Four cups a day, keeps diabetes away. Really?
Did I just hear right? Indeed I did. I caught a moment of the news and the anchor was covering a new study touting these results -- and later, after a quick online search, I learned that this anchor wasn't alone -- many were covering the "four cups a day, keep diabetes away" story.
Here's what I've got to say, could four cups of Joe a day ever be healthy, or even help prevent diabetes?:
1) If one exchanged plain coffee for caffeinated sodas -- this would be a nutritional upgrade that could help prevent diabetes.
2) If, however, one decided to have cream and sugar or even fat-free milk and artificial sugar or a no-sugar added powder or a non-dairy creamer with partially hydrogenated oil in their coffee then they would lose in terms of diabetes risk.
3) If one was drinking eight cups of coffee a day or six cups and two Red Bulls, and traded down to four cups a day, then I could see how this nutrition upgrade could help prevent diabetes.
4) If one was drinking 16-24 ounces daily of juice, "vitamin" waters, and sugar-based teas, and exchanged these for four cups of coffee one could see reduction in their risk of diabetes as well as likely their waist circumference and body fat.
5) If one was eating "energy" bars with greater than 10 grams of sugar, less than five grams of protein, and which contained artificial ingredients daily or several times daily, and exchanged it for a cup of coffee and an apple with some peanut butter, then perhaps the coffee could help to reduce diabetes risk.
6) If, however, one consumed four cups of coffee in lieu of eating nutrient balanced eating occasions during the day and then "backloaded" with calories at night, then one surely did not help prevent the onset of diabetes and moreover, the stress and irritation to the system would more likely increase risk for other chronic diseases or symptoms in the future.
7) If one added spices to coffee like cinnamon, clove, and cardamom then one would likely feel the benefit of digestive aids as well as hormonal ones that could help protect the body against diabetes and other diseases.
8) If one has a high risk of diabetes due to obesity, family history, or other medical factors and decides to ONLY increase consumption of coffee to prevent diabetes then one likely misses out on whole host of other well-documented nutrition and lifestyle behaviors that can help prevent diabetes while also improving overall long term health.
9) If one consumed only organic coffee -- so that no additional chemicals enter our system -- then one will help reduce the toxic burden in the body which could be linked to a lower risk of obesity and disease, including diabetes.
10) If, when consuming coffee, one doesn't get any jitters and it allows one to function daily as well as get in routine exercise and go to sleep at a reasonable hour (before midnight) with six to eight hours of sleep then the coffee consumption might not be an issue.
11) If, however, one has one 24-hour day where coffee wasn't available and one can't function; one scours the cupboards for sugar to get a "lift" or to identify replacement sources of caffeine. Then one's body is telling them that it is likely addicted to caffeine and should consider reducing or eliminating intake.
Net, net, only you can answer the "ifs" for yourself. But I will provide one final If/Then scenario that applies to us all: If you believe the top line of a study presented on the news and change your diet to meet the reported results without finding out more about what the study results were based on, as well as whether it fits your particular health profile, Then you have no one but yourself to blame if the outcome isn't as the TV reporter presented.