Studies suggest that eating red and processed meats daily can increase our risk of developing this chronic disease.
Can’t imagine watching sports without enjoying a hot dog?
Recent studies suggest that consuming red meat and processed meats every day can increase your risk of developing type-2 diabetes. According to USA Today, in a large-scale study, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health looked at data from over 440,000 men and women and they found the following:
— A 2-ounce serving a day of processed meat (hot dog, bacon, salami or bologna) increased the risk of diabetes by 50%.
— A 4-ounce serving a day (the size of a deck of cards) of unprocessed red meat such as hamburger, steak, pork or lamb was associated with a 20% increased risk of diabetes.
— Substituting nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy such as yogurt for a serving a day of these types of processed or unprocessed meats lowers the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 16% to 35%.
Past studies have found similar results, but this was the first large study showing that unprocessed meat was a huge factor in developing diabetes. Lead researcher Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health told USA Today, “Clearly, processed meat is much worse than unprocessed meat for raising the risk, but unprocessed red meat is not benign.” He added, “This is the largest and most convincing data accumulated so far.”
And by no means are researchers saying this is the only factor that increases our chances of developing diabetes — genetics, weight, poor diet and not exercising are also to blame. However, it’s the meat we consume — high in sodium and nitrates (preservatives used to keep meat from spoiling) — that play a negative role in our health.
And African-Americans are no strangers to diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 15 percent of all African-Americans who are 20 and older have diabetes; 25% of African-Americans between the ages of 65 and 74; and 25% of African-American women over 55. Diabetes can lead to other serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputations, nerve damage and even death.
To learn ways to reduce your chance of developing diabetes, click here. And for meatless recipes, check out our Meatless Monday recipes on BET.com every Monday!