One More Downer About Red Meat

OK, so too much definitely causes heart disease, and may even result in cancer, especially of the colon and rectum. webmd.com reports that a survey of more than a half-million Americans found that those who ate the most red meat and processed meat for 10 years died sooner than those who didn't.

"The association between consumption of red and processed meats and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, is very consistent,” Marji McCullough, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society, told webmd.com.

But now they're finding that red meat is implicated in diabetes, too.   The more red meat you eat, the higher your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study has found.

Even upping your consumption of red meat by as little as a half a serving a day (about 1.5 ounces) increased  people's risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a four-year period by 48%, "compared with people who did not change their red-meat intake," according to a story at USA Today.

On average, people in the study ate 1 1/2 servings a day of red meat.  That could be bacon at breakfast and a hamburger for lunch.  But those who were able to cut back on this kind of meat saw their risk reduced by 14% over 10 years.

The findings apply to both processed red meat, such as lunch meat and hot dogs, and unprocessed red meat, such as hamburger, steak and pork, "but the association was stronger for processed meat, says lead author An Pan of the National University of Singapore who worked on the study while he was at Harvard," USA Today notes.

There's nothing like a good steak and the study isn't telling people to stop eating filet mignon or sirloin, just to cut back on the number of times you ingest it.  What would summer be without barbecues?  Just don't have them every night.

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