Podcast: Coffee - Sip or Skip?

Coffee and Health: Light Roast vs. Dark Roast, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, and Heartburn

Coffee Roasting and Health:

  • Cholesterol-raising Compounds:

    • Light roast non-paper-filtered coffee may have double the cholesterol-raising compounds compared to dark roast.
    • Darker roasts destroy more cholesterol-raising compounds.
    • Paper filters eliminate 95% of these compounds regardless of roast.
  • Antioxidants:

    • Dark roasting may destroy up to 90% of chlorogenic acids, antioxidants thought to provide many benefits of coffee.
    • Light roast retains more antioxidants.
  • Pesticides and Toxins:

    • Dark roasting can reduce pesticides and ochratoxin, a fungal contaminant and kidney toxin, by over 90%.
  • Combustion Compounds:

    • Dark roasts contain more polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, potential carcinogens.
    • Dark roasts still contain a fraction of toxic compounds compared to grilled chicken.

Study Findings on Roast Differences:

  • Weight Loss:

    • Overweight individuals lost about six pounds in one month drinking dark roast compared to light roast.
  • Blood Sugar Response:

    • No significant difference between light and dark roast on blood sugar after high sugar intake.
  • Stomach Discomfort:

    • Dark roast suppresses stomach acid secretion more than medium roast.
    • Low-acid coffees (long-roasted) claimed to reduce heartburn and indigestion.
    • However, a study funded by a low-acid coffee company found no difference in heartburn or stomach discomfort between their product and regular coffee.

Filtered Coffee and LDL Cholesterol:

  • Cafestol Identification:

    • The fatty substances in coffee oil raise cholesterol, but paper filters seem to block these.
    • Espresso and non-paper-filtered coffee have more cholesterol-raising substances.
  • Filtered Coffee Doubts:

    • Some studies suggest filtered coffee may raise cholesterol to some degree.
    • A study showed that despite paper filtration, high cafestol coffee raised LDL cholesterol.

Coffee, Tea, and Artery Function:

  • Artery Dilation:

    • Caffeinated coffee reduces artery dilation within 30 minutes, decaffeinated coffee does not.
    • Decaf may actually improve artery function.
  • Tea Consumption:

    • Tea enhances artery function and improves coronary blood flow.
    • Adding milk to tea may undermine its protective effects.

Conclusion and Recommendations:

  • Coffee drinkers should consider the roast type and filtration method based on their health goals.
  • For those with high cholesterol, trying a lower cafestol coffee or cutting out coffee might be beneficial.
  • Tea, especially without milk, is recommended for better artery function.
  • Scan nutrition research via accessible resources to make informed decisions inspired by evidence-based nutrition.

Note: All proceeds from the speaker's book sales are donated to charity, and their organization offers free nutrition updates and information.

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