Forget decaf - coffee full of caffeine is much healthier!

Contrary to the hype the public has often been led to believe, a new study has revealed that decaffeinated coffee may be worse for the health than the caffeine rich kind.

Researchers apparently found, in the first randomised study of normal and decaffeinated coffees, that the decaffeinated variety raised the level of fats and "bad" cholesterol in the blood more than caffeinated blends.

In a study of 187 people by the Fuqua Heart Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, researchers saw an 18 per cent rise in blood fat and an 8 per cent rise in a protein linked with LDL cholesterol among decaffeinated coffee drinkers compared with the those who drank caffeinated coffee or none at all.

According to Dr Robert Superko, who led the study, decaffeinated coffee was less healthy because it is made from high-flavour beans that contain more oils because the decaffeination process can reduce flavour, therefore manufacturers are more inclined to choose a bean that has a more robust flavour.

The finding was presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

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