Olive oil is not only delicious but also amazingly nutritious. Extra virgin olive oil is a staple of the highly respected Mediterranean diet, known for promoting health and longevity. This golden oil is predominantly composed of a monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid, which has many beneficial health effects.
While olive oil can help support wellness for almost anyone, it’s especially valuable for type 2 diabetics and those who have an increased risk of high blood sugar.
Olive oil seems to have especially protective and regenerative effects for diabetics. Check out the top three ways olive oil can help you fight the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
1. Fights Free Radicals
Type 2 diabetics are at increased risk of oxidative stress, a condition that occurs when there are too many free radicals and too few antioxidants to neutralize them. This leads to tissue damage and can worsen blood sugar control and other diabetic complications. But olive oil is also loaded with powerful and biologically active antioxidants that can promote healing.
2. Cools Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is at the root of type 2 diabetes and obesity, so anything that calms the immune system and cools down inflammation can benefit chronic conditions like high blood sugar.
Researchers think one reason that olive oil has such a potent anti-inflammatory effect is due to a compound called oleocanthal, which works similarly to the anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen.
Olive oil is thought to reduce the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein and may even inhibit poor-inflammatory genes.
3. Boosts Protein Metabolism
A recent study found a fascinating association between type 2 diabetes risk and high levels of a molecule in the bloodstream called branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). Proteins from foods like meat, eggs, milk, soy, fish, baked and lima beans, chickpeas, lentils, brown rice, and many nuts contain high levels of BCAA, which those with diabetes struggle to break down and metabolize. In this study, researchers compared a group of type 2 dietetics who were eating a Mediterranean diet for one year. One group added nuts to the Mediterranean diet base, and the other group added olive oil. In the olive oil group, BCAA levels were reduced and alleviated the association between BCAA and diabetes. This means that the addition of olive oil most likely had a positive effect on the body’s ability to metabolize BCAA.
It’s important to note that researchers also say that BCAA levels were not correlated with the amount of protein eaten.
Olive oil can be beneficial in mitigating damage and complications associated with type 2 diabetes. Consuming extra virgin olive oil regularly can reduce inflammation, increase antioxidants, and boost your body’s ability to metabolize proteins. Replacing other fats, sauces, and salad dressings with extra virgin olive oil is a great step in the right direction.
Olive oil is one powerful tool for fighting diabetes. However, effectively treating and reversing type 2 diabetes means tailoring your treatment plan to your unique body, including fitness, diet, and other therapies. Instead of subscribing to a one-size-fits-all plan, find your path to recovery by identifying the root of your diabetes and heal from the ground up.