Over the past few hundred years, coffee has become the drink of choice for so many, becoming firmly entrenched in the daily routine in many cultures. In fact, throughout the world, an average of 3 billion cups of coffee are consumed every single day.
One point of regular consternation among consumers is the effect of coffee on our health. Some studies claim that coffee is good for us; others paint a less positive picture.
A recent study of more than 360,000 people, conducted by the Australian Centre for Precision Health at the University of South Australia, has investigated the impact of coffee consumption on cardiovascular health in particular.
Heart health is heavily influenced by the level of plasma lipid profiles in the bloodstream – namely, the fats and cholesterol contained in the blood. Cafestol, a compound found in coffee beans, is known to contribute to an increase in cholesterol levels.
The study found that the amount of lipids (fat) in the blood rises in direct proportion to the quantity of coffee consumed. An intake of 6 cups of coffee a day or more is shown to cause a rise in lipids to a level that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, the good news is that filtered and instant coffee contain very low levels of cafestol, thus reducing the impact of heart health. Researchers therefore advise to avoid more than 5 cups of barista-made coffee per day (as well as Turkish and Greek coffee), especially for those with cardiovascular risk factors like high cholesterol.