Coffee: is it good or bad for you?

BENEFITS OF COFFEE: Darren abides by the food mantra 'everything in moderation'.
BENEFITS OF COFFEE: Darren abides by the food mantra 'everything in moderation'.
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So, another day, and another one of those health reports that seem to go against everything you’ve ever heard.

You know the ones I’m referring to. “Too many eggs are bad for you! Don’t drink red wine! Red meat will kill you!”

The headlines scream out at us, warning everything is bad.

Then, invariably, a week or so later, out comes a series of conflicting reports.

“Eat eggs every day! Twenty glasses of red wine a night is actually good for you! Stuffing your face with red meat will make you live to 112!”

The latest foodstuff to undergo the “it’s bad for you/it’s good for you” experience is coffee.

After years of being told caffeine is bad, it’s now apparently not as bad as we were all told.

I’d like to tell you exactly what the benefits of a few cups of cappucino are, but to be honest I’d lost interest halfway through listening to the report and began hurling expletives at the TV.

Personally, I’ve never been a huge coffee drinker. A cup to start the day, maybe one mid morning and perhaps early evening and that’s probably my fill.

Some days, I can avoid having one at all. Fortunately, not being a massive consumer of hot beverages (I can skip tea pretty easily too) has meant I’ve managed to avoid the long, complicated process of the office coffee round for many years.

Believe you me, there’s only one thing that’s likely to get you more wired than ten cups of coffee and that’s having to make ten cups, memorising every order, making sure you use the right mug, the correct amount of sugars, the right dash of milk and the right colour and consistency.

I prefer to leave my coffee making to the likes of Mr Costa and Mr Starbucks, although the baffling array of options still confuses me when I get to the counter.And don’t eve n get me started on that whole writing your name on the cup thing.

That and the whole process of swizzling and frothing jugs of milk up.

All that aside, in my own little coffee world, it’s the most wonderful time of the year as Starbucks is doing its festive range, including my favourite, the gingerbread latte which a friend introduced me to in York many years ago and which I’ve loved ever since.

That said, it has to be a rare treat, especially when topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, otherwise instead of becoming a coffee for the commute, it becomes a fully fledged dessert.

All of which brings us back to the whole: coffee - is it good or bad for you?

Well, I’m no expert and never will be but to me, the best advice seems to be the same as its always been, that one food mantra that makes perfect sense if you follow it and which has been passed down from generation to generation.

In my mind, you’ll not go too far if you stick to the “everything in moderation” motto.

Next week we’ll no doubt hear how eating turkey is bad for you.