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4 coffee drinking habits may be shortening your life

We turned to research to learn which coffee habits need a kick to the curb. Here are 4 coffee habits that may be shortening your life.

Let’s start with the good news: There are a lot of health benefits to drinking coffee on a regular basis. Coffee can actually do wonders for your body, and can even help you lose weight. But if you’re not careful with your coffee habits, that magical cup of Joe may be harmful to your health. That’s why we turned to research to learn the coffee habits that could be shortening your life, according to science.

1. You’re drinking too much coffee

This one may be obvious, but it’s a coffee habit worth noting. One previous study that evaluated 40,000 adults noticed that drinking more than four cups of coffee a day could have negative effects on one’s lifespan.

However, the scientists that authored the study did note that having 28 cups a week is fine (exactly 4 cups each day of the week), but drinking more than that could result in negative consequences in terms of longevity.

2. Your coffee order is drowning in sugar

Have you ever actually looked at the nutrition information for your go-to coffee order? If you’re ordering a large caramel latte at your favorite coffee shop, you’re likely consuming at least 30 grams of sugar at once—sometimes more at places like Starbucks or Dunkin’.

Studies have shown that eating too much sugar can lead to an early death. And no, it’s not due to obesity or weight gain, but the fact that sugar can cause dehydration which can be a symptom of high blood sugar and, left unchecked, can increase your risk of diabetes.

Instead of ordering a sugary latte, why not ask for a regular latte with a small caramel swirl on top? You can mix in the caramel and still get that same great taste, but with significantly less sugar.

3. You’re adding too much creamer

Similar to your sugary latte, if you’re not careful with your creamer, your coffee at home will also be drowning in sugar. Choosing to use half-and-half or a little milk (or even almond milk) would be a better choice than a sugary coffee creamer. However, if you prefer a sweeter coffee taste, simply be careful when measuring out the amount of creamer you put in your cup.

4. You’re not drinking it at all

As we said, there are quite a few benefits to drinking coffee regularly—even in terms of longevity! According to the AARP, coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death compared to coffee abstainers by 10 to 15%. So maybe it’s time you started brewing yourself a cup in the morning.

4 coffee drinking habits may be shortening your life

Does coffee offer health benefits?

While past studies hinted that coffee might have a dark side, newer research suggests that it may actually have health benefits.

Why the reversal? It’s hard to look at just one aspect of diet and connect it to a health condition because so many other factors that could play a role.

For example, early research on coffee didn’t always take into account that heavy coffee drinkers also tended to use tobacco and be sedentary.

When newer studies adjusted for such factors, they found a possible association between coffee and decreased mortality. Coffee may offer some protection against:

Parkinson’s disease
Type 2 diabetes
Liver disease, including liver cancer
Heart attack and stroke

Coffee still has potential risks, mostly due to its high caffeine content. For example, it can temporarily raise blood pressure. Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding need to be cautious about caffeine. High intake of boiled, unfiltered coffee has been associated with mild increase in cholesterol levels.

The bottom line? Your coffee habit is probably fine and may even have some benefits. But if you have side effects from coffee, such as heartburn, nervousness or insomnia, consider cutting back.

Benefits of coffee: Lowering disease risk

Altogether, the various ingredients in coffee add up to a drink that is greater than the sum of its parts. Drinking coffee on the regular has been shown to decrease the risk of several illnesses:

Type 2 diabetes: Multiple studies found that regular coffee consumption lowers the odds of developing Type 2 diabetes. That’s true for decaf as well as the high-octane variety.

Neurological diseases: Regular daily caffeine intake — like the kind you get from your daily cuppa — is linked to a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as Parkinson’s disease.

Liver disease: Coffee seems to protect against liver cirrhosis in people at risk of the disease, such as those with alcohol use disorder or fatty liver disease.

Cancer: Researchers have found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of liver cancer and colorectal cancer — two of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the world.

Depression: That pick-me-up you get from a foamy cappuccino may not be a figment of your imagination. Several studies have found that the more coffee a person drinks, the lower their risk of depression.

Are there health risks associated with coffee?

Coffee may be a magical bean, but it isn’t perfect. Excessive caffeine can cause dehydration. Some people find it makes them jittery or anxious. And too much caffeine can also interfere with a good night’s sleep, especially if you drink it late in the day.

Source: Eatthis/Clevelandclinic!

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