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Coffee time:

The good news for the nation's coffee-holics is that there IS good news: in moderation, coffee is fine.
By Kirsten Anthony
Date: August 15 2013
Tags: coffee,
Editor Rating:

Coffee has a history of being blamed for many ills but recent research indicates that coffee may not be so bad after all, according to Dr Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic – which is just as well considering 5.9 million Aussies wake up with a cup according to the Harris Rise & Grind Survey.

So is coffee good or bad?

“The best answer may be that for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks,” says Dr Hensrud.

“Recent studies have generally found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of cancer or heart disease when drunk in moderation.”

He explains that earlier studies which gave a different results was because they didn't always take into account that other high-risk behaviours, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers at that time.

But today’s coffee drinker – especially in Australia where it’s a national ritual – is just as likely to be a non-smoker who’s also into physical activity.

The old maxim of ‘everything in moderation’ is the one to keep in mind.

Both Dr Hensrud and Assistant Professor Vance Matthews from the University of Western Australia define up to three cups of coffee a day as ‘moderate’. Dr Hensrud recommends that coffee lovers should also have other drinks such as water, milk and freshly-squeezed fruit juice as they contain nutrients that coffee does not. coffee_stain

A/Professor Matthews says up to three cups a day seems to decrease the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, but more than five can increase weight gain and other health risks.

The Harris Rise & Grind Survey also found that:

  • Australians drink almost 87 million coffees each week
  • 5.9 million Aussies wake up with a coffee
  • 3.4 million people enjoying freshly ground coffee made at home or work
  • 3.5 million Aussies (60%) start their day disgruntled if they don’t get a coffee
  • 81% say they love their coffee because of the feel good factor and ritual associated with it
  • 93% have their first coffee before midday
  • 67% prefer to make their coffee at home to save money and also ensure it’s made exactly the way they like it
  • on average, we drink 14.6 coffees a week – which fits within Dr Hensrud’s and A/Professor Matthews’ recommendation!
  • 15% said they’d rather pass on their morning shower than miss out on their morning coffee
  • 86% confess they have an “emotional relationship” with their coffee, and
  • 65% have a ‘special’ coffee which they’re very particular about drinking.
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