Is Coffee Good for You? Diabetic Update

I am from a family of coffee drinkers. The Allison side of my family loves coffee. I love both the smell and the taste of coffee. It is one of the “foods” I never worry my head about because I know I must have my morning drink and I am often heard saying that I will do so at all cost.

This way of thinking can be dangerously irresponsible and could result in complications and so I made a decision to do the research and to present the findings to my readers.

The views on coffee are varied. This means that there are people who are of the opinion that coffee is good for diabetics and could actually result in lower blood sugar and others say that over time coffee could cause a spike in blood glucose. We will take a look at both views so that we (diabetics) can give an informed response to the question, “is coffee good for you?”

Could it be an Addiction?

By now you probably assumed that I am happier with the result which indicates that drinking coffee could reduce your risk of becoming diabetic. According to one research¹, this could be reduced by as much as 50%. According to the same paper, having a cup per day could reduce that risk by 4 to 8%. I am a little slow in doing my experiment with the coffee/diabetes connection and I am sure you understand the reason.

The truth is, I have been writing this article for almost two weeks now. Yes, I would rather sing to the tune which says, drink all the coffee you can, it is good for you. Yes, I would love to hear that coffee is the new super-food. But, that is not the reality.

I would love to drink one cup after another, but that would be an addiction on the rise and it would certainly prove me to be a hypocrite when I encourage moderation.

I needed my readers to understand that there is a real person with issues writing this website. Yes, she was diagnosed with diabetes and other issues such as high blood pressure. She loves coffee and fights to ensure that she does not develop an addiction to coffee. My struggles are real. I wrestle with my weight, but I am determined to win all the wars.

Brick by brick I am victorious. I continue to tackle each issue and although sometimes I am a bit frustrated and feel like throwing in the towel, I look at the successes so far and the lives I am touching, and I know that I must continue the struggle. And, so, coffee is just another struggle.

Short and Long-Term Effects

The literature is making a distinction between the long and the short-term effects of coffee, with the results being different for each. It was discovered that 1 cup of coffee with 100 mg of caffeine could negatively affect our blood sugar. Note, this was undertaken by overweight men (Bjarnadottir, 2016). It was clearly pointed out in the article that they were looking at the impact of caffeine, rather than coffee, and this explained why the decaf coffee did not raise blood sugar.

I, however, hate to make an observation at this moment, but I must, as I owe it to my readers to be fair and honest. Two weeks ago I had slightly elevated blood sugar readings. The sad thing is that it is a bit difficult to say what was responsible for the extra 1.00 to 1.7 readings that I received.

This is so because I made two changes. I did not have as many fruits as I did in the previous weeks. Unfortunately, I also included an extra cup of coffee per day. For most of the days, I had a cup of instant coffee at work. I just thought I should give you that bit of information since I am also sharing my journey with diabetes with you, my readers.

This week I am back to eating a lot of fruits and still drinking my regular 2 cups of coffee. The readings are still slightly elevated, but, interestingly they were a little lower than last week. Please also note that it was recorded that initially, the blood sugar rises, then fell over a period of time.

The lowered blood sugar would then be less than it was when the person first started to drink coffee. Yes, food for thought and you are perfectly welcome to add to the discussion at this point.

The question is “how much coffee are these regular drinkers taking on a daily basis?” Please see below for a quote from Bjarnadottir (2016), which tells what is happening to people who were regular coffee drinkers.

“In fact, some have seen improvements in fat cells and liver function, with increased levels of beneficial hormones like adiponectin…The caffeinated coffee group had significantly lower blood sugar levels, while no change was seen in the other two groups…After adjusting for some confounding factors, both caffeinated coffee and decaf coffee were linked with a modest decrease in blood sugar levels after 16 weeks.”

Here is where I was comforted whilst reading this article. “…blood sugar and insulin levels may increase when you start drinking coffee. However, after a few weeks or months, your levels may become even lower than before you started.” I have reasons to continue drinking my coffee, but I will continue to test and see if eventually, my slightly elevated readings will become lower than before.

Moderation

Let me, however, caution my readers to remember that moderation is the key that unlocks a number of health issues. I have no intention of drinking five (5) cups of coffee per day. I am already feeling guilty about having two (2) cups per day and I have taken the necessary steps to return to just one (1) cup most days.

The same research also stated that decaf coffee drinkers will also get the same benefits as those drinking regular coffee. Type 2 diabetes could be on the decline for coffee drinkers. Interesting information. It is even more interesting to note that decaf coffee has no connection with an increase in our blood sugar. At least, this is what the article stated. Again, please be moderate in all that you do.

Words of Wisdom

As usual, here is my take on the matter. Like I stated above, I will be indulging in a self-experiment. I am not a “decaf” person, but I will continue to drink coffee, take my readings and see the effect on my blood glucose. I hope I do not need to try the decaf, but I am willing to see what happens.

Again, I caution moderation. Also, bear in mind that the readings that we get in the short term could be different from the readings we get in the long term.

