Is beef steak good for diabetics

Steak and fillet also increase the risk of diabetes

Even supposedly healthy beef steak or lean pork tenderloin can make you sick: American researchers have found that even pure meat from beef, pork or lamb significantly increases the risk of diabetes. Until now, only processed meat products such as sausage or ham were considered to be disease-promoting. But long-term studies on a total of 440,000 people now show that red meat can apparently be fundamentally unhealthy, whether fried or raw, processed into sausage or not, the researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

More than 360 million people worldwide have diabetes. Most of them have what is known as type 2 diabetes, formerly known as geriatric diabetes. The main risk factors are obesity, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. A few years ago researchers discovered that sausage, ham and other products made from red meat significantly increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In contrast, the results for untreated red meat remained contradictory. Even in 2010, Pan's Harvard researchers were unable to determine any connection to diabetes here. The disease-promoting effect of steaks or fillets was only shown in the much more extensive current study.

For their study, the researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health evaluated the questionnaires and health data regularly collected over a period of 14 to 28 years from a good 37,000 men and more than 160,000 women. In addition, they carried out a meta-analysis of all existing long-term studies on this question. It included a total of 442,101 participants of both sexes. This makes this study the longest and most comprehensive on this subject to date.

One steak a day is already unhealthy

The result: a daily 100 gram steak increases the risk by a fifth. This is significantly more than previously assumed and refutes previous assumptions, according to which only processed red meat should be harmful because of the high salt and nitrite content. "Our study clearly shows that both processed and unprocessed red meat are linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes," says study leader An Pan of the Harvard School of Public Health.

For the first time, the researchers also determined the risk-reducing effects of healthy eating more precisely: If test subjects replaced the red meat with a handful of nuts, their risk of diabetes was reduced by 21 percent, reports Pan and his colleagues. Whole grain products resulted in a reduction of 23 percent.

It is therefore important to adapt the official dietary recommendations accordingly. For example, according to the guidelines of the US authorities from 2010, red meat is still in a group with fish and soy products and other foods classified as healthy. The scientists recommend replacing ham, sausage or roast meat with nuts, whole grain products or fish as often as possible in order to keep the risk of diabetes low. "The results of this study are of great public health significance, given the epidemic-like increase in type 2 diabetes and the rising consumption of red meat worldwide," say the researchers.

(Harvard School of Public Health, 08/11/2011 - NPO)

August 11, 2011