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From Coconut Oil To Canola Oil, Know About Best Cooking Oils For Diabetes

Not only the irregular eating habits but also the edible oils greatly affect the glucose levels in the body. Selecting the best cooking oil is always a challenge, especially for diabetics as they may spike the sugar levels and aggravate the symptoms. Diabetics should opt for cooking oils that may help manage their glucose levels and are good for heart health.

Cooking oils usually come with three types of fatty acids: monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and saturated fat. The first two helps in better managing diabetes but the latter is known to increase the risk of diabetes.

Also, many cooking oils usually change their texture, colour and nutritional value when heated. Therefore, the major factors to be considered are the type of fat, amount of fat, the effect on glucose metabolism and heat tolerance. Take a look at some of the best cooking oils for diabetes.

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1. Virgin coconut oil

Many controversies surround the acceptance of coconut oil for diabetes. However, experts believe that coconut oil is one of the best cooking oils for diabetics. A study has shown that coconut oil may support normal glucose homeostasis and enhance the immune system through fatty acid metabolism. This can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. [1]


2. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is made by cold-pressing olives. Meals made with olive oil tend to raise only a small amount of blood sugar compared to corn oil. A meta-analysis on olive oil has shown that the oil is beneficial in the management and prevention of type 2 diabetes. You can use olive oil for dressings, dipping, and low-heat cooking. Avoid high heat cooking and frying with olive oil. [2]

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3. Walnut oil

Walnut oil is effective against type 2 diabetes. It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acid, omega 3 and many vitamins, which is very useful for diabetics. Walnut oil contains high levels of Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that helps reduce fasting blood sugar and HbA1c when taken for three months, 15g daily. [3]


4. Palm oil

Palm oil is considered the higher consuming vegetable oil worldwide. However, its consumption is linked to the increased risk of diabetes and heart diseases. This is because palm oil contains 40 per cent of monounsaturated fatty acid and 10 per cent of polyunsaturated fatty acid, which is good from the health perspective but also contains 45 per cent of saturated fats, which can increase the diabetes risk. However, it is favoured due to its high melting point and oxidative resistance due to high saturated fats. [4]

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5. Flaxseed oil

Flaxseed is mainly compressed for its oil to use for multiple purposes. However, it is also considered a dietary supplement for diabetics due to its high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids. A study has shown that flaxseed oil shows no impact on insulin, fasting blood glucose and HbA1c levels after consumption. Therefore, it can be concluded that the oil can be used in the proper management of type 2 diabetes. [5]


6. Macadamia nut oil

The oil is known to improve lipid or cholesterol levels in the body, which in turn, improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation cytokines. Macadamia nut oil is rich in monosaturated fatty acids, with around 65 per cent of oleic acid and 18 per cent of palmitoleic acid. This helps reduce the inflammation which is the main cause of diabetes. [6]

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7. Canola oil

Canola oil is made by extracting rapeseed, a bright-yellow flowering plant. It is neutral in taste and has a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Due to the low amount of saturated fat, it is regarded as one of the best cooking oils for diabetics. A study has shown that canola oil reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which helps improve diabetes complications due to these factors. [7]


8. Sunflower oil

A study has shown that sunflower oil significantly lowers blood glucose in the body. The high content of oleic acid in the oil contributes to lowering the total cholesterol in the body. This directly improves the insulin levels and lipid profile and prevent the risk of metabolic syndrome, which is known to cause diabetes. [8]

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9. Sesame oil

This is made from un-toasted or toasted sesame seeds. A study links the use of sesame oil to the lowering of blood pressure and improvement in antioxidant status, in patients with diabetes. The study also mentions that sesame oil can be safely used with drug combination for the management of diabetes. Sesame oil has a high smoke point and this makes it a good option for high heat cooking. [9]


10. Avocado oil

Avocado oil carries a high quantity of monounsaturated fats and it is also one of the best sources of oleic fatty acid. Monounsaturated fats help diabetics process glucose and use insulin more effectively. Its supplements are widely used to prevent brain dysfunction induced by diabetes. [10]

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11. Rice bran oil

Oleic acid in the rice bran oil is predominant. Its intake significantly decreases total serum cholesterol and insulin resistance when consumed for 50 days. Rice bran oil is made by extracting the oil from the hard outer layer of rice. It has a mild flavour and a high smoke point. [11]


Common FAQs

1. What is the best cooking oil for diabetics?

The best cooking oils for diabetics are the one that contains high levels of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids while low levels of saturated fatty acids. They include virgin coconut oil, sesame oil and flaxseed oil.

2. Is mustard oil good for diabetics?

Mustard oil is extracted from mustard seeds that belong to the same family of rapeseed, from which canola oil is extracted. They are low in carbs and fats and help reduce bad cholesterol in the body, which further helps control glucose levels.

3. Is olive oil good for diabetes?

Yes, extra virgin olive oil is best for reducing the risk of diabetes and controlling the glucose level in type 2 diabetes.