The Surprising Benefits and Drawbacks of Drinking Coffee

A panel of U.S. government-appointed scientists recently recommended that drinking a moderate amount of caffeine each day does not lead to suspected long-term health risks, and that it may actually be good for you.

However, there is evidence that drinking coffee does have some potential drawbacks, particularly if you drink it with additives like sugar and cream. If you drink your coffee black, or “as is,” the java drink can have a number of surprising benefits.


Daniel Ruswick via UnSplash.com

Daniel Ruswick via UnSplash.com

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Have a look at the PROS and CONS of including coffee in your diet:

Pro: May reduce the risk of developing certain health problems

Numerous studies have observed that some of the most deadly illnesses have an inverse association with high coffee consumption, meaning it may decrease your risk of developing them. Although the evidence isn’t definitive, it does seem to rule out the idea that coffee might be causing these conditions, and suggests that it may be able to limit their development.

Here’s a list of disorders that, according to some studies, coffee seems to help prevent:


Con: May exacerbate pre-existing health conditions

There is some evidence that, though coffee seems to be good at preventing certain problems, it may be bad for people who have trouble regulating their high blood pressure (hypertension) or blood-glucose levels (diabetes).

However, switching to decaffeinated coffee may actually be beneficial for controlling glucose response and blood pressure.

People with high cholesterol should make their coffee with a paper filter — other methods like French press and boiled coffee fail to filter out a substance known as “cafestol,which contains LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

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Matthew M. Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Grand Valley State University, with emphases in fiction and nonfiction. He lives smack-dab between some railroad tracks and Grand Rapids Michigan's third-busiest road, and spends his time studying film and literary fiction.