Type 2 diabetes affects how well the body can regulate and use glucose (carbohydrates) for energy. This chronic (long-term) condition results in an excessive amount of sugar being absorbed into the bloodstream. High blood sugar levels can have a long-term negative impact on the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, there are essentially two related problems. Your pancreas may not create enough insulin, a hormone that regulates how much sugar gets into your cells. Your cells respond poorly to insulin as a result, and they absorb less glucose.
The Health Advantages and Dangers of Green Tea Consumption for Type 2 Diabetics
Due to its lack of added sugar, nutrient-rich makeup, and zero calorie content when consumed straight from the container, green tea is a fantastic addition to a diabetic diet.
According to studies, green tea’s powerful antioxidant polyphenol may have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering benefits.
According to a review article in Chinese medicine, studies have looked into the potential benefits of this nutritional powerhouse for boosting cognitive function, preventing disease, and even improving heart health. But does the drink fit into a type 2 diabetic diet as well? It seems that it can.
The Value of Diabetes-Friendly Drink Selection
Blood sugar (glucose), the body’s primary source of energy, can no longer be properly absorbed by the body’s cells in people with type 2 diabetes due to a syndrome known as insulin resistance. Diabetes complications such as heart disease, renal failure, and nerve damage (neuropathy) are more likely to occur when there is hyperglycemia, or an elevated blood glucose concentration, which is brought on by insulin resistance.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health claims that one of the main factors contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemics is added sugar, more specifically added sugar found in beverages like sports drinks, soda, and fruit juice. Green tea may help you manage your blood sugar in relation to this particular aspect of your diet.
Green Tea’s Proven Health Benefits for Diabetes
Numerous studies have looked into how green tea may aid in weight loss and, as a result, enhance a person’s capacity to manage their type 2 diabetes and blood sugar levels. According to nutrition data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a basic pot of steeped green tea contains a few different types of tea and has no calories. This implies that it’s an excellent alternative to calorie- and sugar-heavy sodas and energy drinks.
A certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators asserts that calorie restriction enhances insulin sensitivity and lowers blood sugar levels. A study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences looked at the effects of different doses of green tea on 63 people with type 2 diabetes. Four cups per day has been linked to lower blood pressure and weight, according to research.
By slowing the metabolism and absorption of carbohydrates, the catechins in green tea can mitigate the effects of insulin resistance. (Antioxidants include catechins.) Green tea was found to improve insulin resistance in diabetics and raise HDL (“good”) blood cholesterol when consumed regularly. Participants drank a 150-milliliter infusion of the beverage three times per day for four weeks.
Some research suggests that drinking green tea may also lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
An analysis that was released in the Journal of Food Processing and Technology in November 2014 found that green tea contains a potent antioxidant called polyphenol, which may have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering properties.
Green tea may also have a relaxing impact on the body and psyche. It includes the amino acid L-theanine, which has a soothing effect. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, L-theanine may help reduce anxiety and stress-related increases in blood pressure. Drinking a cup of green tea might help you feel calmer because having a chronic disease like diabetes can make you more stressed and anxious.
How Much Green Tea Should Someone With Diabetes Drink?
As long as you don’t add sugar, according to research, drinking green tea shouldn’t have any adverse consequences.
If you think green tea is too bitter, stay away from adding honey and regular sugar (brown or white); instead, use a sweetener like stevia.
Caffeine, which may have an effect on blood pressure and blood sugar levels, is another thing to keep in mind when drinking green tea. The latter is especially concerning for people with type 2 diabetes because, according to the American Heart Association, they have a 2 to 4 times higher risk of passing away from heart failure than people without type 2 diabetes.
An excellent way to find out how your body responds to the amount of caffeine in green tea is to measure your blood sugar levels before and after drinking it.
Green tea contains significantly less caffeine than black or coffee, which is good news. For every 8 ounces of brewed green tea, there are 25 to 29 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, compared to 95 to 165 mg in brewed coffee and 25 to 48 mg in steeped black tea.
If, however, your body has a caffeine sensitivity, it might still be a problem. It’s crucial to pay attention to your unique response because of this.
Other Teas to Try to Manage Type 2 Diabetes More Effectively
The methods used to prepare green, oolong, and black teas vary. When making green tea, fresh leaves are used, and fermentation is stopped by steaming the tea. In order to preserve tea, its antioxidant content and green color must also be preserved. Black tea has a full fermentation, whereas oolong tea has a partial fermentation.
Some people favor black or oolong teas because they taste less bitter than green tea. Although black and oolong teas contain a little bit more caffeine and don’t have the same amount of antioxidants as green tea, this doesn’t mean they’re a bad substitute.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, herbal teas are a fantastic alternative. Although they lack caffeine, they may be very flavorful. Arevalo recommends cinnamon tea for people with type 2 diabetes because of its flavor and potential health benefits (cinnamon is a powerhouse of antioxidants). More evidence suggests that cinnamon may help type 2 diabetics manage their blood sugar levels more effectively.