Caffeine Plus Fat: a Lethal Combination

Nothing finishes off a meal quite like a cup of coffee; however, when the meal in question is a fat-laden helping of fast food, you may be adding insult to injury.

Caffeine plus fat are a lethal combinationIt was once believed that this extra jolt of caffeine could help with digestion, but not anymore. A study out of the University of Guelph that was published in the Journal of Nutrition has found that drinking caffeine after a high-fat meal raises blood sugar levels to a diabetic level. This is extremely troubling, since most high-fat meals are washed down with Coke to help cut the grease.

“The results tell us that saturated fat interferes with the body’s ability to clear sugars from the blood and, when combined with caffeinated coffee, the impact can be even worse,” said Beaudoin, a PhD student who conducted the study with the University of Guelph professors Lindsay Robinson and Terry Graham. “Having sugar remain in our blood for long periods is unhealthy because it can take a toll on our body’s organs.”

When we consume sugar, our bodies product insulin and this helps rid the body of blood sugars, but the combination of high fat and caffeine renders this system ineffective and blood sugar levels remain high long after eating.

The study was devised using a high-fat drink. This was fed to participants of the study – healthy men who drank 1 gram of the high-fat drink for every kilogram of body weight. Six hours later, the same group consumed a high-sugar drink.

When blood sugar levels were compared to the men’s fasting blood count, the high-fat drink raised their levels 32% higher than normal. The scientists then tested this high-fat drink in combination with a caffeinated drink. Five hours after drinking the high-fat drink, the healthy men were given two cups of coffee and then one hour later, they ingested the high-sugar drink.

This time blood sugar levels increased by 65%. Shocking!

“This shows that the effects of a high-fat meal can last for hours,” said Beaudoin. “What you eat for lunch can impact how your body responds to food later in the day.”

The researchers also tested the effects of this drink combo on the digestive secretions of the stomach and intestine and found that the high-fat drink blocked the body’s response to carbohydrates.

“Ultimately we have found that fat and caffeinated coffee are impairing the communication between the gut and the pancreas, which could be playing a role in why participants couldn’t clear the sugar from their blood as easily,” said Beaudoin.

If you are at risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome, it’s time to re-think your diet and start choosing healthier food options.

“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. This study has shown that the affects of these foods can be severe and long lasting.”


University of Guelph. “Got a craving for fast food? Skip the coffee, study suggests.” ScienceDaily 1 April 2011. 4 April 2011 <­ /releases/2011/04/110401085604.htm>.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s