What’s healthy today may not be tomorrow, writes Ruth Spencer.

Is there anything more contentious than a food study? One day orange juice is the devil's own poison, the next it cures warts and infidelity. Here are some of the latest findings (that will be contradicted by tomorrow's latest findings). Take them with a grain of salt - unless that's bad again now.

Curiouser and curiouser

Eating fruit and vegetables has been shown to make you more creative and more curious. Yes, according to a recent study, rabbit food makes you more likely to go down the rabbit hole. The study was actually looking for the meaning of life, or rather how to trigger a sense of meaning, well-being and purpose without having to fill in a damn gratitude journal. Turns out the secret to happiness is salad, proving that virtue is its own reward, or punishment depending on how you feel about salad. The bad news is that the magical effects of your 5+ last only the day you eat them, unlike avocados, which last until the day before you eat them.

Fromage praise

Studies show that cheese eaters are thinner than non-cheese eaters. This goes against traditional warnings about fat and dairy, which are looking sketchier as time drifts away and obesity doesn't. Turns out cheese is gouda for you! The next time we talk about "having the diet blues", we're going to mean stilton. Excitingly, the thinner cheese eaters, who also had less bad cholesterol in their blood, also consumed more carbohydrates. These were almost certainly in the form of crackers, the edible cheese plate of our dreams.

Kitchen sinkhole

Studies show you eat more calories in a cluttered kitchen. This sounds like something a sitcom mother-in-law might say, implying you're both fat and lazy while throwing in a gendered slight against your housekeeping skills. It certainly doesn't sound like science. But when asked to wait in an untidy kitchen with dishes in the sink and the phone ringing, participants ate 65 more calories in 10 minutes than those in a clean kitchen. I know what you're thinking: 65 more calories! Amateurs.


Netflix and chilli

Men like hot foods more than women do. You may have observed this phenomenon, and studies do show that men are more likely to eat spicier food than women. However, and this will make you feel either smug or enraged depending on your gender, the same men who claim to prefer spicy food also test high for wanting the admiration of their peers. Men may be showing off their tolerance for chilli as a display of machismo. So which came first, the love of heat or the crushing desire to be cool? Only seasoned eaters know.

Fruit of the vine

While fruits and vegetables may make you more creative, so does fruit juice, or more specifically, wine. In a study by Austria's Graz University, participants who had a small glass of wine scored higher on a test of creative problem-solving than the placebo group. The latter, incidentally, were given alcohol-free beer and were probably not fooled. Wine: the salad you can drink, although it's best not to have 5+ a day.