Is it Good or Bad If I Drink Coffee and I Have Diabetes?

Some people start their day with a cup of coffee, or love a latte or cappuccino. There are many coffee lovers in America today, with a great proportion of Americans taking a cup of coffee every day. Despite many coffee drinkers, there is always an ongoing discussion about the health benefits and risks of coffee, especially how it affects those with preexisting medical conditions. One such condition is diabetes, and it is important to separate the truth from lies, so here are facts about diabetes and coffee intake.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that prevents your body from producing the right amount of a particular hormone or preventing it from being used by the body. This hormone is called insulin, and inadequate production refers to diabetes type 1, while inefficient utilization is diabetes type 2. Insulin hormone helps your body utilize the sugar you eat in your food and convert it to the body’s energy. Not being able to produce insulin means your body cells will not have access to the sugar needed by the cells, and this sugar accumulates in the blood. 

Common diabetic symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, dizziness, and tiredness, and all these are effects of the build-up of sugar in the blood. Diabetes also makes you prone to health complications like nerve damage, heart disease, kidney disease, loss of vision, and infections.

What are the “active ingredients” in coffee? 

Many people immediately think of coffee as bad because it has a lot of sugar. But in reality, coffee itself may not be harmful to you. The substances found in coffee that can affect you are antioxidants and caffeine. According to research, there are many antioxidants in coffee. These substances are good for your body because they can combat inflammation and attack harmful atoms or free radicals in the body and result in illness or aging.

Caffeine is the most significant constituent of coffee, and it is known as a stimulant. It is responsible for keeping you alert and awake after you drink coffee. The most effect of caffeine in diabetics is that it increases blood pressure and can control how the body responds to insulin.

How does coffee affect blood sugar?

There is no conclusion on whether coffee is good or bad for diabetes because previous research offers different points of view on this topic. Some research has stated that coffee negatively affects blood sugar levels by making the body more insulin resistant. In other studies, conclusions show that long-term consumption of coffee may be good for the body. 

In a particular study, people who took more than 6 cups of coffee a day were found to have a lower risk of diabetes than those who took only 4 to 6 cups a day. Even those who drank just 1 to 4 cups a day showed a lower risk of diabetes than non-drinkers. The cause for this is still unknown. Still, the main theory is that the caffeine in coffee can lead to improved insulin sensitivity—which means that cells can take sugar out of the blood and lower blood sugar levels. 

Despite these results, it is important to note that they do not explicitly confirm that coffee reduces blood sugar. Still, the study’s regular coffee drinkers happened to have a reduced risk of diabetes in the long term. The studies did not state the amount of sugar in the coffee or if sugar was used in the preparation. Furthermore, many factors can affect your blood sugar and increase the risk of getting diabetes. These include a family history of diabetes, daily diet, lifestyle, and other medical conditions. Summarily, increasing your coffee intake as a means to cure or prevent diabetes is not advisable. 

Is coffee safe if I have diabetes? 

Although the conclusions on coffee benefits are not very clear, if you monitor your blood sugar and drink coffee with little sugar, you should be safe. You can see coffee like other foods, watching the sugar amount closely and ensuring you reduce your caffeine consumption to reasonable amounts. 

How much caffeine is too much caffeine? 

According to the FDA, 400 mg of caffeine a day is recommended. This is about four to five cups of coffee as the maximum amount a healthy adult should drink a day. However, If you have diabetes, a lower limit is favorable. For some diabetes patients, taking more than 200 mg of caffeine may have a negative impact on blood sugar.

How much sugar is too much sugar?

 For non-diabetics, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends taking less than ten percent of your total calorie level. For a 3,000-calorie diet, that would mean about 60g of total sugar from all sources in a day. This sugar level is important if you take coffee on the go. 

For those with diabetes, you would need to ask your doctor to be certain about the best limit for you. Working with the limit as a percentage of your total daily calories instead of a set amount of sugar will enable you to change your intake easily based on how much you eat or your weight. 

What is the best coffee for diabetics?

Decaffeinated coffee could be the best choice for people with diabetes as researchers found it provides the advantages of coffee with some of the harmful effects associated with caffeine.

Is coffee good for prediabetes?

Long-term consumption tolerance may cause the protective effect. A more recent 2018 study showed that coffee and caffeine long-term effects may be associated with lowering prediabetes and diabetes risk.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you have any specific dietary needs, concerns, or questions, talk to your nutritionist or healthcare provider as much as possible. They will give you the best of advice and be happy to help you to the best of their ability. They can specifically recommend the kinds of food that would be most suitable for you. 

nv-author-image

Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.