Hans Diehl, DrHSc, MPH
In a large new study, scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the more red meat a person eats, particularly processed red meat like hot dogs, bacon, and cold cuts, the greater the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The research, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tracked the dietary habits of 200,000+ men and women for a decade or more, and found:
- A mere 2-ounce serving a day of processed red meat increased the risk of diabetes by 50%.
- A 4-ounce serving a day of unprocessed red meat (such as steak, hamburger, and pork) was linked with a 20% increased risk of diabetes.
- Eliminating just one serving of red meat a day and eating instead a healthful protein-rich substitute like beans lowered the risk of diabetes by up to 35%.
The scientists, led by Harvard research fellow Dr. An Pan, stressed the need for Americans to fight the relentless upward trajectory of diabetes by adopting a healthier lifestyle. That would include eating more whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (beans and lentils), daily physical activity, and loss of excess weight.