Diet for Diabetes Arlington VA

According to an article in the June issue of the journal Diabetes Care, too much heme iron—the kind found in meat—may cause long'term cell damage and contribute to the development of diabetes. Harvard researchers studied 85,000 women 34 to 59 years old for 20 years and discovered that those who consumed more meat had a higher incidence of type-2 diabetes.

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A Better Type of Iron

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By Julia Rosien

According to an article in the June issue of the journal Diabetes Care, too much heme iron—the kind found in meat—may cause long-term cell damage and contribute to the development of diabetes. Harvard researchers studied 85,000 women 34 to 59 years old for 20 years and discovered that those who consumed more meat had a higher incidence of type-2 diabetes. Women who ate the most meat had a 28 percent higher risk compared to those who ate the least, even with factors like body weight, exercise, and overall diet considered. What’s interesting is that iron from plant sources doesn’t seem to affect the body in the same way. Red meat has long been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, especially colon, which makes incorporating meatless options into your diet a healthy shift.

If signing off meat wholesale isn’t for you, consider part-time vegetarianism and become an expert at ferreting out healthy proteins. “Being a vegetarian has nothing to do with eating vegetables—we should all be eating vegetables—but it has everything to do with where you get your protein,” says Nikki Goldbeck, author of American Wholefoods Cuisine (Ceres Press, 2006). Meatless options like soy burgers, bean soup, and veggie lasagna can be alternated with eggs, fish, or poultry. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, fish and poultry contain less heme iron than red meat. Limiting the amount of meat in your diet in favor of vegetarian fare and carefully choosing the source of your protein can reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Author: Julia Rosien

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