Does The Type Of Fat You Eat Affect Blood Glucose?

FingerStick4If you give a group of men one of three meals…

1. High in saturated fat (SFA)
2. High in monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
3. High in polyunsaturated fat (PUFA)

Will there be any difference in blood glucose levels after the meal? (All meals contain the same amount of fat (61% of energy), carbohydrate (33%), and protein (6.3%).

If you answered yes, which group had higher or lower blood glucose?

Here’s what this study* found:

  • Ingestion of the PUFA meal resulted in an improved postprandial insulin sensitivity compared with SFA.
  • Insulin and glucose concentrations were higher after the SFA meal than after the PUFA meal, with intermediate values for the MUFA meal.
  • These data suggest that the effects of replacement of SFA by PUFA may contribute to lower uptake of lipids in skeletal muscle and therefore may protect against the development of insulin resistance in humans.

* PUFAs Acutely Affect Triacylglycerol-Derived Skeletal Muscle Fatty Acid Uptake And Increase Postprandial Insulin Sensitivity, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2012

Saturated fat comes primarily from dairy products (cheese, butter, cream, milk) and animal foods. The fat in plants tends to be more unsaturated, PUFA and MUFA.

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