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Eating more 'healthy fats' could reduce diabetes risk

A new study has suggested that eating more healthy fats could reduce the risk of diabetes.

People with "prediabetes" have levels of blood sugar, or glucose, that are higher than normal but the level is not high enough to warrant being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes, and 29.1 million had diabetes. Majority of the cases are type 2.

The new study showed that people with a type of prediabetes in which muscles do not take up glucose properly, consuming more of so-called polyunsaturated fat, and less saturated fat, found in meat and cheese, seemed to improve certain factors related to the risk of developing 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," study co-author Nicola Guess, a diabetes researcher at King's College London, said in a statement.

For the study, the researchers involved 14 endurance-trained athletes, 23 obese people, 10 people with prediabetes and 11 people with type 2 diabetes. The blood sugar levels and the levels of fatty acids in their blood were tested by the researchers.

The participants were also made to fill out a questionnaire about their diet, and it helped the researchers to calculate how much saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat they had consumed in the past three months.

The findings of the study were published in the journal PLOS ONE.