Coffee: is it good or bad for you?

cup of coffeeIt’s an age-old debate: is coffee good or bad for you?

Some experts tout its underlying benefits, while others caution against building a dependency on the morning (and sometimes, all day) drink.

In 2015, the verdict is in, and it’s a thumbs up. Study after study has revealed that having three to five cups of black coffee a day can reduce the risk of everything fromĀ  melanoma to heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, computer-related back pain and more.

Despite its positive effects, what generally becomes the biggest problem for people health wise is adding highly caloric cream, sugars, and flavors. Another important fact to keep in mind is that the standard used for these studies is 8 ounces per cup. Keep that in mind if you choose to order the typical “grande” at your favorite coffee shop; it’s twice that size at 16 ounces.

The method of brewing coffee also has health consequences. Filter coffee makers used in the U.S. catch a compound called “cafestol”, which is the oily part that can increase bad cholesterol. Some countries like France, Turkey, and Scandinavia do not use this method.

As always, people with sleep issues, uncontrolled diabetes, and pregnant women should consult their physician before adding coffee to their diet.

While studies include that coffee has several health benefits, most of the news surrounding it has been negative. Take a look at a timelines of how the drink has been portrayed over the years, for better or worse:

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