The unsweet, non-starchy food causing diabetes

These days, everyone is concerned about diabetes — and rightly so…

Who wouldn’t want to avoid the increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, slow wound healing and weight gain that goes along with it?

Not to mention the serious complications brought on by the disease including damage to your eyes, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels and increased risk for heart disease and cancer.

And, although doctors have been telling people for years to watch their weight and sugar and carb intake to avoid blood sugar problems, something clearly isn’t working…

The staggering number of Americans currently suffering from diabetes continues to climb — 37.3 million — and another 8.5 million yet to be diagnosed.

What are we missing in the fight against diabetes?

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A curious piece of the puzzle, indeed

It turns out that meat — specifically red meat and poultry — can boost your risk of developing diabetes, but we don’t hear as much about that.

That was the finding of The Singapore Chinese Health Study that followed over 63,000 adults for approximately 11 years to analyze the effect of their diets on their risk of developing diabetes.

They found that the study participants with the highest intake of red meat had a 23 percent higher risk of developing blood sugar issues, while those who ate the most poultry increased their chances of ending up with diabetes by 15 percent.

But it gets even weirder…

The reason these meats can give you diabetes is because of the elevated iron content and other chemicals found in red meat and certain cuts of poultry.

For a while now, scientists thought elevated iron levels only created a diabetes risk for people with hereditary hemochromatosis, a genetic condition where the body absorbs too much iron. But this research proves that’s not the case. Anyone could be at an increased risk of diabetes if their iron levels get too high.

Must we give up the meat too?

Does this mean you have to give up meat if you want to avoid or better manage your type 2 diabetes? Not entirely…

The study also demonstrated that fish and shellfish as well as the chicken parts with lower heme-iron contents — such as breast meat, compared to thighs — were healthier options and not associated with a higher risk of diabetes.

To sum it up, the senior author of the study, Professor Koh, said, “We don’t need to remove meat from the diet entirely. (We) just need to reduce the daily intake, especially for red meat, and choose chicken breast and fish/shellfish, or plant-based protein food and dairy products, to reduce the risk of diabetes.”

So, start by limiting your intake of red meat as well as the dark meat from poultry. Instead, choose fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and other cold-water varieties as well as shellfish and chicken breast.

And, of course, don’t forget to continue to be careful of your carb and sugar intake. Avoiding and controlling type 2 diabetes also reduces your risk of many other diseases and can help you live longer.

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  1. Type 2 diabetes — Mayo Clinic
  2. Type 2 Diabetes Complications — EndocrineWeb
  3. Statistics About Diabetes — American Diabetes Association
  4. Eating meat linked to higher risk of diabetes — Duke-NUS Medical School
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.