Tea and diabetes: types, risks and benefits (2023)

Tea is a beverage made by steeping the leaves of the tea plant in boiling water. Many teas and some herbal infusions have health-boosting properties and may benefit people with type 2 diabetes.

All true teas, whether black, green, Oolong or white, come from the sameCamellia sinensisto plant. However, herbal infusions, sometimes also called teas, are made with different herbs and fruits such as chamomile, peppermint and hibiscus tea.

This article explores the interaction between tea (including herbal teas) and type 2 diabetes. It also discusses different types of tea and herbal teas and the best options for a person with type 2 diabetes.

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Unsweetened tea or herbal infusions can be a good low-calorie drink option for someone with type 2 diabetes, as the drink does not affect blood sugar levels. can also helpavoid dehydration, which can increase blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, teas and infusions may contain active compounds with somehealth benefitswhich can help control blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.

about diabetes

Fullthree main typesof diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin and is the most common type of diabetes, according to theNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

When an individual has type 2diabetes, their blood glucose level may become too high and they must carefully monitor and regulate theirglycemialevels

True tea is made from the leaf of the tea plant, while herbal infusions, also called "infusions", are made from any other edible plant, including fruits and herbs.

real tea

Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, consumed bytwo thirdsof the world population. True tea (black, green, oolong and white) is made from the leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). All true teas come from the same plant but undergo different treatment processes.

A2013 roleconcluded that green and black tea polyphenols may have protective effects against the development of diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and cancer, and may support cardiovascular health.

herbs tea

Although herbal or fruit infusions are often referred to as "teas", they do not contain tea plant leaves.

Herbal teas can be made from the leaves, stems, roots, fruits, flower buds and flowers of virtually any edible fruit and herb. Health benefits vary according to its ingredients and bioactive compounds.

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Herbal teas and infusionscan benefitpeople with type 2 diabetes thanks to active plant compounds that help control blood sugar levels and have antioxidant effects.

real tea

on a2017 reviewFrom the antidiabetic effects of tea, the authors concluded that tea contains abundant polyphenols and caffeine that have beneficial antidiabetic effects for type 2 diabetes. Compounds in tea with antioxidant effects includetheaflavina e thearubigins.

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Furthermore, the study suggested that tea may improve insulin resistance, suppress hyperglycemia, boost immunity, and decrease diabetes-induced nerve cell damage. However, the authors also found inconsistent associations between tea drinking and a lower risk of developing diabetes.

The authors also note that studies may have different results due to the varying chemical composition of teas. They highlight the importance of isolating the bioactive compounds in tea to test their antidiabetic effects individually.

herbs tea

A2018 reviewlisted the following health benefits of some common herbal teas:

  • Red-haired:Anti-inflammatory and hypoglycemic
  • Request:Antioxidant and antitumor effects
  • Rosehip:anti-inflammatory
  • Wise:Increases liver antioxidants
  • Yerba mate:Protects the cardiovascular and hepatic system

Both herbal teas and infusions have potential health benefits for a person with type 2 diabetes:

real tea

Green and black tea protect against the development of various diseases, including diabetes.


on a2019 reviewOf the effects of tea on diabetes, the authors highlighted the beneficial effects of green tea on diabetes, including decreasing inflammation and controlling blood sugar.

Green tea can also protect a person from developing diabetes. on astudy 2017of older Japanese men and women, researchers found that drinking more than 7 cups of green tea a day reduced the risk of developing diabetes associated with eating rice in women.


Black tea can help control blood sugar levels. on astudy 2017, consuming black tea with a sugar-sweetened beverage significantly lowered blood sugar levels after meals compared to controls in healthy people and people with pre-diabetes.

As with green tea, black tea can play a role.positive rolein protecting against diabetes and its complications, although researchers still do not fully understand the mechanisms.

