According to research, a higher intake of red meat and chicken may increase your risk of developing diabetes

While a plant-based diet is generally considered best for preventing the risk of diabetes, not all meats affect the risk equally.

This is what Koh Woon Puay, Professor of Clinical Sciences at Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS), and her team found when they discovered that a higher intake of red meat and poultry is associated with a significantly increased risk of developing diabetes.

Why is this?

It is partially attributed to the higher content of heme iron in these meats.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Over 60 000 people studied

These findings are based on the Singapore Chinese Health Study, which recruited 63 257 adults between 1993 and 1998 and followed up with them for 11 years.

The study found that those with the highest intake of red meat and poultry had a 23 percent and 15 percent increase in risk of diabetes respectively.

What about fish?

The intake of fish/shellfish was not associated with an increased risk of diabetes. In fact, the risk associated with red meat/poultry was reduced by substituting them with fish/shellfish.

“We don’t need to remove meat from the diet entirely,” says Professor Koh.

She recommends reducing the daily intake of red meat and eating chicken breasts, fish/shellfish or plant-based protein food and dairy products instead.

Source: Duke-NUS Medical School via

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.