A study evaluates a 12-week high monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) or fiber-rich weight maintenance diet for their impact on individuals with prediabetes.


The overall increase in type 2 diabetes and prediabetes has been associated with an increasingly unhealthy diet. Evidence suggests that diets encouraging high monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) or low calories are beneficial for type 2 diabetes patients as they lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and improve glycemic control. Diets that recommend a high fiber intake have shown improvement in carbohydrate and fat metabolism along with preventative measures for type 2 diabetes. A recent study published by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism analyzes the effect of dietary intervention, in the form of MUFA-rich or fiber-rich diets, on hepatic (liver) fat content. It then follows with determining a potential correlation between hepatic fat content and carbohydrate metabolism for individual with pre-diabetes.

The study recruited 43 patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes based on the American Diabetes Association’s criteria. Subjects were categorized into two intervention groups, one consisting of additional MUFA consumption while the other consisting of additional fiber consumption, and a control group of a standard diet. Each category had 15, 15, and 13 subjects, respectively. Body composition, hepatic fat content, and liver fat fraction were measured for each participant. Weight of the subjects was measured every 2 weeks. Patients who had a habitual diet consisting of high fiber content along with patients who had a daily consumption of alcohol were excluded from the study.

Body weight remained at a constant level across all groups. Results indicated no statistical difference between the groups in terms of daily energy intake, glucose and hormonal concentrations. Liver fat fraction decreased significantly for the MUFA category and remained stable in the control and fiber groups. A decrease in the hepatic fat content, insulin and hepatic sensitivity were also identified in the MUFA group in relation to the control and fiber groups. Overall, it was recognized that the MUFA diet resulted in improved hepatic and insulin sensitivity.

As a study which tackles an increasingly important medical condition, it provides a viable solution for the concern of diabetes. The diets rich in fiber and MUFA encourage a healthy lifestyle without the need to reduce weight or enforce heavy physical activity. The results allow medical and health care professionals along with dieticians to recommend such dietary intakes as preventative therapy for individuals with prediabetes.


Written By: Shrishti Ahuja, BSc

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