To assess the effects of two controlled diets, one rich in oleic acid obtained from avocado and olive oil and the other rich in complex carbohydrates, on fasting and postprandial serum lipids and glycemic control in 12 women with NIDDM.


A randomized crossover study was designed. During a 4-week baseline period, all patients received the isocaloric diets recommended by the American Diabetes Association. After this period the patients were randomly assigned to receive the two study diets alternately during two 4-week periods. One diet was high in monounsaturated fatty acids (HMUFA) and the other was high in complex carbohydrates (high-CHO). There also was a 4-week washout period in between the two 4-week periods during which the patients followed the American Diabetes Association's isocaloric diet. Blood samples were obtained before and after each dietary period.


Both diets had a minor hypocholesterolemic effect with no major changes in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The HMUFA diet was associated with a greater decrement in plasma triglycerides (20 vs. 7% in the high-CHO diet). Glycemic control was similar with both diets.


Partial replacement of complex digestible carbohydrates with monounsaturated fatty acids (avocado as one of its main sources) in the diet of patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus improves the lipid profile favorably, mantains an adequate glycemic control, and offers a good management alternative.

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