(Video) What Kind Of Tea Is Good For Diabetes.? - The Tea Which Lowers The Body Sugar Level | Health&Beauty

herbs tea

Herbal teas are caffeine-free and can be beneficial in helping to regulate sugar intake and improve antioxidant levels. They include these varieties:


Chamomile tea can optimize blood sugar regulation and protect the body from oxidative stress, which leads to diabetes complications.

Oneto studyof 64 people with diabetes found that those who drank chamomile tea 3 times a day for eight weeks had significantly improved glycemic control and antioxidant levels. Additional research in a larger study group over a longer period may help confirm this effect.


Cinnamon tea can help lower blood sugar levels. in a smallto studyOf 30 people with normal blood sugar levels, drinking 3.5 ounces of cinnamon tea before drinking a sugar solution resulted in lower blood sugar levels compared to the control group.

More research is needed to determine the effects of cinnamon tea.


As indicated by a2016 study, and previous2014 studyin rats, hibiscus tea may reduce insulin resistance.

Aroundtwo thirdsof people with diabetes also have high blood pressure. initially2008 study, drinking hibiscus tea twice a day for a month was associated with a reduction in systolic blood pressure in people with diabetes compared with black tea.


Lemon balm essential oils can help lower blood sugar levels by increasing glucose absorption and decreasing glucose synthesis. However, these discoveries are from an ancient2010 studyIn rats.

on astudy 2018Of people with type 2 diabetes, taking lemon balm extract capsules for 12 weeks was associated with better glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors.

These results suggest that drinking lemon balm tea may have comparable effects, but more studies are needed.


Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin. FORreview 2020of human and animal research has suggested that taking curcumin by ingestion may lower blood sugar by improving tissue insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake.

While consuming herbal teas and infusions can be a healthy option, people should be aware that sweetening their drinks with sugar or honey can affect blood sugar regulation.

A2014 literature reviewfound that sugary drinks may be associated with increased blood sugar, which may be linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

People with type 2 diabetes may want to drink unsweetened tea or herbal teas to prevent blood sugar levels from rising. If a person is drinking real tea, they can add lemon, cinnamon or other fruits and herbs to flavor the tea without adding sugar.

Packaged herbal teas and infusions can contain added sugars, so checking ingredients is essential.

Also, some herbal teas can interact with diabetes medications. For example, prickly pear caninteractwith glipizide and metformin, and fenugreek may interact with glibenclamide. Therefore, people should check with their doctor about possible interactions between their medications and herbal teas.

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Tea and herbal infusions are popular beverages that can benefit people with type 2 diabetes.

True teas, such as green tea and black tea, can have beneficial effects for a person with type 2 diabetes. Many herbal teas, such as chamomile, turmeric, lemon balm, cinnamon, and hibiscus, may also contain compounds with antidiabetic effects.

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People with type 2 diabetes should avoid sweetening their herbal teas or infusions with sugar or honey. They should also confirm with their doctor that the herbal teas do not interfere with any diabetes medications.


Is tea OK for type 2 diabetes? ›

Unsweetened tea or herbal infusions can be a good choice of low-calorie beverage for someone with type 2 diabetes, as the drink does not impact blood sugar levels. They can also help avoid dehydration , which can spike blood sugar levels.

What does tea do for diabetes? ›

Through a complex biochemical reaction, tea — especially green tea — helps sensitize cells so they are better able to metabolize sugar. Green tea is good for people with diabetes because it helps the metabolic system function better.”

Does tea reduce diabetes risk? ›

Sept. 19, 2022 -- Several recent studies have suggested that drinking several cups of tea per day could lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The latest study indicates that drinking four cups of black, green, or oolong tea per day can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 17% over a decade.

What kind of tea can type 2 diabetics drink? ›

Certain teas contain powerful compounds that may benefit people with diabetes. Research suggests that green tea, turmeric tea, hibiscus tea, cinnamon tea, lemon balm tea, chamomile tea, and black tea may offer impressive antidiabetic effects, making them good choices for people with diabetes.

