The one factor that determines whether your coffee is heart healthy

Even though coffee has transformed its bad-for-you image over the past couple of decades, there are still lingering questions about coffee’s impact on your health… like is it bad or good for your heart?

Around 30 years ago, a Swedish study found that drinking coffee raised total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol so much that it could have a devastating effect on your heart health. Since then, studies about coffee and heart health have been a mixed bag. Some show it has a neutral (or even positive) impact on heart health… others show that coffee is not-so-hot for your heart.

So, what’s the deal? Why is coffee OK for your heart in some studies and not OK in other studies?

Researchers may have finally answered this question. And it has nothing to do with the type of coffee you buy or what you put in it. It’s all about how you brew it…

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Filtered coffee is better for your heart

A new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that using a filter to brew your coffee (or not) could determine whether your coffee is heart-healthy.

The study was a large population study that included data from 508,747 people. Researchers tracked coffee consumption and heart health among participants between 1985 and 2003. Here’s what they found…

Drinking coffee wasn’t a dangerous habit if the coffee was brewed with a filter. In fact, people who drank filtered coffee had better health outcomes than people who drank no coffee at all. They had a 15 percent lower risk of dying from any cause. Men who drank filtered coffee also had a 12 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. And women who drank filtered coffee has an impressive 20 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

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Unfiltered coffee was another story… at least for men over 60.

It wasn’t quite the heart killer that it was made out to be in other studies. Coffee-drinking women still had a lower cardiovascular disease risk than non-coffee drinkers… even if they didn’t use a filter. But men over 60 who drank unfiltered coffee had a higher cardiovascular disease risk than men who didn’t drink coffee or drank filtered coffee.


It’s hard to say for sure, but researchers think it may have something to do with the fact that the filter removes substances that increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood.

Keep drinking (and filtering) your coffee

There you have it — if you use a filter, you should be able to have your coffee and keep your heart healthy too. Heck, you may even end up with a healthier heart than you would’ve without your daily cup of Joe.

Researchers found that study participants were able to lower their risk of early death the most by drinking one to four cups of filtered coffee per day.

Unfortunately, this means that if you rely on a French press to make your coffee, you’ll want to reconsider. If you enjoy Greek-style or Turkish-style coffee, you may want to change your ways too. Any “pour over” style coffee, unfortunately, could contribute to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease since it doesn’t use a filter. Instead, do your heart a favor, and invest in a high-quality coffee maker and some all-natural, unbleached filters.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!


  1. How to make the healthiest coffee, according to science — MedicalXpress.
  2. Coffee consumption and mortality from cardiovascular diseases and total mortality: Does the brewing method matter? — European Journal of Preventative Cardiology.
  3. What is the healthiest way to brew coffee? — Today.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and