I love coffee, I'll admit. What's not to love? The aroma, the warmth, the way it makes me feel... as long as it's in moderation, since too much coffee causes electrolyte mineral loss (leading to bone loss and high blood pressure). Not to mention it makes me stress out.
Moderation = 1-2 cups a day. Cups = 8 oz (not 16 ounces!)
So why am I, a nutritionist, doing writing about coffee? Coffee, like tea, contains antioxidants, but unlike tea, coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of Type II diabetes.
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition (read abstract here) found that French women who consumed a daily cup of java at lunchtime were one-third less likely to develop diabetes than those who did not imbibe. Interestingly, they found this was true for both regular and decaffeinated coffee but not for tea or chicory.
Past studies have shown that coffee also seems to have a protective role in other chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer's, colon & prostate cancer, as well as gallstones.
And oh yeah, this post wouldn't be complete if I didn't write that coffee also has a little bit of FIBER. Yes!
This is so exciting. Even being a natural "ham", sometimes I feel pretty silly taking on the role of Fiber-Girl superhero - I am almost 40, you know. But then, along come studies like this that remind me why I will gladly make a fool out of myself.
This study was just published in the February, 2010 Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dietary Fiber and Subsequent Changes in Body Weight and Waist Circumference in European Men and Women
Researchers tracked 89,432 healthy participants, aged 20–78 years, for six and a half years. They found total fiber (from food) to be "inversely associated" with subsequent weight and waist circumference change. In other words, people who consumed the most dietary fiber had the least weight gain and waist increase over the span of six years.
In particular, fiber from grains was found to be the most effective in preventing weight/waist gain, although fiber from fruit and vegetables also significantly prevented waist circumference increase as well. Unfortunately, fiber from legumes was not studied. (Obviously they haven't read my blog yet.)
So remember, increasing fiber in your diet now will prevent weight gain later. Let's not let aging make us fat - battle the bulge with high fiber foods: fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds).