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    Natracure Blog — coffee

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    Coffee, Coffee, It's Good For Your Heart

    Drinking coffee, tea or chocolate does not appear to cause heart palpitations, heart fluttering and other out-of-sync heartbeat patterns, researchers reported Tuesday. The report challenges a widely held belief that caffeinated drinks cause irregular heart rhythms that can lead to heart failure or dangerous heart rhythm disorders and is another vindication for coffee as a safe drink. It might be time for doctors to lighten up on coffee, says Dr. Gregory Marcus, a cardiologist at the University of California San Francisco, who led the study. "Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart's cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits," Marcus said in a statement. "WE MAY UNNECESSARILY BE DISCOURAGING CONSUMPTION OF ITEMS LIKE CHOCOLATE, COFFEE AND TEA THAT MIGHT ACTUALLY HAVE CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS." "Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats can be dangerous, this finding is especially relevant." It used to be believed that premature cardiac contractions, which usually cause no symptoms or mild symptoms such as heart palpitations, 'skipped' beats or fluttering, were harmless. But studies now show they're associated with heart failure, atrial fibrillation and other dangerous conditions. And doctors are widely taught that caffeine can cause these heart disturbances. To check, Marcus and colleagues examined 1,388 people, with an average age of 72, taking part in a larger heart study. About 60 percent said they drank some sort of caffeinated product every day. The team looked specifically at coffee, tea and chocolate and did not ask about super-caffeinated energy drinks. They measured instances of premature ventricular contractions and premature atrial contractions. They could not find any differences in instances of these heart disturbances, no matter how much coffee or tea or chocolate people had. "Therefore, we are only able to conclude that in general, consuming caffeinated products every day is not associated with having increased ectopy or arrhythmia but cannot specify a particular amount per day," Marcus and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association. "HABITUAL COFFEE DRINKERS HAVE LOWER RATES OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE." They said it is possible that people who noticed heart flutters or other symptoms from coffee or tea may have cut back - they did not ask them. But they also noted that it's yet another finding in favor of moderate coffee drinking. "Coffee is among the most commonly consumed beverages in the United States and is the main source of caffeine intake among adults," they wrote. "Regular coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and other cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and depression," they added. "Furthermore, large observational studies have found that habitual coffee drinkers have lower rates of coronary artery disease and of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality." The cutoff seems to be around five cups a day, and kids shouldn't be drinking too much caffeine. Higher doses of caffeine can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has warned about sales of powdered caffeine, One teaspoon delivers as much caffeine as 28 cups of regular coffee. By Maggie Fox via NBC News

    The Truth Behind Your Favorite Caffeinated Holiday Drinks

    ‘Tis the season for delicious wintery drinks at your favorite local coffee stop. From lattes to espressos, the options are endless and can make your mouth water. Unfortunately, these drinks have huge prices to pay for your body and health. As we rapidly approach Christmas Day, you may be more tempted than ever to indulge in one of these beverages. But it might not be worth it. The numbers don’t lie and they’re definitely shocking. Vocativ studied holiday drinks from multiple popular food chains in America. The analysis included such celebrated coffee suppliers as Wawa, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Panera Bread. What they found was an unworldly number of calories and a down-right scary amount of sugar. Sadly, even the least sugary of the drinks sampled turned out to be loaded with sugar. It had 60 grams to be exact. That’s 14 teaspoons or 17 packets of sugar. Yes,seventeen. Remember, I’m describing the LEAST sugary drink on the list. So what’s the worst offender? That would be the Mint White Chocolate Hot Chocolate from Wawa. This 16 oz drink checks in with a ridiculous 140 grams of sugar. That’s 33 teaspoons of sugar. You’re better off chugging sugar straight out of the container! As far as packing the most fat, that award goes to the Starbucks’ Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. That baby weighs in with 26 grams of fat. On a normal 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, that equates to 85% of your daily suggested amount of fat. Basically, with this drink, you shouldn’t have anything with a trace of fat for the rest of the day. Is it really worth it? That’s up to you! Here’s a list of the caloric content of some of the most popular holiday beverages, courtesy of Vocativ. 16 oz. Mint White Chocolate Hot Chocolate Wawa:  760 calories 20 oz. Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Starbucks:  710 calories 20 oz. McCafe Hot Chocolate McDonald’s:  540 calories 16 oz. Signature Hot Chocolate Panera Bread:  480 calories 20 oz. Snickerdoodle Latte Dunkin' Donuts:  460 calories Those calorie counts really are eye-opening. So beware. It is okay to treat yourself, but be sure to do so sparingly. Making these drinks a habit will be detrimental to your health and weight goals. Just stop and ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” It’s a much smarter option to grab a coffee with low-fat milk or a tea. You can still feel the warmth from these beverages and hold your head high knowing you made a healthy choice!   By Pat DeRiso Sources: yahoo.com, vocative.com, authoritynutrition.com