French Press Coffee = Increase in Cholesterol


New member
May 15, 2005
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True or False? Some people say due to the lack of a filter from a french press that certain oils from the coffee beans increase LDL, which is the bad cholesterol.
Jan 18, 2008
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I knew there was something to coffee oils, I just couldn't put my finger on it. I get most of my coffee from drip brewers, both at home and at work. I drink so much coffee that I'd be pressing all day long, morning to night. So, I just use a french press occasionally for myself.

Here is an excerpt taken from

Beans for thought…

The debate over whether or not coffee is good or bad for your health has been going on for years.
While many attribute the possible negative effects on coffee to its caffeine content, studies have
been published that link coffee consumption to increased LDL-cholesterol
. It has been found
substances in unfiltered coffee (such as French-press coffee, Turkish coffee, or Scandinavian
boiled coffee, or coffee prepared in a percolator), specifically two diterpenes, cafestol and
kahweol, can cause an increase in LDL-cholesterol levels when consumed over long periods of time.1,2,3,4
The mechanism of how these two compounds increase LDL cholesterol is unknown; one theory is that
cafestol may suppress bile acid synthesis, causing an increased amount of regulatory cholesterol, which
results in a decreased expression of hepatic LDL receptors, increasing levels of LDL-cholesterol.1
Studies show that filtered coffee (what most Americans consume) diminishes the risk of increased LDL cholesterol
caused by cafestol and kahweol because they are trapped by the paper filter.5 Studies are
ongoing to examine the effects of coffee – filtered and unfiltered – on cholesterol levels.

Now, in my opinion (this is me now, caffe biscotto), you can balance out this extra cholesterol intake by:

1.) Eating less red meat. Replace with poultry and fish (yummy salmon).
2.) Grilling your foods instead of frying in oils that are high in saturated fats.
3.) Cutting back on dairy, mainly whole milks.
4.) Adding more fiber to your diet. Whole grains and cereals such as oats, corn and whole grain rice have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
5.) Exercising (obviously).
6.) Red Red Wine. It's okay to drink red wine once in awhile, it can lower cholesterol. In some countries, tradition is a glass or so per day at or after dinner. :wink:


New member
Mar 15, 2008
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I agree with caffe biscotto on this. Would just like to add a few more foods that can actually reduce cholesterol:
  • beans and legumes (probably the most effective - so adding some baked beans to your diet may be good)
    oat bran
    fatty fish (salmon, sardines etc)
    nuts (almonds, walnuts)
    most fruits and vegetables (in particular grapefruit, avocados, brussel sprouts, carrots etc.)
    olive oil
Most importantly: don't switch to decaf - it's no better for your cholesterol than regular coffee (and there are even some suggestions that drinking decaf may be worse).


New member
Oct 6, 2008
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Hey, I didn't realize there could be a health impact of not using filter paper in coffee brewing!

But I guess it will really depend on how much coffee you consume using the french press method...

Fortunately, I just occasionally press my coffee and there are other elements in my diet that could potentially offset the negative effect of coffee oils.

Moderation is always the key! :wink:


New member
Jun 24, 2009
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Caffe biscotto, the latter half of your post is very flawed IMO. Red meat and saturated fat have never been linked to increase in total lipid cholesterols, except in countless flawed scientific studies. Please look at and educate yourself on real nutrition. :?

As for the OP's question, the bottom line is that we just don't know for sure based on these few studies. Until more studies and a meta-analysis is carried out, we won't know. That said, I believe there may be a causal link between unfiltered coffee and increased cholesterol - based on the information I read in caffe biscottos first half of his post. :p


New member
Feb 8, 2005
South Africa
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the french dont die of good food, the italians dont die from good coffee, south africans dont die from eating loads of maize meal, the greeks dont die because of olive oil...maybe its speaking english thats the big problem??? lol

but seriously,
Im not going to dispute for even a second that french press and cholesterol isnt linked, but if everything is done in moderation like espressogirl said.

now, heres one, how often do people have their cholesterol levels checked?
despite the fact that many people preach to you as to what you should or should not eat....lots of them dont test their levels in any way whatsoever.
if you think you stand a chance of having high cholesterol, stay away from the french press...and the french fries for that matter (especially the fries)


Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
Near Philadelphia, PA
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Well said, Cindy!

I don't think the little big of extra coffee oils that a person may consume by drinking coffee that was made by a French Press would make any difference. If someone were to be worried about it, all he or she would have to do is eat one less French Frie or one less cookie. That would solve the problem and any debate.

My cholesterol levels get checked once a year as a part of my annual cardiologist visit.
I always had a difficult time remembering which type of cholesterol is "good" and which is "bad," and
I recently read about a way to remember which is which. All you have to do is remember this phrase: "You should keep the HDL's high and the LDL's low. That sounds easy enough to remember.



New member
Feb 8, 2005
South Africa
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Hi rose

After reading and posting on this topic, i had a chat with my doctor friend, and he completely agreed with me that there is a chance that the french press could have an effect, but it completely depends on your lifestyle.
I then asked him, how often he diagnoses people with a cholesterol problem that he knows for a fact drinks too much coffee in any way, he then said that its never been something to ask people when talking about their cholesterol levels vs your coffee intake, but he said he will start asking people just for the hell of it, and then compare their coffee intake to their cholesterol.

and, i know here that i can stand along with rose and say that i have my levels checked every year aswell, because i know i dont lead the most healthy of lifestyles, but just incase the red lights do come on, ill still be able to adjust whatever aspect.


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Jun 2, 2009
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I have a french press and I use it all the time. I had no idea it increases the cholestrol. So what are the benefits of using a french press?


New member
May 30, 2008
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As with most things it really depends upon your system as I've seen just the opposite happen since I started drinking coffee regularly a little over 3 years ago. I drink only espresso, unfiltered press pot or cloth filtered vac pot brew. All allow the coffee oils through into your brew. With no other changes to my diet or lifestyle I've seen my total cholesterol numbers drop from 200 to 160 in that 3 year period. The more coffee I drink the lower it goes. Does that mean that unfiltered coffee lowers cholesterol?? I doubt it but keep in mind that in those studies the participants were feed LARGE amounts of BOILED coffee on a daily basis.