A new study conducted by Harvard University, which analyzed the eating habits and diabetes rates of 200,000 people, shows that it is necessary to consume red meat sparingly. According to scientists, eating two servings of red meat per week can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 62%.
Furthermore, the research concluded that each additional daily serving of processed meat was associated with a 46% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While each additional daily serving of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 24% greater risk.
Noting the results published in the scientific journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers wrote that the ideal consumption is one serving of this type of meat per week.
“Our findings strongly support dietary guidelines that recommend limiting red meat consumption, and this applies to both processed and unprocessed red meat,” said first author Xiao Guo, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Nutrition.
The researchers classified a serving of processed red meat as between 28 grams and 45 grams, while the serving of unprocessed red meat was 85 grams.
The health records and eating patterns of more than 200,000 people, who answered questionnaires about their eating habits every two to four years for 36 years, were examined. During this period, more than 22,000 participants developed type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, the alternative offered by the researchers is to change the menu to focus on other sources of protein, such as nuts, chickpeas or beans, which are able to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%.
In the study, the main reason for the association between red meat and increased risk of diabetes was not discovered. Although red meat is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc and vitamin B, it also contains large amounts of sodium and saturated fat.
Moreover, those that undergo industrial processing receive a large amount of additives and added preservatives, among other chemicals. Furthermore, according to the researchers, replacing red meat with healthy sources of plant proteins can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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