Americans love eating in cafeterias. Nothing is more fun than sampling the vast and sundry mixture of tasty delights full of fat, salt and sugar. In response, our brain always rewards us with a dopamine-fueled euphoria. Unfortunately, whatever goes up must come down; that includes our mood. The meal is finished and we can almost sense the deposition of fat molecules into the fats cells nestled around our waist. We are suddenly grateful that the exit doors of cafeterias are always a few inches wider than their entry doors. It's time for a few cups of coffee!
Coffee contains many healthy chemicals such as potassium, niacin, magnesium, and a variety of antioxidants (I've written about many of these in previous blogs). One of the problems in documenting the benefits of coffee drinking in humans is that we have complex diets. Coffee drinkers are often also smokers; in addition, they consume more calories, eat less fruit and have a more sedentary lifestyle than people who drink tea. Drinking coffee does lower uric acid levels in the blood, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers; however, it does matter how your coffee is prepared. Non-filtered, boiled coffee, in contrast to filtered coffee, actually increases serum levels of the bad cholesterol LDL without affecting blood levels of the good cholesterol HDL. Thus, it appears as though the constituents of coffee may alter the way we metabolize and distribute our fat. Does this translate into a removal of fat from around the waist? A recent study from a group of scientists at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba Australia attempted to answer this question.