FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Intake of red meat is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Xiao Gu, Ph.D., from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the associations of intake of red meat with the risk for T2D in a study involving 216,695 participants from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), NHS II, and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Semiquantitative food frequency questionnaires were used to assess red meat intake every two to four years.
The researchers documented 22,761 T2D cases over 5,483,981 person-years of follow-up. Positive and approximately linear associations were seen for intakes of total, processed, and unprocessed red meat with higher risks for T2D. Hazard ratios were 1.62, 1.51, and 1.40 for the highest versus the lowest quintiles of total red meat, processed red meat, and unprocessed red meat, respectively. Substitution of one serving/day of nuts and legumes for total, processed, and unprocessed red meat was associated with a lower risk for T2D (hazard ratios, 0.70, 0.59, and 0.71, respectively). A significantly lower risk for T2D was also seen in association with substitution of one serving/day of dairy for total, processed, or unprocessed red meat. After calibration of dietary intakes assessed by weighted diet records, the observed associations became stronger.
“Our findings strongly support dietary guidelines that recommend limiting the consumption of red meat, and this applies to both processed and unprocessed red meat,” Gu said in a statement.
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