Do Diets High In Red Meat Lead To Diabetes?

Diets High In Red Meat Are Proven To Increase Diabetes Risk

Type 2 diabetes (also known as adult-onset diabetes) is a disease of epidemic proportions. According to a World Health Organization Fact Sheet from 2017, the occurrence of diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. What is the cause such a rapid rise of this deadly chronic disease in less than 30 years? Surprisingly, the answer can be as simple as being aware of the connection between diabetes & dieting with particular emphasis on avoiding red meat. Red meat turns up surprisingly often even in menu choices that claim to be “light and healthy”.

It is important to keep in mind that various causes have contributed to the diabetes epidemic. The most prominent factor is the change in the typical daily food choices that are available to both adults and children. Processed foods, which are high in saturated fat, sugar, cholesterol, and sodium (all of which contribute to diabetes)are now consumed regularly rather than occasionally. A fundamental shift in the average diet has arisen in the past several decades– most especially the modern need for fast and convenient food choices instead of whole, nutritious meals prepared at home. Also, the proliferation of a sedentary lifestyle dominated by passive activity, such as driving rather than walking or sitting at a desk all day rather than being in regular motion, has only added to the dietary diabetes risks.

The symptoms of diabetes are not always evident until the disease has progressed enough to have caused irreversible damage to the body’s organs–especially the kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves. Diabetes is a leading cause of death from heart disease and stroke. Once a physician makes a diabetes diagnosis, the consequences are a life-long commitment to toxic medications that can potentially cause further harm to the body’s organs than the disease itself. There is no cure for diabetes. Developing a nutrition plan that limits or eliminates red meat is proven to decrease diabetes risk.

A study published by the Harvard School of Public Health in 2012 directly links eating red meat as a significant factor in the risk of developing diabetes. A diet that consists of just one serving of red meat, as small as a deck of cards, per day increased the risk of developing diabetes by 19%. Daily consumption of processed red meat, such as bacon, pepperoni, and hot dogs multiplied the chances of developing diabetes by a whopping 51%! A diet consisting of red meat, accompanied by a sedentary lifestyle, along with being overweight, is the secret sauce to becoming an epidemiological statistic.

The causes of diabetes are, for the most part, preventable with careful attention to diet and lifestyle. Red meat, which is high in saturated fat, sodium, and nitrates should not be a part of any nutrition plan for a person who has or wishes to avoid diabetes. Diabetes & dieting go hand in hand. One must be mindful of food choices, especially while on-the-go. Those three pieces of bacon on a roast beef deli sandwich may be tempting, but that is too much red meat for one person for an entire year!

According to the Harvard School of Public Health study referenced above, a nutrition plan that prevents disease while promoting optimum well-being requires some forethought but is simple to follow. A healthy plate emphasizes the substitution of meat (especially processed meat)with healthy proteins including fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, and nuts. Ideally, red meat should be eliminated altogether.