When evaluating research for what you eat, do you focus on short term studies and/or what the substance does to small parts of the body, or long term studies that compare intakes with mortality or health?
Examples: high fat dairy intake (whole milk and cream vs. skim milk) is good for you in long term studies, but short term dairy can cause higher insulin responses.
Caffeine can have immediate effects on blood sugar, blood pressure, adrenal and thyroids, but long term studies correlate high coffee intakes (4 cups) with lower rates of Alzheimer's declines, lowered depression, lower rates of diabetes, and fewer cardiovascular events and strokes.
Short term saturated fat intake can lead to increased cardiovascular events (in the context of a SAD diet), but long term studies suggest the more saturated fat the better.
I tend to look at long term studies, and all their problems, when making food decisions (thus, I drink raw whole milk, eat butter, drink coffee, and eat lots of saturated fats), but tend to dismiss short term studies.
Long term or short term studies for what you personally eat?
The problem with all food studies is that long term are always observational, with so many confounding variables as to make it impossible to isolate one thing. And short term studies isolate too much as to not get the benefits of the way all foods blend. There are some black and white areas, but a whole lot of grey when it comes to what is or is not healthy.
Food should be beneficial both short term and long term.
High fat dairy intake is bad for you in long term also due to growth hormones, casein and lactose.
Caffeine is good short term also as it helps fat burning.
Animal saturated fat is good short term also.
Neither really. I prefer a more informal theoretical framework - a sniff test. Does X pass the sniff test from an evolutionary-biology standpoint? More often than not, more formal studies confirm these educated guesses.