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Who knew?

August 31, 2006

Coffee.

It might not be bad for you.

"I know that sounds strange coming from a dietitian, but now they're finding coffee has a lot of good things associated with it," said Hagerstown registered dietitian Cynthia Held.

While a consensus has not been reached, some suggest that coffee might increase metabolism and mental activity while reducing the possibility of Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.

No more than two cups a day should be consumed and coffee should not be consumed in place of other healthful foods, Held said.

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Alcohol, especially red wine, is touted as having some health benefits but might come with a price of high calories.

Alcohol packaging is not required to carry a nutrition label, but many types of beer have 100 calories or more per 12-ounce bottle. A bottle or can of Budweiser has more than 140 calories; a bottle of Miller Lite has 96 calories. Sierra Nevada Porter and Pale Ale each have 200 calories per bottle, while Sam Adams Boston Ale and Lager each have 160 calories per bottle, according to information on the Internet.

Many wines have 80 to 110 calories per 4-ounce serving.

Dark chocolate also has some health benefits, but should be eaten in moderation because of its calories, Held said.

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