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11 Ways to Drink Healthy Coffee [According to Science]

11 Ways to Drink Healthy Coffee [According to Science]

Clark
10 minute read

Coffee has gotten a bad reputation in the health community, but modern research shows that just isn’t true. Coffee has many health benefits, including reduced cancer risk, disease protection, and weight loss. 

However, thewayyou drink your coffee can make or break its health advantages.

We’ve compiled the top 11 ways to make sure your coffee is helping, not hurting, your healthy habits. Even better, we’ve got some recipes to try out — we want to prove that healthy coffee can be delicious, too.

1. Kick the sugar habit.

If this is you, we need to talk:

via GIPHY

Is it true that coffee makes you live longer? While that’s not a provable claim, coffee and caffeine have notable health benefits like lowering the risk of heart issues, diabetes, and certain cancers.

However, it’s not an overstatement to say that sugar can counteract almost all of the benefits that coffee provides.

  • While coffee helps regulate blood sugar, added sugars in your coffee can spike it right back up. 
  • Coffee lowers the risk of multiple cancers, but sugary beverages have been linked to higher cancer risk.
  • Coffee can jumpstart weight loss, but sugar adds empty calories.
  • Coffee can prevent Alzheimer’s, but sugar feeds the inflammation that may cause it.

You’ll miss out on many caffeinated benefits of coffee by sweetening it with sugar, or in the whipped cream, additives, or flavorings added to many coffee drinks like a Frappuccino or a mocha at a local coffee shop.

Is coffee with sugar worse than coffee with artificial sweeteners? Both coffee with sugar and coffee with artificial sweeteners can harm your health over time. Choose naturally-derived sweetness for a healthier option.

If you simply can’t drink black coffee, try switching to options like stevia, erythritol, maple syrup, or monk fruit. These can be healthier and often low-calorie options for added sweetness.

(We use erythritol and monk fruit extract to naturally sweeten our Vanilla Coconut Gold Brew, great as a hot or iced coffee).

2. Avoid cheap and/or low-fat creamers.

Cheap and low-fat creamers often have processed chemicals hidden inside. Seriously, just look at the ingredients list any well-known flavored coffee creamer — you probably can’t pronounce most of the list of flavorings.

If you need cream for your healthy coffee, opt for whole milk that comes from grass-fed dairy. It contains calcium and vitamin K, both of which build healthier bones. Dairy-free? Organic oat or almond milk can be healthy substitutes.

Beyond what you’re putting in your coffee, you’ll want to look at how much creamer you’re using. Most nutrition facts are based on just 2 tablespoons of creamer, but those who like a sweeter cup may end up using quite a bit more than that. 

3. Stop caffeinating after 2 PM.

Hard as it may be, it’s important to steer clear of coffee drinks and other caffeine sources after 2 PM. Drinking coffee later in the day can lead to sleep deprivation, which can cause all sorts of diseases and conditions that negatively impact health.

Getting enough sleep has a profound effect on your wellness, from preventing heart disease to maintaining and an extra caffeinated cup is not worth the long-term effects of sleepless nights.

Is decaf healthier than regular coffee? Decaf coffee has slightly fewer health benefits than regular coffee. The caffeine in regular coffee is what increases athletic performance, lowers liver damage risk, and improves mental health.

4. Buy better coffee.

If you want healthier coffee habits, buy better coffee. It’s a simple way to skip some of the side effects that come with cheap varieties. 

Here at Golden Ratio, our coffees all boast:

  • Organic sources for our coffee beans, farmed without the harmful pesticides often sprayed on coffee
  • 0 grams of sugar
  • Suitable for people following keto, paleo, or vegan lifestyles
  • Packaged in organic cotton (bonus: it’s recyclable)

The organic coffee that we sell is better for the world and for your health.

5. Don’t drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day.

The benefits of caffeine end at around 400 mg a day, or roughly 4 cups of coffee. After that, it can begin to affect mental health, sleep problems, and even cause stomach ulcers.

Turns out, there can be too much of a good thing. Don’t lose the health benefits of your coffee by overdoing the daily amount you have.

If you absolutely can’t live without all-day coffee, we have some tips for beating caffeine withdrawal.

Which coffee is good for weight loss? Black coffee with no added sugars or cream is best for weight loss.

6. Add cocoa, cinnamon, turmeric, and/or butter.

High-quality, healthy coffee is delicious on its own, but it can share the stage with some other health-conscious ingredients. Not only do these additions contribute even more benefits to your coffee, but they also add a delicious extra boost of flavor:

  • Cocoa: This fan-favorite contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties while also lowering the risk of heart disease. Mocha recipes often contain additional sugars, so try simply adding a dash of cocoa powder at home.
  • Cinnamon: We’ve long been fans of coffee recipes with cinnamon, which can lower cholesterol and blood glucose level in people with diabetes along with many other benefits
  • Turmeric: Popular in “golden lattes,” adding turmeric to milk can add anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich flavor to your morning routine. It also exhibits antidepressant qualities, making it a mood boost along with coffee’s similar effects.
  • Butter: Often used in bulletproof coffee, grass-fed butter may add healthy fats and vitamin A to your coffee while supporting feelings of fullness. Keto dieters are particularly fond of this option.

