New research out of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health shows that coffee may lower a person's risk for type 2 diabetes! Coffee drinkers can now drink their coffee without worries. Of course, decaffeinated is still a better choice, as the research showed that postmenopausal women who daily consumed more than six cups of coffee had a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who did not drink coffee. "Having a healthy diet, controlling your weight, and exercising are essential to preventing the onset of diabetes, but drinking coffee has the potential to further reduce risk of diabetes," said Mark Pereira, Ph.D., lead author and Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. "It may be necessary to rethink the idea that drinking coffee does more harm than good." Why does coffee help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes? Well, it appears from the research that coffee contains minerals and antioxidants that aid in carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity and possibly delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. The report was described as "not surprising" by Rob van Dam, a research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. He was part of a research team in the Netherlands who first reported the protective effect of coffee in 2002. Several other studies, including one done at the Harvard School of Public Health, have backed up those original findings. "We found exactly the same protective effect of decaffeinated coffee," van Dam said. "People think that if coffee causes it, it must be the caffeine, but coffee is a very complex mixture," he added. One component of coffee that has caught van Dam's attention is chlorogenic acid, which seems to be able to slow the absorption of sugar by cells. Studies in rats found that the molecule lowered blood-sugar levels, he said. There's another reason to hope that chlorogenic acid is beneficial: According to van Dam, it's abundant in both red wine and chocolate. "People think that nutritionists are always recommending things they don't like, but that's not true," he said. Did you know there are over 20 million Americans who have diabetes, with 6.2 million of these cases being undiagnosed? It should also be noted that the research found that higher coffee intake was associated with lower body mass index and rates of hypertension. Pereira and van Dam agreed that it's much too early to single out any one component of coffee as beneficial. Of course, you still need to control your weight and do your daily exercises, but isn't nice to know that you can actually have your coffee without guilt. So, when you go to pour your next cup of coffee, remember, it may actually good for you!