How many cups of tea should a diabetic drink? ›

Drinking 4 cups of tea daily may reduce type 2 diabetes risk.

Which tea is best for diabetics? ›

Tea such as green tea is good for diabetes. Oolong tea as well as black tea is also known to be good for those who have diabetes. This is because these types of teas contain a micronutrient known as polyphenol, which naturally occurs in plants.

Which is better for diabetics tea or coffee? ›

They found that people who increased their coffee intake by over one cup per day had an 11 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, people who reduced their coffee intake by one cup per day increased their risk of developing diabetes by 17 percent. There was no difference in those drinking tea.

What drink helps lower blood sugar? ›

7 Drinks That Keep Blood Sugar Low
  • Water. You can never go wrong with drinking water — it does make up about 60 percent of the human body. ...
  • Unsweetened tea. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Plant-based milk. ...
  • Whole-fruit smoothies. ...
  • Flavored carbonated water. ...
  • Any low-sugar beverages.
Sep 14, 2022

What is the healthiest tea to drink daily? ›

Best for Overall Health: Green Tea

When it comes to tea, green tea gets the gold. “Green tea is the champ when it comes to offering health benefits,” says Czerwony. “It's the Swiss Army knife of teas.

Which is more harmful tea or coffee? ›

In this battle over health benefits, coffee comes out on top. Coffee drinkers can raise a mug to fiber, microbiome health and lowering risk for cancer and diabetes. But tea drinkers, do not despair. Tea is undoubtedly good for your blood pressure, cholesterol, stress levels, mental health and productivity.

What is the healthiest tea in the world? ›

Green Tea. Green tea is often touted as the healthiest tea. It is chock full of polyphenols and antioxidants that help to boost brain and heart health. Green tea is considered one of the least processed true teas as it does not undergo oxidation.

Is Earl GREY tea good for diabetics? ›

While you cannot dream of adding sugar to your tea if you have diabetes, you can continue to have your English Breakfast or Earl Grey without any worry. These teas fall in the category of black tea which is considered to be good for diabetic patients because it has blood sugar lowering qualities.

What tea is good for high blood pressure? ›

Some of the best teas for high blood pressure include chamomile, lavender, rose, and hibiscus. These teas are known for their ability to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. You can enjoy any of these teas by steeping them in hot water for a few minutes.

Can a diabetic drink green tea? ›

Green tea doesn't contain added sugar, is naturally calorie-free when enjoyed plain from the bag, and is a nutritional powerhouse — all of which makes it a great beverage to add to your diabetes diet.

What hot drink can diabetics drink? ›

Herbal tea varieties like chamomile, hibiscus, ginger, and peppermint tea are all excellent options for people with diabetes. Not only is herbal tea free of carbs, calories, and sugar, but it's also rich in disease-fighting antioxidant compounds, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.

Can diabetics have honey? ›

Generally, there's no advantage to substituting honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan. Both honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level. Honey is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you might use a smaller amount of honey for sugar in some recipes.

Does chamomile tea reduce blood sugar? ›

It has shown to be an anti-inflammatory, astringent and antioxidant especially in floral part since ancient times. Recent studies reported that chamomile has potential to lower blood sugar levels in hyperglycemia.

Is Oatmeal good for a diabetic? ›

Not only are oats nutritious and satiating, they can also offer specific benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. According to MedlinePlus, adults with type 2 diabetes may benefit from eating whole grains like oats, due to their potential glucose and cholesterol-lowering effects.

Does tea spike insulin? ›

Several known compounds found in tea were shown to enhance insulin with the greatest activity due to epigallocatechin gallate followed by epicatechin gallate, tannins, and theaflavins. Caffeine, catechin, and epicatechin displayed insignificant insulin-enhancing activities.

