Red meat can increase risk of diabetes, according to study

Thu, 11 Aug 2011
New research on the effect of consuming red meat on the risk of diabetes, has found that eating only one serving per day of red meat could raise the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analysed dietary information of over 200,000 participants, and found that eating unprocessed meat, such as steak, hamburgers or pork chops, could increase diabetes risk by up to 20 per cent for people who consume at least four ounces per day, as compared to people who ate that amount only once a week.

It is believed that the high amount of iron in red meat can increase inflammatory chemicals, which in turn can destroy insulin-producing beta cells. Also, the nitrates in the processed meats could be toxic to beta cells, and therefore indicate why such meats contributed even more to the risk.

Co-author of the study, Frank Hu, also commented "We found that one serving per day of processed meat like a hot dog or sausage was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of diabetes" compared with those who ate processed meat less than once a month."

The study also revealed that people who ate a lot of red meat were more likely to eat less fruits and vegetables and were more likely to be obese and smoke. However, the scientists warned that it was difficult to know all the variables involved, and that these observed associations did not necessarily mean causation.
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