Is Coffee Raising Your Cholesterol Level?
BY AWAKE! CORRESPONDENT IN BRAZIL
RESEARCHERS at the Wageningen Agricultural University, in the Netherlands, say that drinking unfiltered coffee will raise your cholesterol level.
The crucial word is “unfiltered.” Why? Research Reports, a newsletter from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, says that coffee beans contain a cholesterol-raising substance called cafestol. When hot water is poured directly on the ground coffee, the cafestol is extracted. The same is true when finely ground coffee is boiled in water several times, as it is in Turkish coffee, or when a metal filter is used instead of a paper filter, such as in a French press. Without a paper filter, the cafestol ends up in the brew.
One unfiltered cup of coffee, which may contain up to four milligrams of cafestol, can cause the cholesterol level to rise by about 1 percent. Espresso also contains cafestol, since it is made without a paper filter. However, its cholesterol-raising effect is less if you use a demitasse. Less espresso, less cafestol—perhaps as little as one or two milligrams per cup. Research Reports cautions, though, that five small cups of espresso a day can raise the body’s cholesterol level by 2 percent.
The bottom line is that coffee made with a paper filter is cafestol free.