All we coffee lovers have something in common. We all prefer to have our cup of coffee prepared in our own special way. Some like to have black coffee, whereas, some may like their coffee with lots of milk in it. And then you have sugar, soy, vanilla, chocolate syrup and jaggery to consider. No matter how you like your coffee, it is exactly what you need to kick-off your mornings or when your energy levels are ebbing in the evening. Moreover, coffee is quick and easy-to-drink anywhere and at any time. The impact of coffee is doubled when you drink it black and without any sweetener, plus you need not worry about the calorie count of coffee. A cup of black coffee consists of very less calories and offers much more than just caffeine and comforting flavour. So, how much calories are there in a cup of black coffee and how can it help you lose weight? We find out.
Calories In Black Coffee
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of regular black coffee brewed from ground beans contains 2 calories. Whereas, 1 fluid ounce of rich black espresso contains only 1 calorie. If you brew your coffee from decaffeinated beans, the calorie count reduces to zero. The extra sweeteners and flavours, like jaggery, sugar, milk, vanilla, soy and chocolate syrup may yield up to 700 calories per serving. Coffee comprises a component called caffeine, which is known to have numerous effects on our body. Caffeine is nothing but a natural stimulant, also found in soft drinks, ice-creams, tea and chocolates, that helps our brain and central nervous system to stay active and focussed. It also helps in boosting our energy levels. So, without any guilt and second thoughts, add black coffee to your daily diet and get ready to shed those extra kilos, but make sure to avoid any high-calorie sweeteners. You may consider adding jaggery, honey or nut milk to enhance the taste of your black coffee.
1. Black Coffee Helps Accelerate Weight Loss
Black coffee has an element called chlorogenic acid, which is known to speed-up weight loss. If you consume black coffee after supper or dinner, the presence of chlorogenic acid slows down the production of glucose in the body. Moreover, the production of new fat cells is decreased, meaning lesser calories in the body. You may also add nut milk or cream to your black coffee, which will not only enhance the flavour but will give you better results, especially if you are looking to shed those extra kilos. But, if you think that it’s only the chlorogenic acid that makes black coffee ideal for weight loss, then you’d be surprised to know that black coffee also boasts various antioxidants, which are also equally responsible for effective weight loss. Additionally, if you pair your regular intake of black coffee with a low-calorie diet, you will have amazing results in just no time.
2. Black Coffee May Help Control Hunger Pangs
Black coffee consists of caffeine that very effectively increases metabolic activity and boosts energy level in our body. Better metabolic activities and high energy levels may lead to suppression of hunger in the body. However, make sure to avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners to make it a low-calorie drink.
3. Black Coffee Impacts Your Calorie Level
Black coffee is known to enhance the metabolic activities of our body. It keeps our body and mind energised, active and focused, which in turn helps us burn more calories. Losing weight through natural foods and drinks is way better than opting for crash diets. If you work out regularly, then consider drinking black coffee right before you start your workout. It is an excellent way to burn more calories.
4. Black Coffee Helps Shed Water Weight
Black coffee is a natural healer. There are many people who end up weighing more due to excess water weight. Black coffee helps decrease the extra water content in the body through frequent urination. This method helps to shed those extra pounds without any threatening side effects. However, this weight loss is temporary.
So, shed those extra pounds and look gorgeous. But before adding black coffee to your diet, it is better to consult your nutritionist/doctor. If you know more health benefits of black coffee, then feel free to share with us in the comments section below.
Beware of the silent killer
By Dr Sudhir Koganti
One may wonder what all this fuss about high blood pressure is. Hypertension causes many cardiovascular diseases that include stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and dementia, thus putting a huge burden on healthcare globally due to morbidity, mortality and associated costs. Last but not least, the public need to be aware of the correct treatment for high blood pressure.
Every year, the World Hypertension Day is celebrated on the 17th of May to increase awareness about this silent killer among general public. International Society of Hypertension along with World Hypertension League has designated the month of May as “May Measurement Month.”
The aim of this initiative is to screen as many people as possible that are over the age of 18 years for suspected hypertension. This strategy would greatly enhance in identifying silent or undiagnosed hypertensives so that they can be targeted with guideline directed lifestyle, dietary advice and treatment.
Awareness on the lower threshold of blood pressure reading required to label an individual as hypertensive is also required. American Heart Association guidelines released in 2017 clearly stipulate that a blood pressure reading of over 130/80 is now considered as stage 1 hypertension. However, the job of a cardiologist doesn’t stop with diagnosis but actually starts there. Once someone is labelled as hypertensive, it needs to be established if it is true or an entity called white coat hypertension.
