Higher Intake Of ‘Healthy Fats’ May Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Swapping cheese and meat with nuts and vegetable oil can cut type 2 diabetes risk, a new study has found. Researchers say that increased intake of polyunsaturated fat can reduce the risk of developing full-blown diabetes among people who have a certain prediabetes type. According to the American Diabetes Association, there were 86 million prediabetic Americans aged 20 and above in 2012. Prediabetic people are those with high levels of blood sugar but the rates do not meet the diagnosis criteria for type 2 diabetes. The statistics also found that 29.1 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes, the majority of which were type 2.
In the study, the research team found that among prediabetic people whose muscles don’t consume glucose properly, taking more polyunsaturated fat and less saturated fat seemed to slow down the progression of developing type 2 diabetes. Polyunsaturated fat is found in nuts and vegetable oils while saturated fat is found in cheese and meat. The research team analyzed a mixed group of participants consisting of 23 obese individuals, 14 endurance-trained athletes, 15 healthy, 10 prediabetic people and 11 type 2 diabetes patients. The levels of fatty acids and blood sugar were measured after answering a diet questionnaire.
Fat can be Good
From the collected data, the research team measured the levels of polyunsaturated and saturated fats they consumed in the last three months prior to the study. Among the prediabetic people whose glucose consumption in the muscles is affected, the ones who ate more polyunsaturated fats had higher insulin sensitivity levels. The researchers said that the findings could be translated as to having a lower risk of developing diabetes. There is another type of prediabetes wherein the liver produces high levels of glucose. In this type, reducing the intake of saturated fat can also improve insulin sensitivity. However, people with this type of prediabetes will not benefit from eating more polyunsaturated fats.
“The findings suggest that increasing dietary intake of polyunsaturated fats may have a beneficial effect for patients with a certain type of prediabetes,” said King’s College London diabetes researcher and study co-author Nicola Guess. However, the findings also revealed why there are particular dietary changes that offer no effect on lowering the disease progression among people with the other prediabetes subtype.
The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE on March 21.
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