Get more flavor and benefits from your coffee by switching a processed, chemical-laden creamer for natural ingredients.

7. Brew with paper filters.

When unfiltered, coffee contains cafestol, a chemical that can raise cholesterol levels. This is the case for espresso or instant coffee. However, simply using a paper filter reduces levels of cafestol while allowing the other beneficial ingredients of coffee to pass through. 

What is the healthiest coffee? Filtered gold roast may be the healthiest coffee. It has more caffeine and less acidity than other varieties, being kind to your stomach and providing health benefits.

8. Start with filtered water.

Tap water can often contain unwanted traces of chemicals, dirt particles, and heavy metals. Using filtered water can not only protect your coffee-making equipment but make sure that the only thing you’re drinking is high-quality coffee.

9. Stay away from instant coffee.

Instant coffee is one of the worst coffee options on the market for several reasons:

  • It’s been processed and dried
  • It contains almost 2 times the acrylamide of fresh roasted coffee
  • It contains less caffeine, and therefore fewer benefits

Not only is instant coffee processed and less caffeinated, but the levels of the potentially harmful chemical acrylamide make it a variety you want to avoid.

Which coffee is healthier: dark roast or light roast? A study found that light roast coffee is slightly healthier than a dark roast, containing more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

10. Buy ethically sourced coffee.

Not only is ethically sourced coffee going to have the benefits of healthy growing practices, but it’s better for coffee farmers and the earth.

Many large-scale coffee growers underpay coffee farmers and encourage the use of unsafe chemicals. These allow the farms to grow more beans in shorter time frames, increasing profits.

Some companies even demand that growers not skip years to let the land recover. This damages local economies, health, and land. It’s better for the planet, the future of coffee, and our fellow humans to choose fairly traded, ethically sourced coffee.

via GIPHY

11. Drink from a clear mug. (Yes, we’re serious.)

We’re visual creatures, and coffee mugs are no exception to that rule. A study on how mug color influences coffee drinking yielded some interesting results. This research found that a clear mug causes a cup of coffee to seem sweeter and more intense.

This may lead you to a cup of joe with less added sugar that’s more enjoyable. Plus, it just looks cool. Here’s one of our favorite clear mug options.

And if you’re looking for more flavor intensity, try our Chai Spiced Gold Brew for a rich and satisfying blend.

2 Healthy Coffee Recipes

While we offer a variety of healthy coffees with flavor built right in, there are tweaks and tips we have to make your healthy coffee extra delicious.

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Iced Latte

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cold-brewed coffee (we like this one)
  • 4 oz of organic milk
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp organic vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon

Steps:

  1. With a blender, mix the pumpkin puree and milk until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour into a glass, stirring in spices and vanilla extract.
  3. Add ice and cold-brewed coffee to the glass, stirring again.

Is cold brew as healthy as regular coffee? Yes, cold brew has the same health benefits as regular coffee. It also can have less acidity than its warmer counterpart.

Bulletproof Cinnamon Coffee

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 8 oz fresh coffee
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed organic butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: a dash of nutmeg

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend for 25 seconds.
  3. Serve hot or cold over ice, enjoying immediately.

Sources

  1. Magnesium and potassium in diabetes and carbohydrate metabolism. Review of the present status and recent results 
  2. Coffee consumption and the risk of primary liver cancer: pooled analysis of two prospective studies in Japan 
  3. Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk and progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study 
  4. Consumption of Sugars, Sugary Foods, and Sugary Beverages in Relation to Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies
  5. Health effects of fructose and fructose-containing caloric sweeteners: where do we stand 10 years after the initial whistle blowings? 
  6. Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer's disease 
  7. Dairy products, dietary calcium and bone health: possibility of prevention of osteoporosis in women: the Polish experience 
  8. Bone health and osteoporosis: the role of vitamin K and potential antagonism by anticoagulants 
  9. Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption 
  10. Effect of Household Coffee Processing on Pesticide Residues as a Means of Ensuring Consumers' Safety 
  11. Health benefits of cocoa 
  12. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes 
  13. Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant 
  14. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial 
  15. Vitamin A - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf 
  16. Cafestol, the cholesterol-raising factor in boiled coffee, suppresses bile acid synthesis by downregulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase and sterol 27-hydroxylase in rat hepatocytes 
  17. Is cafestol retained on the paper filter in the preparation of filter coffee? 
  18. Studies of acrylamide level in coffee and coffee substitutes: influence of raw material and manufacturing conditions 
  19. Cellular Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Coffee Extracts with Different Roasting Levels 
  20. Does the colour of the mug influence the taste of the coffee? 

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