In the Netflix series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” Jerry Seinfeld drives around with colleagues like Ricky Gervais (in a 1967 Austin- Healey 3000), Kristen Wiig (a 1964 Volvo) and Aziz Ansari (a souped-up Prevost tour bus) and stops for some joe with jokes.
But coffee is no joke. This beloved pick-me-up (Americans drink 400 million cups a day!) has many benefits. The newest seems to be in the battle of the bulge. Researchers recently published a study in Scientific Reports that looked at coffee’s effect on cells in a dish and on humans. They found that some component(s) of caffeinated coffee help turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat. That leads to improved blood sugar control, lower levels of lousy LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and burning of extra calories to promote weight loss.
Add that to the other recognized benefits of coffee and you’ve got a cuppa goodness — if you don’t load it up with sugar-added flavorings and full-fat dairy.
Three to four cups of black coffee (or with soy or almond milk) a day has been found to increase longevity, and some studies show that it can reduce the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, uterine and liver cancer, cirrhosis and gout.
For you decaf or half- caf folks (8 ounces of decaffeinated coffee can contain 2-15 milligrams of caffeine; regular coffee has 80-100 milligrams), there are still recognized benefits to your heart, brain and liver from two to four cups daily.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chairman of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.