Type 2 Diabetes risk increases with Daily consumption of Red Processed Meat Products and Red Meats

Bacon - credit: National Cancer Institute/Renee Comet (photographer) PD

(Best Syndication News) - Eating a diet high in processed red meat products and red meats could increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes concluded a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. Eating the processed meats, such as bacon, lunchmeats, and hot dogs on a daily basis could increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 51 percent, while daily red meat consumption increased the risk by 19 percent. The study is published in the today’s online edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The print version will be in the October issue.

On the other side, eating healthier proteins such as nuts, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products instead of red meat and processed red meats reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The lead researcher for this study was An Pan, who is a research fellow in the HSPH Department of Nutrition. Pan along with senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH and their colleagues, analyzed large data sets on diet in relationship to developing type 2 diabetes.

The researchers used data collected from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, the Nurses' Health Study I, and the Nurses' Health Study II. They also combined data from their new study to have a combined data on 442,101 participants over multiple studies. Out of these participants, 28,228 developed type 2 diabetes.

They found that one daily serving (50 grams) of processed meats such as one hot dog, a sausage, or two slices of bacon increased the risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 51 percent. A 100-gram serving of unprocessed red meat eaten daily could increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 19 percent. A 100-gram serving is around the size of a deck of cards.

Substituting the red meat or processed meat products with healthier options could reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Instead of one daily serving of red meat, substitute the protein with a serving of nuts. Doing so would reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 21 percent. Substituting with low-fat dairy instead of red meat would reduce the risk by 17 percent. Replacing the red meat with whole grains could reduce the risk by 23 percent.

The researchers point out that the processed meats contain high level of sodium and nitrites. They suggest opting for healthier protein choices such as low-fat dairy, nuts, fish, or beans.

By: Marsha Quinn



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