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How to Make Your Coffee Healthier

Women Drinking Coffee

Dr. Kristie Leong

Turn that morning cup into a healthier drink

Is the first thing you reach for in the morning a steaming cup of java? Let's face it. Many Americans are addicted to their morning cup of coffee and aren't about to give it up. While some people drink coffee for the caffeine, other people simply enjoy the taste. What about the health value of coffee? This issue remains a cloudy one. Some studies have shown health benefits of drinking coffee including a reduced risk of diabetes, Parkinson's disease, liver cancer, and gall bladder disease, while others have shown negative effects, particularly from the caffeine. Fortunately, there are some ways to turn that morning cup of coffee into a healthier drink. Here's how to make your daily coffee healthier.

Add a little dark cocoa powder

More studies are confirming the health benefits of cocoa and dark, unsweetened chocolate. The polyphenols in dark cocoa has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Adding a teaspoon of dark cocoa powder to your morning coffee may be a convenient and tasty way to lower your risk of hypertension and heart disease. Plus, who doesn't enjoy a cup of mocha? Just hold off on the whipped cream.

Switch the cream for low fat or skim milk

To make your coffee healthier, ditch the high calorie cream and substitute low fat milk instead. This is an easy way to reduce fat and calories and still give your coffee that appealing caramel colour. Other healthier options include low fat soy and almond milk. After an initial period of adjustment, you won't taste the difference but you may find your pants feel a little looser after several weeks.

Mix your coffee with green tea

You're probably already aware of the health benefits of green tea. If you want the health benefits but still long for that coffee flavour, why not mix the two? Start by adding a small amount of green tea to your coffee and gradually increase the ratio of green tea until you achieve a taste that's suitable to you. Adding small amounts of green tea will add to the health benefits of your coffee without significantly affecting the taste.

Mix your regular coffee with decaffeinated coffee

Instead of pumping your body full of caffeine, reduce your caffeine intake by mixing regular coffee with decaffeinated coffee. By gradually increasing the amount of decaffeinated coffee relative to regular coffee, it will allow you to taper down the amount of caffeine you take in on a daily basis while still enjoying that great coffee taste.

Avoid high calorie coffee drinks

Resist the urge to indulge in those high calorie coffee drinks from Starbucks. Look at the calorie and nutritional information of the offerings at Starbucks and plan your purchases accordingly. There's no point in adding an extra three to four hundred calories to your coffee by drinking a high calorie coffee drink.

Why not try some of these tips to make your coffee a healthier drink? It's a great way to sip without guilt.

Health Disclaimer. Copyright ©2008-2022. Dr. Kristie Leong is a family practice physician and medical writer. Published with permission.