Coffee: Good or Bad?

by in Healthy Tips, October 22, 2009

coffee cup
Americans down 400 million cups of coffee every day. In Italy, people sip 14 billion espressos every year. But the coffee-guzzling king is Finland, where residents drink more coffee than anywhere else in the world.  Clearly, coffee is one of our favorite beverages, but is it good or bad?

The Good
Okay, so here are coffee’s positive points:

Low cal: The black stuff is virtually calorie-free.

Full of antioxidants: Coffee — decaf and caffeinated — contains a staggering amount of good cell-protecting antioxidants. (But don’t think your morning java means you can skip other potent sources such as fruits and veggies!)

Other health benefits: Because its so popular, researchers have investigated this brown brew a lot. Some new research suggests drinking coffee may decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

The Bad
Now here are the negatives to keep in mind:

Caffeine overload: Too much caffeine can affect your blood pressure, heart function, anxiety and give you an upset stomach. Sure, it helps perk you up, but don’t confuse that with giving you energy (only calories from food can do that). Caffeine also interferes with our calcium absorption, which can negatively affect long-term bone health.

Sugary, fatty add-ins: Some gourmet coffees and lattes tip the scales at more than 400 calories thanks to the extra fat and sugar. Adding a small amount of sugar or milk (even half and half) is fine — just pay attention to portions and how many cups you’re drinking a day.

Pricey perk: Those same dress-up coffees can also drain your wallet. Stop and add up the cash you spend on daily coffee runs — you might be able to make an extra car payment. To save, make your cup of Joe at home or the office.

Bottom Line: There’s no clear-cut right side of the coffee debate. If you’re not currently a coffee drinker, there’s no need to adopt the habit — you can get its antioxidants and health benefits from other foods. If you’re a drinker, stick to a moderate amount (1 to 2 cups a day) to reap some of the benefits.

TELL US: How much coffee do you drink each day?

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Comments (16)

  1. Kevin Coffeehead says:

    Ever since I got my Keurig coffee maker 2 weeks ago, my wife and I drink a lot of coffee. I'm hooked. Starbucks can kiss our azz!

  2. t244om3ju says:

    Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  3. I am going to instantly grab ones rss because i can’t to get your own electronic mail membership web page link or even e-newsletter support. Complete you may have any? Kindly figure out in order that I may register. Thanks a lot.

  4. Guest CL says:

    TRUE! I recently stopped drinking coffee in the mornings and I have been constipated for a week. Before, when I drank my coffee every morning, I was "regular" as clock work. I will drink my coffee from now on.

  5. Patsy says:

    Yes it is true. I've been off of coffee for 1 year now. I switched to tea, but I can tell you it don't hold a candle to coffee as far as I'm concerned. I quit coffee because I have fibroid tumors in my uterus and I know coffee is responsible for fibrous breasts, so I figured maybe theres a connection with the uterus as well. But I love the smell of coffee as well as the taste and am tempted to go back to drinking it, in moderation, because of the benefit of staying "regular" as well as these other reported benefits.

  6. Teresa says:

    I agree too, I am trying to cut down this week, but feel "backed up" when I was regular, I hate that feeling…

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