Olive oil and diabetes - Learn about Diabetes and how using olive oil is beneficial to your overall health in healing and preventing diabetes and heart disease.
One of the many great health benefits of olive oil is that it helps people who suffer from diabetes. Many researches have been done on the link between olive oil and diabetes and positive evidence suggests that olive oil can play a role in preventing diabetes. It also helps by changing the diets if you already suffer from diabetes.
To understand diabetes, we need to understand something about blood sugar. Our blood contains some sugar - this is normal. The level of sugar in our blood is lowest in the morning before eating, and rises after eating from the sugar we digest. Although it goes up and down throughout the day, a body that is healthy will regulate the level of sugar in the blood so that it remains within a narrow range.
It's necessary for the body to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood, because too little sugar (known as hypoglycemia) makes you lethargic, can cause unconsciousness, and may even result in brain damage. Unfortunately, there is an ever increasing level of people who are hypoglycemic in America.
The opposite, too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia), is also dangerous, because if it?s sustained it causes damage to the kidneys, eyes and nervous system.
So why don't we all get hyperglycemic after eating?
The answer is one of our body's little helpers: insulin! Insulin is a hormone that decreases blood sugar, preventing it from getting too high. However, some people?s bodies either don?t produce enough insulin, or are abnormally resistant to what it does, and this is the disease that we call diabetes.
People can get diabetes either as children, or later in life, as adults. When people get diabetes as adults, it can be due in part to their lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, and eating a diet that is high in fat and low in fiber puts you at higher risk of developing diabetes as an adult, particularly after your 40th birthday.
So far so good, but what does olive oil have to do with diabetes? Oils are high in fat - isn't that exactly what can help cause diabetes? Well, not all fats are created equal...
As a food, olive oil is mostly used to cook things in. Like other substances used for cooking, such as butter, vegetable shortening, and lard, olive oil is high in fat. However, it's significantly lower in saturated fat (bad fat) and high in monounsaturated fat (good, healthy fat).
And the evidence shows that it is the saturated fat that leads to an increased risk of developing diabetes. So replacing butter in someone's diet with olive oil will lead to a reduced risk of them developing diabetes.
Even better, some research shows that monounsaturated fat could actually help to lower blood sugar levels. One study found that blood sugar levels were lower in diabetics who ate a diet rich in monounsaturated fat than they were in those who simply ate a low-fat diet.
In other words, if you are diabetic, you'd be better off cutting other fat out of your diet but keeping or adding olive oil in, as opposed to just cutting out all fats altogether.
The fact that olive oil might actually be good for diabetes sufferers is great news for them. The classic "diabetic diet" is usually low in both carbohydrates and fat, but the problem with this is that fat and carbohydrates are very satisfying to eat, and a diet that is low in both of these is pretty hard to stick to!
This is where olive oil comes in. It tastes good and it's satisfying to eat, so it eliminates the cravings that people get when they try to cut fat completely out of their diet.
Besides the link between olive oil and diabetes, olive oil is also positively linked to preventing other types of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, some cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer.
Olive Oil And Diabetes...The health benefits of a diet that's high in olive oil have actually been demonstrated by people living in Mediterranean areas, such as Greece and Southern Italy, for hundreds of years. Despite the fact that people in these places have traditionally had a diet that?s high in fat, they have much lower rates of diabetes and heart disease than in the US.
A lot of people believe that this is because most of the fat in their diet is monounsaturated fat from olive oil, and not saturated fat from butter or lard.
It could be that the Mediterranean diet, which contains a lot of fruit, fish, vegetables, poultry, and some dairy, red meat, and red wine, would have similar health benefits if adopted by people elsewhere in the world - and cooking with olive oil is the key.