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Warning! Is Your Coffee Killing You?

skull soak in coffeeAccording to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day.

Some people think that coffee is bad for you and might even kill you – like it’s some kind of poison or something.

Other people believe coffee is actually quite good for you. They believe it can help prevent or even save you from certain diseases.

Personally, I think it all depends. It could go either way.

Lets review the research..

Multiple research studies have shown that coffee is good for you.

In fact, it may even save your life!

For instance, coffee has been shown to:

  • Improve your memory
  • Lower your risk of dementia and other age related cognitive decline.
  • Lower your risk of Type-2 diabetes
  • Lower your risk of liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancers

The reason coffee is so good for you is because of what’s in it. 

However, there are also things in coffee that may wreak havoc on your health.

But first..

What’s In Coffee That Makes It Good For you?

Coffee contains several powerful antioxidants including polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids.

Caffeine itself is a powerful antioxidant.

Antioxidants protect our bodies from excessive free radicals.

The human body naturally produces both free radicals and antioxidants.

Free radicals promote beneficial oxidation in our body, which helps to produce energy and kill off bacterial invaders.

In excess, however, free radicals can damage cell membranes and cell contents. Over time, this can lead to disease and age related health issues.

In most cases, the number of free radicals far outnumber the naturally occurring antioxidants in our body.

In order to maintain a healthy balance, a continual supply of antioxidants from external sources is necessary.

Coffee comes to the rescue!

Did you know that coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants for most Americans?

So when you’re enjoying the taste and flavor of your favorite cup of joe, realize it’s supplying your body and brain with helpful antioxidants too!

What’s In Coffee That Could Be Bad For You?

The two main things found in coffee that could be bad for you are pesticides and mold.


Pesticides are widely used in growing food crops to control harmful little pests such as insects, rodents, weeds, bacteria, mold and fungus.

Coffee plantations are no different in this regard to any other food crop.

The US Environmental Protection Agency insures us that the detectable levels of pesticides found in our food is far lower than those that are considered health risks.

It is important to realize that while you may eat fruit and vegetables in their natural state (pesticides and all), coffee is different.

Coffee beans are washed and roasted prior to ending up in your cup of coffee.

Numerous research studies have shown that the roasting process itself can eliminate up to 90% of the pesticides from the coffee bean.

While the EPA insures us that the detectable levels of pesticides found in our food is safe and even though the roasting of coffee eliminates up to 90% of the pesticides detected, many people still remain concerned.

Thus the rise of “organic” coffee.

When it comes to organic coffee, it means that no synthetic fertilizers or chemicals were used in growing or production of the beans.

The coffee is grown with only organic fertilizers, like coffee pulp, chicken manure, or compost.

For those still worried about pesticides in their coffee, organically grown coffee is readily available in the market place and at a reasonable price.

Most coffee manufactures offer an organic alternative.

Organic coffee, by the way, may still contain mold. Organic simply means that there were no synthetic fertilizers used in the growing and production of the crop.

Mold (mycotoxins)

Mycotoxins are compounds produced by naturally occurring fungi (mold).

Kris Gunnars at wrote a well-researched post on mytocoxins titled; Debunking The Myth About Mycotoxins in Coffee.

From this post, I learned that all types of foods are contaminated to some extent with mycotoxins. As a result, it’s almost impossible to avoid them – They’re everywhere.

When researchers tested people in Spain, for instance, they found that the average person had about 3% of the maximum level allowed. This included coffee drinkers as well as non-coffee drinkers.

Worldwide regulations have been in place for many years as to the maximum safe level of mycotoxins that are acceptable in food.

Further, a research study found that roasting coffee beans actually reduced the amount of mycotoxins found in them by between 69 and 96%! 

If you’re still worried about mycotoxins (from mold) in your coffee, check out this post over at It details 6 ways you can cut down on the amount of mycotoxins found in your coffee.

You could also click on over to and pay ~2X the normal price for a bag of “mold free” coffee. To me it’s not worth it, but that’s a choice only you can make.

Despite the fact that small levels of mold and pesticides are detectable in coffee, numerous research studies continue to show the many health benefits of coffee!

However, I see a much bigger risk in drinking coffee.

This risk isn’t associated with mold and pesticides found in coffee itself, rather it has to do what *you* put into it *after* it’s brewed!

What You’re Putting in Coffee Could Kill You!

You can either improve or destroy coffee’s naturally healthy benefits, simply by what *you* put in it.

