The aroma of this rich, dark beverage can awaken our senses, ready for the renewed mood we know is coming.
And it turns out that it’s not only good for your health. In fact, it can make your life longer – but only if you brew your coffee with a filter, according to a new long-term study published Wednesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
“Unfiltered coffee contains substances that increase blood cholesterol. Using a filter removes them and makes heart attacks and premature death less likely, “said study author Dag Thelle, senior professor in the department of public health and community medicine at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. .
“Our study provides strong and convincing evidence of a link between brewing methods, heart attacks and longevity,” said Thelle.
“Unfiltered coffee, like Greek and Turkish coffee, which is boiled, or coffee prepared in a French press contains higher amounts of cafestol and kahweol – chemicals found in the oil droplets floating in coffee and also in the sediment, “said registered dietitian Lisa. Drayer, a CNN contributor to health and nutrition.
“Studies have shown that these substances can increase triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol levels,” said Drayer. “So stay with filtered coffee, like a paper filter you would use in drip brewed coffee, which can help trap these chemicals.” “
Drinking healthier filtered coffee
The new study followed more than half a million healthy Norwegian men and women aged 20 to 79 over a 20-year period.
The results showed that consumption of boiled or pressed unfiltered coffee increased the risk of death in men aged 60 years and older, due to high cardiovascular mortality.
But drinking filtered coffee – this through a paper filter, for example, has proven to be healthier than not drinking coffee at all.
Filtered coffee was linked to a 15% reduction in the risk of death from any cause, a 12% reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease in men and a 20% reduction in the risk of death by heart disease in women compared to not consuming coffee.
In fact, the study found that those who drank one to four cups of filtered coffee a day had the lowest death rate.
“The finding that those who drink filtered drink did a little better than those who do not drink coffee at all cannot be explained by another variable such as age, gender or lifestyle. So we think this observation is true, ”said Thelle.
The results echo other research highlighting the health benefits of coffee. According to the American Heart Association, filtered coffee can sharpen your mental focus, boost mood, and improve performance during exercise.
The British Medical Journal published a huge framework study in 2017 that looked at over 200 meta-analyzes of the health benefits of coffee and found that drinking three to four cups of black coffee a day had the most benefits for overall health.
These included reducing the risk of heart disease; many types of cancer; and neurological, metabolic and hepatic disorders; as well as overall mortality. Other studies have shown that coffee reduces the risk of melanoma, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, related back pain to the computer and more.
Of course, nothing is perfect. There are a few reasons why you can limit or avoid coffee.
Watch your sleep. “If you’re having trouble falling asleep, it’s best to avoid coffee and all sources of caffeine in the evening or near bedtime,” Drayer suggested.
Be careful if you are at risk of fractures. Analysis from the British Medical Journal found that high levels of coffee consumption (more than four cups a day) were associated with a higher risk of fractures in women who were already more likely, but not in men .
Pregnant women should also beware. Higher levels of coffee consumption increased the risk of preterm birth and stillbirth, as well as low birth weight in babies. This is likely due to the fact that the half-life of caffeine is known to double during pregnancy, increasing the dose of caffeine per cup, the study found.
Not for those with Parkinson’s disease. A study published in September 2017 overturned opinion on the benefits of Parkinson’s disease, long considered to be helped by caffeine. The researchers who first discovered that coffee reduced tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease returned to study a larger sample of patients for a longer period of time. This time, they found no difference between those taking the caffeine pills and those taking the placebo. After the initial data returned negative, the study was terminated.
But for the vast majority of us, coffee is fine, according to experts.
“For people who know they have high cholesterol and want to do something about it, avoid unfiltered brews, including coffee made with a coffee maker,” said Thelle. “For everyone, drink your coffee conscientiously and opt for a filter. “
To keep your coffee consumption even healthier, Drayer suggested the following tips:
Avoid the sugar in your coffee. “A teaspoon of sugar contains 16 calories. It may not sound like much, but if you add two teaspoons to your tea and drink a few cups a day, the calories add up, “she said.