Red meat and your risk of diabetes

Substitute other proteins for red meat to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

According to a study conducted through the Harvard School of Public Health, substituting other proteins for red meat can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 16% to 35%. This also study reported that eating four ounces of red meat daily increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 19%. Eating processed meat in the form of only two ounces a day, which is about one hotdog or two strips of bacon, was associated with a 51% greater risk. Processed meat is defined as meat that has been treated for longer-term preservation and later consumption through smoking, curing, salting or adding chemicals such as sodium nitrite. This includes meats like bacon, hotdogs, bologna and sausage to name a few.

This study is the first to not only link meat consumption with diabetes but it also calculated the benefits of eating other proteins in place of red meat such as nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish and poultry. There are several ways that meat consumption can contribute to diabetes. According to researchers, the nitrates and preservatives in processed meats can damage cells in the pancreas which is involved in insulin production. Red meat contains a high amount of “heme” iron, which can contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation.

So, how much red meat is too much? Researchers suggest limiting processed and processed meat to one serving a week and limiting unprocessed red meat to two or three weekly servings. Substitute nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy such as yogurt for red meat. Including vegetables and fruits into the diet are also good ways to help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. Incorporating physical activity on a regular basis is also a great choice to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

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