Whether you’re the type of person that gets the coffee pot going as soon as you get out of the shower in the morning or run by the drive-thru at Dunkin’ or Starbucks on your way to work, coffee is a major part of your life. Yet, not all coffee products are the same and some are much healthier than others.
So, which type of coffee is the healthiest? Regular black coffee is undoubtedly the healthiest choice. It has about 5 calories per cup, meaning you can drink even more without gaining weight. There’s also evidence that shows that black coffee can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes while also helping you lose weight.
Before we get into what makes black coffee so great for your health, we’re going to spend a little time going over what makes a coffee healthy in the first place. To do so, let’s first talk about some of the greatest benefits of coffee.
What Makes a Coffee “Healthy”
No two coffee products are the same!
In fact, there’s a huge difference between the Caffè Mocha at Starbucks and the plain black coffee that you can brew at home. When you start adding extra ingredients like cream, sugar, and syrups, the usually healthy coffee suddenly becomes a sugar drink loaded with calories and fat.
Yet, not all coffee is bad for you. If you’re not adding any additional ingredients to your cup of coffee, your coffee can actually help you with weight loss on your diet and add very few calories to your food journal each day.
Is it OK to drink coffee on a diet?
When you’re on a diet, you’re always encouraged to drink water instead of other drinks like sodas, juices, and teas. That’s because these other drinks tend to be stocked full of calories, sugars, and fats which can make seeing results with a diet more difficult.
But, regular coffee only has about 5 calories per cup and is simply water with some coffee grounds mixed in. That makes it completely acceptable for your new diet!
What you might not already know is that coffee can actually help you lose weight! Here’s why!
- Coffee can help to suppress your appetite, which means fewer calories consumed over the course of the day.
- The caffeine in coffee can help to boost your metabolism, which can help your body to burn more fat and calories on its own.
- If you’re replacing high-calorie drinks with a 5-calorie cup of coffee, you’re taking in far fewer calories during the day.
Plus, the extra caffeine that you’re getting in your diet (about 100 milligrams per serving) can give you just the right amount of energy during the day to help you power through a tough cardio session at the gym.
How many calories are in coffee?
If you’re drinking regular black coffee, the calories in coffee aren’t too big of a concern. Though it might vary from brand to brand, most black coffee only has about 5 calories per cup.
The issue comes when you start adding extra ingredients to improve the flavor of your coffee. Sure, black coffee might not taste the best, but you’re taking away from its nutritional value when you pour in these ingredients.
By just adding a teaspoon of sugar, you’re adding 16 calories to your coffee and getting about 10-20% of your daily recommended intake of sugar. As you might be able to tell, this can really add up after a few cups.
When you add cream or milk instead, you’re adding anywhere between 10 and 100 extra calories to a single cup of coffee. Suddenly, the coffee’s causing you to gain weight now instead of losing it!
The Healthiest Coffee? Black Coffee.
Sometimes, it’s just best to stick to the basics. There’s a lot of evidence that black coffee yields the greatest health benefits when compared to other types of coffee. That means that black coffee can help you to prevent major diseases like dementia and diabetes while also helping to suppress your appetite and lose weight.
But, there’s a point at which your black coffee suddenly takes a turn for the worse. So, we’re also going to go over the steps you can take to make sure your black coffee actually stays healthy and provides you with all of the health benefits it’s capable of.
The Health Benefits of Black Coffee
The health benefits of black coffee are practically endless. They range from reducing the number of calories you’re consuming per day to helping to fend off some of the deadliest diseases known to man.
Here’s a list of exactly why regular black coffee is the healthiest.
- Only about 5 calories per serving (which also helps you to get in some water)
- Lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s diseases, type 2 diabetes, and dementia
- Improved energy levels as a result of the included caffeine (about 100 milligrams)
- Generally reduced risk of death in those that drink coffee consistently
- Appetite suppression to aid with weight loss
- Increased metabolism to help with fat burning
- More controlled blood pressure and blood flow throughout the body
- Has about 11% of your daily recommended intake of riboflavin
The best part is: Regular coffee does all of these things on its own. You don’t need to add milk, cream, sugar, or half-and-half to get these benefits. In fact, doing so can make your coffee do more harm than good.
How to Keep It Healthy
The best way to keep black coffee healthy is by drinking it plain. But, we know that most people don’t enjoy the taste of black coffee straight. So, here are some tips for keeping your black coffee healthy.
- Limit additional ingredients. As we previously mentioned, many of the more common ingredients that you’re adding to your cup of coffee are loaded with sugars, fats, and calories. But, that doesn’t mean you have to entirely leave them out. Try to lean toward the low-sugar or low-fat options and use them in moderation (i.e. Not with every cup).
- Don’t drink more than 4 or 5 cups per day. As much as coffee has its health benefits, there’s a point at which black coffee can cause discomfort. More than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day can really increase your heart rate, lead to anxiety, and make it difficult to sleep at night. Don’t drink more than 4 or 5 cups per day, but try to stick to 2 or 3.
- Stay away from chain coffee shops. When you order regular black coffee at major chain stores, there’s really no guarantee that they’re pure black. If it tastes sweeter or better than normal, there’s a pretty good chance that they’re adding in some extra ingredients too.
As much as possible, try to drink your black coffee plain. We know it might not be your favorite, but it’s the best way to guarantee the greatest health benefits.
Based on a lot of research, we’ve realized that not all coffees are even remotely the same. When you want the greatest health benefits and the fewest health risks, you have to bite the bullet and go with regular black coffee. Here are some things to remember.
- Black coffee is great for reducing your risk of diseases like heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
- The black coffee you’re brewing in your own coffee maker and the black coffee you’re getting at the local coffee shop are definitely not the same in terms of nutrients.
- Try to avoid adding extra ingredients, as they might do more harm than good.
- American Heart Association: Is coffee good for you or not?
- Mayo Clinic: Does caffeine help with weight loss?
- Mayo Clinic: I’m trying to lose weight. Should I cut back on coffee?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rethink Your Drink
- Harvard Medical School: The latest scoop on the health benefits of coffee
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