Coffee with a clear conscience

That coffee habit of yours? It’s probably good for you — minus the sugar, the milk, the whipped cream and the high-calorie flavor shots.

That’s the view of the federal nutrition advisory panel, which recently released its updated recommendations on what people should and shouldn’t eat and drink.

And while most of the headlines focused on the panel’s findings that people should consume less sugar, it also devoted some attention to the fact that drinking three to five cups a day is not only unlikely to hurt you, it’s also associated with a lower mortality risk and appears to be protective against type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s.

(Here’s a discussion of coffee and diabetes risk.)

But as Dr. Bryan Alsip, chief medical officer of University Health System, points out to San Antonio Express-News reporter Jessica Belasco, it’s still unclear what the role of caffeine is in all this. Which matters if you prefer tea.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meets every five years to review the latest research on nutrition and update its recommendations. 

Photo by MKDigital Art/pixabay