Update: Coffee and Diabetes

We have known for several years that coffee drinkers tend to have a lower risk of developing Type II diabetes. The Mayo Clinic website notes that the risk of developing diabetes is reduced by drinking coffee but that drinking coffee does not actually cure you if you have diabetes. The protective effect of drinking coffee increases up to about five to six cups a day and it’s the same for caffeinated and non-caffeinated coffee. Adding cream and sugar may tend to raise a person’s blood sugar momentarily but do not reverse the protective effect of not getting type II diabetes.

Drinking Coffee If You Have Diabetes

Polyphenols are the molecules in coffee with antioxidant properties. They are what help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and other diseases. In addition, the magnesium and chromium present in trace amounts in coffee also reduce type II diabetes risk. The risk reduction ranges from about 11% for one cup a day up to 17% for those who consume more than a cup a day. There is some evidence that in diabetics caffeine further reduces insulin sensitivity. Thus some experts suggest drinking decaf coffee. the best choice for diabetics who drink coffee is to use skim milk instead of cream, Splenda instead of sugar, or just plain black coffee.

Update: Coffee and Diabetes

Coffee Can Lower or Raise Blood Sugar in Diabetics

While the research is pretty clear that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop diabetes it is not clear in regard to whether in a specific individual with diabetes if coffee will lower or raise their blood sugar. The bottom line that we can discern from looking at research on this subject is that there are two different effects of coffee. Routinely drinking coffee has a strong tendency to reduce whatever factors drive a person to get type II diabetes and very likely continue to have this protective effect in diabetics. In other words, a type II diabetic will probably not get a worse case of their disease if they continue to drink coffee. The other effect is that by drinking coffee a type II diabetic may tend to temporarily either raise or lower their sugar.

Should a Type II Diabetic Quit Drinking Coffee?

If you are a diabetic you should be checking your blood sugar. As such, you will be able to see if your morning cup of black coffee raises or lowers your blood sugar. This is probably the most practical approach. For diabetics who already have complications such as retinal or kidney disease the wise approach is to ask your doctor what to do and to strictly follow their advice. Because there is some evidence that diabetics who drink coffee experience a drop in their blood sugar this is beneficial and, as we noted, there appears to be a long-term benefit of coffee drinking even in those who are now diagnosed as having type II diabetes.

Medium Roasted Coffee for Maximum Phenol Content

Since it is the polyphenols that provide the most protection against developing type II diabetes which coffee gives you that benefit? Medium roasted coffee provides the greatest phenol levels, and the best coffees are Arabicas like Coffee from Colombia!

Update: Coffee and Diabetes – SlideShare Version

Update: Coffee and Diabetes – PDF

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