We all want to be healthy, so it makes total sense to pay attention to the latest research that comes out about eating real food. What’s good for you? What’s not? What seems like it should be healthy but actually contributes to cancer or heart disease?
Again, it’s only natural to follow these kinds of studies closely, but here’s the thing: Stop.
Why? Because it’s all too easy to for the findings to get distorted by the time they get to you. It’s like the game of telephone, where you whisper a message into someone’s ear, and they whisper it to someone else — all the way around the room until it gets back to you. Most of the time, the message has been grossly oversimplified, and sometimes it’s an entirely different message.
Take, for example, the benefits or harms of coffee. Chang Y. Lee led a study about coffee and discovered that drinking coffee promoted retinal health, resulting in good eyesight. The Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science published a study by Jae Hee Kang that proved that coffee can increase your risk of glaucoma and lead to poor eyesight.
On the surface, it sounds like coffee is both good and bad for your eyes, and that’s how these studies get reported. Rarely are you going to get a nuanced, in-depth look. You just get a conclusion: good or bad. When you dig a little deeper, you see that Lee’s study and Kang’s study are examining different things. One is looking at the health of your retinas; the other explores a condition that could develop later in life. Both may have merits in their respective narrow conclusions, but neither is conclusive when it comes to the overall health value of coffee.
The lesson? Stop basing your food decisions on these kinds of studies. Sure, over time, you may learn definitive truths about certain types of food, but if you glom onto each and every narrow, specific study, you’re losing the forest for the trees.
Instead, focus on the more obvious things — like eating clean, real food and getting some regular exercise.
As obvious and uninteresting as this solution sounds, it simply works. The same cannot necessarily be said if you stop drinking coffee … or was it start drinking coffee?
At the end of the day, if you have a problem, the answer is typically staring you right in the face. If you want to improve your finances, work more and spend less. If you to be happier, spend more time with the people you love. And if you want to be healthier, eat natural food and exercise more.