According to a research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, individuals who have a red meat intake of around 3.5 servings a week have 50% more chances of contracting type 2 diabetes. Some of the recent findings have also supported the Harvard theory of a positive link between diabetes and the increased consumption of red meat. Data from various studies have suggested that while eating more meat increases the risk of getting diabetes by around 23 percent, eating poultry exposes you to 15% more chances of contracting the disease. Let us understand the reasons behind these findings:
The meats are known to contain an element known as the heme-iron. This chemical is known to get stuck in the liver as well as the pancreas of the body. Heme iron is also known to adversely affect the cells that are responsible for the secretion of the important hormone insulin that mainly helps in regulating the level of blood glucose in the body. Non-heme iron is another element which also finds its place in these type of meats as well as poultry products. However, non-heme iron is also found in plants and can be regulated and controlled by the body easily as against the heme iron.
Besides, it is also to be noted that heme-iron is not the only element leading to a higher risk of diabetes in people consuming a lot of meat. Red meat and other types of meat and poultry products also contain other elements that promote the disease. These elements, however, need a lot of further study and investigation.
A few studies have also indicated that people who eat a lot of processed meats in the form of hot dogs, deli meats, as well as bologna, amongst others stand a higher chance of diabetes. The reason is the presence of omega-6’s and the mycotoxins which helps in the survival of bad bacteria. This, in turn, increases the chances of getting diabetes to a considerable extent.
The consumption of saturated fats, as well as animal fats, increase the chances of getting type 2 diabetes particularly. The red meat, as well as processed meat, should be substituted for a more Mediterranean diet.
So, the question which now arises is this: “Should you not eat meat at all if you are diabetic?” Well, to answer this question, you need not eliminate all types of meat from your diet completely. But you should definitely reduce the daily intake of the harmful meats. Besides, the parts which are rich in heme iron such as the chicken thighs, etc. should be consumed less as opposed to chicken breasts, amongst other parts which do not contain a lot of the harmful chemical. You can substitute the harmful meat products such as the red meat, with other items such as shellfish. finally, it is most imperative that you eat a healthy and balanced diet comprising the recommended quantity of essential nutrients as well as vegetables, nuts, and fruits.