Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam
What Oils Should People With Diabetes Use for Cooking?
If you have diabetes, you may wonder what kind of oils are best for cooking your meals. Cooking oils are fats that can affect your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and heart health. Therefore, it is important to choose oils that are good for your health and suitable for your cooking needs.
Some of the factors that you should consider when choosing a cooking oil are:
The type of fat: Oils can contain different types of fats, such as saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats. Saturated and trans fats can raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol (HDL), as well as provide essential fatty acids that your body needs. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), you should limit your intake of saturated fats to less than 10% of your daily calories and avoid trans fats as much as possible. You should also aim to get more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet.
The smoke point: The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and produce smoke. When an oil reaches its smoke point, it can lose its nutritional value and produce harmful compounds that can damage your health. Therefore, you should choose an oil with a high smoke point for high-heat cooking methods, such as frying, sautéing, or roasting. You should choose an oil with a low smoke point for low-heat cooking methods, such as baking, dressing, or drizzling.
The flavor: Oils can have different flavors that can enhance or alter the taste of your food. Some oils have a mild or neutral flavor that can blend well with any dish, while others have a strong or distinctive flavor that can add a specific aroma or taste to your food. You should choose an oil that matches your personal preference and the type of cuisine you are preparing.
Based on these factors, here are some of the best cooking oils for people with diabetes:
Olive oil: Olive oil is one of the most popular and healthy oils for cooking. It is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that can protect your heart and lower your blood sugar levels. Olive oil has a medium-high smoke point of about 375°F (190°C), which makes it suitable for most cooking methods. It also has a fruity and nutty flavor that can enhance the taste of salads, soups, pasta, vegetables, and meats. You can use extra virgin olive oil for cold dishes or low-heat cooking, and regular or light olive oil for high-heat cooking.
Canola oil: Canola oil is a plant-based oil derived from the rapeseed plant. It is high in alpha-linolenic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that can lower inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. It also contains healthy monounsaturated fats that can lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol. Canola oil has a high smoke point of about 400°F (204°C), which makes it ideal for high-heat cooking methods. It also has a mild and neutral flavor that can work well with any dish.
Flaxseed oil: Flaxseed oil is a plant-based oil extracted from flaxseeds. It is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and prevent blood clots. It also contains lignans, which are phytochemicals that can modulate hormone levels and lower blood pressure. Flaxseed oil has a low smoke point of about 225°F (107°C), which means it should not be used for cooking at all. Instead, you can use it as a dressing for salads or a drizzle for soups or smoothies. It has a nutty and earthy flavor that can add some depth to your dishes.
Rice bran oil: Rice bran oil is a plant-based oil extracted from the outer layer of rice grains. It is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats that can protect your heart and lower your blood sugar levels. It also contains gamma-oryzanol, which is a compound that can lower cholesterol absorption and increase bile acid excretion. Rice bran oil has a high smoke point of about 490°F (254°C), which makes it perfect for frying or roasting. It also has a light and neutral flavor that can complement any cuisine.
Sesame oil: Sesame oil is a plant-based oil extracted from sesame seeds. It is high in polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants that can prevent oxidative stress and improve blood vessel function. It also contains sesamin and sesamol, which are compounds that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sesame oil has a medium-high smoke point of about 350°F (177°C), which makes it suitable for stir-frying or sautéing. It also has a nutty and toasted flavor that can add some zest to Asian dishes.
These are some of the best cooking oils for people with diabetes, but they are not the only ones. You can also use other oils that are sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as almond oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, or walnut oil. However, you should always use them in moderation and avoid oils that contain saturated and/or trans fats, such as palm oil, butter, or margarine.
Remember that cooking oils are not the only source of fat in your diet. You should also include other foods that provide healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt, or tofu. A balanced diet that includes healthy fats can help you manage your diabetes and improve your overall health.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456