Diabetes from Hamburgers?

Last week, the media was abuzz with a recent study: Changes in Red Meat Consumption and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, published in JAMA. Since my last post was addressing knowing your diabetes risk, this is a nice follow up, so I will jump on the bandwagon.

The study involved several separate groups: over 26,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow Up Study, nearly 50,000 women in the Nurses Health Study and around 74,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Dietary choices were tracked with validated food records updated every four years.

What did they find? People who increased their red meat intake during a four year interval had a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes in the next four years. In fact, adding only a half serving of meat per day was associated with a 48% elevated risk, and on the flip side- DECREASING your red meat intake by more than a half serving per day was associated with a 14% DECREASE risk of developing diabetes over the next four years.

Did eating those extra steaks and burgers (and maybe the baked potato and fries on the side) just make people gain weight, and because of the weight gain, then develop diabetes? Researches agree that this theory played a role, but only partly explained the significant changes.

BOTTOM LINE: Significantly lowering your average daily red meat consumption appears to decrease your risk of developing diabetes. Take it a step further, and REPLACE that red meat with some colorful vegetables, and you will really give yourself a healthy push!

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