Adding healthy fats to high-carb meals slows down the impact on blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes, according to new research.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery at Federico II University, Naples, supports the idea that a diet high in healthy fats can be beneficial for people with diabetes.

How was the study conducted?

The study involved 13 participants, all of whom had type 1 diabetes. Every participant used an insulin pump. The researchers monitored the blood glucose levels of each person following meals.

They found that after high-carb meals, participants had lower post-meal blood glucose levels if they also ate high-quality, healthy fats. Extra-virgin olive oil was particularly beneficial.

“The results of this study have important clinical implications for patients with type 1 diabetes, as they indicate that the combination of the effects of carbohydrate foods and type of fat should be considered for timing and dose of prandial insulin administration, the researchers wrote.

“This study shows for the first time that the type of fat significantly influences postprandial glycemic response in patients with type 1 diabetes.”

Diabetes, fats and carbohydrates

The study is limited by its small sample size, but it is compelling nonetheless. It adds to the growing body of low-carb research, being one of many studies to find that a diet low in refined carbohydrates and high in healthy, high-quality fats can be good for people with diabetes.

The findings are published in the journal Diabetes Care.