According to new research, individuals consuming excess protein, especially animal protein, are putting themselves at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Previous studies have also shown higher levels of protein intake, especially red meats and processed meats, to be tied to long-term diabetes risk.
Approximately 26,000 individuals were included in the study who on average ate 90 grams of protein per day. Those individuals who consumed the most overall protein, approximately 111 grams per day, increased their odds of developing diabetes by 17% as compared with those who ate the least amount of protein daily – 72 grams. When evaluating specifically animal based protein, those who consumed the most were 22% more likely to become diabetic compared with those eating the least amount; 78 grams vs 36 grams, respectively. According to researchers, plant based protein was not linked to diabetes. In fact, plant based proteins such as nuts, whole grains and legumes have been associated with a lower incidence of diabetes in past studies. Researchers recommended minimizing red meat consumption to no more than twice per week and keeping poultry and fish consumption to no more than 4 times per week. They also recommended minimizing cheese and processed meats and avoiding the consumption of skimmed milk and yogurt on an everyday basis.
Source: Diabetes Care, online April 10, 2014.
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