Is Decaf Healthy?

Posted by:strictlycoffee onOctober 12, 2011

Some people are told by their doctors that the caffeine has to go – yet they don’t want to give up their daily java fix. Coffee lovers sometimes switch over to drinking decaffeinated coffee as a way to get the taste without the health effects of the caffeine. Is this a good idea? Is decaffeinated coffee healthy?

Drinking coffee appears to have health benefits. Coffee is a good source of antioxidants – and some studies show it reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even gallstones. Yet, the caffeine in coffee can increase blood pressure and lead to nervousness and insomnia. It would seem that drinking decaffeinated coffee would allow a person to get the health benefits of coffee’s antioxidants without the caffeine side effects.
Unfortunately, it may not be so simple. Some of the disease prevention benefits of coffee may be partly related to the caffeine – which is thought to be the case with Parkinson’s disease prevention. Some of the health benefits may also come from the synergy between the caffeine and other components in the coffee.

There’s also the issue of how coffee is decaffeinated. coffee usually involves the use of chemical solvents that may leave behind an unhealthy residue. Although coffee can be decaffeinated using a water extraction method that doesn’t use solvents.  Today, most processors use safe methods to remove caffeine. A few different techniques are available.  Coffee beans are decaffeinated by softening the beans with water and using a substance to extract the caffeine. Water alone cannot be used because it strips away too much of the flavor. The goal is to extract the caffeine with minimal loss of flavor. Substances used to remove the caffeine may directly or indirectly come in contact with the beans, and so the processes are referred to as direct or indirect decaffeination. The most commonly used solvent for decaffeinating coffee is methylene chloride – a chemical which is believed to increase the risk of cancer.

Studies show that decaffeinated coffee (but not regular coffee) was associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Decaffeinated coffee is acidic which can alter the body’s pH balance leading to decreased bone density and digestive problems. Both decaf and regular coffee increase secretion of gastrin by the stomach which can cause intestinal burning and acid reflux. In addition decaffeinating coffee doesn’t remove all of the caffeine and people often think they can drink more because it’s decaf.In order for coffee to qualify as decaffeinated, it must have at least 97 percent of its caffeine removed. What does that add up to? An eight-ounce cup of decaf coffee would have no more than 5 or fewer milligrams of caffeine (compared to the range of 40 – 180 mg. typically found in one eight-ounce cup of brewed, dripped, or percolated java).

The bottom line? Drinking decaffeinated coffee isn’t necessarily healthier, although it may be a better choice for a die hard coffee drinker who has high blood pressure. Does decaffeinated coffee increase the risk of heart disease? It’s hard to say. For people who can’t give up their coffee, buy naturally decaffeinated coffee where the caffeine is removed by the Swiss water process of decaffeination to avoid exposure to solvent residues. If you are uncertain, you can ask or call your coffee processor to learn about the method used. Rest assured Strictly Coffee ONLY make use of the CO2 process  to produce their outstanding Decaf

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