Most people already think coffee is amazing, but we’re about to give you a whole new reason to love it… coffee can positively impact blood sugar and diabetes!
Most coffee beans can be divided into two types: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are usually much fruitier and sweeter tasting than Robusta beans, making them the usual choice for the majority of brewed coffees. Robusta beans are for those who love strong coffee; they have more of a bitter flavor, and contain double the amount of caffeine in Arabica beans.
One 8 oz cup of coffee contains 75-100 mg of caffeine on average. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day appears to be safe for healthy adults.
That’s no more than 4-5 cups of coffee per day. If we consume more than 400 mg of caffeine daily, symptoms can range from insomnia to irritability. Upset stomach, muscle tremors, and elevated heart rate can also occur.
Some people are genetically primed to handle caffeine better than others. For example, an espresso after dinner is common practice in many European countries before sleeping soundly all night. Others have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and their “perk” lasts well into the afternoon.
For the most part, people are already consuming the amount of coffee they can handle. If you’ve had too much coffee, you know it. If you haven’t had enough coffee, you know it. If you are currently enjoying the amount of coffee that’s best for you (even if that’s none at all) we don’t suggest increasing your consumption simply to increase the health benefits.
In moderation, there are several health benefits to drinking coffee. One researcher in particular has examined how coffee fits into the link between diet and diabetes risk.
According to Marilyn Cornelis, PhD, a nutritionist and assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, “Of all the foods we consume, coffee has the most potential to prevent type 2 diabetes.”
Coffee is mainly consumed as a source of caffeine, but it also contains other beneficial properties. Coffee contains particularly high levels of antioxidants which serve to protect the body from free-radical damage.
When these are consumed, they interact with the body in many different ways—hence some of the mystery behind coffee’s beneficial effects.
Through her research, Cornelis hopes to identify the chemical reactions that occur in the body when a person consumes coffee. This may help determine what’s uniquely protective about coffee, and its specific properties that positively affect diabetes.
Studies have shown that caffeine may improve memory and cognitive performance. Caffeine has also been associated with lowered risk for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Research has now linked Type II diabetes to the development of Alzheimer’s.
Coffee increases adrenaline production, and can help you maximize your workouts! Speaking of workouts, could caffeine help you lose weight? Research has found that caffeine can boost metabolism by between 3-11%. Other studies show that caffeine can increase the body’s fat-burning power, by as much as 10% in overweight individuals and as much as 29% in lean individuals.
One important thing to remember, the majority of the research we’ve discussed is based on the consumption of black coffee. If you order a mocha latte with chocolate drizzle and extra whipped cream, you will not reap the benefits discussed above – you will experience a spike in blood sugar.
If black coffee isn’t quite your thing, add full fat milk or cream, a packet or two of Zsweet, or even a bit of butter! These additions will increase the flavor factor, as well as add good fats without spiking your blood sugar.
Coffee truly is an amazing beverage – enjoy all the good it has to offer!