Several studies have suggested that eating too much red and processed meats can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes
Our body needs protein to build and repair bones, muscles, skin and blood. We also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals essential for proper body functioning.
Red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, beans and peas, soy products, nuts and seeds are considered part of the protein food group.
Several studies,, have suggested that eating too much red and processed meats can increase your risk of
Type 2 diabetes. Red meat includes pork, beef, mutton and veal. Processed meats are meats that are preserved by curing, salting, smoking, drying or canning. Hot dogs, bacon, ham, sausages, corned beef and canned luncheon meat are examples of processed meats.
In one study, researchers observed a group of middle-aged men and women for four years. They found that those who increased their red meat intake by half a serving a day had a 48 percent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than if they had not changed their diet. Those who reduced their red meat intake, on the other hand, had a lower risk.
Processed red meat is especially bad for your health. It is believed that the preservatives, additives and chemicals (e.g. nitrites, nitrates) that are added to the meat during manufacturing can harm your pancreas (organ that produces insulin) and increase insulin resistance.
As red meat is a source of
cholesterol, animal protein and haem-iron (iron containing substance), scientists suspect these substances in red meat may also contribute to the increased diabetes risk. How and why this is so is still unclear. Some think that iron overload in the body can promote insulin resistance and raise blood glucose levels.
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variety and nutrition to your meal plan by varying the type of protein you eat. Using
My Healthy Plate, fill a quarter of your plate with quality protein-rich foods such as:
Build a Healthy Food Foundation
Red meat is rich in vitamins and essential minerals. Just because red meat consumption is linked to higher diabetes risk does not mean you have to give it up.
Here are healthier ways to include red meat in your diet:
Is It Healthier to Go Vegetarian?
Try a meatless meal or two during the week using plant-based proteins like beans, peas, lentils, tofu and tempeh. Plant-based proteins and fats can provide health benefits. Going meatless occasionally can be kind to your wallet and good for the planet. It takes a lot more energy to grow animal meat for protein than plants.
Soy - Unique Plant Protein
To lower your risk of diabetes, go easy on red meat. Adopt healthy eating habits to give your body the nutrients it needs. Check out these
healthy recipes to whip up your next meal.
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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