Researchers in the U.S. say the American coffee drinking habit is not such a bad thing as coffee is a good source of antioxidants.
The study found that coffee, is high in antioxidants and compounds such as vitamins that fight damage to cells and to DNA.
This is probably just as well as the study also found that Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, the main sources of antioxidants as well as fiber and other nutrients that dietitians, scientists and doctors recommend.
Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania and colleagues studied the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils and common drinks.
They then examined a U.S. Department of Agriculture database on how much Americans eat of each type of food item.
Vinson says that Americans get far more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source.
Vinson, who presented his findings to a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, says this does not mean that coffee was necessarily the best source of antioxidants.
But unfortunately, the average American is still not eating enough fruits and vegetables, which are better from an overall nutritional point of view, due to their higher content of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Apparently dates, cranberries and red grapes have high concentrations of antioxidants, but Americans do not eat much of these foods.
Vinson found black tea was the second-leading source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, with bananas, dry beans and corn placed third, fourth and fifth.