Filtered Coffee Can Help Fight Type 2 Diabetes, New Research Finds

mbg Editorial Assistant By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Editorial Assistant
Eliza Sullivan is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She received a B.S. journalism and a B.A. in english literature from Boston University.
Woman Sipping Tea / Coffee

Image by Victor Torres / Stocksy

When you plan your morning cup of coffee, any thought of how you brew it is probably related to two factors: flavor, and maybe how hard it is to make at home. But emerging research suggests that how you prepare your coffee can affect the health benefits you glean from it.

Previous research has shown drinking a few cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (among other diseases), but researchers wanted to answer another common coffee question: Which preparation yields the most benefits for this health concern?

A recent study from two Swedish universities, Chalmers University of Technology and Umeå University, found making coffee via a filter method has a positive effect on diabetes risk, and boiled coffee preparations do not.

If you're wondering what the difference is, it's actually not as complicated as it sounds: Filter methods are those that use paper filters. Things like pour-over and even your classic coffee maker would fall into this category—it's the most common in the U.S.

Boiled coffee is a method that involves submerging the grounds in boiling water. Turkish and Greek coffee fall into this group. While French press preparations are similar, the researchers did not make claims regarding this method as it's slightly different.

The researchers did speculate that drinking espresso may yield more similar health effects to boiled coffee since it doesn't use a paper filter. They also did not consider the instant forms of coffee and point out that "pod"-brewing methods are also not filtered.

What else do we know?

Previous research has considered the impact of brewing methods on the risk for heart and vascular diseases, especially filtering coffee. This research has found that the use of a filter removes diterpenes, which can increase the risk of these diseases. Diterpenes were not identified as the cause of the benefits of coffee for preventing diabetes.

With filter coffee, "you get the health benefits of the many other molecules present, such as different phenolic substances. In moderate amounts, caffeine also has positive health effects," said Rikard Landberg, a professor and one of the authors on the study.

Landberg also pointed out that the health benefits of coffee have to do with way more than how you prepare it. Things like the coffee's origin, its organic status, and more can affect the health of your morning cup—not to mention things like what (if any) milk you add and sweetener choices.

This is definitely still a new area of research, and there's more work to be done, so maybe don't go changing things just yet. But if you're wondering about how your morning cup affects your health, or how to make it healthier, there's plenty to be done to make sure enjoying that coffee is better for you (and the planet too).

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