Be in the know about that cup of joe
I keep hearing about how bad coffee is for you. I also hear about how good coffee is for you. What gives?
The average American drinks more than 400 cups of coffee a year, so how this popular beverage affects our health is an important issue.
Let’s start with the bad part. For the general population, the evidence suggests that coffee drinking doesn't have any serious detrimental health effects.
This is a summation from Dr. Rob van Dam, assistant professor in the department of nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health.
Van Dam said drinking up to six cups of coffee a day is not associated with an increased risk of death from any cause. He warns that some people may want to avoid coffee or switch to decaf. These include pregnant women and those who find it difficult to control their blood pressure or blood sugar.
“If you’re drinking so much coffee that you get tremors, have sleeping problems, or feel stressed and uncomfortable, then obviously you're drinking too much coffee,” van Dam said. “But in terms of effects on mortality or other health factors, we don't with 100 mg of caffeine, not one of those grandes you get at Starbucks, which can keep you awake until Jimmy Fallon goes off the air.
OK, what about the good part? Some research has suggested that drinking coffee may protect against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, several cancers, liver cirrhosis, depression see any negative effects of consuming up to and Alzheimer’s disease. six cups of coffee a day.”
Again, a nice summary from van Dam:
The cup he’s talking about is an 8-ouncer Coffee may have potential health benefits, but more research needs to be done.
When studying the effects of coffee, the focus is not just on the caffeine in the brew. Coffee contains more than 1,000 compounds that can impact your health.
There is another health issue that doesn't receive much publicity. Some research has linked drinking unfiltered coffee to an increase in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Coffee contains substances that raise LDL levels in your body. Brewing coffee with a paper filter removes these substances. Other methods of coffee preparation, such as the French press, espresso or simple boiling, put the substances in your cup. Single-serving coffee pods, such as those used in a Keurig coffee maker, contain filters.
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Fred Cicetti is a freelance writer who specializes in health. He has been writing professionally since 1963. Before he began freelancing, he was a reporter and columnist for three daily newspapers in New Jersey. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.