For people with diabetes, following a healthy and nutritious diet is of utmost importance. They need to focus on eating the right kind of foods and drinks, and also use the right kind of cooking oil. Olive oil is considered to be one the healthiest cooking oils for people with diabetes, and otherwise. It is derived by pressing hole olives into an oil. Olives are crushed and macerated to release liquid, which is then processed in a centrifuge to separate the oil and water. What’s more is that olive oil is a powerful antioxidant. It contains the same kind of compounds as blueberries, teas, etc. Olive oil protects the body from damage caused by free radicals in the body.
A recently-conducted study found that following a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil can help in reducing blood sugar and help keep type 2 diabetics off their medications. Published in Diabetes Care, the study Mediterranean eating plan along with extra virgin olive oil, can delay the need of blood sugar lowering medications, as compared to other low-fat diets.
A Mediterranean diet involves eating olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, poultry and dairy products. In the mean time, following are other benefits of olive oil that you can definitely bank on:
Benefits of olive oil
1. Primarily, olive oil contains monounsaturated fats or oleic acid, which makes up 73% of the total content of olive oil.
2. Studies suggest that oleic acid can reduce inflammation. Lesser inflammation can improve side effects of arthritis and other diseases caused by inflammation.
3. Olive oil has been proven to have cardioprotective effects. This means that it is good for heart patients and people with high blood pressure.
4. Research shows that consuming olive oil along with lycopene-rich foods such as tomatoes and carrots, may result in increased cardioprotective effects. Thus, it may be good idea to drizzle some olive oil on your Greek salad!
5. Olive is rich in Vitamins E and K. These vitamins can help in keeping your hair shiny and smooth.
How to buy the right kind of olive oil?
1. It takes around 40 kg to 45 kg of olives to produce 3 litres of olive oil. This is the reason why olive oil is more expensive than other cooking oils.
2. It is important to know that not all kinds of olive oil are the same. The bottle colour of olive oil should not be clear or transparent. It should be a dark glass bottle. This prevents light from reaching olive oil, which further helps in oxidising it breaking down the olive oil.
3. Never store olive oil in the stove, in the cabinet above the stove or with a cap not tightly screwed. This will prevent heat and air from reaching olive oil. Allowing heat and air to reach olive oil can oxidise it, make it rancid and unusable.
4. Olive oil needs to be stored in a cool, dry and dark spot.
5. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the one which is cold-pressed olive oil. This means that the olives are pressed and extracted at a temperature lower than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This version of olive oils are not heated oil during the process and do not need to undergo additional refining. Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality of olive oil. It is both unrefined and chemical-free. It is great for salad dressings and for dipping bread.
6. Make sure that your oil is labelled EVOO or OO. EVOO is best for drizzling purposed while olive oil (OO) is fine for cooking.
7. Buying cold pressed or cold-extracted olive oil is the most natural preservation of the oil. Heat can damage antioxidant benefits of olive oil.
8. The fresher the olive oil, the higher will be polyphenol content, and higher the health benefits.
9. Look for bottles that are labelled with harvest date and buy within 15 months of that date.
10. Do not cook food at very high temperatures when cooking with olive oil. This will help preserve its polyphenol content.
(With inputs shared on YouTube by Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, registered dietitian in New York City)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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