A recent study carried out by Harvard University, indicates that there is a strong relationship between increased consumption of red meat, processed red meat and increased risk of contracting diabetes. The study was done on about 100,000 men and women for a period of over 20 years. The researchers found that the consumption of 50 grams (one hot dog) of processed meat was associated with a 48% increased risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.
There have been many previous studies that have been carried out on this subject. This study was unique in the sense that it was able to capture the variability in the diet of the individual over time. Most of the previous studies were known to only consider the intake of red meat as a baseline without taking into consideration most of the other factors that are usually very likely to affect the results of the study. During the study, the researchers documented over 7,450 cases of people with type 2 diabetes. A decrease of a 50-gram serving of red meat was associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of diabetes. This percentage was measured in relation to a control group who maintained their consumption of red meat over the same period.
As it had been anticipated, increasing the intake of red meat was also followed by an increase in the weight of the individuals accompanied by reduced diet quality scores. Even the slightest increase in the servings of red meat such as 15- to 20-gram servings in a day was associated with an increased risk of contracting diabetes. A reduction in the servings of red meat proved to have the effect of turning the scales in the opposite direction.