The link between diabetes and sugar is so strong that it may sound strange to hear a healthy fat like coconut oil can have a profound effect on the disease. This amazing oil may in fact be the most vital key in managing the way sugar impacts your body. For diabetics and others with health problems related to high blood sugar, adding coconut oil to their diet may just be the single most important step toward finally controlling their blood sugar levels.
Doctors typically recommend that diabetics follow a diet low in fat, low in refined sugar and high in other carbohydrates. This is supposed to help manage the condition, but even whole carbohydrates can adversely affect blood sugar levels when little protein and fat is present when they are eaten. It’s important to eat balanced meals that contain all food types, and it’s especially important to choose high quality fats like coconut oil.
Why is coconut oil so beneficial for conditions like diabetes and insulin resistance?
The healthy fat in coconut oil plays an essential role in regulating blood sugar: it slows the digestive process to ensure a steady, even stream of energy from your food by lowering the overall glycemic index of your meal. When you include coconut oil in a meal with carbohydrates, the carbs are broken down into glucose more slowly, so blood sugar levels remain steady even after you eat.
Coconut oil consists of medium-chain fatty acids, unlike modern vegetable oils like soybean, corn, and safflower oils which are made of long-chain fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids are more suited for energy use rather than fat storage – and the opposite is true of long-chain fatty acids. Oils that consist mainly of long-chain fatty acids may actually decrease cell’s ability to absorb blood sugar, which could cause or exacerbate insulin resistance and diabetes.
On the other hand, coconut oil can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance over time. In addition to supplying the body with steady energy, adding coconut oil to the diet has been shown to increase the body’s metabolic rate. An increased metabolism can improve the function of insulin while also aiding weight loss.
This tropical oil not only has a positive effect on blood sugar and insulin, it can also improve other health conditions linked to diabetes, such as obesity and heart disease. When cells do not receive the energy they need because insulin does not function properly, it can lead to other conditions like heart disease, a leading cause of death in diabetics. Unlike sugar and long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil can be easily digested and processed for energy without the use of insulin, so the body receives the energy it needs regardless of insulin problems. Dr. Bruce Fife, author of The Miracle of Coconut Oil, even recommends that coconut oil be the only oil diabetics eat because of its outstanding benefits.
Traditional tropical societies illustrate these principles beautifully: these people consume what our culture would consider mass amounts of coconut oil, and yet there is a noticeable lack of disease – including diabetes – in these cultures. These same robust people will quickly develop modern health conditions if they switch to a modern diet filled with refined food, chemicals and polyunsaturated oils.
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