The quality of foods we eat every day influences our bodies in different ways. Our current Continuing Professional Development (CPD) article looks at how fats – specifically polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), mono-unsaturated fat (MUFA) and saturated fat (SFA) – affect the relationship between our bodies and glucose/insulin. The reviewers specifically wanted to find out how these fats influence ‘diabetes mediators including blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and ability to produce insulin’.
What were the findings?
This was a large systematic review including 102 trials, including 239 dietary arms and 4,220 adults who met the eligibility requirements. The conclusions of the study were that the (isocaloric) replacement of carbohydrates and SFA with unsaturated fats, especially PUFA, had favourable results. Substituting carbohydrates with SFA had no influence on blood glucose control.
What does this all mean?
Authors have this to say in their own words:
‘This investigation suggests that consuming more unsaturated fats in place of either carbohydrates or saturated fats will help improve blood glucose control. Sole emphasis on lowering consumption of carbohydrates or saturated fats would not be optimal.’
These findings support the benefits of eating more vegetable oils and spreads, nuts, oily fish, and vegetables rich in unsaturated fats in place of either animal fats or refined grains, starches, and sugars.
Read more on how the quality of the fats we eat affects our glucose levels in our CPD section.