Q. Years ago I heard you on the radio praising the benefits of coffee. You made an exception for French press coffee, though.
I never understood why this would pose a problem when regular coffee doesn’t. I really like French press coffee, but I wonder if it could do me harm.
A. Research over the past decade suggests that coffee drinkers are less likely to be diagnosed with heart failure (Circulation: Heart Failure, online June 26, 2012) or develop type 2 diabetes (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April, 2010).
Regular coffee consumption also seems to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, online June 5, 2012) and may help to protect against prostate and uterine cancers (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, online, May 17, 2011; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, online November 22, 2011).
The problem with French press and other types of unfiltered coffee techniques lies with blood lipids. Compounds from coffee can raise total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Aug., 2012). The culprits are in coffee oils that get trapped by paper filters, so people drinking filtered coffee should get the benefits without the higher cholesterol. An occasional cup prepared by the French press method shouldn’t be a problem, but on a regular basis, drip is probably safer.