Should people with type 2 diabetes avoid that cup o’ joe, or is it safe to drink?

Q: Is it safe for people with diabetes to drink coffee?

A: Many studies have linked moderate coffee drinking with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A large review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who drank four to six cups of coffee per day were 28 percent less likely to develop diabetes than individuals who drank zero to two cups. Caffeinated or decaffeinated, filtered or instant, all types seem to be protective.

However, for people who already have diabetes, the picture gets a bit cloudier. That’s because some studies show that the caffeine in coffee reduces insulin sensitivity, which means insulin and blood sugar levels may in fact increase. If you have diabetes and you’re having a tough time keeping your blood sugar down, I recommend switching to decaf for a week or two to see if your blood sugar readings improve. If they do, decaf is clearly the way to go.