Meat and animal protein linked to diabetes yet again in another massive study

The whole myth that “diabetes is all about carbohydrates” is simply not true.

“Generally people associate high-fat and high-carbohydrate diets with diabetes risk, but this study underscores that protein is an important nutrient to consider as well.  As a general rule, I would suggest to eat normal portions of red meat not more than two times per week...”
Paolo Magni, the Institute of Endocrinology at the University of Milan in Italy, April 2014.

“Several previous studies have found that higher intake of total protein, especially animal protein, are associated with long-term risk of developing diabetes.  Substantial amounts of animal protein come from red meat and processed meat, which have been consistently associated with increased risk of diabetes.  Pay attention to both quantity and food sources of protein.  It’s probably a good idea for people with a family history of diabetes to replace at least some red meat with nuts, legumes or whole grains.  In other studies, plant protein sources such as nuts, legumes and whole grains have been associated with lower risk of diabetes.  Therefore, replacing red meat and processed meat with plant sources of protein is important for diabetes prevention”
Dr. Frank Hu, Harvard School of Public Health, April 2014. 

What has this new large European study (that compared the diets of people who went on to develop diabetes and those who did not get the disease) found?

  • The adults in the study commonly ate about 90 grams of protein per day.
  • People who ate the most protein - especially from animal sources - were more likely to be diagnosed with type II diabetes
  • After accounting for all other known diabetes risk factors, every additional 10 grams of protein (generally animal protein) people consumed each day was tied to a 6% higher chance that they would develop diabetes
  • Those who ate the most (around 111 grams per day), were 17% more likely to develop diabetes than those who ate the least (72 grams per day)
  • Specifically, those who ate the most animal protein, or 78 grams per day, were 22% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those who ate the least animal protein
  • Plant protein intake was not linked to diabetes at all

Study by researchers, as led by Monique van Nielen of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, compared 11,000 type II diabetics and 15,000 non-diabetics taking in exact data on diet, exercise and size measurements, covering eight European countries, and spanning 12 years.  The paper was published in the April 14, 2014 online issue of the journal Diabetes Care.  As reported by Reuters and The Chicago Tribune on April 14, 2014.


Posted: Saturday 3 May 2014