Here's proof that all that coffee we gulp down every morning has benefits that go beyond twitching. And this proof doesn't even involve a hard-to-decipher study and over-caffeinated mice—it’s a straightforward recommendation from the group that helps shape government nutrition guidelines. Addressing coffee for the first time ever, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Committee just issued a report that states that “moderate” consumption of three to five cups of coffee a day (24-40 ounces), “is not associated with increased long-term health risks among healthy individuals. In fact, consistent evidence indicates that coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
Committee member Tom Brenna made sure to hedge when he said to Bloomberg, “I don’t want to get into implying coffee cures cancer—no one thinks that.” But the amount of coffee that he and his committee labeled as moderate and healthy is still quite notable. Three to five cups of coffee is a lot more than most Americans currently drink. According to a study from Quartz last year, it’s actually more than double our average coffee intake. Even the Netherlands, the biggest coffee drinking country in the world per capita, doesn’t hit three cups a day.
One more thing to remember before making a third dash out to Starbucks: The panel emphasized how much of what we add to coffee is not good for you. “Care should be taken to minimize the amount of calories from added sugars and high-fat dairy substitutes added to coffee,” said the report. So steer clear of things that start with “frap” or end with “blended.”
If you want to up your coffee intake while tempering the jitters, here’s a tip: try darker roast coffees. They contain less caffeine by volume than lighter roasts. Now if you’ll excuse us, we need at least one more cup of coffee today.