Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Hidden Connection Between Meat, Insulin Resistance, and Type II Diabetes

It is widely known now that eating refined sugars and white breads, for example, spike blood sugar levels and both cause and perpetuate diabetes.  Did you know that meat is actually worse for your pancreas than refined sugar? 

Diabetes patients are almost never told that the amount of insulin the body needs to process one regular piece of steak equals the amount of insulin required for eating 12 times the amount of soda contained in one can of soda.  Insulin acts like a "key" that unlocks the "gate" through which glucose and other nutrients must pass to enter cells.  Regular meat meals make the cells increasingly resistant to insulin, and even though they do not first raise blood sugar levels, excessive use eventually leads to Type II diabetes. 

A report based on data from 12 pooled cohort studies on heavy meat diets was led by Dagfinn Aune from the University of Oslo and published in the journal Diabetologia. The study determined that the high intake of processed meat may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 41 percent.  This new meta-analysis was conducted jointly from Norway and the US. The general conclusions of the study suggested that: "High intake of total meat increased the risk of diabetes by 17 percent, while red meat and processed meat were associated with 21 and 41 percent increases in diabetes risk."  While high meat consumption of any type may lead to insulin resistance, processed meats do even moreso.  The higher rate of diabetes risk from processed meats can be attributed to the nitrates used as preservatives.  Other studies have documented that nitrates cause beta cell toxicity, blocking beta cells' ability to produce insulin.

A diabetes- preventive diet is one that is high in complex carbohydrates, vegetables, beans, nuts, and fruits.  If you choose to eat meat, it is healthiest to include it as the smallest portion of your meal (about 20%) and infrequently (a few times a week at most).  This is a bit of a departure from what we've come to think of as a 'meal' in the United States.  A good way to experiment with these healthier ratios is to dive into some International cookbooks as much of the world has traditionally eaten healtheir proportions of vegetables to meat.  This is changing in some places due to processed food industry influences, and diabetes rates around the world are going up as a result.

Sources:  Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation, Andreas Moritz.
"Eating processed meat boosts diabetes risk by 40 percent," Paul Lous, www.naturalnews.com.

     

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