Coffee has a long history of being blamed for many ills but recent research indicates that coffee may not be so bad after all. So which is it — good or bad?
Contrary to previously-held views, recent studies have generally found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of cancer or heart disease. It seems that earlier studies didn’t always take into account that known high-risk behaviours, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers at that time.
Newer studies have also shown that coffee may have benefits, such as protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. And it has a high content of antioxidants. Although coffee may not be very harmful, other beverages such as milk and juice contain nutrients that coffee does not. Also, keep in mind that coffee accompaniments such as cream and sugar add fat and calories to your diet. Finally, heavy caffeine use — on the order of four to seven cups of coffee a day — can cause problems such as restlessness, anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness, particularly in susceptible individuals.
As in so much else, the saying “everything in moderation” is key.