We all know that we’re supposed to consume five pieces of fruit and veg a day, but, did you know that five cups of coffee a day are good for you – and that’s official! The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have carried out an extensive assessment of coffee, which resulted in discovering positive health benefits for drinkers of this popular beverage.
The team of experts, which was commissioned by the US Government, came to the conclusion that three to five cups of coffee (or 400 mg) each day can help reduce the risk of being affected by a wide range of diseases. These include heart disease, liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes.
The panel did, however, also recommend that pregnant women should drink no more than two cups of coffee a day. However drinking more than three or five cups of coffee a day wasn’t found to have more health benefits than a lower daily intake.
Americanos are particularly recommended, while coffee that is supplemented by too much milk, cream and sugar may result in a marked reduction in potential health benefits. Drinking coffee in moderation, the Committee believes, can be part of a general healthy lifestyle.
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee member Tom Brenna stated that his team wasn’t making any wild claims, such as coffee being a cure for cancer. But, he did add that, if anything, consuming coffee may reduce the risk of cancer. Though the findings of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee suggest that the health benefits of coffee will only be felt if a minimum of three cups of coffee a day are consumed.
The Committee influences dietary guidelines in the US, which ranges from food labelling to lunches in schools. When it comes to coffee, the US is one of the world’s heaviest consumers; a 2014 National Coffee Association survey found that 61% of US citizens drink coffee on a daily basis. At present, the average daily consumption of coffee in America is one cup a day per person – and the consumption of coffee in the US has also been rising in recent years.
Despite the Committee’s recommendations no country in the world has a population that drinks, on average, three cups of coffee a day. The Netherlands is currently the world’s biggest drinker of coffee per capita, at just under 2.5 cups of coffee a day. It’ll certainly be interesting to see, though, over the coming years, if the Committee’s findings does result in a notable increase in coffee consumption worldwide and the knock on effects this could have.
However we wouldn’t advise people to instantly start increasing their caffeine habit to 5 cups a day, but it does mean you can carry on enjoying a good cup or two without any worries!