According to some new findings, there is a connection between a diet rich in poultry and red meat and a higher risk of developing diabetes among Singapore Chinese.
Duke-NUS Medical School had released its research on September the 5th (Tuesday). In it, they reported that those individuals who consumed more red meat had a 23% higher chance of developing diabetes in comparison to those who ate less of it.
As for poultry lovers, they were 15% more likely to develop diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic ailment where one’s blood glucose levels are abnormal. This compared to those individuals who ate little of these products, including chicken meat.
Well, you see, the culprit here is the dietary heme-iron content which one can find in these meats. Dark or red meat, such as, say, pork or beef, contains a rather high amount of what one calls myoglobin protein. This protein carries the heme-iron for oxygen binding.
The more myoglobin the meat contains, the darker it is in color. Some parts of a chicken (for example, its thigh area) are classified as dark meat as well. This heme iron may accumulate in one’s liver and pancreas, thus causing oxidative stress.
This substance also has an effect on certain pancreatic cells, which happen to be involved in insulin secretion (our body’s regulator of blood glucose levels).
And yet, non-heme-iron, which also happens to be found in certain meats (other than plant-based foods like nuts and fruit), can be regulated by our body much more easily.
The study carried out by Duke-NUS Medical School involved as many as 45,411 Singapore Chinese permanent residents and citizens, between the ages of 45-74. Researchers recruited them and tracked them between the period 1993-2010.
They were interviewed twice concerning their diet. They used a questionnaire containing 165 food items, 33 of which had meat.
Duke-NUS Medical School’s Professor Koh Woon Puay, who also happens to be a senior author of this study, claimed that cutting down on one’s meat intake would indeed be a step in the right direction.
But he made sure to add that there is no need to remove all meat from our daily diets. People just need to decrease their intake, particularly when it comes to red meat. Instead, they can opt for shellfish, fish, chicken breast or even plant-based protein-rich foods and dairy products.
It will be well worth it. Remember, reducing your risk of diabetes is always more important than indulging more than you should on certain meats. Stay conscious and healthy, dear readers.