Can you guess which of these foods most raises your risk of diabetes?
‘Which of these foods – a white bagel, a banana, sugar-sweetened soda, or processed meat – has been linked to the highest risk of type 2 diabetes?
You might be surprised to learn it’s not the white-flour bagel or the sugary soda. And it’s definitely not the fruit. The type of food that has been most closely linked with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance is, in fact, PROCESSED MEAT.
Processed meat is any meat that has been cured, smoked, salted, fermented, or has added preservatives- for example, salami, sausage, bacon, ham, bologna, cold cuts, deli slices, hot dogs, & chicken nuggets. Just one 50g serving per day – about two slices of bacon or ham – is linked to a whopping 37-51% increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes.
This is not to say that a white bagel or sugary soda is good for you. In fact, sugar-sweetened beverages are also linked to type 2 diabetes, with each 250ml serving per day increasing the risk by about 21%. Refined grains (such as a white bagel) were not linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes in a recent mega-review, but in other studies, high intake was associated with higher cardiovascular and diabetes risks.
What about fruit? Quite a few studies have looked at this question and not one has found that fruit increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. To the contrary! A 2017 study of more than half a million adults showed that eating fruit was linked to LOWER rates of type 2 diabetes, and to LOWER rates of diabetes complications and premature death in people who already had diabetes.
BONUS TIP: To maximally lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce insulin resistance, fill half of your plate with veggies, emphasize beans instead of meats, eat whole grains (each 30g serving, about 1/3 cup of oatmeal, lowers risk by 13%), enjoy your fruits whole; exercise regularly; and maintain a healthy weight.’
— written by @veg_md (on instagram)
Schwingshakl, Eur J Epidemiol 2017 (mega-review of foods & diabetes risk)
Micha, Curr Atheroscler Rep 2012 (processed meat & diabetes)
Du, Plos Med 2017 (fruit & diabetes)
Ley, Lancet 2014 (foods & diabetes risk)
Satija, Plos Med 2016 (healthful plant-based diets reduce diabetes risk)
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