COFFEE WARS: Is Light or Dark Roast Healthier?

Regular readers know I’m gaga for coffee.

My favorite brew is downright delicious, of course. But even better, coffee is packed full of powerful phytochemicals that are natural antioxidants.

In other words, coffee helps fight off the free radicals that play a role in heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more.

But I get asked a lot by patients if they should be drinking light or dark roast.

Now, I know I’m opening a GIANT can of worms even attempting to answer this question.

(After all, entire relationships have ended, and folks have nearly gone to war over which brew TASTES better: light or dark roast.)

So I’ll leave the taste battle to you and your loved ones…

The REAL question we want to answer today is which roasting method produces the most health benefits. And the answer might surprise you.

Luckily, a group of researchers from South Korea recently decided to tackle this same question.

The study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food compared different roasting methods with how much caffeine was retained and how many antioxidants were present in the coffee.

The researchers found that the lighter the roast, the more antioxidants remained in the coffee after processing.

That’s bound to surprise a lot of folks who have been convinced that darker roasts were healthier. But when you stop to think about it, it just makes sense.

After all, no matter what cooking method you use, the longer you heat something, the more “damage” is done and the higher the nutrient loss.

Take broccoli, for example. The difference in antioxidant levels between fresh broccoli and well-cooked broccoli is dramatic.

The researchers didn’t just measure the antioxidant levels and stop there. They also ran lab tests to measure the coffee for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And once again, they found that lighter roasts came out on top.

But dark-roast lovers don’t despair. Your rich brew also brings big health benefits to the table.

In fact, here is a list of some of the many health perks your favorite morning brew delivers, regardless of which beans you choose:

  • Enhanced energy levels.
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Improved mental well-being.
  • Weight management.
  • A decreased risk of depression.
  • Reduced liver disease risks.
  • Better heart health.
  • Improved athletic performance.
  • A longer life

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go pour myself a second cup.

P.S. Researchers have pinpointed one coffee compound that has a pretty astounding benefit. A recent study found that this potent ingredient can LOWER cholesterol. And you’re never going to believe what it is.


Study abstract: “Cellular Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Coffee Extracts with Different Roasting Levels,” Journal of Medicinal Food. Jun 2017.626-635.

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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