Are Chocolate and Coffee Good for You?

February 17, 2009

Coffee, chocolate, wine – you’ve probably heard claims that these foods are actually good for you. But are they? The March issue of Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association, looks at five controversial foods and examines what science says about the pros and cons of each – and how to get the best out of all of them.

Take coffee, for example. Research suggests that coffee may help you avoid a variety of things including liver cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and gallstones. The downside, however, is that caffeine has been connected to high blood pressure , high cholesterol, and elevated post-meal blood glucose levels. An expert from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health offers perspective to understand what forms of coffee are best and how to determine the effect caffeine has on your blood glucose.

Then there’s chocolate: Forget milk and white, but dark chocolate, with its antioxidants, has been shown to improve brain function, reduce blood pressure and risk of heart attack, and lower cholesterol. Sounds like a superfood, doesn’t it? Not quite – read the advice experts share with Diabetes Forecast about getting the most out of the beneficial antioxidants in this high calorie sweet. Also, learn how to pick the best chocolate when it’s time to indulge.

Red wine, potatoes, and eggs round out the list. Some of these have been shown to improve the immune system, fight tooth decay, reduce risk of dementia, and even improve insulin sensitivity. But that doesn’t mean you should feel free to overdo it: Diabetes Forecast includes tips on how to get the best health benefits from the controversial foods you enjoy.

Also in this issue of Diabetes Forecast:

Hunger: it’s a natural reaction to the body’s need for food – or is it? Diabetes Forecast looks at the evolution of hunger, the hormones associated with it, and cutting-edge research that may translate into the next generation of weight-loss drugs. From food addictions to diet therapies, this comprehensive overview provides information about why your belly grumbles and how your brain responds.

The March issue also brings you information on:

  • Insulin pumps – how they work, how they help, and what you should know if you’re considering using one.
  • The pancreas: what this little organ does, and how it goes wrong in people with diabetes.
  • Great greens: Terrific new recipes, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

Diabetes Forecast has been America's leading diabetes magazine for 60 years, offering the latest news on diabetes research and treatment to provide information, inspiration, and support to people with diabetes.


About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)