A Closer Look at Caffeine
Caffeine‑containing foods and beverages have
been a part of the human diet for a long time.
Caffeine has been found in tea brewed by the Chinese
as far back as 5,000 years ago. In today's society,
caffeine is present in lots of products, including
coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate. For many
Americans, freshly brewed coffee or tea is an
important part of the morning ritual. For others,
it's a caffeinated soft drink that helps get them
through the afternoon. Yet despite the popularity of
caffeinated beverages, there are still questions and
misperceptions about caffeine.
mild stimulant that comes from the leaves, seeds or
fruits of more than 60 plants, is one of the most
studied ingredients in the U.S. food supply. To
date, no scientific evidence has demonstrated an
association between caffeine and any health‑related
problems including heart disease, hypertension,
cancer, osteoporosis, fibrocystic breast disease,
ulcers or dehydration.
Most medical and
nutrition experts agree that moderate caffeine
consumption is safe for otherwise healthy
individuals. Although caffeine sensitivity varies
from person to person and is affected by many
factors, including the frequency and amount of
regular intake, body weight and physical condition,
the general consensus is that a daily caffeine
intake of 300 milligrams, which is equal to about 3
cups of coffee, is safe for most adults. The
American Dietetic Association does, however, offer
the following advice for individuals who fall in
you're pregnant or nursing, it's generally a good
idea to limit caffeine intake. Although most
physicians agree that moderate caffeine consumption
during pregnancy is safe, sensitivity may increase
during pregnancy. Caffeine can be passed to the baby
through breast milk, but consumption of small
amounts of caffeine by the mother does not appear to
affect the baby.
* If you have
an existing medical problem, ask your physician to
advise you on caffeine consumption as it may
aggravate certain conditions such as gastritis,
ulcers and high blood pressure. Particularly, people
with stomach problems are advised to avoid
caffeinated beverages, and often their decaffeinated
counterparts as well, because substances in both
tend to stimulate the production of stomach acids
that potentially can irritate the stomach lining.
* If you're older, keep in mind that your
sensitivity to caffeine may increase with age.
* If you have insomnia, it's a good idea to avoid
caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
Although caffeine is not considered to be addictive,
it can be habit forming. Anyone interested in
reducing caffeine intake may find it helpful to:
* Cut back gradually. For
some, abruptly going cold turkey can temporarily
cause headaches, drowsiness and difficulties with
concentration. Eliminating one cup a day will help
avoid this problem.
Substitute herbal tea, decaffeinated tea or coffee,
hot cider or water for caffeinated drinks.
* Mix a half‑cup of regular coffee with a half‑cup
of decaffeinated coffee.
* Brew tea for a shorter time to reduce caffeine
* Read soft drink and
medication labels carefully. Nearly 75 percent of
soft drinks and certain over‑the‑counter pain
relievers contain caffeine. Caffeine will be listed
in the ingredient list if it's present in the
Source: Colorado Cooperative
Roasted Parmesan Potato Wedges
4 potatoes (2 pounds)
2 teaspoons canola oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Cut each potato lengthwise
in half. Cut each half into three wedges.
In a large bowl, sprinkle potatoes with oil.
Toss to coat. Combine the remaining
ingredients. Add to potatoes. Toss to
Arrange potatoes in a single layer on
a 15 in. x 10 in. baking pan coated with nonstick
spray. Sprinkle with any remaining coating.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 55 minutes or until
golden brown and tender. Yield: 6