A small dose of a common cooking oil may have big benefits for individuals who are overweight and have diabetes, according to Ohio State University researchers.
In a study that was published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, a team of scientists found that obese, postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes had reduced belly fat, healthier cholesterol levels, lower rates of blood pressure, less inflammation, more stable blood sugar levels and normalized insulin resistance after 18 months of taking daily supplements of safflower oil.
The oil is rich in linoleic acid, which is a polyunsaturated fatty acid.
"The women in the study didn't replace what was in their diet with safflower oil. They added it to what they were already doing. And that says to me that certain people need a little more of this type of good fat — particularly when they're obese women who already have diabetes," said Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
The women in the study supplemented their diets with 1 2/3 teaspoons. Individuals could use safflower oil in salad dressing, sauces or in place of other cooking oils.