Some animal-based foods not so bad for T2D

It’s no secret that blood sugar problems dramatically increase your risk of other health issues.

In fact, from Alzheimer’s and dementia to kidney issues, heart disease and more, living with type 2 diabetes sets you up for a multitude of health-related concerns.

Yet, the good news is that nine out of ten people who begin to experience these blood sugar issues and are classified as pre-diabetic are capable of avoiding full-blown diabetes through simple lifestyle changes.

This makes type 2 diabetes one of the most preventable of all diseases.

Lifestyle changes that work to guard against T2D include:

Making even one of these simple changes can provide big protection. And adding in a few (or all of them) could be the secret to keeping your blood sugar in the green zone for life.

And now, thanks to research from a team of scientists at the University of Naples, you can continue stacking up your blood sugar protection—by eating much less of one food group found to increase the risks by 30 percent and another with protection that could add up to more than 10 percent…

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Animal-based foods and diabetes dangers

If you’ve been told your blood sugar isn’t looking so hot, your doctor may have offered dietary advice. Based on existing guidelines for the prevention of type 2 diabetes that would include eating specific plant-based foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, olive oil and typically limiting consumption of most animal products.

But a recent study shed new light on what foods may be worse or better for your blood sugar…

To determine how animal-based foods may impact type 2 diabetes, the researchers chose 13 different meta-analyses that included 175 estimates on the following 12 foods: total meat, red meat, white meat, processed meat, fish, total dairy, full-fat dairy, low-fat dairy, milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs.

So which were the winners and losers in the battle for better blood sugar?

Let’s start with the losing team — meat…

Foods to limit or avoid here include:

  • 100 grams per day of total meat increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent
  • 100 grams per day of red meat raised blood sugar risks by 22 percent
  • Just 50 grams per day of processed meats (like hot dogs, sausage and bacon) pushed type 2 diabetes risk up by 30 percent

“There are several potential reasons for this,” said lead researcher, Annalisa Giosuè, PhD. “For example, red and processed meat are important sources of components like saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and haem iron, all known to promote chronic low-level inflammation and oxidative stress, which, in turn, can reduce the sensitivity of the cells to insulin.”

And processed meats also pack a huge punch of nitrates and sodium, which can lead to damage and malfunction of the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells, making matters even worse.

On the other hand, the research showed that white meat, with its lower fat content, better fatty acid profile and lower amount of haem iron, is only associated with a four percent rise in diabetes risk.

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Dairy lovers rejoice

So if red and processed meats were the losers in diabetes prevention, you may have guessed that dairy came out on top.

Yup, the researchers found that dairy products were associated with reducing the risks of blood sugar problems. Here’s how it panned out:

  • Total dairy intake of 200 grams per day was linked to a five percent reduction in diabetes risk
  • 200 grams per day of low-fat dairy conferred a three percent risk reduction
  • 100 grams per day of yogurt offered a six percent reduction in risk
  • 200 grams of milk per day was associated with a 10 percent reduction in risk

According to the researchers, the reason for these benefits likely lies in the vitamins and other bioactive compounds found in certain dairy products that may support healthy glucose metabolism.

The only dairy products that did not seem to offer help for warding off blood sugar issues were cheese and full-fat dairy.

However, since past studies have found a reduced incidence of every component linked to metabolic syndrome with full-fat dairy, you might want to take that last one with a grain of salt.

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Dairy products associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds — Integrative Practitioner

Dairy products in moderate amounts may protect against type 2 diabetes – but red and processed meat raise risk, Italian research suggests — EurekAlert

8 Key Statistics on Type 2 Diabetes —

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.