Over 18, 000 studies have looked at coffee use in the past few decades. Lately more and more are reporting real health benefits for coffee drinkers – but they must be balanced against the brew’s possible bitter effects, especially in higher, caffeinated doses. An ideal ‘dose’ of java is hard to determine, since people’s perceptions of ‘a cup of coffee’ vary as widely as coffeemug sizes do. But the good news is that many of the benefits are associated with around two to four (8-ounce) cups a day – “and that’s what most Americans drink anyway,” notes Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a coffee expert at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
For people who have cholesterol problems it is not only important how much coffee they drink but also the way they make coffee. Boiled or unfiltered coffee (such as that made with a French press, or Turkish-style coffee) contains higher levels of cafestol, a compound that can increase blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Choose filtered methods instead, such as a drip coffee maker.