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Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Extra virgin olive oil has been used as a key component in the Mediterranean diet for centuries. It's no secret that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets out there due to its high consumption of vegetables, fiber, legumes, and healthy fats from nuts and extra virgin olive oil. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans even acknowledge the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and includes Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern in their guidelines (1).

When planning a meal as a type 2 diabetic, you want to take carbs, fat, and protein into consideration. The CDC recommends the plate method for diabetes meal planning. The plate method is a way of planning your plate to help you portion size properly to prevent blood sugar spikes (2). The plate method consists of half your plate being non-starchy vegetables, one quarter of the plate being lean proteins, and one-quarter of the plate with grains or starchy food.

In a day with Olivaio, we will be using the plate method as a template, and incorporating extra virgin olive oil and other components of the Mediterranean diet for their health benefits for type 2 diabetics. Use this as a template and example of a healthy day of eating based on the plate method for diabetes management. This is not meant to be a strict or prescribed diet or meal plan to follow, but instead just recipe ideas. Consult with your doctor or registered dietitian when changing your diet for diabetes management.

A day with Olivaio:

Breakfast recipe

  • One scrambled egg
  • Veggie hash – saute kale, red bell pepper, carrot, onion, brussel sprouts, and turnip in a pan with Olivaio. Top with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley
  • Slice of whole wheat toast topped with garlic and drizzled with Olivaio

Snack suggestion

  • Smashed avocado with Olivaio and cilantro
  • Side of multigrain crackers

Lunch recipe

  • Orange salmon salad – bed of mixed greens (ex: romaine, kale, and spinach) with a salmon fillet and 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, topped with avocado, cucumber, and carrots; dressing = Olivaio, fresh squeezed orange juice, white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt

Snack suggestion

  • Savory yogurt cup – 4 oz unsweetened, plain, greek yogurt topped with roasted crunchy chickpeas, a sprinkle of cumin, and a drizzle of Olivaio

Dinner recipe

  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Whole grain pasta topped with Olivaio, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of parmesan
  • Roasted zucchini and summer squash with oregano, parsley, and Olivaio

Written by Isabelle Hammack
Reviewed by Kelly Powers, MA, RDN, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who takes a holistic approach to nutrition and health. Kelly is a recipe developer with a food blog highlighting whole foods, simple recipes, and her life in San Francisco. She’s the creator of 52 Weeks, a weekly meal plan program that helps users get back in the kitchen and feed themselves well. Kelly is also a co-founder of Olivaio.