As many people know, dietary choices can make a huge difference in the day-to-day management of diabetes. It can, in fact, make the difference between a condition that is well-controlled with few complication and a condition that is poorly controlled with resulting damage to the eyes, kidneys, blood vessels and other important organs. This new study dietary study shows that canola oil may just be able to help with good diabetes management.
What the New Study Shows
For this experiment out of the University of Toronto, researchers recruited 141 diabetics and divided them into two groups: one group was instructed to eat four and a half slices of whole wheat bread enriched with canola oil each day and to focus in on a low glycemic diet (in other words, in foods which break down slowly in the body and do not spike up the blood sugars). The second group was told to eat seven and a half slices of whole wheat bread without canola oil (for an equivalent number of calories) and to avoid products made with white flour.
In summation, what the new study found was that diabetics who followed a diet low in simple sugars and rich in healthy fats, like those found in canola oil, helped stabilize the blood sugar levels and avoid the spikes or dips in blood sugar that can make diabetes so difficult to deal with. Specifically, the patients in this study who adhered to a low glycemic index diet but also added extra canola oil to their dietary choices, had better control than of blood sugar levels and showed a lower heart disease risk than diabetics who ate a diet high in whole grains.
What surprised researchers, however, was the fact that those who had more abdominal obesity and the highest blood pressures responded the most readily to the canola oil-enriched diet.
Why Canola Oil is Beneficial for Diabetes
When most people think about healthy fats, olive oil is what generally springs to mind. However, canola oil, too, is considered to be a healthy fat. It contains high amounts of a specific omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linoleic acid (also found in walnuts) as well as monounsaturated fats (also found in olives, olive oil and avocadoes). These fats are especially good for heart health, which is a real issue for those struggling to manage their diabetic condition.
The result of this study are promising, and will hopefully be followed up with additional research that can give diabetics and diabetes educators better information as to what dietary choices to make to best manage their condition. Certainly, it appears that healthy fats play an important role in those dietary choices.
SOURCE: bit.ly/1mn7qVx Diabetes Care, online June 14, 2014
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