Why Is Red Meat Bad for Diabetics?

Red meat is high in saturated fat, and this is the major reason of why you need to restrict it in your diet – particularly true if you do concern to the health of your heart. Even recent studies suggest that its saturated fat content is not the only culprit. This meat is considered bad for diabetics, too!

The role of Insulin in diabetes

Insulin is a kind of hormone that is so crucial to support the metabolism of glucose (sugar). It is made by cells of pancreas.

The cells of the body need energy to keep running well. The energy comes from glucose in the blood, and it is derived from foods that you eat. Insulin can unlock the body of cell, allowing glucose to get into the cell to be used for energy.

So, if something’s going wrong with your insulin, some sugar (glucose) in the blood cannot get into the cells. As a result, your blood sugar will increase higher than normal.

The following are the major checklists of how your insulin works to control your blood sugar:

  1. When there is high blood sugar (typically after eating a meal), your pancreas will release insulin into the bloodstream.
  2. Insulin travels and circulates through bloodstream, enabling glucose in the blood to get into the cells.
  3. Then your blood sugar backs to normal. As the blood sugar decreases, the same goes for the amount of insulin secreted by your pancreas.

Not all glucose will go directly into the cells for energy. Some are converted to become glycogen and stored in the liver and muscle cells. When your body is lack of energy, glycogen can be easily converted back to glucose for energy.

But when you eat too much carbohydrate (higher than what your body needs), your liver and muscle cells cannot accommodate these excess calories. As a result, your body will convert them to become fats (for longer term storage) and you gain weight.

Type 1 vs. type 2 diabetes

Both types end with the same problem, the body loses its normal ability in controlling blood sugar. Both are bad, but type 2 may be relatively easier to treat than type 1.

While the risk of type 2 is more likely to be associated with some lifestyle factors (such as obesity), type-1 is thought as a consequence of immune system abnormality or genetic factor. See also the differences type1 vs. type 2 diabetes!

In type 2, the pancreas is still able to release some insulin into the bloodstream, but this doesn’t meet to the body needs – or– pancreas can make normal amount of insulin but the insulin doesn’t work as well as it should, less sensitive (a condition called as insulin resistance).

The problem is worse in type 1, because the pancreas of people with this kind of diabetes is only able to make too low insulin or even sometime it cannot make any insulin! For this reason, type 1 is also called as insulin-dependent diabetes. This means sufferer should always take insulin injection regularly to help keep their blood sugar level normal.

However, some people with type-2 diabetes may need to occasionally take insulin, too. See more this issue in here!

Why red meat is commonly considered bad for diabetics?

image_illustration261You have likely known about the connection between diabetes and foods high in glucose (such as simple carbohydrates in white rice). As mentioned before, since the performance of insulin in diabetic people doesn’t work well, it’s important for them to control their dietary glucose.

How about red meat? We know well that it is the enemy of our heart. Its saturated fat content can contribute to increase LDL (our bad cholesterol). This is reasonable since scientists have confirmed that saturated fat is the top leading cause of increased blood cholesterol. And high blood cholesterol is bad for the heart.

According to new research, high consumption of red meat is linked to the increased risk of type-2 diabetes, too.

The study observed the habits of some participants in eating red meat. Some reduced the consumption of red meat, while others increased it.

The research showed that the risk of type-2 diabetes increased significantly among participants who ate more red meat. On the other hand, those who ate less red meat got decreased risk (about 14 %) during several years of follow-up.

Another interesting finding, researchers noted that the way of how you process /cook the meat has an effect, too. In this study, the processed meats such as in bacon and hot dogs affected the risk more significant, causing more strongly associated with the risk of type-2 diabetes.

Now the challenging issue is the answer of how red meat affects the risk, and the reason of why it is considered bad for people who already have diabetes!