Speak to any leading nutritionist today and they’ll tell you that the biggest thorn in their side isn’t caffeine, sugar, fat or any of the other apparently nasties – it’s conflicting advice. Thanks largely to the web…and a tip of the hat has to go to the glorious UK tabloids that should know better…barely a day goes by without hundreds of totally unqualified gossip-hounds coming up with all manner of weird and wonderful advice they feel it’s only right they share with the public.

One minute coffee’s a killer – the next it might just save your life.

The simple truth of the matter is that coffee, just like everything else, is only as healthy or unhealthy as you make it. Drink the strongest coffee on Earth a dozen times an hour and chances are you won’t last long. And in a similar vein, avoid the drink you love just because Joe Bloggs from Unknown Origins told you to and it’s your loss.

With a dose of common sense and a sprinkling of expert advice, it’s perfectly possible for anyone to keep tabs over their own coffee drinking habit and never have anything at all to worry about. Words like ‘moderation’ and ‘quality’ hold the key to safer coffee drinking, so next time you find yourself bombarded by guidelines that have clearly been made up, feel free to let your own good sense be your guide.

That and the following expert guidelines on how to make your coffee habit as healthy as possible:

1 – Go Organic

It’s hardly a secret these days that organic stands for so much more than a pretty label and a higher price tag. We’ve come to know ‘organic’ as a byword for quality for one simple reason – you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. Why does organic coffee matter? Well, quite simply because much of the mass-produced coffee you find at rock-bottom prices will have been mixed with pesticides and other chemicals to ensure maximum growth for the lowest cost.

2 – Be Wary of Flavours

In a similar sense to the above, you need to keep a watch over the flavours you go for. Flavoured coffee can be both decadent and completely safe, but in many cases the flavours themselves are 100% artificial and not exactly good for your health. This again refers largely to the cheaper coffees on the market rather than premium brands, so it’s a good idea to read the label carefully and know what you’re consuming.

3 - Ditch the Sugar

This is likely to stir up some controversy but here it goes – ditch the sugar and you’ll find yourself enjoying coffee more but craving it less. Why? Well, it all comes down to the way in which if you were to put two spoons of sugar in every coffee and down it in two gulps, your body becomes more attuned to the sugar fix than the caffeine or even the taste of the coffee.

4 - Grind Your Own

The health benefits of coffee will always be debated, but one thing that’s been proven time and time again is how coffee contains healthy antioxidants. However, if you choose to drink ground coffee rather than grinding your own beans, you lose some of the antioxidant content. The reason being that as soon as the beans are ground, their oils begin drying up and much of the flavour and goodness goes with them.

5 – Sensible Moderation

Some say one cup of coffee per day is ideal, others insist it’s more like three and for some it’s closer to ten. The right coffee intake for you is the right intake for you – everyone handles coffee differently and so there are no set rules to follow. The only rule is that of moderation, which is basically just common sense.

6 – Drink After Meals

Ok so there are certain negative effects on the body associated with too much caffeine…that’s something no sane person would deny. However, it’s perfectly possible to make sure that the caffeine isn’t given the chance to hit you and your system hard, simply by giving it a little padding. Or in other words, break the habit of drinking coffee on an empty stomach and instead try to drink it either after or during a meal or snack. Not only is this better for your health, but it also encourages you to drink slower.