How the Danish coffee culture can inspire British diabetics

How the Danish coffee culture can inspire British diabetics

Have you often had your family, friends or colleagues advise you to drink less coffee? Well, various studies now show that coffee has many beneficial effects on our body – especially among diabetics, which is why it could be questioned whether it is actually better to have a cup too many than too few.

Naturally, Type 2 diabetes is not a desired illness, but it is one that is actually also hereditary and often triggered by a particularly unhealthy lifestyle with little physical activity and unhealthy food habits. In England, it is estimated that 2.8 million people are currently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and it is estimated that there are currently five million people in England at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. As the disease has significant consequences for each individual, it is definitely important to investigate what we can do to reduce the number of cases. Lifestyle changes may often seem inconceivable, but perhaps the preventing or symptom-relieving lifestyle changes for Type 2 diabetes may not all be equally as difficult to incorporate into our everyday lives.


The coffee club is seeking diabetics

Take Denmark for example. Denmark is the fourth most coffee drinking country in the world. On average, they drink 3,4-3,5 cups of coffee each day, whereof those aged 45-64 consume the most. In general, Type 2 diabetes is mostly diagnosed among 60-69-year-olds, and it is also within this age group that the disease is most frequent. However, it may not be a bad thing that the age group with the most diabetics is also the one drinking the most coffee.

Various new scientific studies have shown that coffee is not only beneficial for us in terms of its ability to make us happy, improve our response time, aid our digestion and increase our physical stamina. It contains a number of substances, such as caffeine and antioxidants, that can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as well as relieve the many harmful symptoms that accompany the disease.

Coffee has been shown to contribute to weight loss, have anti-inflammatory effects, and to increase the ability of the body’s cells to absorb sugar, causing the blood sugar to lower – attributes that correspond with some of the body’s reactions observed in Type 2 diabetics. This effect is most significant in people with a long-term consumption of coffee.

An American study, which included about 125,000 men and women, showed that an increased coffee intake reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, while a reduced intake increased the risk. The effect was greatest among those who had a large coffee intake – more than three cups per day. The study showed that the risk of Type 2 diabetes was lowered with 7 % with each extra cup of coffee the participants drank, and upwards of 6-8 cups each day.

Can we all benefit from adopting this concept of the ‘coffee club’?

As coffee is the world’s second most consumed beverage, many studies have been made regarding its effect on our health. A coffee consumption of 3-5 cups each day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and heart failure, and it has also been shown that coffee is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The coffee intake can, however, reduce the levels of minerals in our bones and thereby increase the risk of brittle-bone disease – also known as ‘osteoporosis’ – if you already have a low intake of calcium.

Although coffee is not considered a natural medicine or health food, it may not be that bad of an idea for us to take that extra sip of coffee, and not bad at all for the 2.8 million English citizens suffering from Type 2 diabetes. However, do not go completely ‘mocha-crazy’, because the studies only depict the mentioned positive effects of a coffee intake of 3-8 cups per day.



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