Which Coffee Is Healthier: Light vs. Dark Roast?


Which Coffee Is Healthier:
Light vs. Dark Roast” For those drinking non-paper-
filtered coffee, like boiled, French press, or Turkish coffee, the amount of cholesterol-
raising compounds in the lightest roast coffee
may be twice as high compared to using
very dark roast beans. So, it appears some of the cholesterol-
raising compounds are destroyed by roasting; so, in this case darker
would be better, or… you can just use a paper filter
and eliminate 95 percent of the cholesterol-raising
activity of coffee regardless of the roast as I’ve described before. But I did another video showing
dark roasting may also destroy up to nearly 90 percent of
the chlorogenic acids, which are the antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory phytonutrients purported to account for
many of coffee’s benefits. So, in that case, light
roast would be better. On the other hand, dark roasting
can wipeout up to 99.8 percent of pesticides in conventionally
grown coffee, and more than 90 percent
of a fungal contaminant called ochratoxin, which is
a potent kidney toxin found in a wide range of food ingredients
that can get moldy. But then, what about the polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbon products of combustion that are suspected
to be carcinogenic and DNA damaging? Darker roasts may have up to four
times more than light roasts. Thus, they advocate controlling
roasting conditions to cut down on these
combustion compounds. Just to put things in perspective,
even the darkest roast coffee might only max out at a fraction of
a nanogram of benzopyrene per cup— considered to be the most
toxic of these compounds— whereas a single medium
portion of grilled chicken could have over 1,000 times more. Overall, you don’t know
if light versus dark roast is better until you…
put it to the test. This study found that dark roast coffee
is more effective than light roast coffee in reducing body weight. Folks were randomized to a month
of drinking two cups a day of light roast coffee
or dark roast coffee, roasted from the same
batch of green coffee beans. And in normal weight subjects
it didn’t seem to matter— no significant weight
changes either month— but in overweight study subjects,
they ended up about six pounds lighter drinking dark roast coffee
compared to light roast coffee; more than a pound a week lost just
drinking a different type of coffee. What about light versus dark
in relation to blood sugars? We’ve known since 2015 that
even a single cup of coffee can affect the blood sugar response. Here’s the blood sugar spike over two
hours after drinking a cup of coffee with more than a dozen sugar cubes in it (like a quarter cup of
sugar in one cup of coffee) compared to the spike from the same
amount of sugar in just plain water. What is not known is whether
this increase in blood sugars is actually clinically meaningful. After all, coffee consumption does not
seem to increase the risk of diabetes, and if you compare light roast
coffee to dark roast coffee right before chugging down
about 20 teaspoons of sugar, there didn’t appear to be any difference. Perhaps the take home
message is: light or dark, maybe we shouldn’t be adding
20 spoonfuls of sugar. And finally, what about
the effect of different roasts on heartburn and stomach upset? We’ll find out next.