The latest research suggests replacing saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats can have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and is likely to reduce one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association currently recommends individuals affected with type 1 or 2 diabetes commit 60% – 70% of total daily calories to a blend of monounsaturated fats and carbohydrates. Additionally, a review of a number of different clinical trials shows that monounsaturated fats can “prevent or ameliorate metabolic syndrome* and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk” by favorably moderating blood lipids and blood pressure.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also suggests eating a diet rich in omega-3 fats may help keep high-risk children from developing type 1 diabetes.
New research also indicates that adhering to a Mediterranean diet—with an emphasis on consuming extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts—may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults who are already at a high risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 40%. Both extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts are anti-inflammatory in nature, exhibit antioxidant effects and provide unsaturated fatty acids that have previously been shown to decrease diabetes risk.
*Metabolic syndrome is defined by a collection of metabolic disorders occurring in an individual and associates with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and CVD.