Hear it from an Expert - Applied Nutrition Science Diploma Instructor Kaylynne Mateus (R.D, Bachelor of Nutrition Science, Masters in Public Health):

Entering the world of nutrition leaves most people with more questions than answers. There are a million different opinions and ideas that are all promoted as fact. As an Elevated Learning Academy Applied Nutrition Science Diploma graduate, you’ll learn how to sift through headlines, translate the data, and apply new research to provide cutting edge nutrition recommendations that are backed by evidence.

One recent headline read “2-3 cups of coffee daily linked to longevity, lower risk of cardiovascular disease”.

The new study headline was based on, “The impact of coffee subtypes on incident cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, and mortality: long-term outcomes from the UK Biobank” which concluded that drinking 2-3 cups of coffee per day prolongs life and decreases risk of cardiovascular disease compared to avoiding coffee altogether.

The study included 449,563 participants aged 40-69. Participants were free from any cardiovascular disease history and completed questionnaires on how many cups of coffee they drank per day, and what type of coffee they chose. They were then grouped based on how many cups they drank and observed over an average of 12.5 years.

Data was adjusted according to sex, ethnicity, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, smoking status, tea intake, and alcohol consumption.

The key findings demonstrated that consumption of all types of coffee (instant, ground, decaf) were linked with a reduction in death risk. The greatest risk reduction was 2-3 cups per day when compared to non-coffee drinkers. Coffee drinking of any type was also associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease.

The authors concluded that coffee should no longer be discouraged but rather included in heart healthy nutrition recommendations. They also hypothesized that it’s not the caffeine, but one of the over 100 biologically active components in coffee that resulted in the health benefits.

So should we all start drinking coffee? Maybe not. The data in this study was self-reported so it’s unknown exactly how strictly participants adhered to their reported number of cups and type of coffee over time. The participants were also primarily Caucasian and the findings may not be entirely applicable to other ethnicities. It’s also important to note that the caffeine in coffee can trigger anxiety or cause jitters for some people so it’s important to listen to your own body to determine if your current coffee habit is right for you.

The headlines aren’t always what they seem! Knowing how to determine which headlines and research are worth promoting, and which are just clickbait are skills you’ll learn as an Elevated Learning Academy graduate. This will help set you apart and create trust with your future clients.

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