Brew the healthiest coffee

April 25, 2020
Coffee filter

MISSING out your favorite brewed coffee during extended lockdown? You can still enjoy a moment sipping a cup of coffee while still cooped at home.

Scientists who had examined links between coffee brewing methods and risks of heart attacks and death have concluded that filtered brew is safest.

They said that unfiltered coffee contains substances which increase blood cholesterol. Using a filter removes these and makes heart attacks and premature death less likely.

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide and the most frequently used stimulant.

For several years, scientists said that drinking coffee was linked with raised total cholesterol and the "bad" LDL cholesterol -- to such an extent that it was likely to have detrimental consequences for heart health.

Experiments identified the culprit substances in coffee and found that they could be removed using a filter. A cup of unfiltered coffee contains about 30 times the concentration of the lipid-raising substances compared to filtered coffee.

Between 1985 and 2003, the study enrolled thousands of coffee lovers aged 20 to 79. Study participants were followed for an average of 20 years. A total of 46,341 participants died. Of those, 12,621 deaths were due to cardiovascular disease. Of the cardiovascular deaths, 6,202 were caused by a heart attack.

Overall, coffee drinking was not a dangerous habit. In fact, drinking filtered coffee was safer than no coffee at all. Compared to no coffee, filtered brew was linked with a 15% reduced risk of death from any cause during follow up.

For death from cardiovascular disease, filtered brew was associated with a 12% decreased risk of death in men and a 20% lowered risk of death in women compared to no coffee. The lowest mortality was among consumers of one to four cups of filtered coffee per day.

Filtered brew was also less risky than the unfiltered beverage for death from any cause, death due to cardiovascular disease, and deaths from heart attacks. This could be due to the cholesterol-increasing effect of unfiltered coffee.

They also found that unfiltered coffee did not raise the risk of death compared to abstaining from coffee -- except in men aged 60 and above, where unfiltered brew was linked with elevated cardiovascular mortality.

They advised people who have high cholesterol levels but wanted to drink brewed coffee to stay away from unfiltered brew, including coffee made with a cafetière.