I’m beginning a serious detox right after Christmas, so I figure I might as well enjoy my gourmet coffees for the next couple of weeks. Starbucks gourmet coffee, that is. In fact, I have a gold card I’m such a fanatic. But I’m not going to kid myself about coffee and its health benefits (ha!)
In October of this year a study announced that drinking coffee on a regular basis might actually reduce the chances of heart disease. As a Starbucks fanatic, 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 nutrition facts about coffee are, of course, that there isn’t much nutrition at all. 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. I’m not going to kid myself that there is any nutritional value or that coffee is a positive health habit. It isn’t.
But when I start my detox program in a few weeks am I going to give up my gourmet coffees? Actually, yes I am. But I’m not going to give up Starbucks, though – I’ll just drink plain tea and add some stevia. Starbucks, after all, isn’t just about the beverage. It’s something nice that I do for myself and Ii have no plans to give it up.