A Swedish study billing itself as the first to look at the tie between the way we brew our coffee and the risk of heart attacks and premature death says one type of brewing method appears healthier than the rest. The research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that coffee made using a filter is linked to better health outcomes, specifically when it comes to cardiovascular issues and longevity, than coffee made by being boiled or put through a French press. "Unfiltered brew was associated with higher mortality than filtered brew," the research notes. Dietitian Lisa Drayer tells CNN that unfiltered coffee has more cafestol and kahweol, "chemicals found in oil droplets floating in the coffee and also in the sediment." Studies have have found they can raise "bad" LDL cholesterol levels; filtering removes them.
The Swedish researchers looked at more than 500,000 healthy Norwegian men and women ages 20 and 79 between 1985 to 2003, following each person for an average of 20 years and tracking their self-reported coffee consumption. The scientists also found those who consumed filtered coffee had a 15% reduced risk of dying for any reason compared to not drinking coffee at all. CNN notes this syncs with other studies showing coffee's benefits, though there are some who should limit it or stay away altogether (e.g., pregnant women and insomniacs). For everyone else, though, "drink your coffee with a clear conscience and go for filtered," study author Dag Thelle says in a release, adding that those with high cholesterol should definitely steer clear of the unfiltered kind. (Read more discoveries stories.)