Consuming red meat, both processed and unprocessed, has been strongly linked to an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study headed by experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study found that the risk of type 2 diabetes increased with each extra daily serving of processed red meat by 46% and the risk increased with each additional daily serving of unprocessed red meat by 24%.

According to Dieudonne Bukaba, a nutrition expert in Kigali, eating red meat—especially processed red meat—increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. These factors include high saturated fat content, heme iron, the production of advanced glycation end products—proteins or lipids that become glycated after coming into contact with sugars—during cooking, the presence of nitrates and nitrites, and a lack of dietary fiber.

He went on to say that the amount of red meat one consumes should be determined by their health objectives, their nutritional requirements, and any possible dangers. In general, moderation and following dietary guidelines that restrict red meat intake are advised.

The Rwanda Nutritionists Society (RNS) head, Private Kamanzi, claims that red meat causes advanced glycation end products (AGEs) when it is processed or cooked at a high temperature. These are lipids or proteins that come into contact with sugars and end up glycated. He pointed out that these substances are dangerous and cause type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, according to Kamanzi, red meat raises blood levels of saturated fats, which impair insulin sensitivity and cause insulin resistance, which in turn causes diabetes.

The recommended daily intake of meat is 115 grams, according to experts. However, even if one keeps it to the necessary amount, red meat—such as roasted meat—is hazardous as long as it is exposed to direct heat.

He emphasized that red meat has mineral salts that can prevent anemia and said that it is also high in iron, which the body needs to produce blood.

Red meat is an excellent source of vitamin B, particularly B12, which is not found in any other food. If you must eat red meat, combine it with nutritious grains, vegetables, or cereals.

A serving of nuts and legumes was shown to be linked to a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, while a dish of dairy products was linked to a 22% lower risk, according to research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


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