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The #1 Best Coffee to Drink, According to Dietitians

Is there really one type of coffee better than another? We asked the experts.

There are so many ways you can brew coffee these days. There's pour-over, French press, Chemex, Aeropress, and now you can even steep coffee like it's tea. With so many different ways to make a cup of coffee, we had to ask ourselves—are any of them considered the healthiest? Quick answer: Not really. After consulting multiple dietitians, we concluded that the best coffee to drink is one that isn't loaded with added sugars.

This may seem simple and perhaps a bit vague, but the truth is that coffee's actually pretty good for you. If you're keeping your caffeine intake under 400 milligrams a day—which equates to 28 ounces, or four cups of coffee—your morning drink can actually be highly beneficial for your body's health. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now)

Along with making you feel alert and energized (thank you, caffeine!), studies show that coffee can actually help you lose weight, improve cognitive function, and even live longer.

And yet, while adding coffee to your daily meal plan can benefit your health, your efforts can immediately backfire if you're adding the wrong types of ingredients to it—specifically the overly-sugary ones.

"The best way to enjoy your coffee is by making it that way you like, but being conscious of what you add into your coffee," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. "Some of the designer drinks are full of added sugars, which can be negative to your health and waistline when consumed on a regular basis. Making a few changes to your coffee order like using low-fat milk instead of cream, limiting the syrup, or passing on the whipped topping can help you enjoy your coffee and its plant-based nutrients without the added calories."

Preparing your coffee at home is an easy way to cut down the calories. Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, says her favorite type of coffee to brew at home is a French roast.

"[What's] most important is what you add to the coffee—use cow's milk or unsweetened plant milk instead of cream and cinnamon instead of sugar," Young says.

Another great way to sweeten up your coffee without sugary coffee creamers is sprinkling in your favorite flavored protein powder.

"Protein coffee is probably one of the best ways to drink coffee in the morning,"Megan Byrd, RD from The Oregon Dietitian says. "Not only does it boost your metabolism with protein first thing in the morning, but it also tastes great. Making coffee with protein powder adds flavor and sweetness without a ton of added carbs and artificial flavors you would get by sweetening it with creamers. It also helps to keep you full between breakfast and lunch, leading to fewer cravings during the day."

So brew yourself a pot of your favorite coffee roast, add some almond milk with a dash of cinnamon, and have yourself the perfect cup of coffee—free of all of those added empty calories. If you're looking for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, with a main focus on food coverage, nutrition, and recipe development. Read more
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