How Do Dietary Fats Influence the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

How Do Dietary Fats Influence the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in the U.S., affecting about 30 million Americans. Many more millions of people have prediabetes, which means that a person’s lifestyle habits – especially eating habits – must change in order to prevent developing diabetes.

When a person’s body does not process insulin properly, type 2 diabetes can develop. Initially, the pancreas will produce extra insulin to make up for it, but over time it loses the ability to manufacture sufficient insulin to reduce the body’s blood glucose levels to a healthy level.

Diets that are rich in healthy fats while limiting less-healthy fats can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. These dietary changes can lower blood sugar levels and have a positive effect on improving insulin sensitivity.

The previous methods of avoiding all fats have been proven wrong, as some healthy fats help fight diseases like type 2 diabetes. Let’s take a look at foods that are best at preventing and controlling diabetes, and foods that should be limited.

How Can Fat Affect My Type 2 Diabetes?

Diets that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, instead of lots of carbohydrates, help improve blood sugar control – which is essential in diabetes management.

Fats That Are Good

Fats that are beneficial for people to consume are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats are found in:

  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut oil

Polyunsaturated fats are found in:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Walnuts
  • Soft margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings


Beneficial fats are also found in foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as fish), which can help to prevent clogging of the arteries.

Fats That Should Be Limited

Consuming foods that have trans fats, animal fats, and saturated fats increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Foods that are high in saturated fats include:

  • Salted pork
  • Ground beef
  • Bologna
  • Hot dogs
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Spare ribs

Dairy products that are high in fat content should be consumed only in very small amounts. These include: 

  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Ice cream
  • Whole milk
  • Butter
  • Sour cream

Whether you have diabetes or not, it’s best to consume less than 10 percent of your daily calories from saturated fats – which amounts to approximately 20 grams of saturated fat per day, or 200 calories’ worth, in a 2,000-calorie daily diet. To offer some perspective, just one slice of processed American cheese contains 8 grams of saturated fat.

Who Can Help Me Maintain a Balanced Diet?

The medical team at Rockville Concierge Doctors focuses on preventive medicine – and how simple steps today can influence long-term health benefits tomorrow. Eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising can all contribute to a longer, healthier life. 

Enrolling as a member of our concierge health care will guarantee you top-notch care at every moment of the day and night.

Contact us today by calling (301) 545-1811 if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more. Come and see why concierge medicine is rapidly becoming one of the most popular styles of medicine today.