Red Meat Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

Help Significantly Decrease Your Risk

A new study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers finds a strong association between the consumption of red meat—particularly processed meat—and an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. They analyzed questionnaire responses from 37,083 men, spanning 20 years; 79,570 women, covering 28 years; and 87,504 women for 14 years.

The researchers also conducted an updated meta-analysis that combined data from their new study with earlier ones involving more than 442,000 participants, 28,228 of which developed Type 2 diabetes. After adjusting for age, body mass index and other lifestyle and dietary risk factors, they concluded that a daily 100-gram serving of unprocessed red meat (about the size  of a deck of cards) was associated with a 19 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

They also found that one daily serving of half that quantity of processed meat, or 50 grams—equivalent to one hot dog or sausage or two slices of bacon—was associated with a 51 percent increased risk. According to the study, replacing red meat with healthier proteins can significantly lower the risk.

The researchers concluded that the consumption of processed meats, such as hot dogs, bacon, sausage and deli meats, which usually contain high levels of sodium and nitrites, should be minimized. They recommend that people eat less unprocessed red meat and instead suggest healthier choices like nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish and beans.

Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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