Red, processed meat linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes

Source: USA Today

Skip the hot dogs, hold the bacon and forget the sausage.

Eating processed meats and red meat regularly increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, a large new study shows.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Healthanalyzed dietary-intake data from more than 200,000 men and women in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Studies. The participants have been tracked for a decade or more.

The scientists also did a larger analysis, combining their data and that from other published studies to analyze the diets of 442,101 people. About 28,000 of these people developed type 2 diabetes.

The researchers adjusted for the participants’ age, weight, physical activity level, smoking, family history of diabetes and other dietary and lifestyle factors. Their findings are published today online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

•A 2-ounce serving a day of processed meat (hot dog, bacon, salami or bologna) increased the risk of diabetes by 50%.

•A 4-ounce serving a day (the size of a deck of cards) of unprocessed red meat such as hamburger, steak, pork or lamb was associated with a 20% increased risk of diabetes.

•Substituting nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy such as yogurt for a serving a day of these types of processed or unprocessed meats lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 16% to 35%, the analysis showed.

“Many previous studies have shown the link between processed meats and diabetes, but this is one of the first (large studies) to show that unprocessed red meat is a significant risk factor,” says senior author Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Categories: Health

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