If you rely on coffee to get you going in the morning or simply enjoy the taste of freshly brewed java, then you know that not every cup is the same.
Along with the type of coffee beans that are used, not to mention the possibility of using coffee creamer, any type of sweetener can also change the flavor. Granted, going forward you might not want to let flavor be the deciding factor when it comes to how you choose to drink your coffee.
A new study has found that opting for unsweetened coffee, or, if you absolutely need to add a little sweetness, a cup of coffee that includes a touch of sugar might actually help you live longer.
In the study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China took a look at data from over 171,000 participants that had answered a U.K. Biobank study health behavior questionnaire.
When considering how unsweetened coffee and coffee that was sweetened by sugar affected the body, research showed that after a seven-year period, those who opted for unsweetened coffee had a 16-20% less chance of dying as opposed to those who didn't drink coffee at all. Those numbers rose to 29-31% when it came to participants who regularly added around one tablespoon of sugar to their coffee.
When it comes to the findings, Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior dietitian at UCLA medical center, and assistant professor at UCLA Fielding school of public health tells Eat This, Not That! although the findings were "interesting," they're "not overly surprising, as there is a lot of data to support coffee as a healthy, anti-inflammatory beverage."
"Black coffee is the healthiest because it contains all the healthy polyphenols and antioxidants of the coffee without any of the inflammatory compounds that might be found in too much sugar or creamy additives," Hunnes says.
As for coffee that's sweetened with sugar, Hunnes notes that it "basically has the same effect, because 1 teaspoon of sugar is very little in the whole scheme of a well-balanced diet, and that small amount of sugar will not lead to a swing in blood sugars or other major health repercussions that heavily sweetened beverages would (ie. some fancy coffee drinks may have as much as eight to 12 teaspoons of sugar in it plus cream!)."
To find out more about how your favorite brew might benefit your body, be sure to read 5 Coffee Habits to Help You Live Longer, Say Dietitians.