Type-2 Diabetes Diet – Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The most important fats for preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes are Omega-3 fatty acids.

Although these fats are required for a variety of vital physiological functions, your body can’t make them on its own.

Research has found that omega-3s may help prevent and even treat type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Studies have found that, diabetics possess faulty fatty acid metabolism which may contribute to the cardiovascular complications associated with the disease. Scientific research has established the reduction of certain harmful fats, with the addition of beneficial fatty acids, may offer a significant breakthrough in combating diabetic cardiovascular complications with the potential of significantly lowering health care costs.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found mainly in fat-rich fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, mackerel, and sardines confer health benefits not found in other foods.

“Omega-3s” from fish are highly polyunsaturated fatty acids that lower triglycerides, reduce abnormal heart rhythms, reduce blood pressure by small but significant amounts, and improve blood clotting regulation.

In a large study of more than 11,000 people with heart disease, the daily consumption of about one gram of fish oil reduced cardiovascular mortality by 30% and sudden cardiac death by 45%. A gram of fish oil is equivalent to a 3 ounce serving of salmon. Omega-3s may also boost the immune system.

Contrary to some early concerns, fish oil appears to not only be safe for people with type 2 diabetes, but can actually be very beneficial as well.

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and other cold water fatty fish
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Unrefined canola oil
  • Eggs from free range chickens

Two especially important sources of omega 3 fatty acids are ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil.

Reported in the British Journal of Nutrition (1993; 69: 443) was a four-week study indicating that flax oil was beneficial in helping to regulate blood glucose levels in diabetics. Late-onset adult diabetes is suspected to originate partially from a deficiency of LNA’s and an excess of saturated and trans fats in the diet. Although this syndrome can take as long as 30 years to emerge as a full blown disease, reversal of symptoms can occur with positive changes in the diet and proper supplementation of LNA from flaxseed oil.

Ground flaxseed may help to regulate blood glucose levels, especially when incorporated into certain foods which have a relatively high glycemic response, such as bread, according to new research.

Study author Sarah Booth notes that “it has been suggested that flaxseed may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer due to it’s relatively high concentration of both alpha-linolenic acid and non-starchy polysaccharides.” When 15 healthy women were tested eating scones containing flaxseeds or just regular scones with white flour, it was determined that there was a significant difference between the rising blood glucose values following consumption of the flaxseed scone in comparison with the white flour scone. The flaxseed scone produced a much more gradual rise in blood glucose. This modulation of the blood sugar can be very significant for diabetics and those who suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

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