If you’re anything like me you love a good cup of coffee in the morning. But a recent California lawsuit is raising concerns that the process involved in making it could potentially be harmful to our health.
Read on to see if your type of coffee could contain cancer-causing chemicals.
Roasted Coffee and Cancer
A non-profit group pushing for transparency on toxic chemicals has sued some of the nation’s largest coffeemakers. At issue is a chemical called acrylamide, which is known to cause cancer in rats and mice at very high doses.
Sounds scary doesn’t it? It’s actually a chemical that’s not just found in coffee — it’s also in things like potatoes, canned black olives, prune juice, and baked goods like bread and cookies.
It’s in some food packaging and is a component of cigarette smoke, as well. (3)
In 2002, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified acrylamide as a carcinogen, because of the studies showing its cancer-causing effects in animals. However, studies in humans have been mixed. (4)
A research review done four years ago found that there was NO significant association between eating foods containing acrylamide and various cancers. (2)
Yet, acrylamide is still classified as a “potential occupational carcinogen” by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is a branch of the CDC. (1)
The Food and Drug Administration says it’s still gathering more information — but it also released a statement giving consumers suggestions for cutting the chemical out of their diets. So I wouldn’t be surprised to hear more about this issue in the near future.
How To Avoid Acrylamide In Your Coffee
The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to eliminate coffee from your diet. There are ways to drink coffee so that there is less of this questionable chemical contained.
#1 Use Dark Roast vs. Light Roast
Interestingly enough, acrylamide is formed during the early stages of roasting, but is then broken down again as roasting continues. This means light roast coffee actually contains more acrylamide than dark roast coffee.
#2 Choose Arabica vs Robusta
Research has found there are slightly higher levels of acrylamide in robusta beans. This is great news for Starbucks lovers, because Starbucks uses 100% Arabica beans in their coffee.
#3 Acrylamide Decreases Over Time
According to the FDA, acrylamide levels in coffee actually decrease over time. So the longer your coffee has been sitting on the shelf, the less acrylamide it contains.
#4 Drink Brewed vs Espresso
There is some evidence that brewed coffee contains less acrylamide than espresso. Why is this? Because espresso generally contains more of the ground bean sediment, which is where the bulk of acrylamide resides.
13 Coffee Brands With The Lowest Acrylamide
- Yuban 100% Columbian
- Hills Bros 100% Columbian
- Seattle’s Best Medium Roast
- McGarvey Twin Cities Blend
- New England Coffee Co. French Roast
- Hawaiin Isles Kona Sunrise
- Starbucks French Roast
- Aspen Select Texas Pecan Whole Bean Coffee
- Harmony Bay Breakfast Blend
- Cafe Bustelo Dark Roast
- Medaglia D’Oro Caffe’ Espresso Coffee
- Seaport 100% Pure Dark Roast
- Hills Bros Coffee
- Too much of anything can be bad. Drink only 1-2 cups of coffee per day. Get the rest of your energy from eating raw, healing foods.
- If you need more caffeine, try Matcha green tea. The caffeine in Matcha has a less dramatic effect on the nervous system than coffee and is also less likely to make you crash later.
- Don’t drink coffee after 12pm to avoid negative consequences on sleep.
- Eat lots of antioxidant-rich, cancer-fighting foods like berries, green smoothies, raw cacao, pecans, cilantro, artichoke, kidney beans, etc.
Further research is needed to determine the true risk associated with acrylamide consumption, but there is enough evidence suggesting that one should limit the amount consumed if possible.