Australia has one of the strongest coffee cultures in the world.
But what if you were told that as well as tasting delicious it can also help you with weight loss?
Australian dietitian and author, Melanie McGrice, has explained how coffee can help to burn fat and increase your metabolism.
‘Contrary to what most people think, drinking coffee isn’t bad for you as long as you aren’t adding a whole lot of sugar to it,’ Melanie told FEMAIL.
Melanie explained that it’s the caffeine in coffee that increases your metabolism.
‘It can be a good strategy for many people to drink a couple of coffees a day and give your metabolism a little boost – it is only little, but better than nothing,’ she said.
‘Coffee increases your metabolism but it’s not going to make you drop a kilogram a week,’ she said.
‘We’re talking about a tiny increase in your metabolism here, but there’s a whole lot of little things that can add up.’
Caffeine has made its way to most commercial fat-burning supplements because it helps to mobilise fats from the fat tissues and increase metabolism.
‘Interestingly if you look at over the counter weight loss medications, the key ingredient is caffeine or some form of caffeine,’ Melanie said.
‘It’s much cheaper and effective to have a cup of coffee or green tea for weight management than it is to take some of those over the counter weight loss medications.
‘Not only are you getting the benefit of the caffeine, but there is also a lot of health benefits as well.’
Researchers from Perkins and researchers from the University of Western Australia’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology in Australia conducted a study where they hoped to prove that coffee improved people’s cardiovascular function.
‘Studies have shown that coffee consumption lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,’ said the University of WA’s Professor Kevin Croft.
‘This also included research on decaffeinated coffee, which suggested that the health benefits are from a compound in coffee apart from caffeine.’
This being said, they found that drinking too much of the caffeinated beverage may worsen the metabolic syndrome.
‘With this in mind, we studied the effects of Polyphenols, or more specifically CGAs, which are very rich in coffee,’ Professor Kevin Croft said.
CGAs have been known for their health benefits such as reducing body fat accumulation and blood pressure as well as increasing insulin sensitivity.
‘However, this study proved the opposite in dosages equivalent to five or six cups of coffee per day,’ added Perkin’s Assistant Professor Vance Matthews.
This means that although caffeine does have it’s health benefits, the more coffee you drink these benefits turn into disadvantages.
He added that it was still fine for people to drink moderate amounts of coffee.
‘It seems that the health effects are dose-dependent. A moderate intake of coffee, up to three to four cups a day still seems to decrease the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,’ he said.
Melanie agrees with this as she told FEMAIL that people shouldn’t be drinking any more than four coffees a day.
‘If you’re replacing a Cola or a soft drink with a lot of sugar in it and a lot of calories with coffee, which doesn’t have a lot of calories unless you’re adding sugar or milk or syrup, it’s better for you,’ she said.
‘If you’re adding sugar you’re undoing the benefits of coffee for weight loss because the sugar is going to be providing more calories than what you burned from the caffeine.’
As coffee culture has expanded, so has the variety of coffees you can ask your barista to whip up.
This means that fatty extras such as flavoured creamers and caramel drizzle have become all too common, which means people end up consuming a lot of extra calories.
Adding milk to coffee is something Melanie is more divided on as she believes it’s a great place for people to get their daily milk intake.
‘Adding milk doesn’t counteract the caffeine’s impact on your metabolism but it is going to add more calories to your diet,’ Melanie explained.
Source: Daily Mail