Coffee is how many of us start the morning or fortify ourselves to walk out of the house. In fact, 64% of Americans drink coffee daily. And the older we are, the more likely we are to have a cup of joe in our hand: 74 percent of people 55+ have at least one cup a day. Only 10 percent of us want to cut back. This shows that the greater majority of us don’t feel any negative effects from the drink. But, there may be less apparent problems than getting the jitters.
For instance, too much caffeine may upset blood sugar levels. Caffeine can reduce insulin sensitivity leading your body to release more insulin. For those of us with blood sugar concerns, that can be a big issue. While long sustained coffee consumption has been linked to better insulin sensitivity, short term metabolic studies showed the opposite. Different experiments have had wildly different results.
There are more than 600 compounds in coffee. With so many breeds, brands and growing practices, it is unsurprising that different studies have had varying results. Decaf coffee might be the best choice for you if you want coffee and to avoid concerns about your blood sugar. The fact is, no body is exactly the same, so you should speak to your doctor about coffee. Caffeine has been linked to decreased insulin sensitivity, but coffee has not. While caffeine may be a negative, the coffee itself seems to be healthy.
The worry about coffee is less about caffeine and more about add-ins. While coffee is extremely low in calories, practically calorie-free, the things you add can make it a drinkable candy. By adding sugar, creamer and more, you can easily turn a zero-calorie drink into a beverage that is more akin to a milkshake. Medium drinks at Starbucks, made with 2 percent milk can have over 300 calories. Instead of pouring in a sugar-laden creamer, adding a splash of milk would be significantly lower in calories and sugar, helping prevent blood sugar spikes.
As with most things in life, it seems that most people can enjoy coffee in moderation. Speak to your doctor before changing your diet.