Middle age and elderly women whose diets include a lot of red meat appear to have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Dr. Simin Liu, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between red meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes, the type that doesn’t necessarily require insulin.
A total of 37,309 participants in the Women’s Health Study were followed for an average of 8.8 years. The subjects were at least 45 years of age, and had never been diagnosed with heart disease, stroke, cancer, or diabetes when the study began. Food questionnaires were used to determine how much red meat the subjects ate.
During the study, 1558 women were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Women who at the highest amounts of red meat were 28 percent more likely to develop diabetes than their peers who ate the lowest amounts. In terms of specific meats linked to diabetes, bacon and hot dogs were identified as two of the worst offenders.
Diabetes Care, September 2004