Who would ever think that the choice made in selecting a decaf coffee would make a difference in the level of your LDL cholesterol?
Apparently so, from research findings by Dr. H. Robert Superko of the Fuqua Heart Center in Atlanta. This goes back to a study in 2005 led by Dr. Superko and presented to the American Heart Association.
In the study, 187 coffee drinkers were randomly assigned to three groups of people and studied for an eight week period: those who daily drank three to five cups of decaf coffee; those who drank the same amount of caffeinated coffee; and those who drank no coffee. No creamers of sweeteners were used by the coffee drinkers, just black.
Results of the eight week study showed no change among the three groups in levels of triglycerides, HDL, glucose, or insulin — but there were significant increases in the level of the bad LDL cholesterol among the decaf drinkers.
So, why would that be? Why would drinking decaf raise your cholesterol? Dr. Superko speculated in an interview that the decaf coffee was of the Robusta species of coffee beans, which has a higher dipertene, or fat content, than does coffee made from the Arabica species. Apparently the coffee drinkers who drank caffeinated coffee in the study drank coffee from the milder, more expensive Arabica beans.
The health message here would be to understand what type of bean is used in your decaf, and choose Arabica. Typically, decaf coffees are made from Robusta beans, and you may need to look closely to see if you’re drinking Arabica-based decaf. HealthWise Swiss Water Process decaf is 100% Colombian coffee, and since Colombian only produces Arabica, no need to worry if you drink HealthWise decaf.