Type 2 diabetes is one of the most prevalent health complications in the United States, affecting over 20 million citizens and costing billions of dollars. As a result of this disease being one of the leading causes of death in the United States, it has forced millions of people to be hospitalized. Type 2 diabetes is common among people who are obese, have high fat diets, and fail to exercise.
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The disease occurs due to inefficient usage and production of insulin and beta cell dysfunction. Glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity are both contributing factors to impaired function of beta cells and beta cell turnover. When tested, saturated fats had detrimental effects on insulin sensitivity and beta cell function, whereas monounsaturated fats prompted beta cell proliferation and increased insulin sensitivity. In the test meals with saturated fats, the insulin sensitivity decreased and beta cell function decreased. Diets containing high amounts of saturated fatty acids significantly increases one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The study of the structural elements of fatty acids and their impact on the human body is one of the most enigmatic, yet critical research fields in nutrition. It is essential to have fat in one’s diet in order to assist the body’s ability to absorb fat soluble vitamins and go through vital processes such as membrane synthesis, protein and carbohydrate modification, construct structural elements in cells, and produce signaling compounds. Although fats play a critical role in one’s health, certain fats can be detrimental to the body, leading to beta cell dysfunction, insulin resistance, obesity, and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes. The development of type 2 diabetes is an extremely prominent health issue for citizens of the United States; it is a chronic issue in which the body is unable to use the available insulin it produces efficiently. Insulin is an essential hormone produced by pancreatic islets that help the body use digested food for its metabolic needs. Approximately 23.1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, costing over 245 billion dollars annually .
What are saturated fats and where can they be found in our diets?
From a chemical standpoint, Saturated fats are fats that are solid at room temperature and do not contain double bonds between their carbon molecules. This is because they are saturated with hydrogen molecules. High concentrations of saturated fatty acids are primarily found in animal products, however, a few plant products also contain them. Suggesting that these fats can be detrimental to one’s health, the biggest sources of these fats that cause a concern for citizen in the United States include but are not limited to, pizza, cheese, milk, butter, dairy desserts, meat products, cookies, and fast food dishes.
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