Healthy fats can help prevent type 2 diabetes

For years, we've been taught to fear fat.   But, when it comes to your risk of diabetes, Dr. Guillermo Umpierrez says all fats are not created equal. He heads up Grady Memorial Hospital's diabetes clinic

"The rates of diabetes, the rates of obesity changes according to the fat we eat. In general, saturated fat increases the rates of diabetes much more than saturated," says Dr. Umpierrez..

And new research shows the choices we make here at the grocery store -- may have a big impact on our risk of type 2 or weight-related diabetes

"We have to be careful in the type of fat types of fat we eat," points out Dr. Umpierrez."Fat comes in meat, steaks and oils."

But researchers at Tufts University looked at more than 100 studies into different combinations of fats and carbohydrates. They found swapping out 100 calories of carbs like pasta and bread each day with 100 calories of high-quality, unsaturated fats like nuts and vegetable oils may cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 20%.

Around the world about 500 million have diabetes. In Georgia, it's somewhere around 8% - 9%," adds Dr. Umpierrez. "Imagine that your chances to become diabetic is reduced by 1 in 5."

The key is to choose the right kinds of fats. Some of the healthiest sources of fat: walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, flaxseed, and omega 3 fatty acids found in some cold water fish, fish like salmon, sardines and tuna. Limit refined grains and starches you find in many processed foods, and saturated fats -- like animal fat, full-fat dairy like cheese and cream and whole milk.

The bottom line -- fat can be your friend -- if you choose that friend carefully.