Coffee may help me live longer, but here are 5 reasons I'll never drink it
When a new study came out claiming that coffee drinkers may live longer lives, I know quite a few people that jumped up and down in glee. But I'm definitely not one of them. I've never liked coffee and, much to my Cuban family's dismay, I never even sip it during family gatherings. It's not that I haven't tried it before but, between the way it tastes bitter to me and all of the sketchy research about the benefits or dangers of coffee, I just never wanted to take the chance. And while this study is saying that people actually live longer thanks to coffee, I'm not buying it. Not only does it go against a lot of other research, but the way they did it doesn't really have me convinced. So here it is, the 5 reasons I'll never drink coffee (including why that study isn't telling you everything).
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1. The new study is seriously flawed. No, really. It is! If you read through how they determined that coffee drinkers may live longer, they basically admit that they took out the people who engaged in other risky behavior such as smoking, eating more red meat and fewer fruits and vegetables as well as exercising less and drinking more alcohol. The coffee drinkers that were left lived longer and the study claims that it's because of the coffee. But, COME ON! If you take a group of people who don't smoke, eat less (or no) red meat, more produce, exercise regularly and aren't heavy drinkers…don't you think it's pretty obvious that they're going to live longer? It has little, if anything, to do with their coffee consumption. It's because these people are just healthier individuals, which is why they are living longer. You take out the coffee and, let me tell you, those that have healthier lifestyles (including a more nutritious diet, more exercise and less smoking) are still going to live much longer than people who smoke, drink and eat junk.
2. Coffee DOES raise your blood pressure. I don't think anyone can deny that coffee raises your heart rate and blood pressure, due to it containing the stimulant caffeine. Although other drinks contain caffeine too, such as black and green tea, it's nowhere the amount that coffee has. Now, I don't have any heart problems—but it does worry me when I feel my heart racing a little bit because of something I drank instead of more natural causes. Especially if you have high blood pressure, coffee is just NOT a good idea. I hate the way that it makes me feel, like my body is internally shaking a bit. Yes, maybe I'm a little bit more awake in the process—but the heart racing is still not great.
3. It stains my teeth so they look yellow. I've never really been a coffee drinker but the few times I did drink it, I noticed an almost instantaneous change in coloring on my teeth. Yes, soda and black tea do this too—but nowhere near as bad as coffee. If you're a long-time coffee drinker, you probably know what I mean. I don't exactly love going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning and those whitening strips always tasted disgusting to me, so coffee affecting me in this way is quite annoying. I'd really rather stick to drinks (like water!) that aren't going to cause this kind of damage.
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4. Labor laws are pretty sketchy. There has definitely been a push to make the working conditions of people who are manufacturing coffee beans into coffee much more tolerable—but it's still not enough. Yes, you can buy fair trade coffee and hope for the best. But what about all of the children slaving away to make coffee for us that isn't quite so fair trade? Reading those kind of stories breaks my heart and I just can't imagine buying coffee, knowing that someone may have been reduced practically to slave labor to get it to me.
5. Adding in milk and sugar is not good. Besides the fact that adding in things to coffee to make it taste better (since it tastes quite bitter to me) adds to your calories, it also has not-so-good health benefits. The argument is still out on whether milk is actually good for you or not, but sugar has definitely been proven to have plenty of dangers for your health. It's as addictive as cocaine and has been proven to cause obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Well, I don't know about you, but those seem like pretty good reasons to lay off the sugar in your coffee!
Are you a coffee drinker? Do you think it's doing damage or are you happy that it may be helping you live longer? Share with us in the comments below!
Image via Lukas Kramer/flickr