Quiz: Which Foods Affect Diabetes?

Veronique Duqueroy


August 20, 2014

A diet rich in red meat has been associated with a higher risk for T2DM,[18] as well as gestational diabetes.[19] Of note, limiting red meat consumption over time is linked to a lower incidence of diabetes. Research based on 3 large prospective US cohorts showed that reducing red meat intake by more than half a serving per day over 4 years was associated with a 14% reduced risk for T2DM during the following 12-16 years. The association was even greater for processed red meat compared with unprocessed meat.[20]

The correlation between red meat consumption and high risk for diabetes may be mediated in part by body weight. Red meat also contains high levels of saturated fat, heme iron, L-carnitine, preservatives, and sodium, which can all be involved in insulin resistance and metabolic changes.[21]

In summary: Reducing the consumption of unprocessed red meat (beef, lamb, and pork) and processed meat (bacon, sausage, and delicatessen meats) over time, by switching to plant-based foods and more fish and poultry, confers benefits for T2DM prevention.


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