Red & Processed Meats Linked To Diabetes Risk

meat section in grocery store( — Red meat, particularly processed red meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, may increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The more processed or unprocessed red meat a person eats, the greater the risk, according to a new study.

Type 2 diabetes is linked with obesity. It occurs when they body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the cells do not use insulin properly. Insulin helps the body use glucose or blood sugar for energy. When blood sugar remains elevated with diabetes, complications such as heart disease, blindness, and nerve and kidney damage can occur.

In the study, participants who ate one 3.5-ounce serving of non-processed red meat a day, such as steak or hamburger, were almost 20% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Those who ate half of this amount of processed meat, such as two slices of bacon or one hot dog, had a 51% increased risk for developing diabetes.

Less Red Meat on the Plate

Exactly how red and processed meat may affect diabetes risk is unknown. For processed meat, the high amount of nitrate preservatives may increase risk for insulin resistance a pre-diabetes condition that occurs when the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin.

What’s more, red meats also contain high amounts of iron, and high total body iron stores have been associated with an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the study researchers. Consumption of processed meat and red meat should be minimized as much as possible. It should not be the center food of your plate.

Instead, load your plate with healthy sources of protein, such as low-fat dairy, whole grains, and poultry and fish. Your dietary pattern has to change from a red meat-based diet to a more diverse protein-based diet. Red and processed meats have also been linked to heart disease and certain cancers.