Mice Study Points to Role for Coconut Fat in Diabetes Prevention

September 21/Daily Mail/London -- A diet rich in coconut oil could ward off type 2 diabetes.

The oil, used in foods such as margarine, helps prevent insulin resistance. This is where muscle and fat cells stop reacting to insulin, the hormone that helps to mop up excess sugar in the blood.

Australian scientists used mice to compare the effects of coconut oil-rich foods with a lard-based diet, consumed by many in the developed world. The results showed coconut-fed mice were much less likely to develop resistance to insulin. Previously, coconut oil has had a mixed reception because it is high in saturated fat, which is linked to high cholesterol. However, coconut fat is now known to be made up of so-called medium-chain fatty acids, regarded as healthier than the long-chain fatty acids found in animal products such as butter or lard.  

From the September 28, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition