Choose light roast over dark roast coffee (Acrylamide Part 1)

June 21, 2007


Recently I read somewhere that when faced with the life-altering decision of dark or light roast coffee you should choose the latter. I was grateful to read this because:

1) I always panicked at Starbucks when faced with sooooo many questions & options. Especially when the person in front of you just machine-gunned off an order like a “hot tall skinny upside down with whip caramel macchiato with room” or a “double ristretto venti nonfat organic chocolate brownie frappuccino extra hot with foam and whipped cream upside down double blended.” Yeeesh. I would need 3 or 4 espressos before I could even say that!

2) Dark roast might cause cancer. It seems the jury is still out on this, but I think I will still go for the light roast while they are deliberating.

How & why does dark roast possibly cause cancer? Well, the roasting process produces acrylamide which is a classified as a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the US National Institutes of Health, among others.

The US EPA classifies it as more toxic than benzene, chloroform and lead (in other words, slighty less than Twinkies).

Food is the most common source of exposure for many people , and coffee is one of the worst offenders due mainly to the amount some people drink.

Acrylamide levels increase with the time-span of heating, so lighter roasts should have lower levels of this chemical. You might also want to reduce your coffee intake if you have a many-cups-a-day habit.

Dark roast or light? One less thing for me to worry about in the morning.


2 Responses to “Choose light roast over dark roast coffee (Acrylamide Part 1)”

  1. Lee man, good to hear that you are alive and blogging..all the ladies in tokyo were asking for mr. charisma man! I’m a part-time blogger as well, mainly for triathlon motivation..check check this out…

    yoroshiku, motozo

  2. mcdaddyo Says:

    Hot stuff. One more reason to quit coffee altogether. I love dark roast, but who wants to be a guinea pig? I’m with you on this one: staying away from the dark until the jury is in on whether it raises your cancer risk.

    Stayin’ alive,

    McDaddyo du Tokyo

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