• high monounsaturated fatty acid diet;
  • Type 2 diabetes;
  • weight loss


Aims  The aim of our study was to compare the influence of a hypocaloric, high-fat diet enriched with MUFA (M) and conventional diet (C) on weight loss and metabolic parameters in obese non-diabetic and obese Type 2 diabetic subjects over a 3-month period. It was our hypothesis that the enriched diet would be more effective in decreasing blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) than the control diet.

Methods  Twenty-seven Type 2 diabetic patients (54.5 ± 3.5 years; DM), treated with diet or oral glucose-lowering agents, and 31 obese non-diabetic subjects (53.6 ± 3.5 years; OB) were randomized to M or C. Individual calculations of energy requirements were based on the formula: [resting energy expenditure (REE) × 1.5] − 600 kcal. Subjects were assessed by a dietitian every 2 weeks and by a physician every month. Statistical analyses were carried out between the four groups—DM/M, DM/C, OB/M and OB/C—using pair Student's test and anova.

Results  After 3 months, body weight, waist–hip ratio, total body fat, levels of C-peptide, triglycerides and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) decreased in all four groups (P < 0.01). However, fasting blood glucose and HbA1c decreased (P < 0.01) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased significantly only in the DM/M group (P < 0.05). In general, M was well tolerated.

Conclusions  Individualized M and C diets were successful in improving metabolic and anthropometric parameters in both the obese non-diabetic and the Type 2 diabetic subjects. Although the superiority of the higher fat diet did not reach statistical significance, the decline in blood glucose and HbA1c in the Type 2 diabetic group on M was encouraging.