Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sesame Oil, Diabetes, and Cholesterol

Calling all diabetics and people who are flirting with diabetes! Cooking with sesame oil, it seems, can help lower triglycerides, blood glucose, and normalize blood cholesterol in your body. So says a study published in December of 2010 in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

In this study, diabetics used 35 grams of sesame oil a day for 60 days. (This equates to about 2 1/2 tablespoons of oil.) They either cooked with it or used it as a salad dressing. Here are the results after 60 days:
  • Total cholesterol decreased 20%.
  • Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs - the bad form of cholesterol) decreased 33%.
  • Triglycerides decreased 14%.
  • High-density lipoproteins (HDLs - the healthy form of cholesterol) increased 16%.
These results are cause for celebration. Diabetics have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than non-diabetics. If a food that can be easily integrated into a daily diet can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and angina, ideally, it should be.

It's good to note that the study also tested diabetics who were on a drug called glibenclamide (aka glyburide, a powerful drug used to reduce blood glucose). Some only took glibenclamide, while others took the drug in addition to sesame oil. The cardiac risk factors listed above were slightly normalized when subjects took the combination, except for LDLs, which were decreased 38% - a 5% advantage over sesame oil alone.

Here's another great example of letting your food be your medicine, just as Hippocrates suggested thousands of years ago. Integrate sesame oil into your daily diet. Add it to salads. Use it in stir-fries. And decrease your chances of cardiovascular issues easily, harmlessly, and tastefully!