Impact Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil On Blood Sugar Levels
Updated January 19th 2021
The Impact Of Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) released new research on March 22, 2018 estimating the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $327 billion in 2017 from $245 billion in 2012, when the cost was last examined. This figure represents a 26% increase over a five-year period.
The study, Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017, was commissioned by the ADA and addresses the increased financial burden, health resources used, and lost productivity associated with diabetes in 2017.
People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of $16,752 per year, of which about $9,601 is attributed to diabetes. On average, people with diagnosed diabetes have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.
For the cost categories analysed, care for people with diagnosed diabetes accounts for one in four health care dollars in the U.S., and more than half of that expenditure is directly attributable to diabetes.
In the UK, the costs to the National Health Service (NHS) for treating diabetes took prominence in the media in November 2018 as the NHS bill for blood glucose-lowering drugs for the first time surpassed £1 billion.
Almost one in 20 general practitioners’ (GP) prescriptions are now for diabetes treatment; the largest increase was for type 2 diabetes treatment.
Blood Sugar Levels And Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Regulation of blood sugar (glucose) especially after eating is one regulatory system that has a definite friend in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. One recent study on individuals diagnosed with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) helps explain the ability of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to improve blood sugar regulation.
Like this name implies, IFG is a condition in which blood sugar levels are too high, even when no food is being eaten and digested. However, in this particular study, participants were given a little less than one tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil along with a familiar lunch meal of pasta, salad, fruit, and a slice of ham. When the participants’ insulin and blood sugar levels were measured at one hour and two hours after lunch, their blood sugar levels were found to be significantly lower due to this added Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Researchers for this study went one step further, however. They looked at potential ways in which Extra Virgin Olive Oil might have produced these desirable effects. What they found were higher levels of incretins, specifically glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) in the blood of participants after consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Since these incretins are molecules that stimulate more insulin production, raising their levels resulted in more insulin secretion and more removal of sugars from the blood.
In short, these study participants achieved better insulin secretion and better regulation of blood sugar levels following their lunch meal through the addition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Diabetes : A Further Study
In a further study, conducted at Sapienza University in Romen, researchers examined the health benefits of a traditional Mediterranean diet, including extra virgin olive oil for people with diabetes
This was a small study involving only 25 participants, all of whom ate a typical Mediterranean lunch consisting primarily of fruits, vegetables, grains and fish on two separate occasions. For the first meal, they added 10g of extra virgin olive oil. For the second, they added 10g of corn oil. After each meal, the participants blood glucose levels were tested. The rise in blood sugar levels was much smaller after the meal with extra virgin olive oil than after the meal with corn oil.
“Lowering blood glucose and cholesterol may be useful to reduce the negative effects of glucose and cholesterol on the cardiovascular system,” said Francesco Violo, lead author of the study.
The findings were consistent with previous studies, which have linked extra virgin olive oil to higher levels of insulin, making it beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes.
More surprising, however, were the reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, associated with the extra virgin olive oil meal.
The researchers stressed that consuming extra virgin olive oil on its own is not going to provide the benefits observed during the study. Rather, it has to be consumed within the context of a balanced diet.
What is blood sugar (glucose)?
Blood sugar (glucose) is the key to keeping the working of the body in good condition. When blood sugar levels start to fluctuate, the body starts showing signs of unhealthy functioning.
Glucose plus healthy fat (monosaturated fats such as are found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil) is the preferred source of energy in the body. While glucose is important, it is also important to keep it in moderation. When we eat, our body immediately starts processing glucose. Enzymes breakdown with the help of pancreas.
In some people (diabetics) people cannot completely rely on pancreas to work. Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas doesn’t produce adequate insulin.
Maintaining glucose levels is important for normal functioning of the body. The ideal range of sugar levels is 90-130 mg/dL while fasting, whereas post meals, it needs to be less than 180 mg/DL.
Reasons why blood sugar rises:
- Heavy meals
- Underlying illness
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Skipping medication
Further ways to lower blood sugar:
You should have foods you enjoy but keep a check on what goes inside the body because food can help in diabetes care and diabetes management. As well as Extra Virgin Olive Oil certain lifestyle choices that help manage blood glucose levels include;
- Raw cooked food: Opt for low carb vegetables such as eggplants, tomatoes, sprouts and mushrooms. You can top it with some pepper or garlic seasoning.
- Green leafy food: If you enjoy salads, then you can try a spinach salad. They are rich in health and low in carb. You could top it with some chia seeds for the extra crunch.
- Low calorie drinks: Water is best, but you do need an alternative sometimes. You could try some cinnamon tea. They are low carb and also keep you feeling full.
- Nuts & Seeds: Nuts prevent heart disease and control blood sugar levels. Seeds like flax seeds help improve fasting glucose levels and lower bad cholesterol.
- Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle is the major cause of diabetes. It is essential that you invest in some low duty exercise daily along with your medication.
Individuals who are suffering from diabetes and related issues usually show drastic improvement in their development when they self-participate in diabetes management. It is recommended to track your blood glucose levels regularly using a glucometer as to a keep track of your blood glucose level patterns.
In the next of our series of articles that looks at the science behind the health-related benefits of high-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil like Morocco Gold we look at the positive impact on blood sugar (glucose) levels.