People who consume the highest amounts of red meat raise their likelihood of developing the condition by 23 percent over those who eat the lowest quantities, a study found.
Frequently eating poultry increases the risk of the condition by 15 per cent, the research adds.
The same is not true for fish or seafood, the study found.
Red meat and poultry are thought to raise type 2 diabetes’ risk as they contain the iron-rich compound heme, as well as other chemicals, which may increase a person’s susceptibility to the insulin-resistance condition.
Researchers from Duke–NUS Medical School in Singapore analyzed 63,257 adults aged between 45 and 74 from 1993 to 1998.
The study’s participant’s diet was assessed via a questionnaire.
Type 2 diabetes diagnoses were determined in follow-up interviews between 1999 and 2004, and 2006 and 2010.
Results reveal those with the highest red meat consumption are 23 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who eat the lowest amounts.
Frequently eating poultry increases the risk of the condition by 15 percent.
Fish and seafood are not associated with type 2 diabetes’ onset.
The researchers believe the iron-containing compound heme, as well as other chemicals, in red meat and poultry increase a person’s risk. It is unclear how heme is involved in the condition’s onset.
Eating parts of the chicken with lower heme levels, such as breast over thighs, may be healthier, they add.
Lead author Professor Koh Woon Puay 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.
‘At the end of the day, we want to provide the public with information to make evidence-based choices in picking the healthier food to reduce disease risk.’
Dr Annie Ling, director of policy, research and surveillance at Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) added: ‘The findings affirm the HPB’s recommendation to consume red meat in moderation, and that a healthy and balanced diet should contain sufficient and varied protein sources, including healthier alternatives to red meat such as fish, tofu and legumes.’
Chocolate could prevent diabetes, another research suggested last month.
A compound in cocoa, known as epicatechin monomers, enhances the secretion of insulin from specific cells, a study found.
The compound also reduces obesity and increases animals’ ability to cope with high blood glucose levels, the research adds.
Although the study was only conducted in animals, the researchers add humans may require large quantities of the compound in order to benefit.
Study author Professor Jeffery Tessem from Brigham Young University (BYU), said ‘You probably have to eat a lot of cocoa, and you probably don’t want it to have a lot of sugar in it.
‘It’s the compound in cocoa you’re after.’