Olive Oil & Diabetes: Is Olive Oil Good for Diabetics?

Diabetes, as we know, is today affecting a wide variety of population all across the globe. Diabetes is a disease which is caused either due to the lack of proper production of insulin by the pancreas or due to the improper use of insulin in the human body. This gives rise to the blood sugar level or the glucose level in the body as it is the hormone insulin which is responsible for the breakdown of the carbohydrates and the other essential nutrients in the food to release the much-needed energy by the cells. This results in increasing the level of blood glucose which gives rise to several other complications including heart diseases, kidney problems, diabetic eye, diabetic foot, the problem of high blood pressure, nerve damage, and a host of other diseases and complications.

A well maintained and regulated lifestyle, coupled with a healthy diet and physical exercise have always been recommended by the doctors. One such regulation is the inclusion of olive oil in the daily diet. Olive oil is rich in anti-oxidants, polyphenols, and some of the essential vitamins that make it a healthy food item, however, there are risks associated with it too as we shall discover in the article that follows.

In this article, we try to explore more about “Can Diabetics Eat Olive Oil”. We shall delve deep into the subject of olive oil for diabetics and analyze whether it is safe to consume olive oil by a patient who is suffering from diabetes or other related complications. Join in for the article and know the facts:

Diabetes and Olive Oil

Some Facts Related to Olive Oil

Before we begin our discussion on the connection between diabetes and olive oil and how the consumption of this oil affects the blood sugar level and finally diabetes, we shall first list down a few facts about it. Following are a few facts which might help us to understand the relation between diabetes and olive oil in a better way:

  • Olive oil is known to be an important source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Out of the several varieties of olive oil available, it is the extra virgin olive oil which offers the best advantages.
  • The oil consists of oleic acid which helps in better transportation of glucose into the body cells.
  • Most of the olive oil around the world is consumed in the region where a Mediterranean diet if of utmost popularity. This diet comprises of whole grains, leafy vegetables, fruits, herbs, several spices, and olive oil.
  • Finally, not many people are aware that olive oil is a source of monounsaturated fat which could be essential for lowering the blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

In the following paragraphs, we determine and analyze more carefully the relation between olive oil and diabetes and the factors to be kept in mind while including the same in the daily diet of a diabetic.

Diabetes and Olive Oil

We now will try to understand the relation between diabetes and olive oil which is considered to be extremely healthy by the experts. Most of the people ask the question that whether it is safe for a person suffering from diabetes to include the oil in the regular diet? To answer the above question, we need to understand that consumption of the oil can have a lot of benefits attached to it but at the same time there are several risks attached to the same. You need to be careful about the type and brand of oil that you are using. It is only then that you shall be able to reap the benefits of the oil.

However, research does prove that the oil is helpful in controlling and lowering bad cholesterol while also helping to maintain low levels of glucose in the blood. The presence of antioxidants, oleic acid, polyphenols, etc. makes olive oil one of the most sought after oils for management of diabetes effectively as it leads to the reduction of triglycerides and also helps in the promotion of good heart health.

Read Also: Green Tea Diabetes Benefits

Is Olive Oil Good for Diabetics: Can the Use of Olive Oil be Beneficial for Diabetes?

As discussed above, there could be some benefits that a patient suffering from diabetes might have with the regular usage of olive oil.

The following are some of the essential benefits:

  • Some research conducted by the experts have found out that using olive oil leads to lower of the levels of cholesterol as well as the high blood pressure experienced by a diabetic. When you are consuming food prepared from olive oil, the resulting benefit is the reduced levels of bad cholesterol or LDL. It also results in lowering the count of triglycerides.
  • In type 2 diabetes, it is a known fact that the beta cells of the body which are responsible for the proper secretion and functioning of the insulin are destroyed. Tyrosol is an important antioxidant which is present in the olive oil helps to prevent the destruction of these beta cells. This, in turn, helps to manage diabetes.
  • Besides, regular consumption and use of the olive oil helps to prevent the resistance which the hormone insulin has on our body. By improving the functioning of insulin in the body, olive oil helps to better manage diabetes.
  • An important element present in olive oil is the compound oleic acid. This compound is also of much benefit to the beta cells, which go a great deal in helping to effectively manage diabetes.
  • The above oleic acid helps in improving the absorption of glucose by the body cells as well as helps in promoting the smooth functioning of insulin.
  • The hBA1c level is also reduced to a great extent which further promotes better management of diabetes.
  • Diabetes is essentially a metabolic disease and improving the metabolism of the body is of primary importance. The essential vitamins and compounds present herein help to improve metabolism to a great extent.
  • It is a known fact that when you are trying to lose weight, consumption of olive oil is highly recommended. By helping one to shed all the extra calories, olive oil goes a long way in protecting and efficiently managing diabetes.
  • When taken in regulated quantity, the finest variety of olive oil also helps one to protect against some of the associated complications of diabetes, namely, cardiovascular diseases.

