Eating red meat twice a week may increase type 2 diabetes risk: Study
The chances of a person developing type 2 diabetes can increase even if they eat red meat just two times a week instead of an alternative option, researchers have said.
Replacing red meat with plant-based protein sources, such as nuts and legumes, may reduce the chances of developing the condition and would also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change, according to experts at Harvard University.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the world’s fastest growing major health threats. Its prevalence has risen sharply everywhere in the last three decades, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 400 million people have been diagnosed, but millions more are estimated to be in the dark about the fact they have the condition. It is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
Research increasingly suggests that one of the main things you can to do lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, as well maintaining a healthy weight, is improve your diet.
Previous studies have indicated a link between red meat consumption and type 2 diabetes risk, but researchers say new research by Harvard adds a greater level of certainty about the association.
In the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers looked at health data from 216,695 people from the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) in the US.
People were asked to complete questionnaires about their diet every two to four years, for up to 36 years. During this time, more than 22,000 of them developed type 2 diabetes.
Those who ate the most red meat had a 62% higher risk of developing the condition compared with those who ate the least.
The research suggests that every additional daily serving of processed red meat was associated with a 46% greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Every additional daily serving of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 24% greater risk, the study found.