If you are not diabetic, then the possibility exists that consuming coffee for an extended period of time could actually help to prevent diabetes. There is, however, a word of caution according to Case-Lo and Wells (2016), as they stated that coffee could be bad news for those of us who already suffer from diabetes. It was observed that those of us with diabetes who consume coffee would have higher blood glucose readings on the days that we consume this lovely drink.

My Journey

Yes, this makes me sad, because I love and crave coffee and my experiment has me with slightly elevated readings and I am drinking coffee every day for the past two weeks or so. This for me is the hardest post I have ever written. It has taken me days, mainly because I would like to present you with the pre-concluding results of a self-experiment.

I am a bit concerned and in the interest of my health, I may have to put away the coffee mug, at least for now. I do have a bit elevated reading and the coffee is the only change I have made recently. I outlined before that I was having about two cups per day and my readings were a bit higher.

After skipping coffee for two whole days and getting a huge headache, my blood glucose was lower. Interesting! I will continue to abstain from drinking coffee for at least a week and see the readings of my blood sugar. Could it be the hot beverages I consume when I am abstaining from coffee? That’s food for thought as well.

Please see below for some of the hot beverages I consume in lieu of coffee:

  • Green Tea (Yes, and I know this was mentioned in the study, but my readings are great with green tea).
  • Mint
  • Cinnamon
  • Mango Leaf Tea
  • Soursop Leaf Tea
  • Echinacea
  • Fennel

Other Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

They stated some other health benefits from drinking coffee. Please see below for some other health benefits of drinking coffee:

  • Coffee reduces the risk of liver disease
  • Reduces the risk of cancer (liver)
  • Keeps gout at bay
  • Protects us from gallstones
  • Protects us from Parkinson’s disease
  • Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
When I drink only 1 cup of coffee some days of the week, my blood glucose readings are encouraging. Yes, they decrease and are once again in the 5.8 to 6.5 range after a twelve hour fast and having half of my medication. My lifestyle change is still intact. I eat mainly whole foods and I try to be more active.

Conclusion

The arguments for and against coffee are strong, dependent on whether or not you are diabetic, pre-diabetic or diabetic-free. There is proof on all sides and so it is up to us to self-experiment, test and make a determination about the effect of coffee on our blood sugar. It is felt that coffee could prevent diabetes, but could be dangerous for those of us who already have diabetes, that is, in the short-term.

The long-term effects could prove useful for diabetics. It is the thinking that when we regularly drink coffee, then the blood sugar will at first be elevated, but that as we continue to drink coffee, the readings will get lower than it was before we started drinking coffee on a regular basis.

Obviously, we are all different and have a number of things going on in our bodies and as such our results could vary. One way to see if coffee will work in our favor is to consume some, but bearing in mind that moderation should be the motto of a diabetics’ life.

Reference

  1. Bjarnadottir, Adda. “How Does Coffee Affect Blood Sugar and Diabetes?” Authority Nutrition. N.p., 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.
  2. Case-Lo, Christine, and Diana K. Wells. “Coffee’s Effect on Diabetes.” Healthline. Healthline Media, 2016. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.

Medical Disclaimer

 


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6 Comments


  1. // Reply

    Oh wow, I know exactly what you mean. I believe coffee truly is addictive. I used to drink just one cup of coffee a day, maybe two in winter.

    Then I quit smoking and I completely cross addicted to coffee! I was drinking about eight to ten cups a day. I have managed to cut down quite a lot but when I first attempted to cut down I got migraines and I became shaky.

    So there you go,I did personal research into it! I am a drug addict and alcoholic in recovery for 8 years now and I can clearly recognize when my body and mind gets hooked onto something. In fact I am wanting to blog about my experience getting hooked on coffee.

    I am now down to two cups a day which is manageable, soon I am going to be cutting down to one cup in the morning only.


    1. // Reply

      Lynne, thank you for taking the time to read and respond. Yes, coffee can be addictive, and I do get a headache when I am without it for too long, so yes, I am learning to break this addiction. I salute you for your strides and I am looking forward to reading your coffee blog. Cheers.


  2. // Reply

    Great post and best of luck on your personal research. I hope it will yield a favorable result. I am not a coffee drinker, but I may need to reconsider that. I have families with diabetes and if this will help me prevent it or lower that chance then I will welcome it.

    Amazing post! I will follow your journey and wish you well.

    have a happy and prosperous new year! To good health!


  3. // Reply

    I’m neither a coffee drinker nor a diabetic. But I’ve read many articles about the health issues that diabetes can cause so I’m quite concerned will do a health checkup in the near future. Years ago I had coffee from Starbucks and it left me feeling unwell. From then on, I kinda stayed away from coffee. However, I love coffee flavored cakes and desserts! 🙂


    1. // Reply

      Yvonne, our systems are unique and I agree with you that if you had coffee before and it was a bad experience, then by all means I would avoid drinking more. I encourage you to do your medical checks and live a lifestyle to avoid a lot of the illnesses which can be prevented through lifestyle. You may find this

      article

      of interest. All the best.

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