Meat Consumption and Diabetes

3 Aug 2018
Author: Lindsay Johnson
Read time: 3 min
Category: Archive

The rapid rate at which people are being diagnosed with diabetes is alarming and has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. It is estimated that the number of diabetes cases will increase in the United States by 165 percent by the year 2050. Once considered a disease of the western world, type 2 diabetes has now spread throughout every country and the increase runs parallel with the rise in obesity.

It seems that the spread of the westernized diet to other countries has also brought with it the increase in diagnoses of both obesity and diabetes. Many people across the world are embracing the fast food culture because of its convenience and cheap prices, but this is also creating more health problems for the people in these countries. The term “nutrition transition” has been used to describe the shift from a traditional diet to a western diet that accompanies modernization and wealth in different countries across the globe. This shift is creating a culture and lifestyle where diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and many other diseases and disorders are becoming widespread where the presence of these diseases was minimal in previous years.

While the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with a high intake of sugars and simple carbohydrates, research is suggesting that a diet high in meat consumption also plays a significant factor in the diets of those diagnosed with diabetes.

The Seventh Day Adventists, a Christian denomination founded in the mid-19th century in the United States, have participated in numerous health studies over the years because of their unique dietary habits that encourage members to abstain from eating any meat and consume a plant-based, vegetarian diet. Many members also choose to abstain from alcohol, narcotics and other stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine.

Researchers have found that out of more than 8000 individuals who were part of this study over a 17-year period, those participants who were eating meat at least weekly were 29% more likely to develop diabetes, compared to those who reported no meat consumption at that time. [1]

The studies show that meat consumption is consistently associated with diabetes risk, revealing that simple changes in diet and lifestyle can minimize the presence of diabetes. Besides meat consumption, there are many underlying factors that influence type 2 diabetes, including:

  • Poor diet
  • Toxin exposure
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Heart disease
  • Inflammation

Diabetes is a serious condition that can improve naturally by making improvements to one’s lifestyle, including adopting a vegan diet. It’s also important to eliminate harmful foods like refined sugars, dairy products and hydrogenated oils and incorporate raw, living foods into the diet. Simple changes in diet and exercise can have powerful effects on the improvement of diabetes. The human body is capable of healing, and by providing it with the correct nutrition and eliminating harmful substances, diseases like diabetes can be improved.

[1]Meat Consumption as a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes Nutrients. 2014 Feb; 6(2): 897–910.

Published online 2014 Feb 21. doi:  10.3390/nu6020897

Article by Andrea Nison

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