Teresa Helena Macedo da Costa

Teresa Helena Macedo da Costa

University of Brasília, Brazil

Title: Coffee and sugar: is it the right combination?


Professor Teresa H M da Costa has completed her DPhil at the University of Oxford, UK in 1994. She returned to England for a year post doctorate at the Medical Research Council, Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge in 2007. She currently holds the position of professor at the Department of Nutrition at the University of Brasilia. She was coordinator of subproject of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation on Coffee and Health. She has experience in the area of nutrition, with emphasis on nutritional biochemistry, acting on the following topics: nutritional assessment, stable isotopes, lactation, body composition, metabolism and exercise.


Coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide and is part of the dietary habits of Brazilians. Beverages in Brazil including coffee are mainly consumed with added sugar. In the first part of the presentation data from the first Brazilian National Dietary Survey (NDS) obtained in two non-consecutive food records from 34,003 subjects are presented. The brewing methods and preparations for coffee and the ways to sweeten beverages are described. The usual daily coffee intake for Brazilians is presented. Historical perspective for the addition of sugar to coffee is inspected. Although being a carrier of sugar in the diet coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, most of the studies did not separate unsweetened coffee from sweetened coffee. Indeed, there are controversial results of adding sugar to coffee on glucose metabolism. In the second part of the presentation it will be presented results from a crossover randomized clinical trial with 14 healthy subjects on the effects of sugar addition into caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on glucose and insulin response after an oral glucose challenge. The answer to the proposed title question is worked through the examination of clinical and epidemiological evidences.