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Study On Fats and Coffee Draws Flawed Conclusion

April 05, 2011

The University of Guelph in Canada announced the completion of a study showing the relationship of a fatty fast food meal on blood-sugar levels when eaten both with and without coffee. It was shown that the blood sugar spike doubled when the meal was accompanied by regular coffee. The study involved a “novel fat cocktail” containing only lipids. It was designed to mimic the body’s reactions to the ingestion of a fatty fast food meal. Coffee followed the cocktail and lipids were measured after a third item, a sugary drink, was ingested. Basically that was the study. There are a few problems with this study, according to the details released, and they caused an erroneous conclusion. Because the media loved this story and published it in so many websites, without anyone so far seeming to question it, we couldn’t remain silent. Coffee is not the villain in this study, and coffee lovers need to know this. Don’t throw away your espresso machine yet, not before reading this critique. One flaw is the substitution of a lipid concoction rather than an actual meal. Maybe more study details would reveal the rationale of using this, but it’s not certain that one can say that it replicated a full meal deal exactly. There are many components to real food (if fast food can be called real), and this cocktail by necessity left some out. So the conclusion might be that eating this cocktail with coffee (two cups at once, mind you) raises the blood sugar to dangerous levels more so than just eating it without coffee. The second major problem was not having an additional study group of subjects who were given decaf with their meal. It’s almost as if caffeine was determined to be a villain and then the study was set up to prove that. But it wasn’t proven at all, because we’re left with the question of how decaf would have affected the blood sugar levels. It must also be pointed out that the cocktail contained only fat; surely in a fast food meal there is at least a little protein to help balance out the fat intake. This brings us to the erroneous and harmful conclusion. The researchers stated “We have known for many years that people with or at risk of Type 2 diabetes should limit their caffeine intake. Drinking decaffeinated coffee instead of caffeinated is one way to improve one's glucose tolerance. Limiting the intake of saturated fatty acids found in red meat, processed foods and fast food meals is also beneficial.” Half of this is correct and is borne out by tons of research, and that half is that fatty fast foods are downright harmful, not to mention disgusting. Avoid them. The erroneous statement is that those at risk for diabetes should limit caffeine intake and drink decaf. How do they know this without testing with decaf? More importantly, the overwhelming preponderance of recent research has shown that drinking coffee, with or without caffeine, is linked to lower incidences of type 2 diabetes. ROASTe has reported on many articles lauding coffee’s health benefits, one of which can be read here: http://www.roaste.com/CafeRoaste/News/2011/02/08/Nutrition-Action-Applau... . Coffee, with and without caffeine, when drunk in moderation, has been proven to be beneficial to health by many studies. But by all means, if you crave and must have a fatty lipid cocktail, don’t drink coffee. The choice is yours. For this writer, though, it’s a no-brainer. Coffee wins!






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