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Animal fats and gestational diabetes

Am J Clin Nutr 2012; 95: 446-453

Women who eat greater amounts of animal fat and cholesterol before becoming pregnant have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes according to the results of the prospective Nurses' Health Study II.

Of 13,475 women who reported a singleton pregnancy between 1991 and 2001, 860 cases of gestational diabetes were reported.

High animal fat and cholesterol intakes were significantly associated with increased risk of gestational diabetes. In the women who had the highest 20 per cent of animal fat consumption, the relative risk of developing gestational diabetes was 1.88 (95 per cent confidence interval (CI) 1.36-2.60) and in the women who had the highest 20 per cent of dietary cholesterol intake the relative risk was 1.45 (95% CI 1.11-1.89). The substitution of 5 per cent of energy from animal fat in place of an equal percentage from carbohydrates was associated with a significantly increased risk of (P<0.0001). No significant associations were seen among dietary polyunsaturated, monunsaturated or trans fat intakes and gestational diabetes risk.

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