Fats Can Affect Your Blood Sugars

There is so much focus on bad carbs and sugars when trying to  control your blood sugars.  However, an often overlooked and highly misunderstood food component is FATS.  Research has shown that fats can affect your blood sugars!

One study analyzing the effects of fats and blood sugars was published in July 19, 2016 had some interesting findings. (see study reference at end of article)

The study revealed:

HbA1c fell by an average of 0.12% when saturated fat (bad fat) was replaced with monounsaturated fat (good fat) , and it fell by 0.15% when saturated fat was replaced with polyunsaturated fat (good fat)”

 

So what does this mean? If you were replace saturated fats with UNsaturated fats  you will have even more success with controlling your daily blood sugars and A1c levels!

This just might be the solution to the roadblock you have been facing as you continue to replace sugars and bad carbs with good carbs….. and seem to still have mysterious spikes or elevated glucose readings.

In an effort to keep things simple, when you read the nutrition information, don’t just look at the total fat, but look at the breakdown of the TYPE of fat.

If the label shows there is SATURATED FATS, then do not eat it.  What are examples of foods with saturated fats? 

SATURATED FATS  (BAD FATS) 

Fatty beef, lamb, pork, chicken with skin, whole milk, cream, butter, cheese and ice cream. Additionally, baked goods and fried foods can be high in saturated fat because they are made with ingredients loaded with saturated fats, such as butter, cream and lard.  Certain plant-based foods, such as palm oil and coconut oil also contain saturated fats.

 

If the label shows there is UNSATURATED FATS, either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, then it is okay to eat.  We actually DO need good fat in our diet.  What are examples of food with the GOOD FATS?   

UNSATURATED FATS   (GOOD FATS, mono and poly) 

Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and macadamia nuts, avocados,  almond butter and sunflower butter (both good replacements to peanut butter which is a high allergy food and does contain some saturated fat)  , sardines, Seeds, salmon, canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, flaxseed

 

A note of caution: Not all brands of a food item are the same.  Some may have added ingredients which may include saturated fats.  For example, just because the label says “olive oil”, don’t assume it has just the good fats.  Do your homework and read the nutrition information and make sure it just has olive oil.

 

As with any other foods, even healthy fats should be consumed in moderation.  Here are the guidelines I found when researching recommended daily amount of Unsaturated fat a day:

1,500 calories: About 50 grams of fat per day.

2,000 calories: About 67 grams of fat per day.

2,500 calories: About 83 grams of fat per day. (source Authority Nutrition)

 

So, start looking at your fat intake and make adjustments accordingly.  My  advice to clients is to eat WHOLE FOODS… which means nothing out of a box, fresh veggies,  Lean meats, HEALTHY FATS, and flavor your foods with spices instead of sauces which often contain bad fats.

 

References

 

  1. Effects of Saturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat, Monounsaturated Fat, and Carbohydrate on Glucose-Insulin Homeostasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Feeding Trials.   Fumiaki Imamura et al. 
  2. Authority Nutrition