Nutritional fats and the risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer

R Stoeckli, U Keller
Physiology & Behavior 2004 December 30, 83 (4): 611-5
Dietary factors are important predictors for the risk of diabetes type 2. Increased consumption of fibre-rich foods, fruits and vegetables as well as limited amounts of total and saturated fats are essential elements in the prevention of diabetes type 2. The association between these dietary factors and the appearance of diabetes was not only present in cohort studies but were also major elements in the dietary part of the two large diabetes prevention trials (Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study, Diabetes Prevention Program). There is also strong evidence for a relation between obesity and total fat intake and the incidence of certain types of cancers. There is a significant correlation between total fat intake and the risk of cancer; however, it is much weaker than that of the effect of red meat. Recommendations to decrease red meat intake, particularly processed meat, may decrease the risk of colorectal and prostate cancer and may have beneficial effects on breast cancer as well, although this evidence is less compelling. Overall, recommendations focused on controlling or reducing body weight by regular physical activity and avoidance of excessive energy intake from all sources, particularly from fat and saturated fats, by increasing consumption of fibre-rich carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits are effective in decreasing the risk for type 2 diabetes by more than 50% in high-risk individuals. Similar dietary patterns are likely to diminish the manifestation of certain forms of cancers. These conclusions are in agreement with current recommendations for cancer prevention as propagated by the American Cancer Society.

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