Sixty-four percent of Americans start their day with a warm cup of coffee. You know how good it feels if you’re one of them.
The morning ritual offers a quiet moment of clarity and company before the hustle and headaches of the day get started. It could also be doing wonders for your health.
There is a long list of health benefits associated with coffee that are attributed to its diverse array of antioxidants and other compounds. It may even help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
But coffee’s benefits for cholesterol are not as straightforward as you might think, and how you prepare your black gold could contribute to your results.
Unfiltered coffee from a French press, for example, may actually increase “bad” LDL cholesterol that over time may boost the risk for heart attack and stroke. Other forms of unfiltered coffee include:
- Turkish coffee
- Scandinavian-style oiled coffee
- Espresso (Small serving sizes may limit its effect on cholesterol)
Drinking filtered coffee, however, seems to have the opposite effect.
The reason for the difference is that filters catch cafestol and kawehol, oily substances called diterpenes that can raise cholesterol.
If you drink coffee and are concerned about managing or lowering cholesterol, filtered is the way to go.
Coffee can fit nicely into a heart-healthy breakfast. It can go great with some morning oats, nuts, and fruit. Even an egg sandwich on whole-grain bread can go down a bit easier with coffee by its side.
If a mid-afternoon cup of coffee is more your thing, sweeten the moment with a square of dark chocolate. This tiny indulgence is a tasty heart-healthy snack to help you relax.
Watching additives is the best way to get the true benefits of unfiltered coffee. Sweeteners like sugar, honey, or maple syrup work against coffee’s natural benefits and can have a negative effect on cholesterol levels.
Go easy on these and try adding spices like cinnamon or cocoa powder if you’re looking for a different flavor.
Coffee is an enjoyable part of your day. Why not make it a healthful one, too?