Red and processed meats increase risk of diabetes

November 10, 2004 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Red and processed meats increase risk of diabetes

Red meats and processed meats such as hot dogs appear to increase the risk of diabetes, as does a heavily "Western" diet, according to new research released this week.

U.S. investigators found that people that ate mostly Western foods - including sweets, French fries, refined grains such as white bread, and red and processed meats - were nearly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes over a 14-year period than people who ate minimal amounts of Western-type foods.

Breaking down the diet into its parts, the researchers found that the more red and processed meats people ate, the more their risk of diabetes increased. For instance, each additional daily serving of red meat increased a person's risk of diabetes by 26 percent; adding another serving of processed meat upped their chances of the disease by nearly 40 percent.

These findings suggest that people should eat processed meats "as little as possible," and "very little" red meat, said the researchers. They explained that when many processed and red meats and other high fat foods are cooked at high temperatures, they form substances that appear to help trigger the development of diabetes.

The study focused on type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the condition that is associated with obesity.  To investigate, the researchers analyzed data on almost 70,000 women who were followed for 14 years.

The researchers also found that women who followed a largely so-called "prudent" diet -- consisting of high amounts of fish, legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains -- the risk of diabetes appeared to decrease.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.