Healthy Fats and Improvement of Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Eating more healthy fats in place of either carbs or saturated fats improves risk factors for type 2 diabetes

A large-scale meta-analysis finds consumption of unsaturated fats in place of either saturated fats or carbohydrates could aid in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes

BOSTON (July 19, 2016)—Eating more unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, in place of either dietary carbohydrate or saturated fats lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance and secretion, according to a new meta-analysis of data from 102 randomised controlled feeding trials in adults.

The study, led by Dariush Mozaffarian M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and Fumiaki Imamura, Ph.D., at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, provides novel quantitative evidence for the effects of dietary fats and carbohydrate on the regulation of glucose and insulin levels and several other metrics linked to type 2 diabetes.

The results were published in PLOS Medicine on July 19.

Rates of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are rising sharply worldwide, highlighting the need for new, evidence-based preventive strategies. While a healthy diet is clearly a cornerstone of such efforts, the effects of different dietary fats and carbohydrate on metabolic health have been controversial, leading to confusion about specific dietary guidelines and priorities.

“The world faces an epidemic of insulin resistance and diabetes,” said Mozaffarian, who is senior author on the study. “Our findings support preventing and treating these diseases by eating more fat-rich foods like walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, flaxseed, fish, and other vegetable oils and spreads, in place of refined grains, starches, sugars, and animal fats.”

“This is a positive message for the public,” he added. “Don’t fear healthy fats.”

Read the Full Press Release at Tufts Now

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