Last Updated on December 16, 2021 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
Coffee is one of the first beverage choices of many. Be it before your morning work or study routine or after a tiring day, a cup of coffee always feels good and refreshing.
Coffee is almost an everyday addiction that energizes us. Everyone has a different preference for coffee. The way you have your coffee can determine a lot about your health and its conditions.
For diabetics, coffee is often a recommended drink. It is a healthy beverage choice for blood sugar patients, as decaffeinated coffee can spike up the sensitivity of insulin in the body, which in turn, has a lot of other benefits on controlling diabetes.
Is coffee good for diabetes?
Coffee is said to be good as well as safe for diabetes patients. Studies have found out that having coffee can be significantly beneficial for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
Around 2 – 3 cups of coffee are permitted for diabetics to ensure good management of Type 2 diabetic blood sugar levels. Experimental studies have shown that a cup of coffee per day for years has had a positive blood sugar-lowering effect among diabetic patients.
Caffeinated or Decaffeinated coffee are both said to work well for diabetes management. However, the research is more inclined towards decaffeinated coffee being better for diabetic consumption.
The presence of chemical nutrients and antioxidants makes coffee even better for many other health issues as well. Polyphenols are nutritional elements that add in some more nutritional goodness.
Antioxidants directly benefit diabetic health conditions and assist in keeping away chronic ailments and severe symptoms that diabetic patients are more prone to.
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Coffee contains a lot of helpful and healthy minerals that add to one’s health. Coffee is rich in minerals such as chromium and magnesium that have direct benefits on diabetic health and assists in controlling rising blood glucose levels in the body.
However, to avail better benefits of coffee, it is necessary to understand that the preparation of coffee has to be done in a certain way. As we mentioned earlier, decaffeinated coffee is better for diabetic health.
It is also important to reduce your sugar intake in coffee, as it can take away all the benefits from this drink and make it a harmful one instead. Black coffee is a recommended option that can be a healthier choice over plain coffee.
Too much caffeine can be bad for you. Hence, there are some factors that you have to consider and be cautious about before you stick to coffee as a diabetes-safe drink.
You can also consult and learn more about the proper usage of coffee with your doctors and health experts. They understand your diabetic health conditions better and can guide you personally.
Insulin is a necessary pancreatic hormone that carries out proper metabolism and also contributed to blood sugar management. It is one of the key factors that one has to look into for controlling or preventing diabetes.
Let us look at how the caffeine in coffee can help or harm the insulin hormone among diabetic patients.
Does coffee spike insulin?
Coffee can be good for your insulin secretion and functioning if it is done right. Studies have shown that chronic and regulated amounts of coffee consumed over time can have advantageous effects on insulin and increase insulin sensitivity in the body.
On the other hand, high doses of caffeine from coffee can be bad for the insulin hormone and reduce the body’s response towards it. This can be bad for diabetic health as insulin is responsible for keeping blood sugar levels under control.
Therefore, it all depends on the frequency of coffee consumption and the intensity of caffeine. These are important factors to consider, and alter your choices accordingly to gain proper benefits.
Caffeine is naturally found in coffee beans. But low levels of it do not have any harmful effects on the body. 400mg of caffeine, which equals around 4 to 5 cups of coffee, is safe. But when we talk about diabetic individuals, these numbers change.
Diabetic patients have a different response to caffeine than non-diabetics, and hence, must be more cautious regarding the consumption of caffeinated coffee.
Therefore, decaffeinated coffee is a good option that fuels better insulin responses in the body and is also comparatively healthier than regular types of coffee.
The amount of antioxidants found in decaffeinated coffee is higher than that found in regular coffee. The process of decaffeination adds in more nutritional value and decreases harmful caffeine from it.
In addition to this, the presence of minerals like, magnesium and chromium can help with enhancing the sensitivity of the body towards insulin. These minerals are also richly available in decaffeinated coffee. Hence, it is a win-win choice for all.
Is black coffee good for diabetics?
As we clarified earlier, black coffee is one of the most recommended coffee varieties for diabetic patients.
Black coffee is a primary source of higher antioxidants and minerals from a daily beverage. The richness of these elements helps to repair cell damage and prevent harmful chronic ailments.
It is also absent of carbs as black coffee does not contain any sugar.
The absence of milk makes it better for the diet in terms of fat control. Many fitness and health enthusiasts prefer having black coffee.
However, it must not be overdone as caffeine must be had in regulated quantities. For a better safety of the blood sugar levels, you can consult your doctors about the use and consumption of black coffee.
Nutritional information of coffee
Brewed coffee is low in calories and has almost zero carbohydrates. The glycemic index of coffee is also 0. This proves that coffee as a beverage for diabetics is safe.
However, the addition of milk and sugar affects these numbers. Hence, the preparation methods must be taken care of.
Apart from this, coffee also has many other nutritional elements that are good for the health. Having a look at the nutrients found in coffee can help with understanding its benefits better.
The following table records the nutrients found in 100 grams of coffee:
|Nutrients available in 100 grams of brewed coffee
Now, let us find out about the several benefits that these nutrients can have on our health.
Health benefits of coffee
We already discussed some of the major benefits that can be obtained from drinking coffee. Here are some more reasons to support the goodness of consuming coffee:
- Coffee is a good beverage that helps with reducing weight. From the nutritional profile of coffee mentioned above, you can find out that it has low calories and zero carbs. Hence, it can help in promoting weight loss. It is a better option over other sugary beverages and is also good for obese or diabetic patients. Having coffee also stimulates better and faster burning of fat.
- Coffee boosts one’s performance during exercise. The caffeine in coffee can stimulate better physical work and helps with keeping the body energetic and alert.
- Coffee is good for diabetic patients and helps with reducing blood glucose levels of the body. This quality is enhanced by the improved insulin sensitivity of the body, which fuels better diabetic management.
- The stimulant in coffee keeps you awake and alert and reduces a tired feeling. It also increases energy levels.
- The stimulation of neurotransmitters by coffee can help with improving brain function as well. It is said to be good for memory, thus, preventing the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- The presence of vitamins and minerals like – magnesium, manganese, potassium, and the many B vitamins, is very helpful for boosting the body’s immunity and functioning. Over time, the consumption of coffee regularly can add up these nutrients.
- Having coffee is also good for liver health as it reduces the risks of – cirrhosis. The liver is also susceptible to other common diseases, which can be aided with the consumption of healthy.
- Coffee is also good at mood-uplifting. It is said to be good for stress and anxiety management as well.
- The many antioxidants in coffee assist with improving the body’s strength against fighting free radicals. It is also known to help combat certain types of cancer.
- Caffeine is also known to lower blood pressure levels. Hence, it is good for the heart as well and reduces the risks of causing strokes. This is also an added benefit among diabetic patients as they are more vulnerable to developing cardiovascular risks.
Side effects of coffee
Alongside the many benefits, coffee also has a few side effects that need to be considered before including coffee in your diet.
- Too much coffee can be problematic and lead to a sick feeling accompanied by headaches, nausea, etc.
- Coffee that is not of good quality can be toxic to the body.
- If overdone, too much caffeine from coffee can make you restless and also cause insomnia.
- Kids and pregnant women must not have coffee. It can be harmful to their health and have certain uncomfortable effects.