Is milk at night good for diabetes? ›

However, the question is, can diabetics drink milk at night? Well, it is not recommended for people with diabetes to drink milk during the night since there are high chances of the danger of consuming calories at night. It is safe to drink a small serving of milk during the day for bone health.

Does ginger tea help diabetes? ›

Over the years, ginger has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels and help regulate insulin response in people with diabetes.

How can I lower my A1C? ›

7 Ways to Improve Your A1C
  1. Exercise. Physical activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently, so it can better process the glucose in your blood. ...
  2. Eat Right. ...
  3. Take Medications as Prescribed. ...
  4. Manage Your Stress. ...
  5. Stick to a Schedule. ...
  6. Drink in Moderation. ...
  7. Monitor Your Numbers.

Can diabetics drink green tea with honey? ›

When it comes to blood sugar management, unsweetened beverages are best. However, a cup of green tea with honey may be safe — or even helpful — for people with diabetes.

What kind of milk can diabetics drink? ›

People with diabetes may need to limit the amount of flavored sweetened milk they drink. People with diabetes may choose to use milk products that are full fat or whole, reduced fat or fat free depending on their preference or their calorie and nutrition goals.

Are grapes good for diabetics? ›

Grapes are a beloved fruit that is healthy and safe for people with diabetes. They are safe to eat, and you can include them in a diabetic diet because they don't cause a rise in blood sugar. Consuming grapes can lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Is peanut butter good for diabetics? ›

Peanut butter can definitely be part of a healthy diabetes diet plan. Always look for peanut butter that contains only peanuts and maybe some salt. Avoid peanut butter that includes added sugars and hydrogenated oils.

What is normal A1C for a 70 year old? ›

For functionally independent older adults, the IDF recommends an A1C goal of 7–7.5%, whereas for functionally dependent, frail patients or patients with dementia, an A1C goal of 7–8% is recommended.

What three drinks should diabetics avoid? ›

The result: a quick spike in blood sugar. If you have type 2 diabetes, this means taking sugary drinks — such as regular soda, sweet tea, and even juice — off the table and replacing them with low-sugar and sugar-free options, including water.

Can drinking a lot of water lower your blood sugar? ›

Drinking water regularly may rehydrate the blood, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce diabetes risk ( 20 , 21 ). Keep in mind that water and other zero-calorie drinks are best. Avoid sugar-sweetened options, as these can raise blood glucose, drive weight gain, and increase diabetes risk ( 22 , 23 ).

Is tea better than coffee for type 2 diabetes? ›

They found that people who increased their coffee intake by over one cup per day had an 11 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, people who reduced their coffee intake by one cup per day increased their risk of developing diabetes by 17 percent. There was no difference in those drinking tea.

Should diabetics drink coffee or tea? ›

Some studies suggest that drinking coffee — whether caffeinated and decaffeinated — may actually reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, however, the impact of caffeine on insulin action may be associated with higher or lower blood sugar levels.

Can diabetics drink tea or coffee? ›

Caffeine may make it tougher to bring it down to a healthy point. This may lead to too-high blood sugar levels. Over time, this may raise your chance of diabetes complications, like nerve damage or heart disease.

What drink lowers blood sugar? ›

Drinking water regularly may rehydrate the blood, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce diabetes risk ( 20 , 21 ). Keep in mind that water and other zero-calorie drinks are best.

Is honey good for diabetes? ›

Generally, there's no advantage to substituting honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan. Both honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level. Honey is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you might use a smaller amount of honey for sugar in some recipes.

What tea is good for high blood pressure and diabetes? ›

Teas such as black tea, oolong tea and green tea packed with polyphenols may increase insulin activity. Aside from this, teas are also imbued with flavonoids theanine which helps to control blood pressure and beat stress.

Is Almond Milk good for a diabetic? ›

Almonds and almond milk are good options for people with diabetes. Whole almond nuts, in particular, appear to provide several benefits, including superior blood sugar control, better weight management, and improved heart health. They are also a great source of magnesium.


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