More research is needed to confirm whether drinking coffee can reduce the risk of a heart attack, Heart Foundation CEO Mary Barry says.
A study by Korean researchers, published in the journal Heart, found that people who drink a moderate amount of coffee are less likely to have early signs of heart disease, such as arteries clogged with fatty buildup.
It examined more than 25,000 male and female employees, who were subjected to routine health scans and none of whom had any outward signs of heart disease.
“Australians love their coffee, whether it is instant coffee, coffee from a coffee machine at home or work, or barista-made coffee from a chain store, or local café,” says Barry. “It’s the single biggest contributor to caffeine in the Australian diet.
“While this study does highlight a potential link between coffee consumption and lower risk of developing clogged arteries, more research is needed to confirm these findings and understand what the reason is for the association.
“In the meantime, if you are a coffee drinker, drink in moderation and with reduced or no fat milk to keep the kilojoules down.”
Meanwhile another study, conducted in China, shows that eating nuts can help reduce cardiovascular mortality, especially peanuts.
“The Heart Foundation has long promoted the health benefits of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats,” says Barry.
“Monounsaturated fat is found in foods such as avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts and cooking oils made from plants or seeds such as sunflower, canola, soybean, olive, sesame and peanut oils.
“Whilst this study did show that death rates from heart attacks were lower in people who eat nuts, particularly peanuts, than in those who don’t, it’s not a green light to go consuming packets of unsalted peanuts, particularly the salted kind in the hope that it will protect you from heart disease.
“Instead, peanuts should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet.”