The influence of dietary fat on insulin resistance

Curr Diab Rep. 2002 Oct;2(5):435-40. doi: 10.1007/s11892-002-0098-y.


Dietary fat has been implicated in the development of insulin resistance in both animals and humans. Most, although not all, studies suggest that higher levels of total fat in the diet result in greater whole-body insulin resistance. Although, in practice, obesity may complicate the relationship between fat intake and insulin resistance, clinical trials demonstrate that high levels of dietary fat can impair insulin sensitivity independent of body weight changes. In addition, it appears that different types of fat have different effects on insulin action. Saturated and certain monounsaturated fats have been implicated in causing insulin resistance, whereas polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids largely do not appear to have adverse effects on insulin action. Given the importance of insulin resistance in the development of diabetes and heart disease, establishing appropriate levels of fat in the diet is an important clinical goal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3