Earlier this month, a study announced that coffee consumption on a regular basis might actually reduce the chances of heart disease. As a card-carrying Starbucks fanatic, crazed for its superior coffee, nutrition facts for coffee are always of keen interest. Anything to justify my daily latte, don’cha know.
A 2002 study by Harvard nurses claimed that women who regularly drink at least four cups of caffeinated coffee each day had a lower risk of gallstones. Personally, I find such studies as these pretty ridiculous. Yes, there may actually be a lower risk in the gallstone department – but isn’t it quite likely that there are many other results from drinking a quart of a highly acidic beverage every day.
The study announced this month was sponsored by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and along with the nurses health study, involved 125,000 participants since the 1980s.
Their conclusion? That regular coffee consumption did not increase the risk of all-cause mortality (a.k.a. dying of anything) for either gender, and in the case of women, it actually provided a protective effect. This was mainly because of the reduced chance of heart disease.
Coffee drinkers who consume large amounts are more likely to have some unfortunate health habits and so this group IS more likely to die, but apparently coffee is not the culprit.
The facts about coffee are, of course, that there isn’t much benefit at all in coffee consumption. Coffee has virtually no calories but it certainly doesn’t offer any benefits to the human body, either. The problem is all the stuff we put in that cup of coffee. My latte, for instance, includes soy milk and syrup, with just a relative dab of coffee. The truth is that I don’t much like coffee and would never drink just a plain old cup of coffee. Yick. But I do love the Starbucks latte and plan to go on drinking it. However, I’m not going to kid myself that there is any nutritional value or that it’s a positive health habit. There isn’t. Sorry.