22 February 2018

"Healthy Fats" may lower diabetes risk

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Replacing some of the meat and cheese in your diet with vegetable oils or nuts could help slow the progression of diabetes in some people, according to new study.

People with "pre-diabetes" have levels of blood sugar, or glucose, that are higher than normal but not high enough to warrant being diagnosed with two types of diabetes.

In the new study, researchers found that, in people with a type of pre-diabetes in which muscles do not take up glucose properly, eating more of so-called polyunsaturated fat, which is found in vegetable oils and nuts, and less saturated fat, found in meat and cheese, seemed to improve certain factors related to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

"The findings suggest that increasing dietary intake of polyunsaturated fats may have a beneficial effect for patients with a certain type of pre-diabetes," study co-author Nicola Guess, a diabetes researcher at King's College London, said in a statement.

Among the people who had a type of pre-diabetes in which glucose uptake into muscles is impaired, those who ate more polyunsaturated fat, and less saturated fat, had higher levels of insulin sensitivity. This would likely translate into a lower risk of developing full-blown diabetes, the researchers said. (People with low insulin sensitivity require greater amounts of insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in check and therefore may require insulin injections.)

Among the people with a type of pre-diabetes in which the liver produces too much glucose, consuming less saturated fat also seemed to be beneficial for their insulin sensitivity. However, consuming more polyunsaturated fat did not seem to affect their insulin sensitivity, which means it would likely have no effect on slowing the progression of their pre-diabetes, the researchers said.

More research is needed to determine exactly how much polyunsaturated fat may be beneficial for patients with the type of pre-diabetes in which glucose uptake into muscles is impaired, the researchers said.

2016.03.28 / 14:09
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