Furthermore, investigations may have to be carried out to see if hypertension is secondary to a cause. Once diagnosed, a decision needs to be taken if lifestyle modification can be adopted or treatment needs to be initiated early.
Lifestyle modifications include six key steps and they are:
• Get expert advice from your doctor to help you understand your results;
• Lower salt/sodium to prevent excess fluid in the blood, which strains blood vessels;
• Eat more fruits and veggies – particularly potassium-rich ones – to balance out sodium in the blood;
• Exercise – it makes the heart stronger, putting less strain on blood vessels;
• Quit smoking – constituents of tobacco smoke damages blood vessel linings; and
• Monitor your blood pressure at home
As per studies and data, thousands of people are on wrong treatment for hypertension with a class of drugs called Betablockers (Atenolol, Metoprolol etc) being prescribed as first line or second line agent.
Betablockers have been phased out as first line or second line drugs to treat hypertension a while ago, unless there is concomitant coronary artery disease or heart failure. In fact, the same holds for other concomitant conditions too such as kidney disease, stroke etc.
Essentially, the key message is one prescription does not fit all and it need to be tailored to the individual in a dedicated specialist clinic. People need to actively undergo blood pressure screening of themselves.
They need to nudge their relatives and friends in the month of May and seek expert advice on how to manage and monitor this silent killer over the long run to lead an active and healthy life. (Writer is Consultant Cardiologist, Citizens Hospitals, Nallagandla, Serilingampally)
Dr Sudhir Koganti
Jawless fish may hold key to effective brain cancer treatment
A chemical found in jawless parasitic fish can be used to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to brain tumours, as well as lead to more effective treatments for trauma and stroke, a study has found.
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, found that molecules from the immune system of the parasitic sea lamprey may also be combined with a wide array of other therapies, offering hope to treat disorders like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or even traumatic injuries.
“We believe it could be applied as a platform technology across multiple conditions,” said Eric Shusta, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.
When injected into the bloodstream, many drugs cannot reach targets in the brain as the blood-brain barrier prevents large molecules from leaving the blood vessels in the brain, researchers said.
In conditions such as brain cancer, stroke, trauma and multiple sclerosis, however, the barrier becomes leaky in and around the disease locations, researchers said.
The study found that leaky barrier offers a unique point of entry, allowing molecules to access the brain and deliver drugs precisely on target.
“Molecules like this normally couldn’t ferry cargo into the brain, but anywhere there’s a blood-brain barrier disruption, they can deliver drugs right to the site of pathology,” Shusta said in a statement.
Researchers said that the technology takes advantage of the fact that many diseases disrupt body’s natural defense mechanism – the blood-brain barrier, which lines the blood vessels of the central nervous system, protecting the brain from circulating toxins or pathogens.
They also linked the molecules to a chemotherapy called doxorubicin. The treatment prolonged survival in mouse models of glioblastoma, an incurable cancer.
“This could be a way to hold therapies in place that don’t otherwise accumulate well in the brain so they can be more effective,” said Ben Umlauf from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“There are several disease processes that disrupt the blood-brain barrier and we could conceive of delivering a variety of different therapies with these molecules,” said John Kuo from the University of Texas in the US.
Life expectancy linked to a person’s walking speed
People who walk slowly have a lower life expectancy than those who walk fast, a recent study has claimed. According to the study published in the Journal of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, those with a habitually fast walking pace have a long life expectancy across all levels of weight status – from underweight to morbidly obese.
Underweight individuals with a slow walking pace had the lowest life expectancy (an average of 64.8 years for men, 72.4 years for women). The same pattern of results was found for waist circumference measurements.
Professor Tom Yates, the lead author of the study, said, “Our findings could help clarify the relative importance of physical fitness compared to body weight on the life expectancy of individuals. In other words, the findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index (BMI) and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.”
Dr Francesco Zaccardi, co-author of the study, said, “Studies published so far have mainly shown the impact of body weight and physical fitness on mortality in terms of relative risk, for example, a 20 per cent relative increase of risk of death for every 5 kilograms per metres squared increase, compared to a reference value of a BMI of 25 kilograms per metres squared (the threshold BMI between normal weight and overweight).”
Last year, Professor Yates and his team showed that middle-aged people who reported that they are slow walkers were at higher risk of heart-related disease compared to the general population.