Red meat raises diabetes risk
Another strike against red meat: Eating too much of it appears to raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In a study from the National University of Singapore, people whose red meat consumption rose by more than a half a serving per day had a 48 percent higher risk of developing diabetes during the subsequent four years. As meat intake went down a half serving per day, the risk of diabetes dropped by 14 percent over the next four years.
Where previous studies have analyzed red meat consumption at one time, this study sought to follow people over a period of time, accounting for changes in eating patterns. The research included three follow-up studies involving 149,000 people, and participants were asked to fill out food frequency questionnaires. From that group, 7,540 cases of type 2 diabetes were identified.
The researchers used a four-year interval to evaluate the study participants' consumption of red meat and how it affected their health. They found a clear correlation between increase in red meat consumption and a higher diabetes risk, although the study’s authors caution that this does not imply that red meat causes type 2 diabetes.
Previous studies have shown that red meat leads to a higher risk of heart problems and can also increase the risk of premature death. Other research has found that frequent red meat consumption is associated with an increased occurrence of age-related macular degeneration.