As our regular readers know, we’ve written about coffee and its potential health benefits before. In my opinion, the good things coffee can do for your health greatly outweigh the negatives—if you drink coffee regularly, you should have nothing to worry about. Of course, there are always amendments to that rule—like how much you drink and especially what you put in it—but drinking a few cups of black coffee per day can be a healthy habit.
Now, new research shows there’s another benefit to America’s most popular morning drink—and it’s a pretty big one. A large-scale review indicates that the more coffee a person drinks, the less risk they have of developing type 2 diabetes.
Led by a research team of doctors from the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the European journal Diabetologia, the study showed that increasing coffee consumption by 1.5 cups per day leads to an 11% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk. On the other hand, the less coffee a person drinks, the greater their risk of developing the disease. People who decreased their coffee consumption by one cup per day experienced a 17% increase in risk!
Researchers learned that people with the highest coffee consumption, consuming three or more cups per day, were at the lowest risk for type 2 diabetes, while those at the other end of the spectrum, who consumed less than one cup per day, were 37% more likely to develop the disease.
To come up with the conclusion that daily coffee consumption is related to lower type 2 diabetes risk, researchers looked at three major studies that offered more than 20 years of data. There were more than 123,000 participants tracked in the studies. Of those participants, 7,269 cases of diabetes were documented. Observing data collected every two to four years, the researchers were able to look at how coffee consumption was tied to type 2 diabetes. Only caffeinated coffee lowered risk…and in a relatively short period of time, often a maximum of four years.
Of course, a healthy cup of coffee can turn into junk food pretty quickly, so if you decide to boost your daily intake, it’s important to limit your additives. Loading it up with cream, sugar, flavor shots, syrups, and other calorie-laden options can turn your coffee from health food to a decadent, sugary dessert in the blink of an eye. Like eating a piece of cake, creamy, sugary coffee can actually contribute to increased diabetes risk. To get the most from your coffee, keep it black. If you do need to add something, opt for skim milk over cream and low-calorie sweeteners over refined sugars—and do so very sparingly.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Increasing consumption of coffee associated with reduced risk of type-2 diabetes, study finds,” ScienceDaily web site, April 24, 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424190516.htm.