Meat Lovers Watch Out! Red Meat and Poultry Can Increase the Risk of Diabetes

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According to recent findings, a diet full of poultry and red meat may increase the risk of developing diabetes. Duke-NUS Medical School conducted a research about this problem and released their findings on Tuesday, September 5.

The people who took part in their study consumed a huge amount of red meat. They had a 23% more chance to develop diabetes compared to the people who consumed less red meat. Moreover, the ones who love poultry had a 15% more chance to develop diabetes in the future.

As a result, their blood sugar levels were out of balance, compared to the people who consumed only chicken meat. The reason behind this sudden increase of blood sugar is because of the dietary heme-iron.

It is a common part in these meats, red or dark. Such an examples are beef and pork. Plus, they contain a huge amount of the protein called myoglobin which transports the heme-iron for binding the oxygen.

How to Recognize Heme-Iron in Meats?

The darker the meat is, the more myoglobin it has. Therefore, you can recognize it in chicken as well. Some parts of this meat, for example, the thighs, have darker meat. So, it contains myoglobin.

In addition, if you consume too much heme-iron it will collect in the liver and cause oxidative stress. This substance can affect other cells in the pancreas as well. These cells are important for the secretion of insulin and regulation of the blood sugar levels.

But, that is not all. Meat is not the only one that contains heme-iron, plant-based foods have it as well. These foods are the ones that can help regulate the body more easily. They are nuts and fruits.

Important Final Results

During a Duke-NUS study 45,411 Chinese citizens, who are permanent residents in Singapore, participated in a questionnaire about meat.

These participants were between the age of 45 and 74. Plus, the recruitment lasted from 1993 until 2010. The researchers covered 165 food items and 33 types of meat. The senior author of the study from Duke-NUS Medical School, Professor Koh Woon Puay came up with the results.

She believes that people shouldn’t remove meat from their diet completely. Instead, they should only reduce the daily intake. More accurately, they shouldn’t eat a huge amount of red meat, fish, chicken breast, plant-based protein foods, shellfish and dairy products.

However, this only applies to the people who are at risk of developing diabetes.

Source: Singapore | Science Daily | Diabetes UK

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