In fact, what you put in your coffee could quite possibly kill you!

As for me, I like to add coconut oil to my coffee.

Adding coconut oil to coffee magnifies it’s health benefits:

  • It provides needed fuel to brain cells
  • Has been shown to improve symptoms in those with Alzheimer’s
  • Increases HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers LDL to HDL ratio
  • Helps you lose weight and decrease your waist circumference
  • Has natural antibiotic properties
  • Helps control viruses
  • Helps maintain healthy and youthful looking skin
  • Helps support proper thyroid function

The problem I see with people drinking coffee nowadays is NOT what’s in or on the coffee bean prior to brewing.. It’s what I see people putting into it!

As I sit here at a local coffee shop drinking my cup of coffee, I see people one after the other ordering these coffee mixtures that I can’t even pronounce.

These awesome cups of healthy coffee are being loaded down with sugar, either directly or in the form of a syrup.

Just 2 pumps of a flavored syrup can add 10g of sugar.

Then of course, there’s the extra sugar goodies either dripped, dropped or drizzled on top.

Here are just 2 common cups of “coffee” I hear being ordered and the amount of sugar they contain.

  • A Carmel Macchiato at Starbucks has 35g of sugar in it per 16fl oz.
  • A White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee has 68g of sugar in it per 16fl oz!

People, one after the other, are taking a perfectly healthy cup of coffee (full of life saving antioxidants) and ruining it with sugar!

Numerous studies have shown that adding sugar to beverages can lead to:

  • Weight gain
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease

Type-2 diabetes in and of itself has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

I have to admit, I’m no saint in this regard. I often will indulge in a Carmel Macchiato from time-to-time. 🙂

The problem I see, however, is that these sugary drinks are staples for some folks. They drink it on a regular and frequent basis and this is where the health problems arise from.

The health problems associated with sugary drinks can be severe. In fact, they can completely ruin your health!

In Summary

Coffee has many health benefits inherit to it. Namely, it is a good source of antioxidants and has been shown to improve brain function and lower the risks of Type-2 diabetes, dementia and numerous cancers. In short, it could save your life!

For some people, buying and consuming organic coffee is the right choice.

For some people, paying 2X the normal price for a bag of “mold free” coffee is the right choice.

Adding sugar to your coffee, either directly or in the form of syrups, drips and drizzles can lead to weight gain, diabetes, dementia and coronary heart disease. In short, it could be killing you!

So, what’s in YOUR coffee? 🙂

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13 thoughts on “Warning! Is Your Coffee Killing You?”

  1. Great post on how to get all the benefits without the toxins for coffee. Ironically peanut crops face the same issues with pesticides and molds! MCT is a great coffee add in also but I agree the Bulletproof coffee is way over my budget! Hemp or almond milks are my coffee treats and I add organic cinnamon to every cup! Great ways to enjoy your coffee and keep it healthy – thanks for this!

    1. Thanks for the comment and additional tips, Tara! Almond milk in coffee – sounds great. I think I’ll give a try right now!  😉

  2. Great post Gary. I didn't start drinking coffee till I was in my 30's and have been a regular user since. I even treat myself to those sugar laiden caramel macchiatos once in a while. Just recently I started using coconut oil in my coffee and trying the bulletproof coffee mixture (although I don't buy their expensive 'mold free'coffee) and enjoy it quite a bit. Thanks for the education on this.

  3. Now I know what kinds of coffee to watch out for.  I used to add sugar to my coffe, but organic bulk stevia from amazon + coconut milk are wonderful replacements. illy expresso is my favorite brand. The flavor is consistent and the cans are pressure sealed with what I believe is nitrogen to preserve the coffee.

  4. Thank you for this insightful and educational article on the benefits of drinking coffee. Now I have to try adding coconut oil to mine – I'm a strict half & half and (small amount of) sugar kinda guy…

    It's good to know that one of my daily habits is improving my health through providing me with antioxidants in every cup!

  5. Keep your pumpkin spice lattes, nothing but coffee flavoured coffee for me! Thank you for demystifying the health benefits and drawbacks of coffee drinking and clarifying the truths of organic and mold-free coffee. I did not think it was possible for me to love coffee more than I already do, but way to achieve the impossible 😉 great post.

  6. Love how you break down both sides to discuss why it could be potnetially healthful and harmful. Most people are not aware about molds in coffee and I myself prefer the Bulletproof method and buy organic when possible. 

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