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Do you worry about developing diabetes? Do you have a family history of the disease and know that you really aren’t eating right and exercising enough to lower your own risk?
If so, you’re going to want to read on because according to two new studies the key to quashing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes could lie in two things you probably already enjoy anyway – coffee and chocolate.
Doing a double-take about now?
You read correctly the first time: Coffee and chocolate have been shown in scientific research to actually delay the development of diabetes.
Increased insulin secretion
In recent years, researchers have identified substances in coffee that lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Now in a new study, scientists report that a previously untested compound in coffee appears to improve cell function and insulin sensitivity in laboratory mice.
The researchers divided mice that are prone to develop Type 2 diabetes into three groups. Two of the groups were fed differing doses of cafestol, the compound found in coffee.
After 10 weeks, both sets of cafestol-fed mice had lower blood glucose levels and improved insulin secretion compared to the control group, that didn’t get the coffee compound.
Even better, cafestol didn’t result in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, a side effect of some antidiabetic medications.
So if you’re a coffee-lover, drink up!
Now, on to the sweet stuff…
When a person has diabetes, their body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t process blood sugar properly. At the root of that is the failure of beta cells of the pancreas, whose job it is to produce insulin.
But, a new study at Brigham Young University, has found that these beta cells work better and remain stronger with an increased presence of epicatechin monomers, compounds found naturally in cocoa.
To discover this, the scientists first fed the cocoa compound to animals on a high-fat diet. They found that by adding it to the high-fat diet, the compound would decrease the level of obesity in the animals and would increase their ability to deal with increased blood glucose levels.
That’s when they learned cocoa compounds enhanced the beta cells’ ability to secrete insulin to deal with increased blood sugar levels.
What a reason to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa, right?
Optimizing your blood sugar levels
With the results of these two studies, it makes sense to grab a steaming mug of coffee or cocoa to start your day and help control your blood sugar.
Other ways to optimize your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes include:
- Get More Sleep – Inadequate or poor sleep makes your body less effective at using insulin. Aim for at least eight hours of high-quality sleep each night.
- Take a Cinnamon Supplement – Cinnamon extract has also been shown to improve fasting blood sugars in those with both prediabetes and diabetes. But, watch how much you take as you don’t want to drop your blood sugar too low.
- Go High Fiber – Eating high fiber foods can help keep your blood sugar stable and prevent insulin resistance so go high fiber and aim for 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day.
Blood sugar problems don’t have to be inevitable. Enjoy life and boost your insulin levels with coffee and chocolate along with the tips above to live diabetes-free.
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- Substance in coffee delays onset of diabetes in laboratory mice — American Chemical Society
- Compounds in cocoa may help delay onset of type 2 diabetes — Brigham Young University
- Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis — Journal of Medicinal Food