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Dairy Products Cut Risk of Diabetes, While Red and Processed Meat Raise Risk

A meta-analysis, recently conducted by researchers at the University of Naples Federico II in Naples, Italy, finds that low-fat dairy products are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while red and processed meats are linked to a greater type 2 diabetes risk.

The current study included 13 meta-analyses that provided estimates of how 12 different animal-based foods may elevate or lower the risk of developing T2D. Categories included total meat, red meat, white meat, processed meat, total dairy, full-fat dairy, low-fat dairy, fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. The researchers found that daily consumption of 100 g of total meat was associated with a 20% higher risk. The same amount of red meat was associated with a 22% increase in risk.

Lead researcher Annalisa Giosuè, Ph.D., of the institution’s Department of Clinical Medicine, says: “Nutritionally speaking, dairy products are a source of nutrients, vitamins, and other components (namely calcium, proteins, peptides, etc.) with potential beneficial effects on glucose metabolism. For instance, whey protein in milk has a well-known effect on the modulation of the rise of glucose blood levels after meals, and also on the control of appetite and body weight.”

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