The Nurses Health Study followed the health and habits of 69,554 women aged 38 to 63 for 11 years. When the data were last collected in 1994, a relatively small number, just 2,699 of the women, had developed type 2 diabetes. Certain foods, however were associated with a much greater risk of the disease. On average,
- Every serving of red meat per day increased the risk of developing diabetes by 38%.
- Every serving of bacon per day increased the risk of developing diabetes by 43%.
- Every serving of balogna per day increased the risk of developing diabetes by 48%
- Every serving of any other kind of processed meat, such hot dogs, increased the risk of developing diabetes by 73%.
What about men?
Well, the epidemiological data for men aren't so precise when it comes to eating processed meat, although it's well known that increased fat mass is associated with increased risk of diabetes. Men and women alike might benefit from eating nitrite-free and low-fat versions of these foods, if that doesn't sustain a habit of unhealthy choices.
Fung TT, Schulze M, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB. Dietary patterns, meat intake, and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Arch Intern Med. 2004 Nov 8;164(20):2235-40.