In 1998, a study done in India showed that when Indians substituted traditional fats like ghee and coconut oil with polyunsaturated fats like sunflower or safflower oils, diabetes rates spiked up. This lead to more research about the effect of saturated fats on diabetes and that is how a debate over virgin coconut oil for diabetes came into existence. Let’s discuss below the effects of virgin coconut oil on diabetes.
Coconut Oil for type 2 diabetes
It is popularly believed that a healthy diet can reverse type 2 diabetes. To reverse type 2 diabetes, restrictions on intake of refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol from one’s diet is advise while increasing the intake of healthy saturated fats.
Coconut oil for type 1 diabetes
Contrary to type 2 diabetes that is related to one’s diet and lifestyle, type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease that shuts the production of insulin in your body. It has been noticed that people with type 1 diabetes crave high-glycemic foods like rice, doughnuts, french fries, watermelon, etc.
Virgin coconut oil, which is packed with healthy saturated fats, when consumed regularly by patients suffering from type 1 diabetes can help control their cravings. Diabetes is also known to cause mood swings and lower energy levels and coconut oil has been proven to tackle both these symptoms with regular use. A study conducted in May 2009 concluded: “Medium-chain triglycerides offer the therapeutic advantage of preserving brain function under hypoglycemic conditions without causing deleterious hyperglycemia.”
Off late, coconut oil has been found to be beneficial in tackling Alzheimer’s disease, a result of type 3 diabetes.
|Differences||Regular Coconut Oil||Virgin Coconut Oil|
|Extraction Method||Regular coconut oil is made from copra, dried coconut kernel. The copra is pressed and the oil extracted is refined, bleached, and deodorized.||Virgin coconut oil is extracted from the fresh milk of the coconut using natural methods and is left unrefined.|
|Appearance||May have a bit more color though reading the label will help.||Usually clearer in appearance with the label reading ‘Virgin” or “Cold-pressed”.|
|Composition||Refined coconut oil may be hydrogenated and contain trans fats.||Virgin coconut oil contains only medium-chain saturated fatty acids.|
|Health Benefits||Refined coconut oil is processed using chemicals, fiddling with the purity of the oil.||Virgin coconut oil has greater antioxidant levels with a stronger, sweeter taste. It is free of any chemicals, toxins or additives.|
|Price||Regular coconut oil is priced lower.||Virgin coconut oil is priced higher due to its purity.|
Virgin coconut oil and Diabetes – Benefits
- Improves Cholesterol Levels, increasing HDL, and decreasing LDL.
- Reduces body fat, especially visceral fat that causes heart diseases.
- Regulates blood sugar levels, controlling cravings for sweets.
- Improves calcium and magnesium absorption capacity of the body.
- Helps slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, a possible outcome of type 3 diabetes.
Risk Factors while using virgin coconut oil for diabetes
Coconut oil, because of its high-fat content, is still considered unhealthy. Saturated fat is said to raise cholesterol levels leading to heart disease and diabetics have a higher risk of heart disease. However, a study that compared coconut with soybean oil found that the latter was more likely to start the onset of obesity and symptoms of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends limiting the intake of saturated fats and therefore substitute coconut oil with olive or safflower oil.
How to include virgin coconut oil into your diet if you’re diabetic
Coconut oil, with its many proven health benefits, can be used for a variety of dishes to enhance the flavour of it, or as a substitute for other fats. Some uses can be:
- Salad Dressing – as an emulsion or just oil dressing
- Pre-workout drink – Bullet coffee or tea
- Mixed in cake batters and pancakes
- Used for deep frying or stir-fries
- As a pickling oil
When opting for virgin coconut oil for diabetes, it is best to go for a brand that uses the best products to extract the oil without using any heat or chemicals. The Coconut People’s cold-pressed coconut oil is made with coconuts from the tropical Indian state of Karnataka and is packed in a sealed glass jar to preserve its freshness. To buy, visit here