Good news about coffee everyone.
Coffee has no sugar, fat, calories, carbohydrates, sodium, gluten or dairy
All that stuff everyone is worried about these days? Coffee doesn’t have it. No need to worry.
(Coffee has a tiny amount of calories and sodium but one 8-oz cup of black coffee will have at the most 5 calories and 5mg sodium which is honestly not even worth counting)
Coffee contains antioxidants
Why are antioxidants good? All the time, molecules in our cells are becoming damaged through oxidation from our own metabolic processes, radiation, the sun, various chemicals. This damage (when it is accumulated) can lead to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, aging, etc. Antioxidants protect against this damage.
(This study here provides lots of information about the types, amounts, and possible actions of various antioxidants in coffee).
Coffee has been studied a lot and the consensus is it’s mostly fine and might actually be good.
There are some studies showing that people who drink coffee have certain diseases more often, but there are way more studies showing that people who drink coffee have no more risk of disease than people who don’t drink coffee, and some studies that show that people who drink coffee have a lower chance of getting certain diseases (like type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease)
It’s important to remember that correlation does not equal causation. These studies were done in people who all had different lifestyles, family histories, diets, smoking and exercise habits, etc., so while researchers try to make sure they are only looking at the effect of coffee, they can’t say for sure that coffee was the thing making the difference in who got diseases and who didn’t.
This review does a great job of summarizing research on coffee intake
Depending on how you take your coffee, it might enhance your nutrition
If you add milk (or a fortified alternative milk) to your coffee, you will get some calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin A! And depending on what type of milk it is, some protein, fat, and carbs – not enough for a meal of course, but maybe enough for a snack.
This of course can be a double-edged sword. If your preferred regular coffee format includes a lot of sugar and high fat ingredients, the benefits of drinking a lot of coffee might be outweighed by the drawbacks of drinking a lot of sugar and fat. Not that you shouldn’t enjoy cream, sugar, or flavored syrup in your coffee, just take the nutrition they provide into account.
Some nuance about coffee
Like anything, too much coffee can be harmful, and just drinking a ton of coffee will not magically make you super healthy. There are some people who should be cautious with coffee (e.g. pregnant women) and I mean, definitely don’t drink it if it makes you feel bad or interferes with your sleep or makes you anxious.
Many of the harmful effects were associated with more extreme amounts of coffee. Coffee made as espresso, French press, or boiled can slightly raise cholesterol when drunk in large amounts.
The bottom line: coffee, in moderation, is pretty harmless and might have benefits.
If you don’t like coffee, don’t feel like you need to start drinking it for the health benefits.
If you do like coffee, enjoy it and feel good about it!
This post is intended to be informational only and is not medical or nutritional advice. If you have questions about your unique needs, ask about a custom meal plan or speak with a registered dietitian-nutritionist near you.