Who would have thought – how you brew coffee can increase your cholesterol.  Electric drip? Espresso? French press?  Which method is better?  Which pot is better? 

Left? Right?

According to Delicious Living, a free magazine available at health food stores, there’s a connection between coffee and cholesterol. Unfiltered coffee – that’s espresso and “boiled” coffee  – can increase cholesterol in women 10% and in men 8%.  So your Starbucks espresso drink may be giving you more than just a slight buzz.   And your home brew may be a bit of a hazard.

The article quotes Rob van Dam, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School who said that the “oily sheen on unfiltered coffee contains up to eight times more coffee-specific fatty acids, one of which – cafestol –  stimulates LDL (bad) cholesterol.”   According to Delicious Living, brewing coffee in a pot that has a paper filter eliminates most oils and cafestol.

For those of you who use a conventional electric coffee machine with a paper filter, you’re in the clear.  For those who like espresso, or using the French press method, and are concerned about cholesterol, it is better to treat yourself to something like the method on the right.  You can make it as strong as you like and not worry, at least about cafestol.  (Having switched from espresso to the pot with the filter on the right, I can say that the flavor is actually better. So it’s a win-win.)

So coffee and cholesterol doesn’t have to be a problem if you know how to brew.

Story and photo by Bojinka Bishop

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