Although early studies of coffee suggested that it could lead to health problems, recent research provides strong evidence that drinking coffee actually has a variety of health benefits.
“The overall evidence has been pretty convincing that coffee has been more healthful than harmful in terms of health outcomes,” said Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in an April 5, 2021, article in Discover. “For most people, moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy diet.”
Hu said that moderate coffee intake—about 2–5 cups a day—is linked to a lower likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver and endometrial cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and depression. It’s even possible that people who drink coffee can reduce their risk of early death.
Early research linked coffee to diseases ranging from heart disease and asthma. But Hu noted that many participants in those studies also smoked, which may have led researchers to think that coffee was responsible for the adverse effects that are now linked with cigarettes. He added that anything people consume a lot of tends to come under scrutiny. “In the past, I think a lot of people thought, ‘Oh, coffee’s so delicious, there must be something bad about coffee,’” he said. “So I think the good news is that [for] most people, coffee actually confers some health benefits.”
Certain groups should be careful about drinking coffee, according to the article. Not much is known about the effects of coffee on children, and caffeine could be harmful to pregnancies. Too much caffeine can also cause anxiety in people with panic or anxiety disorders.
For those who drink coffee, experts suggest brewing it with a paper filter, because unfiltered coffee is associated with higher rates of early death, and can contain compounds that raise levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. They also advise not going overboard with added cream or sugar.
Read the Discover article: Is Coffee Good for You or Not?
Moderate coffee, tea consumption can be part of healthy lifestyle for most (Harvard Chan School news)
Coffee can be beneficial part of a healthy diet (Harvard Chan School news)
Coffee (The Nutrition Source)