Diabetes type 2 risk increased by red meat

19 August 2011

Eating red meat leads to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, US researchers have warned.

In a meta-analysis of studies involving more than 440,000 men and women, the researchers found that a daily 100 gram serving of unprocessed meat was associated with a 19 per cent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Processed meat was associated with an even higher risk. Just 50 grams - one hot dog or 2 slices of bacon daily - was associated with a 51 per cent increased risk.

In contrast, people were able to lower their risk when red meat was replaced with healthier foods, the researchers said (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011; online 10 Aug).

Substituting one serving of red meat with one serving of whole grains was associated with a 23 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Other healthy substitutes included nuts (21 per cent lower risk) and low-fat dairy (17 per cent lower risk).

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