Type 2 diabetes diet: Which fats you should eat to avoid rise in blood sugar levels

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition which keeps the body from using insulin in the right way, and those living with the disease are said to have insulin resistance.

Those most likely to suffer with type 2 diabetes include people who are middle-aged or older, however the condition is affecting more and more children and teenagers due to rising levels of childhood obesity.

Around 84 million in the world are said to have pre-diabetes, meaning their blood sugar is high but not high enough to be diabetes yet.

This is when food and diet comes into play, as the wrong choices could spell disaster for those rising blood sugars turning into type 2 diabetes.

Choosing the right fats
Fats get a bad reputation when it comes to diets, and there is much confusion regarding good fats versus bad fats.

According to many health experts, fats are indispensable when it comes to their contribution to a healthy and balanced diet.

Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, Chief Clinical Dietician at Apollo Hospitals, states that fats have a significant role in modifying insulin sensitivity for type 2 diabetics.

“Mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated acids improve metabolic mediators and plateau the spikes of blood sugars,” she said.

Dr Ritesh Gupta, Additonal Director at Fortis CDOC Hospital for Diabetes and Endocrinology, bolsters this claim stating “fats are one of the major macronutrients in diet and are an essential component of a balanced diet in people with diabetes

He added: “Total quantity of fats should be such that the total calories during the day do not exceed the prescribed limit.

On top of this, not all fats are created equal.

What are good fats?
Of the healthiest types of fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the big winners particularly for their heart-healthy components.

These are fats that are better choices for your diet.

Polyunsaturated fats are known as “essential fats” because the body cannot make them and needs to get them from foods.

Plant-based foods and oils are the primary source of this fat.

Alongside helping to lower blood sugars for type 2 diabetics, these types of fat are also known to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Examples of these types of fat include:

  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans)
  • Vegetable oils (olive oil, peanut oil)
  • Peanut and almond butter
  • Avocado
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds
  • Canola oil

What are bad fats
Of the two worst types of fat, saturated and trans should be avoided.

Most of the foods that contain these types of fats are solid at room temperature, such as butter, margarine, shortening or animal fat.

Examples of saturated fat include high fat dairy foods such cheese or ice cream, tropical oils such as palm oil or lard.

According to experts, overconsumption of these types of fat may cause you to consume more calories than your body requires, resulting in weight gain, poor diabetes management, and overall damage to health.