But the latest run of studies has indicated that in moderation and without much added cream or sugar, coffee may not be so bad after all. So is it good or bad? It seems that for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has reversed its previous warning of deeming coffee a possible carcinogen, due to a lack of evidence.
So at least this morning, enjoy that cup of Joe guilt-free.
Late last year a study by Harvard researchers concluded that moderate coffee drinking reduces mortality rates from a wide variety of diseases. They tracked over 200,000 people from three ongoing studies, including two of the Nurses’ Health Studies.
Coffee drinking was assessed every four years for a 30-year period and those who drank between three and five cups of coffee per day had reduced death risks from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases, and even suicide. It also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression. They found that cancer was not related to coffee drinking.
There are some bioactive compounds in coffee that reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation that could be responsible for the findings.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture there is evidence showing that consumption of coffee within the moderate range (three to five cups per day or up to 400 mg/d caffeine) is not associated with any increased long-term health risks among healthy individuals.
Although coffee may have fewer risks compared with benefits, keep in mind that there are other beverages that contain nutrients that coffee does not. Also, adding cream and sugar to your coffee adds fat and calories with some coffee drinks containing more than 500 calories.
Griesel adds, “Surprisingly, coffee is the main source of antioxidants for many Americans. A few cups are generally fine. After that however, there are many better beverage choices, with plain water at the top of the list.”