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Java offers a host of health benefits, including polyphenols. These powerful micronutrients can quell inflammation, protect against heart disease, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Coffee is also one of the world’s most commonly adulterated products, says Larry Olmsted, author of Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It. Due to rising global demand — and the toll climate change is taking on production — some producers will cut ground coffee with filler ingredients to increase their profits. “You can’t tell whether that brown stuff is ground-up coffee, ground-up burned paper, or ground-up burnt twigs — all of which have been added to coffee over the years,” he cautions.

The Real Deal

Olmsted recommends purchasing whole beans and grinding them at home to ensure your coffee is free of fillers. (Bonus: Grinding your own coffee has the added benefit of making a fresher, more delicious cup of joe.) If possible, purchase your beans from a brand you trust — or, even better, direct from your local roaster.

Watch out for imposters among some of your favorite foods, and learn how to be sure you’re buying the real deal, by reading “How to Find Real Honey, Coffee, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Parmesan Cheese, and Maple Syrup,” from which this article was excerpted.

Lauren David

Lauren David is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay area.

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