Coffee can often become a gray area for most people who have underlying medical conditions like High blood pressure, diabetes, and even high cholesterol.
Living with diabetes can be quite difficult especially when all the elements of diet fall under the microscope.
While avoiding foods containing copious amounts of sugars, calories, sweeteners, fats, and oils is the best way to maintain a clean bill of health, have you ever wondered how coffee affects your blood sugar levels?
Coffee is among the most beloved beverages enjoyed by about 60% of the population in the United States, as indicated by a 2012 survey.
From being commended as a harmful substance to one’s health to being recommended for preventing serious health issues such as depression, liver diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, coffee and its benefits have come a very long way.
While there are several sources demarcating the benefits of coffee, the effects of your precious morning java often fall under rigorous debate.
If you are someone who loves to sip on their morning brew to persevere through a tough day but are apprehensive about how it is affecting your blood sugar levels, don’t drop your mug just now.
To help clear out your doubts regarding coffee and its effects on your blood sugar levels, here is all you need to know to determine if Coffee is ok for Diabetes.
Table of Contents
What is Diabetes?
The human body is a self-regulating machine that incorporates a myriad of mechanisms and abilities that help maintain a clean bill of health.
One such ability the human body is capable of is the ability to process and convert foods into energy that is later passed into the bloodstream.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects the body’s ability to effectively metabolize foods into energy.
Blood glucose also called blood sugars are integral for regulating energy in the brain, muscles, and tissues.
People who have diabetes often have excess glucose circulating in their bloodstream which can cause serious health risks.
How does coffee affect your health?
There are a number of ways by which coffee can optimize your health however, there are two major components in coffee that contribute to health tremendously:
Antioxidants are chemicals that inhibit oxidation, a process that produces free radicals in the body.
Research indicates that coffee contains a myriad of antioxidants that help fight off free radicals and lowers inflammation in the body.
If you are a lover of the jolt of energy you get after sipping on a freshly brewed cup of joe, you must thank the stimulant caffeine.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class which is ideally found in coffee, tea, and even cocoa plants.
While most coffee fanatics thoroughly enjoy their daily energizer, others with insulin sensitivity might face severe health repercussions.
Coffee and Type 2 Diabetes: what are the risks?
The relation and effects of coffee on people who are prediabetic or have type-2 diabetes have fallen under rigorous debate for quite some time.
While some research denotes coffee to be detrimental to health, other later studies have indicated quite the contrary.
According to a study, drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee on average can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the prediabetic stages.
In another larger study in 2013, people who drank more than one cup of coffee per day over the span of 4 years had an 11% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes when compared to those who did not make changes to their coffee consumption.
The same study also denoted that there was about a 17% higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes in people who decreased their coffee consumption.
How does Coffee Affect Your Insulin Levels?
While plain coffee does not have any direct effect on the blood glucose and insulin levels in the body, there is some research that indicates that caffeine can impair insulin sensitivity.
According to a study people with type 2 diabetes can react differently to the natural stimulant caffeine.
However in most cases, coffee has been the key culprit behind raising blood sugar levels and insulin levels in the body.
In fact, regular consumption over the span of 4 weeks can be indicated to negatively affect insulin sensitivity, especially in people with type 2 diabetes.
However, coffee also contains several beneficial compounds such as polyphenols, chromium, and magnesium that also play a role in enhancing and improving insulin sensitivity.
How Does Coffee Affect Your Blood Glucose Levels?
While coffee can be a great way of preventing type 2 diabetes, it may have some health repercussions for people who already are diagnosed with diabetes.
Here is how coffee can affect your blood glucose or blood sugar levels during different circumstances:
Effects of coffee on blood glucose (pre and post-meal):
According to a 2004 study consuming caffeine capsules, pre-meal can spike the blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes post-meal.
Another 2018 research indicated that the effects of caffeine and coffee on your blood glucose levels can be based on genetics.
Based on a more recent study led in 2018 researching the long-term effects of coffee indicated that coffee and caffeine lower the risk of prediabetes and diabetes in individuals.
Effects of coffee on fasting blood glucose:
A study led in 2004 researched the “middle-range” effects of coffee on people diagnosed with diabetes who consumed filtered coffee per day and people who abstained from caffeine.
By the end of the long 4-week of study, the researchers found that people who were consuming coffee regularly had high levels of insulin in their bloodstream, even during fasting periods.
Hence people who are diagnosed with diabetes and have insulin sensitivity should refrain from daily consumption of caffeine.
Effects of coffee on blood glucose with habitual consumption:
There can be a significant difference in how caffeine affects the body between people who are diagnosed with diabetes and those who are not.
Based on a study conducted in 2008, people diagnosed with diabetes who consume coffee on a regular basis and monitor their blood sugar levels daily, indicated their blood sugar levels spiked significantly.
So, Is coffee safe for consumption by people with diabetes?
Coffee can become a subject of debate for people who are diagnosed with underlying chronic health conditions.
However, to simply answer the question, coffee is safe for consumption even for people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it is best to change your lifestyle and dietary choices rather than focus on coffee consumption.
With vigorous exercise, frequent monitoring, and a nutritionally balanced diet, you can definitely enjoy your beloved cup of joe.
But for people who have insulin sensitivity along with type 2 diabetes, it is best to refrain from consuming copious amounts of caffeine.