If you’ve been thinking about cutting back on the amount of fat in your daily diet, new research shows you’re definitely on the right track. A recent study suggests that reducing your daily intake of fat for as little as two months can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or could slow the progress of the disease if you already have it.
The study, conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, monitored 69 participants divided into two groups. Half the participants ate a diet that was 27 percent fat and 55 percent carbohydrate, while the other half ate a diet that was 39 percent fat and 43 percent carbohydrate. The researchers reported that after just eight weeks, the group that had been consuming less fat showed better glucose tolerance and higher insulin secretion and sensitivity, which gave them a significantly decreased risk for diabetes. In addition, the results suggested that the reduced fat diet could effectively slow the progress of the disease.
Though it has long been known that avoiding overweight is one of the keys to reducing diabetes risk, this study indicates that simply reducing daily fat intake without reducing the total amount of food consumed or losing weight can have a marked positive effect on both the risk for and the progression of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, also referred to as adult onset diabetes, is the most common form of the disease and effects millions of Americans. In type 2 diabetes the body exhibits resistance to insulin, the natural compound that transports sugar into cells for use in the production of energy. When this happens excess sugar builds up in the blood, creating a condition called hyperglycemia.
Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include age (people over 45 are at higher risk), overweight or obesity, and high blood pressure. Some ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans have high rates of diabetes and are considered at greater risk for developing the condition.