Coffee brewed in a French press is becoming the preferred beverage of more and more caffeine addicts, but new research suggests that might not be a good thing. The executive editor of Harvard Health Letter wants coffee drinkers to think twice before ordering a cup of French press, because it could lead to increased levels of LDL cholesterol (that's the bad kind).
"Without a filter, some of the oily substances found in coffee beans, called diterpenes, wind up in your cup," writes editor Heidi Godman. "Coffee aficionados say these oils make the brew taste better. But you should know that diterpenes have been shown to have a negative impact on health."
Of course, it takes more than a cup or two to produce any potential negative side affects. Godman cites Dr. Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who says "five to eight cups a day of unfiltered coffee" may raise an individual's LDL cholesterol. Rimm recommends anyone regularly drinking French press coffee should monitor their cholesterol levels, and they should limit consumption to no more than five cups a day.
Investigating coffee's health benefits — or detriments — hasn't resulted in much of a consensus on how good or bad the beverage might be. Some studies have shown coffee-drinkers may live longer and that the drink may help heal liver damage. However, there's also data that suggests coffee isn't as healthy as researchers previously thought.