In a study from the University of Naples Federico II, scientists found that dairy products, especially low-fat products and yogurt, are linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Red and processed meat were linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes but moderate amounts of fish and eggs could be eaten in their place.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it occurs when the pancreas can’t make enough insulin and/or the insulin it makes doesn’t work properly (low insulin sensitivity).
In the study, the team carried out a review of existing meta-analyses into links between different animal-based foods and diabetes.
This type of “review of reviews” provides one of the highest levels of evidence available in medicine.
They found 13 meta-analyses that were suitable and contained 175 estimates of how much 12 different animal products (total meat, red meat, white meat, processed meat, fish, total dairy, full-fat dairy, low-fat dairy, milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs) may increase or reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
(Red meat includes beef, lamb, and pork, while white meat includes chicken and turkey. Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, and deli meat.)
There was a strong increase in type 2 diabetes risk with the consumption of 100 g/day of total meat (20% increase in risk) and 100 g/day of red meat (22% increase) and with 50 g/day of processed meats (30% increase).
A daily amount of 50g of white meat was linked to a smaller increase in type 2 diabetes risk (4%).
The team says there are several potential reasons for this.
For example, red and processed meat are important sources of components like saturated fatty acids, cholesterol and haem iron, all known to promote chronic low-level inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn can reduce the sensitivity of the cells to insulin.
Processed meats also contain nitrates, nitrites, and sodium, which, among other adverse effects, can damage the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
White meat, in comparison, has a lower fat content, a more favorable fatty acid profile, and a lower amount of haem iron.
Dairy foods, in contrast, appeared to protect against type 2 diabetes or had a neutral link to 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 linked to a 6% reduction in risk. Cheese (30 g/day) and full-fat dairy (200 g/day) were found to have no effect on the risk of type 2 diabetes. The quality of evidence was moderate to low.
The team says that although the results suggest that low-fat dairy products are more beneficial than full-fat dairy products.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about berry that can help prevent diabetes, obesity, cancer, and new drugs to treat diabetes, metabolic syndrome.
The study was conducted by Dr. Annalisa Giosuè et al and presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
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