People with prediabetes could improve their health dramatically by eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats, according to a new study.
Research carried out at King’s College London, showed that replacing saturated fat with foods such as nuts, fatty fish and vegetable oil could help slow the onset of type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Prediabetes, which means the person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be classed as type 2 diabetes, is normally split into two different conditions.
One condition involves the liver producing too much glucose and the other involves muscles that don’t absorb glucose properly.
Lead author, Dr. Nicola Guess from the diabetes and nutritional sciences division at King’s College London, said: “This study is the first to explore whether we can target dietary advice taking into account the underlying differences in the two prediabetes states.”
The research, published in PLOS ONE, involved testing small groups of people across a wide spectrum of glucose levels, using a dietary questionnaire.
The groups of people were made up of 15 healthy, 14 athletic, 23 obese and 10 people with prediabetes and 11 with 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 prediabetes but also illuminates why certain dietary changes may have no effect on progression of type 2 diabetes in the other subtype,” added Guess.
“We intend to build on this work with larger studies, and ultimately test this idea in a randomised trial.”
Researchers said limitations of the study included the small number of participants and the cross-sectional design of the study also means the authors cannot confirm cause-and-effect.

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