Eating Processed Meats Ups Diabetes Risk in Men
Eating a diet high in processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, salami or sausage may substantially increase a man's risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Experts have repeatedly warned Americans about the health risks associated with so-called Western diets -- eating food high in commercialized animal fat and low in fruits and vegetables. But this is the first large study to look at the relationship between consumption of processed meats and diabetes, according Harvard investigators.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body can no longer properly use insulin, a pancreatic hormone that helps shuttle the glucose (sugar) in food from the blood and into cells to be used as energy. The condition is closely related to obesity.
In the current study, researchers found that eating processed meat five or more times per week increased a man's risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 50%.
The investigators base their conclusions on data from a long-running study of male health professionals in the US, who were between the ages of 40 and 75 at the study's outset.
They found that frequent consumption of processed meats such as bacon or hot dogs is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in men.
Those who ate processed meats two to four times per week had 35% increased risk and those who ate processed meats five times or more had almost 50% increased risk of diabetes.
Diabetes Care March 2002;25:417-42
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
The nitrates found in processed meats can be converted into nitrosamines, which are clearly associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. Additionally, it now appears that processed meats will increase one's risk of diabetes. However, it is unclear to me exactly how processed meats increase insulin resistance.