As an avid coffee drinker, I usually float between sipping espresso and drip coffee to get my daily caffeine fix. While this is just a personal preference flavor-wise, it turns out these two styles of brew have differing health effects. New research suggests that drinking unfiltered coffee such as espresso and French press comes with long-term health risks like an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Why is unfiltered coffee bad for you?
The one thing that separates unfiltered coffee from the filtered kind is that the coffee doesn’t pass through a paper filter while it’s brewing. Instead, the coffee grounds are steeped in hot water using an appliance like a French press or espresso machine to extract the liquid. Whereas, if you’re making pour over or drip coffee especially using a plug-in coffee maker, you’ll need a paper filter to separate the grounds from liquid because the machine won’t brew the two together.
A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology looked at the link between coffee brewing methods and health issues including heart disease and stroke. The study included 508,747 Norwegian men and women who were between the ages of 20 and 79 years old. Research took place over the period of 20 years. They conducted surveys asking about their regular coffee consumption and the type of brewing method used to better understand how it was impacting their health.
By the end of the study period, the authors found that unfiltered coffee caused an increased likelihood of heart disease and stroke compared to filtered coffee. They claim that unfiltered coffee contains about 30 percent more cholesterol-raising compounds including kahweol and cafestol than filtered varieties. Because this type of coffee isn’t filtered, these compounds remain in the brew and could lead to stroke and health disease with regular consumption. Thankfully, the study authors offer a simple suggestion for us coffee drinkers to safely sip this yummy brew.
What is the healthiest way to drink coffee?
The researchers revealed that there was a decreased risk of serious heart troubles in participants who consumed one to four cups of filtered coffee per day (great news!). Now that you know the healthiest way to brew your coffee, it’s also important to be mindful of what you add to it.
Artificial sweeteners are a big no-no because they can reduce the healthy bacteria in your gut, which studies have shown could negatively affect heart health. But, if you’re not a fan of black coffee, don’t fret. Try sprinkling in health-boosting ingredients such as ground cinnamon and cocoa powder instead. This gives your drink a flavor kick that you can enjoy until the very last sip without any of the guilt.
Here’s to enjoying a healthier cup of Joe!
This article was updated on Thursday, September 8 at 12:30 pm EST. It was originally published on January 11, 2022.
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