Type 2 diabetes happens when the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
The condition can be dangerous if left untreated, as it can lead to serious complications involving the heart, kidneys, eyes and feet.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by taking medication, but it’s also essential to follow a healthy, balanced diet in order to prevent blood sugar levels from rising further.
When it comes to coffee, there can be conflicting information on whether it is safe for people with diabetes to drink.
Whilst caffeine may hamper insulin sensitivity, other properties in coffee have the opposite effect
This is because the caffeine in coffee can impair insulin. Insulin is a chemical produced by the pancreas which is needed to regulate the level of sugar in the blood.
People with type 2 diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin or have problems reacting to it, resulting in high levels of blood sugar.
On the other hand, coffee contains other properties which have been shown to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
“Coffee contains different chemicals, some of which have beneficial effects whereas others can have a less beneficial effect, such as caffeine which can impair insulin in the short term,” said diabetes.co.uk.
So is it safe for people with type 2 diabetes to drink coffee?
People with diabetes are recommended to drink decaffeinated coffee (Image: Getty Images)
As it is the caffeine in coffee which can cause problems for people with type 2 diabetes, it is recommended people with the condition drink decaffeinated coffee.
This way, diabetic people can benefit from the good properties found in coffee, without the risk of caffeine causing blood sugar spikes.
What are the beneficial properties found in coffee?
Coffee contains molecules called polyphenols, which are micronutrients containing antioxidants.
Antioxidants can help prevent and reduce inflammation and inflammatory conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
Caffeine can impair insulin (Image: Getty Images)
Coffee contains antioxidants and magnesium (Image: Getty Images)
Coffee also contains magnesium, which diabetes.co.uk also notes has been linked with lower rates of type 2 diabetes.
“The blend of these nutrients can be helpful for improving insulin sensitivity,” said diabetes.co.uk.
“Coffee and its effect on risks of developing type 2 diabetes have been studied a number of times and has indicated a notably lower risk of type 2 diabetes being associated with coffee drinkers.”
“So whilst caffeine may hamper insulin sensitivity, other properties in coffee have the opposite effect.”
“It is therefore believed that decaffeinated coffee may present the best option for people with diabetes.”
Be careful of lattes and coffee with syrup, however, as the sugar, calories and carbohydrates found in them can be problematic for people with diabetes.