The Great British Fry Up: Link to Diabetes

We all probably indulge in one a week but experts are now claiming that just by eating 50g of red processed meat a day, the equivalent of one sausage or two pieces of bacon, can increase your risk of developing diabetes by a whopping half. Type 2 diabetes has long been related to food and lifestyle choices but a study in the US found that by replacing red processed meat, the risk of type 2 diabetes was significantly reduced. The research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and showed that one serving of red processed meat raised the risk of type 2 diabetes by 51%. By replacing this with a serving of nuts was associated with a 21% reduced risk.

Also lowering the risk were dairy low fat options and substituting meat for whole grains which reduced risk by a further 17% and 23% respectively. Professor Frank Hu, the lead researcher at the Harvard University commented that “Clearly the results from this study have huge public implications given the rising type 2 diabetes epidemic and increasing consumption of red meats.” Type 2 diabetes affects over two and a half million people in the UK alone and it occurs when people can no longer control their blood sugar levels.

Registered dietitian Susan Price, of the British Dietetics Association, has some good advice when it come to creating the perfect breakfast. Here are her three key components when it comes to making a healthy breakfast:

  • Eat plenty of complex carbs such as oats or wholemeal toast for energy, they will also release energy slowly and throughout the day.
  • Try low-fat dairy such as semi-skimmed milk for calcium instead of full cream milk and stay away from butter, using olive oil spreads instead.
  • Choose lots of fruits that compliment your cereals, such as berries and bananas for a steady release of sugars.

Dr Iain Frame of Diabetes UK says that we should not cut out all red meats as we need some for iron and protein and small portions are essential for a balanced diet. The key is to eat healthily and exercise on a regular basis, combining all food groups and keeping sugar and salt to a minimum.

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