Diet rich in coconut oil ‘can stave off diabetes’

coconut oil 286x300 Diet rich in coconut oil can stave off diabetes Want to stave off diabetes? Eat a diet rich in coconut oil, for a new study has found that it protects against insulin resistance in muscles and fat.

An international team has also found that the diet avoids the accumulation of body fat caused by other high fat diets of similar calorie content, making weight gain and high blood sugar less likely, the ‘Diabetes‘ journal reported.

The study has also showed that those who incorporate medium chain fatty acids, such as those found in coconut oil, into their diets can lose body fat.

Moms who don’t breastfeed at risk of diabetes

In their study, researchers, led by Dr Nigel Turner of Garvan Institute of Medical Research, compared fat metabolism and insulin resistance in mice fed coconut oil and lard based diets to reach the conclusion.

Mr Turner said: “The medium chain fatty acids, like those found in coconut oil, are interesting to us as they behave very differently to the fats normally found in our diets. “Unlike the long chain fatty acids contained in animal fats, medium chain fatty acids are small enough to enter mitochondria — the cells’ energy burning powerhouses — directly, where they can then be converted to energy.”

He further said: “Unfortunately the downside to eating medium chain fatty acids is that they can lead to fat build up in the liver, an important fact to be taken into consideration by anyone considering using them as a weight loss therapy.”

Moms, beware of diabetes

According to the researchers, fat storage is determined by the balance between how much fat is taken in by cells and how much of this fat is burned for energy.

When people eat a high fat diet, their bodies attempt to compensate by increasing their capacity to oxidise fat. The medium chain fatty acid (coconut oil) diet was more effective at increasing the oxidative capacity of muscle than the long chain fatty acid (lard) diet leading to less fat storage in muscle and better insulin action, the study found.

Diabetes Diet

According to Turner, the lard-based diet used in this research is similar to the diet eaten by people in the Western world.

“Obese humans usually eat 40-50 per cent of their calories as fat. Our mice were fed 45 per cent of their calories as fat. No high fat diet is good, and the normal dietary combination of long chain fats leads to an overload that our bodies can’t cope with,” the researcher said.

He further said: “If someone is trying to prevent weight gain, we can see they may benefit from substituting oils containing medium chain fatty acids for other oils in their diet. Other natural dietary alternatives, such as fish oil, might be helpful because the fatty acids in fish oil are thought to exert a lot of their beneficial effects through improving fat oxidation in the liver.”

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