Eating meat increases diabetes risk: Study

Eating meat increases diabetes risk: Study

Eating too much red meat and poultry may increase risk of developing diabetes, a large Asian study suggests.

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According to a study:

  • The study, partially attributes the risk to the higher content of heme iron in these meats.
  • The results suggest that eating fish/shellfish is not associated with risk of diabetes.
  • It recruited 63,257 adults aged 45-74 years between 1993 and 1998.
  • And then followed them up for an average of about 11 years.
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  • In their analysis, researchers found a positive association between intakes of red meat and poultry, and risk of developing diabetes.
  • Specifically, compared to those in the lowest quartile intake.
  • Those in the highest quartile intake of red meat and poultry had a 23 per cent and 15 per cent increase in risk of diabetes, respectively.
  • The increase in risk associated with red meat/poultry was reduced by substituting them with fish/shellfish, the study showed.
  • In trying to understand the underlying mechanism for the role of red meat and poultry in the development of diabetes.
  • The study also investigated the association between dietary heme-iron content from all meats and the risk of diabetes.
  • And found a dose-dependent positive association.

Study suggests:

  • After adjusting for heme-iron content in the diet, the red-meat and diabetes association was still present.
  • Suggesting that other chemicals present in red meat could be accountable for the increase in risk of diabetes.
  • Conversely, the association between poultry intake and diabetes risk became null.
  • In addition,suggesting that this risk was attributable to the heme-iron content in poultry.
  • The study suggests that chicken parts with lower heme-iron contents such as breast meat, compared to thighs, could be healthier.

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