Coffee had a bad rap in the 70s and 80s. Consumption of this popular beverage was thought to increase one’s risk of heart disease, depression, insomnia, anemia and cancer, among other ailments. More recently, however, the World Health Organization noted possible links between coffee consumption and reduced risk of uterine and liver cancer and even removed coffee from its list of cancer-causing foods. What’s more, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee determined that three to five cups of coffee each day could contribute to a healthy diet and lifestyle. So, what’s the latest scoop on coffee? It turns out, there are no grounds for many of the negative health claims made about coffee over the years. Much of the original research on coffee did not account for detrimental health behaviors commonly seen in coffee drinkers of the time, such as smoking. Now, most of the current scientific literature associates coffee with numerous possible health benefits, including: Increased antioxidant intake; Anti-inflammatory affects; Beneficial changes in gut bacteria; Decreased risk of certain types of cancer (pancreatic, colon, liver, uterine, breast); Increased liver health; Protective effects against some neurological diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression); Beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism; and Decreased risk of gall stones. It’s true, the recent coffee research looks promising. However, it is important to note that many of the scientific studies touting the health benefits of coffee only looked at the correlation between coffee consumption and certain health outcomes; they did not definitively identify coffee as the cause of the studied health benefits. At the end of the day, the general consensus from the scientific community seems to be that drinking up to five cups of coffee or 400mg of caffeine each day can be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, with some exceptions. For any soon-to-be moms out there, the recommendation to avoid caffeine during pregnancy still stands. Additionally, you should heed your doctor’s advice if he or she recommends that you avoid coffee or caffeine for a specific health concern. Finally, sweetened coffee drinks containing large amounts of sugar are not a healthy choice. Otherwise, go ahead and enjoy a cup of joe!