Coffee and high triglycerides: the espresso cup is a possible ally for our health
Let us discover everything there is to know about the relationship between coffee and high triglycerides. The former, rich in polyphenols and other antioxidants, helps to reduce the value of the latter.
- A proper lifestyle diminishes the possibility of having high triglyceride levels in the blood.
- In analyzing the relationship between coffee and high triglycerides, a study reveals how coffee helps reduce triglyceride production.
- Knowing your cholesterol value also allows you to assess your cardiovascular risk.
- Coffee counteracts high triglycerides due to its supply of valuable antioxidants and nutrients.
- Reviewing your diet and exercising regularly are the first steps to lowering high triglycerides.
When there is an excess of calories
Sometimes it happens. You think you lead a healthy lifestyle. In reality, after having undergone a blood test, it often turns out not all values are within the norm. One of the scariest values is the one related to triglycerides. They are our energy reserve, thanks to which we can face the day. If we consume more calories than we need, however, triglyceride levels rise too high. This way they become a risk factor, especially for our heart and blood vessels. Hence the importance of following a varied and balanced diet, characterized by a congruous intake of all nutrients. In this context, is there a relationship between coffee consumption and high triglycerides? Here we will answer the question.
Coffee and high triglycerides: what is the relationship?
Triglycerides are lipids made up of simpler elements called fatty acids. Some are synthesized directly by our body, others come from the diet. Transformed into calories, triglycerides are stored in fat cells and used throughout the day to allow one’s metabolism to function properly.
An unbalanced diet can result in high triglyceride values. Particularly when one indulges in:
- fats (meat, sausages and cold cuts);
- carbohydrates (simple sugars).
Let us now come to business. What is the relationship between coffee and high triglycerides? According to an American study conducted on an animal model¹, coffee potentially has a protective role. The study shows that the consumption of 4 cups of coffee would be able to limit the production of triglycerides and the storage of lipids in fat cells, thus reducing weight gain.
Triglycerides and cholesterol travel hand in hand
Highlighting the relationship between coffee and high triglycerides is important. The latter, alone, can increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Put simply, fat accumulates in the walls of the arteries, progressively hindering blood flow. This condition can cause complications to the heart. That's why, in order to better evaluate the cardiovascular risk, in addition to triglyceride values, cholesterol values are also examined. This is an essential component to produce vitamin D and various hormones. In particular we examine:
- total cholesterol;
- its fractions: HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, and LDL.
In this case, the relationship between coffee and cholesterol would be ascribed to the way coffee is prepared, as shown by research². Unfiltered coffee would in fact release two substances, cafeol and cafestol, which affect cholesterol levels. This is not the case for filtered coffee, such as Moka coffee.
Coffee as an ally for triglycerides: the role of polyphenols
Between coffee and high triglycerides there is, therefore, a virtuous relationship. According to experts, the consumption of 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day day is considered suitable for a healthy adult³. The standard portion of a cup of Moka coffee is 50 ml, while for an espresso is 30 ml. It is important, however, to be careful not to introduce other sources of caffeine, such as tea, chocolate or energy drinks - as these, overall, can have an impact on high triglycerides. Enjoying a good coffee is also good for its antioxidant and nutritious properties. It is rich, in fact, in:
- vitamin B2 and B3;
- magnesium and potassium.
Polyphenols, in particular, help to improve the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood, protecting the body from the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Lowering triglycerides starting from the diet
So far we have seen the properties of coffee. What about those of high triglycerides? The level of triglycerides is considered normal if it is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter. Up to 200 mg/dl is considered "at the limit", while above this threshold we expressly speak of high triglycerides. To lower triglycerides, the first advice is to contact your doctor for a precise evaluation of your case. Diet is, in general, the first factor on which to work. Nutritionists recommend limiting the intake of foods containing many calories, such as those processed and rich in sugar. According to experts' indications, fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes and fish should be favored, as well as simple cooking methods. Alcohol should be reduced as much as possible. As for the consumption of coffee, science gives us the green light, even during pregnancy. As long as the intake is moderate, not exceeding 4/5 cups per day. Regular exercise is another important and good habit to lower triglycerides and increase "good" cholesterol.
¹ Caffeine, but not other phytochemicals, in mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hilaire) attenuates high-fat-high-sucrose-diet-driven lipogenesis and body fat accumulation
² Coffee Consumption and Serum Lipids: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials
³ Linee Guida per una sana alimentazione, CREA
Caffè a perdere: incipit vincente
Si arriva, quindi, al terzo passaggio essenziale con una Moka nuova: cosa fare per farle “assaggiare” l’odore del caffè? Il classico consiglio della nonna è quello che, effettivamente, fa la differenza. Si tratta, in sintesi, di preparare tre caffè a perdere:
- si riempie la caldaia di acqua, a temperatura ambiente, fino al bordo inferiore della valvola;
- si mette un po’ di macinato nel filtro;
- a questo punto si assembla la caffettiera, ponendola sul fuoco.
Gli infusi ottenuti non vanno versati in tazzina né consumati. Questa operazione fa sì che gli oli e le cere naturalmente presenti nel macinato creino una lieve patina isolante e protettiva all’interno della Moka. Un elemento invisibile, ma di grande rilevanza per proteggere le preparazioni future. Se non per sempre, per un lungo segmento di vita.