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Aug 2011: Vet-arm voor Diabetes Preventie


According to the American Diabetes Association Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Millions of people have been diagnosed with it, and many more are unaware they are at high risk. A large body of published data supports the notion that a dietary pattern directly affects insulin action. Many of these suggest that changing dietary patterns may lead to diabetes prevention or to slow the progression of the disease.


In a new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it has been demonstrated that even consumption of eucaloric diet – a diet that provides the body with number of calories necessary to maintain current body weight, is capable to lower insulin secretion. Diet composition (less fat) is crucial for regulation of β cell responsiveness. Further, the study suggests that those trying to minimize the risk for diabetes over the long term might consider limiting daily consumption of fat at around 27% in their diet [1].


Main text:

Very often overweight and obese people are advised to lose weight in order to improve their health conditions and to reduce the risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. Some studies, however, have shown that even a modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10% of total body weight, is associated with improvements in risk factors for blood sugars, pressure and cholesterol [2,3,4]. These studies are based on the fact that significant changes in insulin action can occur without substantial weight change, and within relatively short time frame. Potential mechanisms by which nutrient composition lead to insulin responsiveness are explained in an article published few years ago [5].


In support of these findings a new, empirical study on humans has evidenced that lowering fat intake can significantly cut a person’s diabetes risk, even without losing a weight [1]. The objective of the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was to define the effect of fat and carbohydrate content on insulin sensitivity. For this purpose 69 nondiabetic but overweight individuals were put on a diet with modest reductions in either fat or carbohydrates for a period of two months. Those in the low fat group were given a diet consisting of higher carbohydrate and lower fat intake (55 and 27%, respectively), while the high fat group consisted of 39% fat and 43% carbohydrate. The researchers observed that consumption of reduced carbo but high fat diet resulted in a lower insulin response, in other words: or in other words high insulin resistance. Because the group on the lower fat diet had better glucose tolerance after two months, the authors concluded that modestly reducing fat intake, even without reducing food quantity or losing weight, can improve health conditions in those who are generally considered to be at greater risk of developing diabetes. Altering dietary content may trigger or prevent diabetes, and more studies are needed in order to determine to which extent carbohydrate and fat content are responsible for this [1].


Very often people find it very difficult to adopt changes in their diet. However, findings of studies indicate that even minor changes in a diet might reduce the risk of diabetes, such as lowering fat, animal protein [6] and sugars/refined carbohydrate intake. In other words, it means that not only a quantity but also a diet quality interfere with the risk for type 2 diabetes.

By: Svetlana Obradovic and Luuk Simons

[1] Goree, L.L., P. Chandler-Laney, A.C. Ellis et.al. (2011). Dietary macronutrient composition affects β cell responsiveness but not insulin sensitivity. Am J Clin Nutr doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.002162



[2] Wing, R.R., W. Lang, T.A. Wadden, M. Safford et.al. (2011). Benefits of modest weight loss in improving cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabets. Diabetes Care 34, pp. 1481-1486.


[3] Van Gaal L.F., I.L. Martens, D. Ballaux (2005). What is the relationship between risk factor reduction and degree of weight loss? Eur Heart J Suppl 7, pp.L21-L26.



[4] Goldstein, D.J. (1992). Beneficial health effects of modest weight loss. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 16, pp. 397-415.



[5] Schenk, S., M. Saberi, J.M.Olefsky (2008). Insulin sensitivity: modulation by nutrients and inflammation. The Journal of Clinical Investigations 118, pp. 2992-3002


[6] Sluijs, Y et al (2010) Dietary intake of total, animal, and vegetable protein and risk of type 2 diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-NL study. Diabetes Care. 33, 1, pp. 43-48. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/1/43.short http://www.voedingnu.nl/verhoogd-risico-op-diabetes-bij-eiwitrijk-dieet.152343.lynkx

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