Can French press coffee raise cholesterol?

Can French press coffee raise cholesterol?

I’m not a huge coffee drinker these days, but I do like a small cup after lunch. Usually, I’ll fix a cup from the leftovers in our drip machine, since my husband drinks coffee in the mornings, but if there’s no coffee in the house, I like to make a cup of French press to get me over the afternoon energy slump. A new study in The journal Molecular Endocrinology looks at how French press coffee raises cholesterol, and it definitely gave me pause when it comes to that afternoon cup!

The study found that cafestrol, a compound in coffee, interacts with your liver to raise cholesterol. The really interesting thing? Even decaf coffee contains cafestrol.

There are a couple of points that struck me about this study:

  1. It’s not just French press. All coffee contains cafestrol, but paper filters get it out of your cup. Along with French press, boiled coffee and espresso drinks contained the highest levels of the compound.
  2. It takes a lot of coffee. According to a related study, you’d have to drink five cups of French press coffee a day for almost a month to see a 6-8% increase in blood cholesterol levels.

So, what does this all mean for the average coffee drinker? What we consider “a cup” of coffee is often more than a cup, and most espresso drinks contain more than one shot of espresso, so you’d want to be keeping track not of how many mugs you’re drinking but how much coffee is in those mugs. If you’re drinking just 1-2 shots of espresso a day or 8-16oz of French press coffee (1-2 cups), you’re probably fine.

Die-hard coffee drinkers might want to take heed. Instead of espresso drinks or French press, go for drip coffee or Chemex coffee to satisfy your need for caffeine.

What do you guys think? Does this study have you reconsidering how much coffee you’re drinking?

Image Credit: French Press photo via Shutterstock

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