Certain foods boost inflammation and diabetes risk

February 13, 2009 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Certain foods boost inflammation and diabetes risk
People who eat plenty of red meat, refined grains, cheese and certain other foods may have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research hints.

The study results also suggest that these foods promote diabetes, in part, by increasing inflammation in the body.

Type 2 diabetes is closely associated with obesity, and it's known that maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced healthy diet and regular exercise can prevent as many as 9 in cases of the disease.

However, there is also evidence that people with high levels of certain inflammation-related proteins in their blood have an elevated diabetes risk -- independent of their body weight.

For the new study, researchers the University of South Carolina in Columbia looked at the association between overall diet patterns and blood levels of two proteins that are markers of system-wide inflammation: plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and fibrinogen.

They found that among 880 middle-aged adults, those who ate large amounts of certain foods -- red meat, cheese, refined grains, tomato products, eggs and fried potatoes -- tended to have higher levels of these proteins.

What's more, they faced a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes over five years. Compared with adults who ate the implicated foods least often, those with the highest intake were four times more likely to develop diabetes.

The findings suggest that increased inflammation is one reason this particular dietary pattern raises a person's diabetes risk.

A diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and healthy sources of fat like olive oil and nuts is preferable and may lower diabetes risk.

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.