Diabetes is caused by impaired blood sugar (glucose) regulation of the body. The blood sugar levels in the body are controlled by the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas. Blood sugar increases above normal levels, when either the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or when the body’s cells respond poorly to it.

Management of Diabetes

Changing dietary habits is the first and most important step in the management of diabetes, improves glycemic controls, decreases the chances of development of diabetic complications, and ensures better life quality.

Intake of saturated and trans fats has an adverse effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for the control of blood sugar (glucose) levels. Increased consumption of these fats also leads to an increase in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

What are saturated fats?

Saturated fats are found in animal sources such as butter, ghee, mayonnaise, margarine, lard, shortenings, etc.

What are Trans fats?

Tran fats are found in processed foods such as baked foods and fast foods.

Diabetes and Consumption of Oils or say Vegetable Oils

Many studies have shown that vegetable oils are better for diabetics. Vegetable oils may improve diabetic complications and also insulin resistance.

Most vegetable oils are good sources of unsaturated fats or fatty acids – both monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Unsaturated fatty acids improve blood sugar management, lower cholesterol levels, and are cardio (heart) protective.

 Apart from this, virgin cold pressed oils are also rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E and some phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Let us discuss some vegetable oils that may help reduce the complications of diabetes:

  1. Cold Pressed Extra Virgin and Virgin Olive Oil contain healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil is a rich source of oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. Olive oil also contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Oleic acid along with these helps reduce inflammation, and blood pressure regulation boosts immune response, and also reduces blood sugar levels.

Plant compounds in olive oil, such as oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, have been proven to be possessing powerful antioxidant properties. These may be the reason for the benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, which includes olive oil in high quantities, and reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.

Olive oil helps to carry the flavor of foods and spices and provides a pleasing feel in the mouth along with providing a feeling of satiety. Olive oil finds many ways in the kitchen, such as to sauté’ vegetables, as salad dressing, in marinades or sauces for meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables, or drizzle over cooked food for the burst of flavor. 

  1. Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil, which is the unrefined natural oil, contains higher amounts of certain nutrients as compared to refined coconut oil. These nutrients are vitamin E and some dietary bioactive compounds called phenols. It helps to reduce belly fat, thereby improving insulin function. Coconut oil improves metabolism and increases blood glucose

Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and energy-boosting triglycerides while being low in cholesterol. Cold pressed virgin coconut oil has a nutty flavor and is not too greasy. That is why it is used in baking and cooking in place of butter and hydrogenated fats.

  1. Cold Pressed Flax Seeds Oil: Flax seeds are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an essential fatty acid that needs to be obtained from food as it is not synthesized in the Flax seed oil also provides an excellent omega- 3 to omega-6 ratio, which is important to maintain good health and prevent many chronic diseases.

Flax seed oil has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, due to the presence of ALA. It helps reduce the body’s inflammation associated with obesity and diabetes.

Flax seed oil can be used in salad dressings, added to smoothies and shakes, and also to make dips and sauces.

  1. Cold Pressed Walnut Oil: Clinical trial studies have proven that regular consumption of  walnut oil helps to improve blood glucose levels. This is because cold pressed walnut oils are  rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with antioxidants which have an anti inflammatory effect. Inflammation is body’s natural response to stress and infection, but  causes insulin resistance. This blocks the body’s ability to use up sugar, which keeps  circulating in the blood. The antioxidants found in the walnut oil help to reduce   inflammation resulting in better blood glucose management.  

Cold-pressed walnut oil is flavorful and adds dimension to both sweet and savory dishes. It is  better not to heat cold pressed walnut oil to a great degree. Cold pressed walnut oil can  therefore be used in salad vinaigrettes, as a baking oil, or drizzle over pasta  

  1. Cold Pressed White Sesame Oil: In a study conducted in 2018, it was found the white  sesame oil plays and important role in glucose level regulation and also in prevention of  the development of co-morbidities associated with diabetes type 2. Sesame oil is a good  source of omega-6 fatty acid and many antioxidants, due to which sesame oil functions as a  potent anti-inflammatory agent. This helps in the regulation of blood glucose levels. It also aids in healing of diabetic wounds and burns.  

Sesame oil is the common cooking oil used in Chinese, Japanese, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Cold pressed sesame oil is frequently used to sauté meats and vegetables, in salad dressings, sauces and marinades.

A word of caution: Both olive oil and flax seed oil should not be used for cooking at high temperatures as these have a low smoking point. Certain compounds harmful to health are formed if they are exposed to high heat.

Ms Sunita Roy Chowdhury, Senior Nutritionist, Dietician and Nutrition Educator 
Healthynudgez and Guiding Stars Open Learning Academy,
Under the banner of SS Guiding Stars Pvt. Ltd.


At Multano we are passionate about helping people make their lives healthier and happier. All information provided in this article is researched and authenticated by qualified experts. We are dedicated to providing reliable and accurate information to our readers.   However, please use the information provided here with discretion. Any changes in medication/diet must be done with the approval of your treating medical practitioner/Dietician only.