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Eat healthy fat can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

Eating unsaturated fats instead of carbohydrates decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jul 21 2016 4:11PM | Updated Date: Jul 21 2016 4:17PM

Eat healthy fat can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

Replacing carbohydrate and saturated fats with healthy fats, such as polyunsaturated fats, lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin control, according to findings from a new meta-analysis, says research published in PLoS Medicine.


Results of randomized controlled feeding trials published in the medicine journal indicate that substituting dietary carbohydrates with saturated fat does not have a favorable effect on blood glucose. While, a diet rich in unsaturated fats led to better control of blood sugar. 


Compared to carbohydrates, unsaturated fats show favorable effects on the body. These fats improved the glycemia, insulin resistance and insulin secretion capacity. The trial summarized findings of 102 randomized controlled trials, which included 4,660 participants.


The 4,660 adults were given meals containing various types and quantities of carbohydrate and fat. The researchers examined how these variations in diet impacted measures of metabolic health, and specificall.


The study focused on key biological markers of glucose and insulin control. These were blood sugar, blood insulin, insulin resistance and sensitivity, and how well the body was able to produce insulin in response to blood sugar.


Results suggested that consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat had a positive effect on blood glucose control, compared with consumption of dietary carbohydrate or saturated fat.


For each 5 percent of dietary energy that was switched from carbohydrates or saturated fats to mono- or polyunsaturated fats, they found a drop of around 0.1 percent in HbA1c - a blood marker of long-term glucose control.


Around the world, there has been a sharp increase in the rates of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. To treat existing diabetes, people should eat healthily, exercise regularly, and use medications that reduce blood glucose levels.