Amount and Type of Dietary Fat, Postprandial Glycemia, and Insulin Requirements in Type 1 Diabetes: A Randomized Within-Subject Trial


The American Diabetes Association recommends individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) adjust insulin for dietary fat; however, optimal adjustments are not known. This study aimed to determine 1) the relationship between the amount and type of dietary fat and glycemia and 2) the optimal insulin adjustments for dietary fat.


Adults with T1D using insulin pump therapy attended the research clinic on 9–12 occasions. On the first six visits, participants consumed meals containing 45 g carbohydrate with 0 g, 20 g, 40 g, or 60 g fat and either saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat. Insulin was dosed using individual insulin/carbohydrate ratio as a dual-wave 50/50% over 2 h. On subsequent visits, participants repeated the 20–60-g fat meals with the insulin dose estimated using a model predictive bolus, up to twice per meal, until glycemic control was achieved.


With the same insulin dose, increasing the amount of fat resulted in a significant dose-dependent reduction in incremental area under the curve for glucose (iAUCglucose) in the early postprandial period (0–2 h; P = 0.008) and increase in iAUCglucose in the late postprandial period (2–5 h; P = 0.004). The type of fat made no significant difference to the 5-h iAUCglucose. To achieve glycemic control, on average participants required dual-wave insulin bolus: for 20 g fat, +6% insulin, 74/26% over 73 min; 40 g fat, +6% insulin, 63/37% over 75 min; and 60 g fat, +21% insulin, 49/51% over 105 min.


This study provides clinical guidance for mealtime insulin dosing recommendations for dietary fat in T1D.

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