Thus, the use of olive oil does bring about a few benefits for a diabetic patient. However, there are a few risks involved as well, which cannot be overlooked. The following paragraph broadly explains the risks involved.

What are the Risks Associated with the Consumption of Olive Oil if you Have Diabetes?

Although inclusion of olive oil in your regular diet can be beneficial as already seen above, there are, however, a few risks and difficulties which are associated with it. In the following points, we look into the adverse effects on a diabetes patient which comes with the consumption of the otherwise beneficial olive oil:

  • The above benefits which olive oil has to offer can be experienced only if the benefits of the oil have not been removed during the processing of the same. There remains a minute probability that this might happen as most of the oil is highly processed. The essential compounds present herein are thus lost during this process.
  • Dilation of the arteries is another risk involved with the consumption of olive oil. This is true because of the presence of the so-called healthy monounsaturated fats. These fats cause great damage to the working of the arteries by destroying the skin.
  • Olive oil is considered to be a great source of all the unwanted calories. In fact, it is known to carry more calories than even some of the processed sugar that we usually consume on a daily basis. It is known to have as many as 4,000 calories in one pound of sugar.
  • Due to the above reason, consumption of the oil could lead to cardiovascular diseases as it promotes obesity.
  • Atherosclerosis, as well as high cholesterol, are other adverse effects or risk factors involved in consuming olive oil.

As seen above, if you are someone who is trying to control diabetes and lead a normal life despite the condition, you have to be cautious enough when you are thinking of consuming olive oil as part of your regular diet. Experts suggest that if you are someone who enjoys a healthy weight, is able to keep the disease under control, it is only then that it would be safe for you to include the oil as part of your regular diet. Having said that, there are ways in which one can use olive oil in your diet efficiently to manage diabetes. We will see the same in the subsequent paragraphs.

What is in Store for People with Diabetes Who Want to Consume Olive Oil?

As seen in the above paragraphs, if you are a diabetic patient, you still can include olive oil in your diet but only after following a few tips and suggestions. It is very important to understand that for getting the maximum benefits out of the oil, you need to use the same consistently. Also remember that your overall treatment of diabetes should be paired with a good lifestyle, a healthy diet, and an adequate physical exercise. That way you can definitely derive the maximum benefits out of olive oil effectively.

How to Use Olive Oil to Better Manage Diabetes?

Consuming anything when you suffer from a condition as complicated as diabetes can be really tricky. However, if you follow a healthy lifestyle, you can still continue including olive oil in your diet. Having said that, you do need to bear a few things in mind.

Following are a few tips to be followed when you are consuming olive oil in case you are diabetic:

  • See to it that you are not consuming more than the recommended quantity of olive oil. Your aim should be around 25 to 30 milliliters of olive oil per day.
  • You can even go for higher levels but nothing more than 50 milliliters per day of the oil. One thing about including olive oil in the diet is that you can only get its benefit if you are into its regular consumption.
  • You can use olive oil as part of dressing your salad. This will make the salad tastier and healthier at the same time.
  • Go for the regular consumption of that food which is made from olive oil. A few examples include food like basil pesto.
  • Also, as suggested in the above paragraphs, not all variety of olive oil ill give you the desired benefits. Hence, you need to be extremely careful while choosing the type to go for. The following tips might help:
  • Choose the olive oil which is stored in only dark bottles. Greater exposure to light or heat might decrease the useful effects of some of the antioxidants present in the oil.
  • Chose the variety which has extra virgin written or labeled on it. This is of primary importance as this denotes an oil of highest quality.
  • Oils also have a tendency to get oxidized. As such, bottles which are plastic in nature should be completely avoided.
  • If you want to eat a snack or something which might otherwise be unhealthy, you can go for the same snack or food cooked with olive oil.
  • Finally, be careful in determining the quality and authenticity of the oil while you are choosing one. This is of primary importance because if a brand claims to be extra virgin olive oil, it might not be the case. Hence, go for a brand of oil only after doing a thorough research.

If you are following all the above suggestions and tips, it will be helpful for you to treat and manage diabetes in an effective manner.

We hope that the above post has been helpful in removing some of the doubts you had with regards to the relation between diabetes and the regular consumption of olive oil.

Although otherwise beneficial for the overall health of the human body, there definitely are a few risks involved which you should not overlook particularly when you are suffering from diabetes. Also, as already stated, there are dubious varieties of the same oil which could be available in the market and as such, you should be extremely cautious and look into some of the tips shared in the article while you shop for the oil.  Besides, like any other food item, it is imperative that diabetes is managed with a healthy lifestyle, well-regulated diet, and regular physical exercise apart from deriving the benefit of the oil.

Keeping all the above things in mind, do remember, however, that a medical advice is something which is always preferable because different things affect different people in a different manner and consumption of olive oil could possibly interfere with some of the medications that you might already be taking!!

ask-your-question

Reply