Coffee’s not just fine for your health, it may even lengthen your life — but only if you prepare it with a filter, according to a new long-term study published Wednesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
“Unfiltered coffee contains substances which increase blood cholesterol. Using a filter removes these and makes heart attacks and premature death less likely,” said study author Dag Thelle, a senior professor in the public health and community medicine department of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
“Our study provides strong and convincing evidence of a link between coffee brewing methods, heart attacks and longevity,” Thelle said.
That’s bad news for lovers of coffee made with the French press, or cafetière, that is so popular today, or those fond of strong Greek and Turkish brewing methods. Boiling coffee or using a coffee press can actually increase your risk of heart disease.
“Unfiltered coffee, like Greek and Turkish coffee, which is boiled, or coffee made in a French press contain higher amounts of cafestol and kahweol — chemicals found in oil droplets floating in the coffee and also in the sediment,” said registered dietitian Lisa Drayer, a CNN health and nutrition contributor.
“Studies have shown that these substances can raise triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol levels,” Drayer said. “So stick with filtered coffee, such as a paper filter that you would use in a drip-brewed coffee, which can help to trap these chemicals.”
The new study followed over half a million healthy Norwegian men and women between the ages of 20 and 79 over a 20-year period.
Results showed drinking boiled or pressed unfiltered coffee raised the risk of death in men aged 60 and above, due to elevated cardiovascular mortality.
But drinking filtered coffee — that through a paper filter, for example, was found to be healthier than drinking no coffee at all.
Filtered coffee was linked to a 15% reduced risk of death from any cause, a 12% decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease in men and a 20% lowered risk of death from heart disease in women when compared to drinking no coffee.
In fact, the study found those who drank one to four cups of filtered coffee per day had the lowest mortality rate.
This article is adapted from CNN.