Coffee consumption currently has science on its side. At least, moderate coffee consumption does.

A new study from the U.K. has found that those who drink no more than four cups of coffee per day have a better chance of staving off liver diseases, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. It is, after all, the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S.

The study’s results do not factor in the addition of cream and sugar to coffee, which, if consumed regularly, may cancel out coffee’s benefits and raise its already low caloric content.  

Keeping coffee relatively healthy starts before you drink it. We recommend:

  • Choosing organic coffee beans that have not been sprayed with pesticides.
  • Brewing with filtered water.
  • Avoiding artificial creamers that are loaded with corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. If you need to offset coffee’s bitterness, try raw cream from grass-fed cows, or any non-dairy organic cream substitute.

Coffee may be hard to drink for some without the sweet stuff. In which case, avoid all artificial sweeteners and refined sugars. Some recommended substitutes for sugar are cardamom (whole seeds or ground), organic vanilla extract, or Stevia. One of the sweet compounds in Stevia, stevioside, has been proven to lower blood pressure and insulin. It’s a perfect alternative for anyone with type 2 diabetes.

It’s also important to not conflate coffee consumption with caffeine consumption. If you drink coffee, and then have a soft drink later in the day with lunch or dinner, be careful and try not to consume more than 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day. Too much caffeine can result in anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, and even muscle breakdown.

Four mugs of instant coffee at 100 mg of caffeine each would more than meet your daily recommended intake. Filter coffee contains slightly more caffeine, at 140 mg per mug.