Meat Lovers At Heightened Risk Of Type II Diabetes, Study Shows

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Consuming just two servings of red meat per week may increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The risk of developing diabetes seems to rise with higher red meat consumption, which is prevalent in Western diets.

Meat consumption increases type II diabetes risk 

The research, featured in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, indicates that replacing red meat with plant-based protein sources such as nuts and legumes may lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, as demonstrated by a reduced risk when transitioning to these alternatives, including moderate dairy consumption.

First study author Xiao Gu said that the research findings endorse dietary guidelines advising the restriction of red meat consumption, whether it is processed or unprocessed.

Recent research has provided more conclusive evidence regarding the link between red meat consumption and the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This study analyzed a substantial number of Type 2 diabetes cases over an extended period, shedding light on the global rise in Type 2 diabetes rates. This increase is a major concern for healthcare experts as diabetes not only presents significant health challenges but also elevates the risk of kidney and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and dementia.

Replacing red meat with legumes and nuts reduces diabetes risk

In a study involving 216,695 participants over 36 years, researchers found a strong link between red meat consumption, both processed and unprocessed, and the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The study revealed that individuals consuming the most red meat had a 62% higher risk compared to those who consumed the least. An additional daily serving of processed red meat was associated with a 46% higher risk, and an extra serving of unprocessed meat correlated with a 24% increased risk.

According to senior author professor Walter Willett, replacing one daily serving of red meat with nuts and legumes can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 30%, while swapping it for dairy products leads to a 22% decrease. The research suggests that limiting red meat consumption to about one serving per week is a reasonable approach for better health.

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