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The Different Types of Coffee—From Healthiest to Least Healthy

    The Different Types of Coffee—From Healthiest to Least Healthy

    To find the healthiest type of coffee, consider the coffee beans, preparation techniques, and add-ons (like milk and sugar) in each cup.

    The many types of coffee

    Despite the range of beverages available at supermarkets, coffee constantly ranks among the most popular. According to a 2019 survey by market research firm Statista, coffee is the third most popular beverage in the United States, behind only water and soda.

    A multitude of coffee options has resulted from centuries of international appeal. Choose between frothy caramel frappuccinos, which resemble milkshakes more than coffee, and a mug of locally roasted, jet-black coffee.

    Unless you drink your coffee black, you may wonder whether the health advantages of coffee outweigh the dangers of excessive cream and sugar. According to experts, perhaps.

    Consider that coffee appears to provide overall health benefits.

    Coffee is connected with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and probably Alzheimer’s disease due to its antioxidant content. Coffee is also associated with a longer lifespan.

    It is not always apparent if coffee is the actual cause of the health advantage or whether it is only connected with other practices that affect longevity. Caffeine can also worsen anxiety, disturbed sleep, and upset the stomach. Nevertheless, possible health advantages exist before we examine coffee varieties.

    This is a closer look at the healthiest and unhealthiest coffees, depending on the brew, roast, filtration, and additives.

    The Healthiest Cup of Coffee is not the Same for Everyone

    The Different Types of Coffee—From Healthiest to Least Healthy

    Depending on your health objectives, the cup of coffee that is healthiest for you will vary. If you’re trying to reduce weight, you should drink beverages with few or no calories.

    If you are caffeine-sensitive, suffer from anxiety, or have a heart condition, you may need to convert to decaf coffee. (Decaf coffee includes antioxidants and, according to numerous studies, offers similar health benefits to regular coffee.) If you have diabetes, you should minimize the amount of sugar in your beverage.

    If you are attempting to combat sickness with an anti-inflammatory diet, the healthiest cup may contain calming cinnamon or turmeric.

    How your body absorbs caffeine affects which coffee is best for you. People metabolize caffeine differently, according to Vicki Shann Rentelny, a licensed dietitian in Chicago.

    The greater your understanding of your body’s needs, the more likely you are to select the optimal beverage.

    What makes Coffee More or Less Healthy?

    The Different Types of Coffee—From Healthiest to Least Healthy

    Several things affect the nutritional value of your coffee. Hélène Bertrand, MD, a physician and scientific researcher from Vancouver, Canada, identifies caffeine as one of coffee’s most significant health risks.

    Additional factors that affect the healthfulness of coffee include:

    • Added sweeteners
    • Contains milk or cream
    • Antioxidant content (coffee’s flavonoids and polyphenols diminish oxidative stress, a factor in the development of disease)
    • Brewing method (such as French press, drip-brewed, and espresso machine)

    The healthiness of a cup of coffee does not depend solely on whether it is caramel macchiato or espresso. According to Shanta Rentelny, the effects of coffee vary greatly depending on the type of bean, the coffee brand, the roast, and the brewing process.

    Shanta Retelny asserts that the quantity of coffee you consume is the most important factor, regardless of how you prefer and prepare it. She advises moderation when consuming coffee beverages.

    Black Coffee vs. Coffee with Cream and Sugar

    The Different Types of Coffee—From Healthiest to Least Healthy

    “Pure, unadulterated coffee contains no calories, but when sugar, cream, whipped cream and flavorings are added, coffee becomes a high-calorie, less-than-healthy beverage,” says Shanta Retelny.

    There are several reasons why milk and creamer diminish the health advantages of coffee. Both dairy and plant-based creamers provide needless calories.

    Another strike against milk, however: New research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition indicates that milk lowers the body’s absorption of polyphenols from coffee. In other words, your creamer may prevent your body from absorbing the heart-healthy antioxidants in coffee.

    As sugar is renowned for wreaking havoc on the body, excessive coffee sweeteners might have adverse health repercussions.

    You can use zero-calorie sweeteners, such as monk fruit or stevia, although the advantages and hazards of low- and no-calorie sweeteners may vary by kind.

    Hot Brew vs. Cold Brew

    Numerous coffee enthusiasts assert that boiling coffee removes flavor nuances. This may be true, however, a 2020 study review published in the journal Molecules concluded that brewing temperatures do not significantly affect antioxidant or mineral concentrations.

    While brewing temperature may not matter, leaving your coffee on the burner for too long or overboiling it may reduce its quality.

    “The key to coffee is ensuring that it is not overheated or left to sit for too long at too high a temperature,” says California-based osteopathic doctor Ryan Greene, DO, who specializes in human performance and nutrition. “The beneficial components may [break down] when exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.”

    Robusta vs. Arabica Coffee

    Certain varieties of coffee beans are more nutritious than others. According to a scientific analysis published in Antioxidants, unroasted Robusta beans contain roughly twice as many antioxidants as unroasted Arabica beans.

    Yet, the discrepancy was drastically reduced by gentle roasting. Even though light-roasted Robusta beans contained more antioxidants than light-roasted Arabica beans, Arabica coffee had more antioxidants than Robusta in medium- and dark-roasted forms.

    Dark-Roast Arabica vs. Blonde Robusta for Caffeine Content

    According to Dr. Bertrand, too much caffeine can cause seizures, agitation, and more.

    “Caffeine enhances your stress response, so if you suffer from anxiety or insomnia, drinking beverages containing caffeine will worsen your symptoms,” she explains. (Listed below are the secret sources of caffeine to avoid.)

    Select your coffee beans and roast them with care to limit your caffeine intake. According to Shanta Retelny, blonde roasts have more caffeine than dark roasts. Robusta beans often contain more caffeine per bean than Arabica beans.

    The Healthiest Cup of Coffee

    The Different Types of Coffee—From Healthiest to Least Healthy

    Shanta Retelny recommends adding fewer ingredients to your brew in order to maximize the nutritional value of your coffee. She also recommends rotating your coffee beans so that you can have a variety of roasts.

    There is no research-based conclusion regarding the healthiest type of coffee. However, you can eliminate sweetened lattes, extremely dark roasts (because to their low antioxidant content), very light roasts (due to their high caffeine concentration), and unfiltered coffee from consideration.

    Maybe the greatest coffee is an unsweetened cup of medium-roast black coffee.

    The Worst Coffee for Your Health

    Our health experts concur that excessive consumption of sweets and caffeinated beverages is detrimental to one’s health.

    Yet, there is no coffee that is indisputably the most unhealthy. Advantages and dangers are contingent on moderation.

    A grande white chocolate mocha from Starbucks contains 430 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 54 grams of carbs. The quantity of sugar and fat is alarming.

    On the opposite end of the scale, consuming a whole carafe of blonde roast coffee prepared in a French press will provide you with more caffeine and diterpenes than you need, and this is true even if you do not add sugar or cream.

    Nonetheless, it is essential to enjoy your cup of coffee, whether it is sweetened, dark roast, or any other variety that brings you pleasure.

    Shanta Retelny states that it is the overall diet that matters, not a single food or beverage.

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