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February 21, 2015

USDA: Drink more coffee

Study explains benefits of beverage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee released a massive study this month, essentially making recommendations on what to eat and not eat.

Mother Jones put together some of the highlights, many of which are fairly predictable (eat vegetables, drink alcohol in moderation). 

For coffee lovers, the study has good news. Drinking moderate amounts of the beverage (if you consider 3-5 cups moderate) is good for you:

Currently, strong evidence shows that consumption of coffee within the moderate range (3 to 5 cups per day or up to 400 mg/d caffeine) is not associated with increased long-term health risks among healthy individuals. In fact, consistent evidence indicates that coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in healthy adults. Moreover, moderate evidence shows a protective association between coffee/caffeine intake and risk of Parkinson’s disease. 

However, an article in The Washington Post points out that coffee consumption is actually down in The United States. The article cites data from the USDA that shows that the average American only consumes about 1 cup of coffee per day, down from the 1940's when we were downing about 2 cups a day.

Tom Brenna, a member of the committee and a nutritionist at Cornell University, told Bloomberg that the study dispels any previous ideas that coffee is associated with serious health risks:

“Coffee’s good stuff. I don’t want to get into implying coffee cures cancer - nobody thinks that. But there is no evidence for increased risk, if anything, the other way around.”

So in the midst of the bitter cold we've been experiencing this winter, treat yourself to a warm cup of coffee:

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