How Coffee Affects Diabetes
For many people, sipping a piping-hot and wonderfully bold morning cup of coffee is a sacred ritual. Let’s face it, that’s how so many of us start our days. However, for the more than 34 million Americans living with diabetes, enjoying coffee and the caffeine it contains come with a few extra considerations.
Now, if you are automatically assuming that coffee and diabetes must be bad together, not so fast. You could be right, but you also could be wrong. The fact is, coffee contains powerful antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals, that have been shown to have a beneficial impact on several illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even certain types of cancer. It also speeds up the nervous system, and, in some people, may increase mental alertness and improve concentration.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that coffee can help prevent the onset of the disease. That’s right, a study posted online by the Journal of Traditional and Complimentary Medicine points to the fact that reasonable coffee consumption, say three to four cups each day, may significantly lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
That’s pretty great news for all you coffee drinkers who don’t have diabetes, however, we suspect most of you reading this post are living with diabetes. What about you?
How coffee impacts blood sugar?
If you’re someone with diabetes, you already know what you put into your body has a tremendous effect on your blood sugar level. Coffee is no exception, and, as with most things related to diabetes, different people react to coffee and caffeine consumption in very different ways.
One thing that we do know is that the caffeine found in coffee can impair glucose tolerance and decrease insulin sensitivity. For diabetics, this can contribute to blood sugar elevation and poor glycemic control. After all, type 2 diabetes is a condition that prevents the body from using insulin properly in the first place. A decrease in insulin sensitivity means the body’s cells react to the hormone even less beneficially, the body becomes even less efficient at transforming glucose into energy, and the result is higher levels of blood sugar.
As you know, prolonged periods of elevated blood sugar can lead to serious diabetes related complications, such as cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, eye problems, stroke, and many other health concerns.
Maintaining proper control of your blood sugar level is critical to effectively managing your diabetes. At Diabetic Warehouse, we’re committed to helping you do so by providing a comprehensive online selection a diabetic equipment and supplies at prices that are up to 65% less than those you’ll find at your local pharmacy. Shop leading brands and manufacturers, including FreeStyle, One Touch, Easy Comfort, BD Ultra-Fine, Accu-Chek, Dexcom and many others. Enjoy free delivery to your home or office on glucose meters, insulin syringes, test strips, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, infusion sets, and all your diabetic supply needs.
Don’t forget about the things we add to coffee.
If you prefer your coffee black, what follows doesn’t apply to you. However, if you like that little extra dash of sugar or sweetener in your coffee or like to pour in a dollop of your favorite creamer, you have now created an even less diabetic-friendly cup of coffee.
Adding sugars, creamers, and high-carbohydrate ingredients to that cup of joe can further elevate blood sugar levels. Remember, it’s not just the coffee you have to consider, it’s also everything else you put into your cup that matters when you’re living with diabetes. If you’re going to add a dose of sweetness, consider non-caloric and carb-free sweeteners, such as those derived from monk fruit.
What about decaffeinated coffee?
According to many experts, this is a pretty good option. As we have pointed out, coffee contains some powerful antioxidants and some very beneficial vitamins and minerals. Decaffeinated coffee allows you to enjoy the health advantages of these components without the problems related to blood sugar that might be exacerbated by consuming caffeine.
From a purely mental and emotional standpoint, enjoying a decaffeinated cup coffee can provide that same sense of ritualistic pleasure that your regular cup of coffee delivers. Granted, you won’t get the jolt of energy provided by caffeine, but you will get that quiet moment with your cup of coffee and your thoughts. For many, this is the best part of the coffee experience anyway.
Everyone reacts to coffee and caffeine differently
Surprise, not everyone with diabetes is exactly the same. Just as we react to things like carbohydrates, sugars, and even medications like insulin in our own unique ways, we also react caffeine differently.
Obviously, how anyone reacts to caffeine depends in great deal on how much coffee that person decides to consume. The more they drink, the greater the likely impact. However, how someone reacts to caffeine also depends on variables like age, weight, metabolism, tolerance, and personal sensitivity to caffeine.
How much coffee is right for you?
For the general population, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that anywhere from 4 to 5 cups of coffee each day will have no negative effects. But we are not most people. We have diabetes and that means we need to take some extra precautions. So how much coffee is right for you? Unfortunately, that’s a question we can’t properly answer this post. What we can tell you is that only takes about 200 mg of caffeine to impact blood sugar levels. That’s roughly 2 cups of brewed coffee – not a lot for many coffee enthusiasts. On the flip side, if you have a history of drinking coffee, that may also impact how dramatically your body and blood sugar react to caffeine.
Talk to your doctor and test your blood sugar.
The best way to determine how coffee elevates your blood sugar level is to sit down with your diabetes physician and care team. Based on your diabetes history, they’ll help you decide if caffeine is a reasonable dietary option. In fact, they’ll likely ask you to test your blood sugar throughout the morning after you’ve had your usual cup or few cups.
At the end of the day, as with all your diabetes health and treatment decisions, accurate information is your biggest advantage and the place to get it is from your diabetes specialist.
We hope you found this post helpful. At Diabetic Warehouse, we’re committed to keeping you up to date with the latest news and tips on living with diabetes. We’re also committed to saving you up to 65% on doctor-recommended diabetic supplies. Shop our huge online selection of glucose meters, test strips and lancets, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, and infusion sets by leading manufacturers, such as Accu-Chek, One Touch, FreeStyle, Dexcom, Easy Comfort, True Metrix and many others. Enjoy free delivery to your home or office with every order. See what our satisfied customers have to say and get started now at diabeticwarehouse.org.
Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org.