New Findings May Have You Rethinking Your Morning Espresso

For coffee drinkers, the thought of a fresh cup of coffee is enough to get them out of bed most mornings. Even if it means waiting in a long line at a coffee shop, the day doesn't officially start until they've had their first sip. According to a survey released by the National Coffee Association, American coffee drinkers drink an average of about three cups of coffee each day. 

When it comes to coffee, there's no limit on flavor variety or ways to prepare it. Espresso is a popular type of coffee that was invented in Italy, according to Serious Eats. An espresso shot has an intense flavor, a syrupy body, and a foamy layer on the top. This is achieved by a machine that brews finely ground coffee beans under high water pressure. Just like with other types of coffee, milk, syrups, sugars, or creamers can be added to suit your taste buds (via Serious Eats). Although a shot of espresso may give you the boost you need in the morning, a newly published study suggests that it may cause trouble for your health.

Drinking coffee may increase total cholesterol levels

Researchers analyzed 21,083 people in Norway to discover if there was a connection between coffee drinking and serum total cholesterol levels, according to WebMD. When compared to those who didn't drink coffee, both women and men who drink three to five cups of espresso each day had increased total cholesterol levels. The research team also studied how other types of coffee impacted cholesterol levels. 

When women drank six or more cups of filtered coffee per day, there was a link to increased total cholesterol levels. Both men and women who drank more than six cups of boiled or plunger coffee each day had an increase in total cholesterol levels. When participants drank instant coffee, there was an increase in total cholesterol levels for men and women, but there wasn't a correlation to the number of cups they drank (via WebMD).

Dr. David Kao, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, stated, "Sometimes the coffee consumption is just a marker of other things" (via WebMD). Dr. Kao suggests that researchers analyze lifestyle factors such as sleep habits and diet. "I would also suggest looking at the HDL, which is good, versus LDL, which is bad, rather than just the total in a case like this. If the change is all due to increased good HDL, then that is actually desirable," Dr. Kao stated.