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What’s the Connection?

The amount of fat you eat can affect your A1C level, say researchers in the United Kingdom, but the type of fat can also make a difference. Researchers writing in the November 2001 issue of Diabetes Care report that people who consumed more polyunsaturated fat, which includes most vegetable oils, nuts and high-fat fish, had lower A1C levels across the normal range than those whose fat intake came primarily from meat, milk and milk products.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge conducted a cross-sectional study of 2,759 men and 3,464 women (aged 40 to 78) without diabetes. Diets were recorded via a food frequency questionnaire.

Those who consumed more fat also had higher A1C levels across the normal range when adjusted for age, total energy intake, protein intake, age, sex, family history of diabetes, weight, waist-to-hip ratio, physical activity and smoking. Those who had a higher ratio of polyunsaturated fat to saturated fat had lower A1Cs, which researchers attribute to lower overall saturated fat intake.

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