Coffee filters do more than just keep the grounds out of your cup. New research shows they can also remove harmful substances that increase blood cholesterol.
A long-term study by researchers in Sweden found links between heart attacks, lifespan and the way coffee is brewed. The results were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
The researchers followed more than a half-million Norwegians between the ages of 20 and 79 over a 20-year period. Men over age 60 who drank coffee that was boiled or made in a French press had a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
But filtered coffee was found to be a healthier option than drinking no coffee at all. Filtered coffee was found to reduce the overall death risk by 15% and dropped cardiovascular mortality by 12% compared with unfiltered coffee. Among women, the effect was even greater — a 20% decrease in the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease.
What’s so healthy about the humble coffee filter? It traps two chemicals found in oil droplets in coffee and its brewed grounds. Those chemicals have been linked to elevated blood fat and cholesterol levels.
The study also had some good news for those who love their coffee. Those who drank one to four cups of filtered coffee a day had the lowest overall death rate.
Of course, being constantly caffeinated isn’t for everyone. Those with sleep problems, pregnant women and people who have a higher risk of bone fractures should cut out or reduce coffee consumption, other studies have shown.
If you’re among the countless coffee aficionados around the globe who can’t imagine a morning without your brew, indulge — but remember to use a filter.