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Coffee is one of those things that no one can seem to agree on. Much like eggs or red meat, studies go back and forth on whether it’s healthy or will lead to certain death before you can say “one cold brew, please.” Alright, that may be a bit dramatic, but you know what we mean.
Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University looked at data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to see how coffee consumption (in cups per day) related to body fat percentage. As it turns out, women who drank two to three cups per day had less body fat than those who don’t drink it.
Women aged 20-44 had the least body fat overall, and women who enjoyed those few cups of coffee per day had 3.4 percent less body fat than their counterparts who didn’t. In the 45-69 age group, java drinkers had 4.1 percent less body fat. Overall, the average was 2.8 percent less fat in the coffee drinking group. Again, that’s two to three cups per day.
Interestingly, the trend even applied to those who drank decaf. Granted, this study didn’t look at trends over time, just a specific point in time. Even so, it does link body fat and coffee, no matter the caffeine content. How people took their coffee wasn’t mentioned, but remember that coffee with cream and sugar can add some serious calories to your diet.
“Our research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee other than caffeine that regulate weight and which could potentially be used as anti-obesity compounds,” senior study author Dr Lee Smith said in a release. “It could be that coffee, or its effective ingredients, could be integrated into a healthy diet strategy to reduce the burden of chronic conditions related to the obesity epidemic.”