Is Coffee Okay?

coffee and diabetes© John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Every other week, it seems, a new health report comes out about coffee. Studies have suggested that the beverage protects against certain cancers and Parkinson’s disease, and it’s one of the best sources of antioxidants in our diet (mainly because we drink so much of it). But there’s more.

One of the compounds in coffee, called chlorogenic acid, has been shown in animal studies to lower blood sugar. Coffee’s also rich in quinides, compounds that make the body more sensitive to insulin. These could be among the reasons why regular coffee drinkers seem to have a lower risk of developing diabetes. A survey of 80,000 women conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that drinking two to three cups a day lowered the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by about a third.

So go ahead, join in the klatch at the local coffee shop — but stick to decaf, because caffeine can cause spikes in your blood sugar by raising so-called “stress” hormones that stimulate the release of stored glucose from the liver.

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