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Dr. Laura Pipher

How is your daily coffee affecting your health?

Okay so anyone who knows me knows I LOVE my coffee. Coffee gets a bad rap with much negativity, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to try and balance the scale !

First the “bad” news:

-Depends on what you add !

  • Cream- high caloric value, little nutrient value
  • Sugar- increases blood sugar spike, high caloric value
    • for example:
      • A Skim milk Grande Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks contains 200 calories, 34g of sugar Vs a Grande Blonde Roast Black Coffee contains 5 calories and 0 grams of sugar

-May disturb sleep or cause anxiety in sensitive individuals- if you are sensitive to caffeine, drinking coffee can have more negative effects than the benefits are worth

-May cause withdrawal headaches- when drinking coffee regularly, missing a day can have significant side effects for some

Unfiltered coffee (aka. Espresso & french press coffee)

  • Coffee contains diterpenes (cafestol & kahweol) which are poorly soluble in water and lead to increased coronary heart disease by increasing bad cholesterol (LDL). These components can easily be trapped by filters, however unfiltered coffee does not trap these components.

Now the good news: 

Much research has shown coffee (without sugar and cream added) can have many benefits including:

Reduced risk of death after myocardial infarction (46% decreased risk in those drinking >2 cups per day vs non drinkers)

Protection against DNA damage & Increases in antioxidants

-Decreased risk of gastric cancer (12% decrease in those drinking 3-4 cups per day vs non drinkers)

Lower incidence of fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer in those with liver disease (in more than 2 cups per day)

-Lifelong consumption of coffee is associated with the prevention of cognitive decline, reduced risk of stroke development, parkinsons disease an alzheimers disease

Improving the effectiveness of pain killers in headaches and migraines

Caffeine- can increase alertness and improve concentration

  • Food regulation authorities have determined 200mg of caffeine (about 2.5 cups in one sitting) to a total of 400mg (about 5 cups) per day is considered safe.

Promoting the regeneration of injured muscle tissue

So next time you order your cup of coffee, drink it up and drop the guilt! Everything in moderation (even if it is a caramel macchiato)

Yours in Health,

Laura Pipher

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