Caffeine enthusiasts rejoice!
The debate over whether — or how much — coffee Americans should drink has raged on for years. Historically, coffee has been blamed for stunting growth, causing heart disease and other health problems. But recent research has turned the tables on those conclusions.
New U.S. dietary guidelines say that drinking three to five 8-ounce cups of coffee per day can now be considered part of a “healthy eating pattern.” Released every five years, the 500-plus-page national dietary guidelines reflect the most up-to-date, comprehensive research on what foods, beverages and diets are best for our health.
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“Coffee received an exceptional mention with its own call-0ut box and the declaration that moderate coffee consumption — liberally defined as three to five cups per day — ‘can be incorporated into health eating patterns,” stated a recent article in Health Affairs.
Nutrition science, according to Health Affairs, is a relatively young science that is rapidly evolving as scientists learn more about our bodies and how the world works.
Recent studies show caffeine may have health benefits, such as protecting against Type II diabetes and liver disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Does that mean everyone should drink three to five cups of coffee a day? Of course not. The guidelines point out, somewhat perplexingly, that young people who don’t drink coffee shouldn’t start. (My own primary care doctor advises against my drinking caffeine as it can increase anxiety.)
As Health Matters notes, “getting nutritional advice correct, especially when it is dispensed for an entire population, is not easy.”