When it comes to healthy eating, many of us tend to blame cooking oil and consider it a “bad” ingredient. However, the reality is that oil, or fat, is an essential component of our diet. Not only does it help make our meals taste better, but it also plays a vital role in maintaining overall health. Learn the benefits of choosing the right oils for diabetes-friendly cooking.
Consuming healthy cooking oils is a great way to get the fats you need for a well-balanced diet. Different types of cooking oils contain different types of fats such as saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fats. It’s important to be aware of which type of fats are present in the oils you use, especially for people with diabetes who need to be mindful of their fat intake.
Why Some Cooking Oils Are Better Than Others for People with Diabetes
Inflammation is a major contributor to the development of diabetes. Fats found in oils, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, can have a significant impact on inflammation levels. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to prevent diabetes, while omega-6 fatty acids can contribute to inflammation and increase the risk of diabetes.
For people with diabetes, consuming oils that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can help to manage their condition more effectively. Therefore, selecting the right kind of cooking oil is crucial in preventing, reducing, and effectively managing diabetes.
Diabetes-Friendly Cooking Oils
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is a highly nutritious cooking oil that is derived from olives. Studies have shown that consuming extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) can help to maintain healthy blood sugar and glucose levels. Additionally, EVOO has been found to improve levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which may provide protection against cardiovascular diseases.
Extra-virgin olive oil is made through a cold-pressing process that preserves healthy antioxidants and a rich flavor. It is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and is a healthier alternative to butter, margarine, or shortening in recipes. Olive oil is also very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, such as baking healthy fat desserts, sautéing vegetables, and topping off salads.
2. Wood Pressed Coconut Oil
Wood-pressed coconut oil is a type of cooking oil that is high in saturated fat, specifically in the form of lauric acid. While saturated fats should be consumed in moderation, lauric acid is more likely to be used for energy instead of being stored as fat. Although coconut oil does not have as many scientifically proven health benefits as other options, it is still a better choice than using butter when it comes to managing cholesterol.
It also has a longer shelf life compared to vegetable-based oils, and it is very versatile in cooking and baking. Coconut oil adds a unique, slightly sweet, and fresh coconut flavor to any dish. You can use it in your everyday cooking and even in your beauty routine as it has moisturizing properties that are great for hair and skin. Use it to add a new dimension of flavor to nutrient-rich soups like sweet potato soup.
3. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is a diabetes-friendly cooking oil that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce the risk of diabetes. Additionally, flaxseed oil has been found to improve blood sugar control and lower cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. It is also a great source of lignans, which are compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
One of the benefits of flaxseed oil is it has a very delicate flavor which makes it versatile for cooking. Such as dressings, and marinades. It can be used in a variety of ways in cooking. Including sautéing vegetables, baking healthy fat desserts, and topping off a fresh salad. Keep in mind that flaxseed oil is sensitive to heat and light, so it is best to store it in a cool, dark place and use it within a few months of opening.
4. Organic Groundnut Oil
Organic groundnut or peanut oil is a great option for cooking food for people with diabetes. It is high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which can help to control bad cholesterol levels. This oil also has a nutty taste and is rich in vitamin E, which has been found to help lower the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, groundnut or peanut oil is very versatile in cooking, and can be used in a variety of ways, such as sautéing, stir-frying, and deep-frying. Its high smoke point also makes it suitable for high-heat cooking methods. This oil is a great alternative to cooking with butter or shortening, making it a healthy choice for diabetics.
5. Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and a substance called oryzanol, both of which can lower cholesterol levels. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for people with diabetes. Additionally, its antioxidant properties may help prevent cancer.
6. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is a commonly used oil in Indian households that is known for its benefits for skin and hair. However, it also has other benefits for those with diabetes. Sesame oil is high in vitamin E and other antioxidants such as lignans, it also has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it helpful in managing diabetes by keeping blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check.
Cooking with the right oils can be an important part of managing diabetes. Oils that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil are good choices for diabetes-friendly cooking. These oils have been shown to help lower cholesterol and improve heart health, which is important for people with diabetes.
Additionally, oils that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and fish oil, may also be beneficial for people with diabetes. While it is important to be mindful of the total fat and calorie content of the oils you use, choosing the right oils can be an easy and delicious way to support a healthy diet for people with diabetes.Image Credit