New research presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden, indicates that dairy products are linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. The study also showed that red meat and processed meat are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for about 90% of all cases. It usually occurs in adults over the age of 40, although it is now increasingly seen in younger age groups. The main risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity, and this condition is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin (the hormone that promotes the uptake of glucose from the blood into the body’s cells, and maintains normal blood sugar levels) and/or the insulin it makes does not work properly (low insulin sensitivity) . This causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream, which can lead to organ damage and lead to a host of serious health complications if left untreated. Some common complications of diabetes include kidney disease, heart disease, vision loss, and circulation problems, which can lead to foot amputation.
This new study took a look at the current guidelines for preventing type 2 diabetes. It currently states that eating certain plant-based foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and olive oil can help reduce the risk of diabetes. It is also usually recommended to limit the consumption of most animal products. However, it does not differentiate between animal products.
Not all animal protein sources are nutritionally equal, so the researchers wanted to know how different animal products relate to type 2 diabetes to allow for updated guidelines.
After the study, the researchers were able to show that there was a significant increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes with meat consumption, including 100 g/day of total meat (20% increase in risk) and 100 g/day of red meat ( 22% increase) and with 50g/day of processed meat (30% increase).
In contrast, dairy products reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or had a neutral association with the development of the condition. Milk (200 g/day) was associated with a 10% reduction in risk, total dairy (200 g/day) with a 5% reduction in risk, and low-fat dairy (200 g/day) with a 3% reduction. Yogurt (100 g/day) was associated with a 6% lower risk.
Study author Dr. Annalisa Giosuè explained, “There are several potential reasons for this. For example, red and processed meats are primary sources of components such as saturated fatty acids, cholesterol and heme iron, all of which are known to promote low-level chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn can reduce sensitivity to cells for insulin.
Dairy products are rich in nutrients, vitamins and other bioactive compounds, which may positively affect glucose metabolism – the processing of sugar by the body. “
The researchers added that while it is clear that red and processed meat should be eaten in moderation, fish and eggs can be suitable alternatives.
Such studies are essential for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. As one of the leading causes of diet-related death worldwide, it is essential to learn more about how different food components increase or decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
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