Olive is often mistaken as a vegetable. Precisely, Olive is a fruit that was initially cultivated in Asia. This fruit is one of the ancient fruits and has been on the market for over 6000 votes. And it should be no surprise that this fruit has gained a lot of ground and is being cultivated in virtually every continent. This is highly fueled by the fact that olive has numerous health benefits and can fit in almost every meal.
Studies have indicated that people who eat a Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. To back up these claims were statistics on the number of people who suffer from heart diseases and diabetes in countries where Mediterranean diet is a staple food such as Italy and Spain. The number is significantly low compared to people in the US and India. People in Spain and Italy consume more of whole grains and vegetables accompanied by a small amount of meat, fish and dairy products. These countries use olive oil as a substitute for margarine and butter when it comes to cooking.
In general, olives are fruits that are either black or green. Famously known due to its natural fats, this particular food is useful in lowering the blood pressure and preventing chronic heart diseases. Also, olives are rich anti-oxidants and this makes them particularly useful in preventing cancer by giving the body with essential body nutrients. The two varieties of olives that is the green and black olives are similar in the nutrients composition with only one major distinction. Green olives have about twice as much sodium as that contained on black olives. This is very important if you wish to add your daily intake of sodium.
Olive has the health benefits mentioned above but this can vary depending on how the olive is processed. Olives are complex, and their nutrition value will depend on a variety of factors. Do you know the soil in which you plant an olive tree will have an effect on the kind of nutrients that particular olive fruit will have? Also, how the fats are extracted will have an influence on the nutrition value, color, and viscosity of the final product. Unlike other oils, creating high quality and nutritious olive oil is a very delicate and expensive process. This explains why extra virgin olive oil is very expensive but worth every cent given its high nutrients content.
This clearly indicates that if you want good quality olive oil, you have to part away with more than $20. On the positive side, this won’t be the case if you choose to consume the fruits raw. They are versatile and can fit virtually every meal. You can have olive fruits in soups, sandwiches, as salads or even as a potent salt flavor to any other dessert. One cup of black olives contains 4.4 grams of fiber, 154 calories, 1 gram of protein and no sugar and yes you read that right no sugar. On the other hand, green olive has 193 calories, 72g of sugar and 4.4 grams of fiber.
How to fit olives to your diabetic diet
One can say with confidence that most people have eaten olives at some point in life. Olives are available in form of drinks, foods, salads and even in pizzas! Who doesn’t love pizza?
Irrespective of whether you like olive as a drink or in its solid form, the heart of the matter is that you have used olive oil to cook at least once.
Are olives a healthy option for the diabetic?
This has been a question asked by many. This article will shed light on this matter but before that let’s first look at olives nutrition facts.
Typically, olives have low calories count. This, however, varies depending on the nutrition value of the olive, type, size and other food substances that are eaten together with it at that particular time.
One medium sized olive contains just 5 calories. And the greater portion of these calories comes from monounsaturated fats in the olive which is considered as healthy facts.
For instance, in green olives, 17% of the calories come from carbohydrates, 3% from proteins and 80% from monounsaturated fats.
Olives not only contain healthy fats known as monounsaturated fat but you will also get fatty acids. Not overlooking the fact that olives are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins A and E. This helps protect the body against the adverse effects that might be as a result of high blood sugar levels
Olives are also a great source of sodium with green olives containing up to 52 grams of sodium. Don’t rinse the salt sticking on the olive since this is a great source of sodium.
In the evaluation of minerals and vitamins olives contain the following:
27% RDA calcium
25% RDA iron
17% RDA zinc
Studies on diabetes and olives
Typically, when it comes to diabetes and olive there hasn’t been a lot of research. Let’s face it, who will agree to be fed tones of olive so as to determine how this will affect the blood sugar levels.
However, we also can’t ignore the numerous health benefits derived from consuming olives either as olive fruit, olive oil or even leaf extracts.
In a study that sampled old people with diabetes. After consuming olive fruits a significant reduction in the body weight and body mass index was noted. Taking olive leaf extracted has been linked with improving glucose homeostasis and reducing the blood glucose levels for people living with type 2 diabetes.
In a study done on rats where olive leaf extracts were extracted. This was found to significantly reduce serum glucose levels, triglycerides, and blood cholesterols.
On a general view olive oil has numerous health benefits for people living with type 2 diabetes. Oleic acid is one of the nutrients found in olive and is associated with promoting the transportation of glucose in the body cells. Oleic acid also decreases the blood pressure to people with diabetes.
A Mediterranean diet with olive as a component modulates bacteria in the body and as a result promoting insulin sensitivity. This diet also reduces the effects and symptoms associated with metabolic syndromes such as insulin resistance, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
Olive oil contains Phenolic which is an anti-inflammatory compound which plays a vital role in the body by; improving liver insulin resistance, reducing oxidative damage and reducing the risk of contracting ant chronic disease associated with diabetes. Also, the tyrosol, oleuropein and polyphenols hydroxytyrosol which are all compounds found in olive, prevent fatty acid oxidation which is particularly helpful in lowering the body cholesterol levels.
Are olives healthy for people living with type 2 diabetes?
The answer to this question is a big YES. Olives are safe to eat as a diabetic given it is low in calories and carbohydrates. However, given olives high fat and sodium content you shouldn’t take too much of it.
If you are on a low carb diet as a way to curb the effects associated with type 2 diabetes, then olive should be your best alternative. Olives are low in carbs with a medium sized olive having just 5 grams of calories.