Is your daily coffee fix healthy?

db1a9120-997f-4823-8474-3531666c3836Regular consumption of coffee could help reduce risk of death from heart disease, a new study suggests. Research findings published in Annals of Internal Medicine showed that drinking up to six cups of coffee per day is not linked to increased risk of premature death but can in fact serve as a protective measure against dying sooner than expected.

Which is the healthiest coffee?

Cafetiere:  Negligible calories and fat, 120mg caffeine

Unfiltered coffee such as cafetiere coffee (made in a plunger or French press) contains a type of fatty residue called cafestol, a potent cholesterol-raising chemical. A study published in the British Medical Journal found drinking 900ml (about four mugs) of strong cafetiere coffee a day raised artery-clogging low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 9 to 14 per cent.  3/10

Espresso: Negligible calories and fat, 75mg caffeine

For such a tiny cup, this contains a lot of caffeine. Fine in moderation, but if you are drinking several double or triple espressos daily to get you through a stressful patch at work or college, then it’s time to slow down, as caffeine and stress combined can raise blood pressure. One espresso contains about a third to a half the amount of cholesterol-raising cafestol contained in a mug of cafetiere coffee.  4/10

Black Filter:  Negligible calories and fat, 160mg caffeine

Filtering removes cafestol and a review in the American Journal Of Epidemiology found high consumption of the filtered brew had no negative effects on blood cholesterol. However, this coffee is the highest in caffeine, so it’s best not to drink it in the evening if you want a good night’s sleep.  6/10

 Cappuccino: 80 calories, about 75mg caffeine (made with semi-skimmed milk)

A cappuccino is made with a shot of espresso coffee, about the same amount of hot milk and a final third milk froth. There’s about a quarter of the recommended daily allowance of calcium per serving. Extra chocolate on top makes it slightly less healthy than the latte. 6/10″

 Latte:  95 calories, 3.5g fat, 75mg caffeine (made with semi-skimmed milk)

An espresso with lots of added milk. A small one supplies 30 per cent of the recommended daily amount of bone-building calcium. Choose this to curb your appetite mid-morning as it’s also a source of satiating protein. Save 30 calories by using skimmed milk.  7/10

Instant: Negligible calories and fat, 100mg caffeine

The soluble granules don’t contain the fatty cafestol substance that is found in freshly ground coffee, so there is no risk to heart health. There is also less caffeine in instant coffee.  7/10

Decaf: Negligible calories and fat, negligible caffeine

A U.S. study of 28,000 women found drinking more than six cups of decaf coffee a day was linked with a lower risk of diabetes compared with no coffee. Coffee contains a number of phytochemicals, which researchers suggest could protect cells that produce insulin in the pancreas against damage. However, caffeine can counteract this beneficial effect.  8/10

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