New research links an increased risk of diabetes to higher intake of red meat and poultry, and suggests dietary iron may play a role in the association.
These findings come from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, which recruited 63,257 adults aged 45–74 years between 1993 and 1998, and then followed them up for an average of about 11 years.
The study found a positive association between intakes of red meat and poultry and the risk of developing diabetes. Specifically, compared to those in the lowest quartile intake, those in the highest quartile intake of red meat and poultry had a 23 percent and 15 percent increase in risk of diabetes, respectively, while the intake of fish/shellfish was not associated with risk of diabetes.
Substituting fish/shellfish for red meat/poultry reduced the risk.
In trying to understand the underlying mechanism for the role of red meat and poultry in the development of diabetes, the study also investigated the association between dietary heme-iron content from all meats and the risk of diabetes, and found a…