Oil is abundantly available in nature, and in our bodies too. It is made up of three kinds of fats – saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats. The fats present in oil are digested in our bodies and converted to fatty acids, which are then used by our bodies to perform multiple functions.
Many people these days prefer to give up oil entirely, since they believe it is bad for their health - but this is not true. Oil offers many benefits for our bodies. Several oils are good sources of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which are beneficial for the heart. They help reduce inflammation, and aid in the proper absorption of vitamins A, E, D, and K. They give us energy and lubricate the bone joints and muscles. Furthermore, they are good for brain function and healthy skin.
Inflammation is a primary cause of diabetes. Several oils are rich in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, and help reduce inflammation and manage diabetes as well. Omega-3 rich foods are considered highly beneficial for people with diabetes. For better management of our health, it is essential to find out which cooking oil is good for diabetes. If you have diabetes and are wondering which cooking oil is good for diabetes in India, here are some of the best options available:
With a ratio of 1:1 for Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids, macadamia nut oil is one of the best options for people with diabetes. It contains high amounts of oleic acid, has a high smoking point, and has a longer shelf-life. It has a pleasant, mild buttery flavour and can be used in all forms of cooking, other than frying and high-heat grilling. However, it can be rather expensive and is not widely available in India. If you can find macadamia nut oil, you must add it to your diet.
Olive oil is one of the most nutritious oils with a high concentration of oleic acid and antioxidants. It is rich in polyphenols, and therefore serves as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is heat-friendly and contains an antioxidant called tyrosol, which works as a therapeutic agent for people living with diabetes, since it helps improve insulin resistance. It increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the body and helps manage blood pressure as well. It is readily available everywhere.
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is a saturated fat with antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. It is one of the few sources of healthy saturated fats found in our meals. It has a high smoke point, due to which it can be used in all types of cooking, including frying on high heat. Regular consumption of coconut oil can help effectively manage blood sugar levels, help manage weight, and support wound healing.
Flaxseed oil is rich in a fibre called mucilage, which slows down the process of digestion and allows glucose from the food we eat to be digested and released slowly into the bloodstream. This helps prevent sudden blood sugar spikes and therefore, helps reduce insulin resistance in people with diabetes. However, it is not suitable for cooking, since it has a very low smoking point. It can immediately get rancid if exposed to a low amount of heat. So, always store it in the refrigerator and use it by drizzling the oil on top of soups, pasta, and salads.
A plant-based oil derived from the rapeseed plant, canola oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid. It contains good amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids found in avocados and olives. Regular consumption of this oil can help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. It also helps to boost the levels of HDL cholesterol in the body. A good option is to try cold-pressed canola oil. With a high smoke point, it can be used for all types of cooking.
One of the healthiest oils for our heart health is rice bran oil. It is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. This antioxidant-rich oil has many benefits for people diagnosed with diabetes. Regular consumption can lead to as much as a 30 percent reduction in blood glucose levels.
Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants such as lignans, sesame seed oil helps keep diabetes under control. According to a study in the American Journal of Medicine, a mix of rice bran and sesame seed oil can help in the healthy maintenance of cholesterol and blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes. The best part about this oil is that it does not lose its nutrients even after exposure to high heat. The nutty taste of this oil also adds more flavour to your dishes.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not a good idea to give up oil consumption altogether, because oil has many health benefits. However, oil contains many calories, so it is important to control the amount of oil you consume in a day. The successful management of diabetes starts right from your kitchen. Make sure you use the right oils in your cooking, so you can control and even improve your health. Include a combination of healthy oils such as macadamia nut oil, olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, and sesame seed oil into your diet to manage your diabetes successfully.
If you are living with diabetes, it is advisable to avoid palm oils, hydrogenated oils, shortening, margarine, and processed foods as much as possible.
Many health coaches and macrobiotic nutritionists recommend the consumption of ghee, for people with diabetes. Ghee works like a medicine for people with diabetes, as it is rich in fatty acids, helps in metabolising sugar, and keeps blood sugar balanced. Adding ghee to rice helps better digest the sugar present in rice.