is olive oil good for diabetes
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Olive Oil For Diabetes

Choosing the right cooking oil can be difficult for people with diabetes. They must maintain a healthy weight to manage their condition and keep blood sugar levels under control. High-fat foods and oils can raise their blood sugar and lead to weight gain, and diet plays a key role in keeping them healthy.

Of the many oils that promote heart health, olive oil is considered effective in managing diabetes. Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet and is obtained from the olive fruit that grows in the region. Today, it is used widely worldwide.

Continue reading to learn what makes olive oil the best oil for type 2 diabetes.

Is Olive Oil Benefits

Here are some notable benefits of consuming olive oil for type 2 diabetes

  • It reduces LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which is bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol like HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
  • Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress caused by high sugar levels.
  • Olive oil is good for diabetes as it prevents instant glucose spikes in the blood.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in polyphenols, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids, all of which lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders.
  • It has a high amount of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, which promotes the formation of insulin.
  • It has healthy fats that help diabetes persons regulate their weight. Plus, olive oil can prevent insulin resistance by reducing belly fat. Also know about reversing type 2 diabetes.

Read more about how to prevent diabetes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Blood Sugar Levels

Extra virgin olive oil is the unrefined version of olive oil. It is cold-pressed and tends to have less than 1% of free fatty acids.

Below are the characteristics of extra virgin olive oil, the best olive oil for type 2 diabetes:

1. Healthy Fats

Monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids are healthy fats that can help people with diabetes maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) help extra virgin olive oil lower insulin resistance in diabetes persons. These healthy fats can also lower your blood pressure, eliminating the chances of heart problems.

2. Vitamin E Content

Oxidative stress is the major problem in diabetes, leading to inflammation, hypertension, and even insulin resistance. Extra virgin olive oil is a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative stress. Vitamin E can also combat inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications.

3. Polyphenols

Polyphenols help in managing blood sugar levels by decreasing cholesterol and glucose. They can also prevent blood lipids from oxidative stress. Extra virgin olive oil contains roughly 500 mg/L of polyphenols. It is recommended that a person with diabetes consume 20 grams of virgin olive oil daily to benefit from these micronutrients.  

Research Studies : Effect of Olive Oil on Diabetes

1. Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG)

Impaired Fasting Glucose or IFG is defined as the condition in which the blood sugar level tends to be higher even when not eating any food.

In a recent study held on individuals diagnosed with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), the ability of extra virgin olive oil to regulate blood sugar levels has been explained. In this study, people with diabetes were given a little less than one spoon of extra virgin olive oil and meals like pasta, salad, fruit, and a slice of ham. After two hours, their sugar level was effectively lower due to the added extra virgin olive oil.

Researchers found that the participants had a high amount of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. They are molecules that help promote insulin production, leading to a rise in insulin levels in the body, which ultimately helps reduce sugar level. Thus, extra virgin oil in moderate quantities can help regulate blood pressure and sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion.

2. Treating Prediabetes

Prediabetes is the stage before type 2 diabetes which can still be prevented or delayed from turning into diabetes by taking control of lifestyle choices. Studies show that olive oil can successfully reverse prediabetes, by decreasing glucose levels, LDLs, and triglycerides. It has a contrasting effect on cholesterol and also helps in weight management. Incorporating olive oil into a low-fat diet can help prediabetes persons prevent diabetes. Also know about prediabetes diet.

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How to use Olive Oil in Cooking


- Drizzle over Salads

- Can be added to Pasta, Legumes, Meat

- It is best used as a Finishing oil, topped over pre-cooked food.


- Avoid using extra virgin olive oil for high-temperature cooking.

- Frying temperatures must not exceed the oil's smoke point, which lies between 190–207°C.

- Crossing this limit may decrease olive oil’s antioxidant content and ruin its flavour.


Thus, olive oil is an excellent ingredient that can control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disorders. People with diabetes can also consume olive oil to prevent insulin resistance. The oil has around 30 antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for people with type-2 diabetes. Extra virgin olive oil is an even healthier version of olive oil that can increase insulin secretion. Also know about fasting blood sugar test.


This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.