Healthy Decisions for the Love of Health

Coffee - May be a killer depending on your Metabolic Type Dr. Mercola

The lead researcher on this study was quoted as saying it "clearly illustrates that one size does not fit all," and I couldn't agree more.

That's one of the major principles behind the concept of metabolic typing; what may be very healthy for others is not necessarily as healthy for you. That's why proper eating according to your metabolic type is really the only way to learn what foods really are good for you.

In the metabolic typing system slow metabolizers of caffeine are typically protein types. So if you are a protein type it appears that coffee provides you with many more negative effects than a carb type.

A simple way to know how quickly you metabolize caffeine is to notice how sensitive you are to caffeine. If you can drink a cup of regular coffee and fall asleep you probably metabolize caffeine quickly. However, if a half-cup of java in the early a.m. keeps you awake at night you are a very slow metabolizer of caffeine.

However, even if you are a slow metabolizer please remember that coffee drinking is problematic at best. Coffee can:

* Interfere with your body's ability to keep cholesterol levels in check
* Increases your risk of stroke
* Cause damage in pregnancy 

And, if you think going decaf is any safer for you, guess again. Decaffeinated coffee can increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

So if you have the coffee habit it is time to consider stopping. However, please avoid the mistake that most people make when deciding to eliminate coffee from their diet. Caffeine is a drug and if you go off cold-turkey you will needlessly suffer.

I recommend weaning yourself off coffee by cutting down the amount you drink gradually over a period of days or even weeks. It's important to drink plenty of water during the process in order to keep your body well hydrated.

While you're doing that, here are some tips to reduce the chance of harmful effects until you can completely eliminate it:

* Use organic coffee. Coffee is a heavily sprayed crop, so drinking organic coffee might reduce or eliminate your exposure to toxic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers.

* Try "Swiss Water Process" decaf. If you are going to drink decaffeinated coffee, be sure that it uses a non-chemical based method of decaffeination. The "Swiss Water Process" is a patented method and is the best choice. Most of the major brands are chemically decaffeinated, even if it says "naturally decaffeinated" right on the container.

* Avoid sugar and milk. These are actually much worse for you than the coffee itself.

* Only use unbleached filters. If you use a "drip" coffee maker, be sure to use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones, which most people use, are chlorine bleached and some of this chlorine will be extracted from the filter during the brewing process. 

Once you're no longer drinking coffee, remember that your healthiest and best beverage alternative, regardless of your metabolic type, is clean fresh water.

Copyright 2005 HealthSmart Nutrition. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 25, 2006

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