Coffee Gets Green Light in New Dietary Guidelines, But Hold the Sugar

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have released the “2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” Although the new dietary guidelines put an emphasis on reduced sugar consumption, now coffee drinkers can enjoy their caffeinated cup of joe without guilt, as the much-loved beverage gets the green light.

The guide “is grounded in the most current scientific evidence and is informed by the recommendations of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee,” according to the secretaries of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. This is the first time any government agency has offered a daily recommendation for sugar consumption — 10 percent of your daily calorie intake. The Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee also recommends eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages.

“By focusing on small shifts in what we eat and drink, eating healthy becomes more manageable. The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic conditions, like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell said in support of the new guidelines.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee also presented coffee in a positive light for the first time, noting the alternative health benefits of the popular brewed bean. According to the new guidelines, moderate coffee consumption can be implemented into a healthy daily diet. 

Newspaper and coffeeThe new guidelines outline an association between coffee consumption and a reduced risk for developing multiple chronic diseases. Chapter 5, Part D of the guidelines states, “In fact, consistent evidence indicates that coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in healthy adults. Moreover, moderate evidence shows a protective association between coffee/caffeine intake and risk of Parkinson’s disease.” 

Coffee enthusiasts can now feel good about drinking multiple cups of coffee, right? Well, there are still a few factors to consider when consuming the three to five cups of coffee recommended by the new dietary guidelines. Caffeine combined with alcohol is still not recommended. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee states, “Concern is heightened when caffeine is combined with alcoholic beverages.”

The new guidelines also addressed concerns over the high sugar content of many coffee drinks. For example, a 16-ounce Starbucks Frappuccino serves up 50 grams of sugar. The guidelines advise, “Care should be taken to minimize the amount of calories from added sugars and high-fat dairy or dairy substitutes added to coffee.”

It is wonderful to see coffee get a boost from health officials. What do you think of the new dietary guidelines for coffee?

—Stephen Seifert

Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.



Recommended Articles