Tip: The Healthiest Coffee to Drink

We know now that coffee can be a health food. But what kind of coffee? Here's the science.

Live Longer, Drink Coffee

The positive studies on coffee are piling up, and for once science is telling us that something we already love is good for us. It's official, coffee is a health food. Here's what we know so far:

  • Heavy coffee drinkers (6 cups per day) see a 33 percent reduction in diabetes diagnoses.
  • Coffee drinkers are less likely to get heart disease or have strokes.
  • They're also less likely to get Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
  • Liver cancers, kidney disease, fatty livers, and even depression are also more easily avoided by coffee drinkers.

Add all this up and various studies have concluded that coffee drinkers live 6 to 24 percent longer than non-coffee drinkers.

A new long-term study of 215,000 people reinforces this. In short, coffee lovers who had a cup per day were 12 percent less likely to die. Drink two or three cups and you get an 18 percent reduced chance of death.

Here's what interesting about this new study. First, it didn't seem to matter how the coffee drinkers liked their java. Caffeinated coffee and soul-sucking decaffeinated coffee both improved overall health. And most of the coffee drinkers studied weren't choosing organic or anything fancy.

What's more, this study was multiethnic: African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and Vanilla-Americans all benefited from coffee.

You want to be anal about this, huh? Okay, according to another study, light roast coffee is better than medium, dark, and French roasts.

Why? The roasting process reduces the amount of good stuff, like the antioxidant, chlorogenic acid. The lighter the roast, the shorter the roasting time, the less exposure to air, and the more chlorogenic acid survives. That means better oxidation protection and better protection against that serial killer known as chronic inflammation.

  1. Gunter MJ et al. Coffee Drinking and Mortality in 10 European Countries: A Multinational Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Aug 15;167(4):236-247. PMC..
  2. Park SY et al. Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Nonwhite Populations. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Aug 15;167(4):228-235. PubMed.
  3. Jung S et al. Cellular Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Coffee Extracts with Different Roasting Levels. J Med Food. 2017 Jun;20(6):626-635. PubMed.
Chris Shugart is T Nation's Chief Content Officer and the creator of the Velocity Diet. As part of his investigative journalism for T Nation, Chris was featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble." Follow on Instagram