November 26


This Is What Extra Virgin Olive Oil Does to Blood Glucose Levels

By Gabriela

November 26, 2021

You should know that diabetes is a chronic condition that affects around 10 % of Americans, and in the future, that number is expected to grow. Diabetes is when your body isn’t able to effectively make energy from the food.

The hormone, insulin which is responsible for producing energy from sugar, mostly from carbs sources is insufficient.

The actual conversion of sugar to energy is impossible, and the blood glucose begins to rise, this is called hyperglycemia, and it may damage many organ systems in case it is left uncontrolled.

In general, to control blood glucose levels, people turn to carbs intake for fluctuating levels. So, can a fat source, the extra virgin olive oil i.e. EVOO be suitable for your blood glucose levels?

What is EVOO?

Nowadays, it is challenging to pick an olive oil at the store because there are many kinds. There is EVOO, i.e., extra virgin olive oil, pure olive oil, virgin olive oil, and light olive oil.

Of all types, extra virgin olive oil is of the highest quality. Why?

Well, the extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil are unrefined. That means that they haven’t undergone heat manipulation or have been treated with chemicals.

And the difference between these 2 oils is their oleic acid content. Yes, consuming oleic acid is safe and healthy, but too much of it can be bad for you.

When the extra virgin olive oil is compared to others, it is seen that it contains the least amount of this oleic acid, around 1 %, and it has the richest flavor. But is it beneficial for your blood glucose? Read on to find out.

Study on This Topic

According to a study in Italy, extra virgin olive oil contains healthy fats which can help reduce blood glucose levels after meals.

The scientists from Sapienza University in Rome came to the discovery that adding this oil to a Mediterranean diet rich in fish, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits helped lower the blood glucose spikes. These spikes generally occur after eating.

According to the lead author of the study, Francesco Violi, lowering cholesterol and post-meal blood sugar might be helpful to decrease the adverse effects of cholesterol and sugar on the cardiovascular system.

More About the Study

This study included 25 participants. All of them had a standard Mediterranean lunch which primarily consists of fish, fruits, grains, and vegetables – on 2 different occasions.

The scientists added around two tsp. of extra virgin olive oil to one of the meals which the participants consumed. In addition, they added two tsp. of corn oil to the other meal. After every meal, the participants had their blood glucose levels tested.

Results of the Study

According to the results, the rise in the blood glucose levels was notably smaller after the meal that contained extra virgin olive oil. This is in comparison to the meal which contained corn oil.

That means that the corn oil didn’t help reduce the post-meal blood glucose spikes. These results are consistent with those of another research on EVOO which suggests that it helps raise insulin levels, which allows the body to convert sugar into energy.

How to Include Olive Oil in Your Diet

For people who have diabetes, extra virgin olive oil can be used in order to replace other fats, like salad dressings and butter. However, even for this, you must remember that moderation is the key.

It is actually very easy to include olive oil in your diet, you can add it in salad dressings, in salads, saute with veggies and replace the usual frying oils with it.

But, you should know that adding extra virgin olive oil to poor food choices isn’t as beneficial and doesn’t have the same effect when it is used with healthy food choices.

You need to use this oil in a well-balanced meal in order to enjoy its health benefits. Do you use extra virgin olive oil? In which dishes do you include this oil?


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}