount of coffee that Americans are drinking.

    "In the '50s, maybe a cup of coffee would have been 5 ounces of coffee. But now we see these 32-ounce cups, and people driving in the cars with something that's almost half a pot of coffee in their hand," says Dr. Lane. "As time has gone by, the servings have gotten bigger and bigger, so people, almost without thinking, are consuming much more caffeine than they used to."

    How to Break an Excessive Coffee Addiction

    While experts disagree about the health potential of moderate coffee drinking, most all agree that too much coffee can cause some problems. If you are addicted to coffee, drink it excessively throughout the day and feel you can t make it through without your caffeine fix, The Sedona Method is an excellent tool to help.

    Using a series of simple questions, The Sedona Method will show you how to tap your natural ability to let go of any negative thought or feeling on the spot -- including all forms of addiction. You ll learn how to easily break the patterns of thought and behavior that cause your excess coffee-drinking to occur, and find that as you use the Method your once strong desire for coffee will be replaced by relaxation and confidence.
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