Canola oil helpful for blood-glucose control in Type 2 diabetics

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — New research presented at the June 2014 American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions suggests that canola oil helps control blood glucose in people with Type 2 diabetes when it's incorporated into a low-glycemic index diet.

As part of the randomized trial, 141 participants with Type 2 diabetes who were taking drugs to control their blood glucose were given either a test or a control diet for a three month period. The test diet was low-GI and higher in fat, including bread made with canola oil (31 g of oil per person a day.) The control diet was healthy, low-fat and high in fiber. The results showed that those who consumed the canola oil diet improved blood glucose control.

“This study shows the advantage of using canola oil in Type 2 diabetes to improve both blood cholesterol and blood glucose control by reducing the glycemic load (GI multiplied by the amount of carbohydrate in the diet), especially in those at highest risk of diabetes complications,” said lead researcher David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., DSc., professor and Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism in the department of nutritional sciences at University of Toronto, as well as director of St. Michael's Hospital's Risk Factor Modification Center. “These findings are timely since diabetes is expected to double in the next 20 years, and means of preventing it and its complications are major concerns of governments and the general public.”

The results, which also appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes Care, are signficant because this is the first study to examine the combination of healthy fat consumption and a low-GI diet.

“The ability of canola oil to help control blood glucose in people with Type 2 diabetes adds to existing evidence of several health benefits, including CVD risk reduction,” said Shaunda Durance-Tod, M.Sc., R.D., CanolaInfo manager, Canola Council of Canada. “Further studies are now warranted on the effect of canola oil in a Mediterranean-type diet on glycemic control, blood fats and weight loss in Type 2 diabetes.”

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