Can a Cup a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

May 19, 2015 Tom Heisroth


Every few years, it seems like public opinion swings back and forth about what’s good for you and what’s bad—eggs, chocolate, red wine, even certain kinds of fruit have all taken their turns in the love-hate shuffle as we constantly try to find out what’s best for us. But there’s one consumable that’s been given both more heat and more passion than all the others combined: coffee.

In a recent article for The New York Times, professor Aaron E. Carroll tackled the research about the biggest beverage in the breakroom, compiling scientific data and the results of many studies to demonstrate that coffee isn’t inherently bad for you—and could actually have some benefits.

It can be difficult to slog through all the science on your own, especially if you’re just looking for a quick answer about whether or not to pour another cup, but Carroll does a great job outlining the evidence that coffee has actually been associated with lower risks in areas like cancer, cardiovascular health, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease and more. Even the U.S.D.A. agrees that coffee is potentially good for you.

So what’s the bottom line? As Carroll states, “[I]t’s way past time that we stopped viewing coffee as something we all need to cut back on. It’s a completely reasonable addition to a healthy diet, with more potential benefits seen in research than almost any other beverage we’re consuming.”

Employees are already prone to feeling guilty about taking a break at work (and science says breaks are good for you, too!), so do we really need to add our choice of breaktime beverage to the blacklist? Whether it’s cold-brewed or K-cup, drip brewed or decaf, science says it’s time to stop judging your java.


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