Olive oil is liquid fat that is obtained from olives, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is obtained by pressing whole olives and is commonly used in cooking. Olive oil is basically monounsaturated fat. The best type of olive oil is extra virgin olive oil and like all fats, it is made up of fatty acids, mostly oleic acid, at a rate of 55-83%. It also contains 36 known phenolic compounds- which are various compounds that have beneficial effects on our health.
Olive Oil and the Diabetes Diet
Extra virgin olive oil is known to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels when compared to other kinds of fats. This makes it extremely beneficial for diabetic patients, and hence it is good to include olive oil in the type 2 diabetes diet.
Antioxidants are known to diminish oxidative stress that is caused by high sugar levels. This way it can reduce the complications and risks associated with diabetes. These risks could be diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
Inflammations are the root cause of most major diseases and olive oil can help reduce this inflammation and reduce the long-term damage to cells. Oleocanthal is the primary component in olive oil which makes it anti-inflammatory. This acts on enzymes just like anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
When added to the diabetic diet plan, olive oil can help the heart.
Benefits of Olive Oil
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Reduces bad cholesterol & increases good cholesterol
- Reduces the risk of blood clots
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of probable Alzheimer’s disease
How Much Olive Oil is Good
1 tbsp of olive oil contains approximately 14 grams of total fat, no fibre, and no sugar. It is also a rich source of vitamins E and K.
Olive oil contains 1318 mg of omega-6 fats and 103 mg of omega-3 fats. In addition, it has more than 10 grams of either mono- or polyunsaturated fats, which are basically the healthier types of fats.
Olive oil contains phytosterols- a type of plant substance that is chemically similar to cholesterol but helps maintain heart health. This is because it inhibits the absorption of cholesterol from our food and lowers the amount of “bad” cholesterol that is associated with heart disease.
Therefore, diabetics can definitely replace their regular oil with olive oil. Also, this does not necessarily have to be in the diabetic diet but can be incorporated by all those who wish to maintain a healthy mind and body.
ASK YOUR HEALTH COACH BEFORE CHANGING YOUR DIET
Consult Your Doctor and Invest in a Glucometer
The diabetic diet and incorporation of olive oil may have varied effects from person to person. It is best to invest in a glucometer- a self-blood sugar monitoring device that helps detect the level of glucose in your blood at that time. With a personal glucometer, you will be able to manage blood glucose efficiently and take the necessary steps before things get out of control.
Author – Shahana Khatoon