The link between red meat consumption and insulin resistance

Researchers from the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University in Israel found a link between high consumption of red and processed meat and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance.

  • Earlier research has found that high red and processed meat consumption is associated with Type 2 diabetes. Moreover, meat cooked at high temperatures for a long time forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which have harmful health effects.
  • However, the link between red meat consumption and NAFLD had yet to be examined.
  • The researchers wanted to examine the association of meat type and cooking method and NAFLD and insulin resistance.
  • In the study, which was published in the Journal of Hepatology, researchers analyzed data of more than 1,000 individuals aged 40 to 70 years old who underwent screening colonoscopy between 2013 and 2015 in a single center in Israel.
  • The participants answered a questionnaire on the meat type and cooking method.
  • The researchers identified frying and grilling to a level of well done and very well done as unhealthy cooking methods.
  • They also calculated dietary HCA intake of the participants.
  • Results revealed that NAFLD and insulin resistance were more common in people who ate relatively high amounts of red and processed meat.
  • Moreover, high consumption of meat cooked in unhealthy methods increased insulin resistance risk.
  • In addition, high consumption of HCAs was linked to insulin resistance.

The researchers concluded that a high intake of red and processed meat is associated with both NAFLD and insulin resistance, and high HCA intake is associated with insulin resistance.

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Journal Reference:

Zelber-Sagi S, Ivancovsky-Wajcman D, Isakov NF, Webb M, Orenstein D, Shibolet O, Kariv R. HIGH RED AND PROCESSED MEAT CONSUMPTION IS ASSOCIATED WITH NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE AND INSULIN RESISTANCE. Journal of Hepatology. June 2018; 68(6): 1239-1246. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.01.015

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