Both the high monounsaturated fat and the high carb diet can help manage weight and control blood sugar levels - as long as the calories consumed are kept low, say researchers from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Monounsaturated fatty acids are heart healthy fats found foods like olive oil, almonds and avocado.
In this new study, 124 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes were assigned to either high monounsaturated fat diet or a high carb diet for one year.
Both diets were designed to provide 200-300 calories per day less than what the average participant was consuming at the start of the study.
After one year, both diets resulted in similar amounts of weight loss.
There were also similar improvements in other markers of heart health such as waist circumference, blood pressure, blood levels of "good" HDL cholesterol - and blood sugar control.
After 18 months, weight loss and improved blood sugar control were maintained all the study participants.
These are important findings for people who are trying to manage type 2 diabetes by following the low-fat healthy eating recommendations of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
So long as calories are reduced, people with diabetes can choose a diet that's high in monounsaturated fat or high in carbohydrates and still maintain healthy blood sugar control and weight loss.
If you choose a high monounsaturated fat diet, keep in mind all fat contains 9 calories per gram while one gram of carbohydrate provides 4 calories.
For help with managing type 2 diabetes, check out nutrition counselling with Leslie Beck, RD.
This study was published in the February 2009 issue of Diabetes Care.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.