5 Ways to Make Your Coffee Habit Healthier
Style Magazine Newswire | 7/12/2017, 12:04 p.m.
Is your morning cup of Joe good for you? In short, yes. On its own, coffee – consumed by 64 percent of Americans at least once a day – is packed with health-giving antioxidants. In fact, there’s a myriad of research suggesting that coffee drinkers have an 11 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers, thanks to ingredients that can affect levels of hormones involved in metabolism.
In one study, researchers discovered that people who drank anywhere from three to five cups daily lowered their risk of heart attack. A more recent study found a 12 percent lower risk of death in their sample group of those who drank one cup of coffee a day compared to those in the study who had an 18 percent lower risk drinking two to three cups.
“We found that coffee drinkers had a reduced risk of death from heart disease, from cancer, from stroke, respiratory disease, diabetes and kidney disease,” said Veronica Setiawan, associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California and a co-author of the research told The Guardian.
However, experts are still determining if it’s the coffee itself or coffee drinkers having healthier lifestyle habits overall.
For many coffee drinkers, the popular pick-me-up rarely remains a healthy drink thanks to the many ways people and coffee shops choose to customize it (think whip, flavorings, and other toppings).
The good news? There are ample ways you can help ensure that your caffeine fix is a healthier one.
Opt for organic coffee.
Because crops are often sprayed with pesticides you may be getting more than just java. Opt for organic brands like Newman’s Own Organics Blends. Not only is it USDA organic but it boasts a strong yet smooth taste.
Milk alternatives are a go.
Bump the cow’s milk and opt for almond, soy, or rice milk. They’re half the calories and easier on your tummy.
Pass on sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Choose an organic sweetener like coconut sugar or the natural herb stevia, which has fewer grams per teaspoon of sugar than white or brown sugar. While, it doesn’t sound major, over time, you’ll cut your sugar content by 25 percent. Coconut sugar, which contains chromium and other minerals has been shown to aid sugar metabolism in your body. While stevia, is believed to be brain-healthy.
Just say no to flavored syrups.
Created with high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, have been linked to weight gain and obesity. The same can be said for sugar-free syrups. While they may sound safe (ahem, sugar-free), this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only are sugar-free options packed with the same preservatives (mentioned above), but, they usually contain one of several synthetic sweeteners including Splenda, Twinsweet, Equal, or Sweet’N Low many of which have been linked to type 2 diabetes, migraines, diarrhea, and kidney damage, among other things.
Creamers aren’t cool.
Believe it or not, store-bought coffee creamers aren’t made with cream. They actually get their rich, velvety texture from weird thickening agents and emulsifiers like carrageenan, a thickener thought to cause inflammation and digestive problems. Not to mention, other common ingredients include fillers cellulose gel and gum, which are derived from wood pulp and cotton, respectively.