Study underscores the importance of nuts as an alternative source of protein

A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition assessed the relationships between intakes of total, processed and unprocessed red meat and risk of type 2 diabetes and estimated the effects of replacing red meat with healthy plant-based protein sources, including nuts and legumes.

The prospective cohort study looked at health data from 216,695 participants in the United States, of whom 81% were women. Diet was assessed with food frequency questionnaires every two to four years, for up to 36 years. The researchers found that consumption of red meat was strongly associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Participants who ate the most red meat had a 62% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate the least. The researchers also found that replacing one daily serving of red meat with a serving of nuts and legumes was associated with a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study supports current dietary recommendations on limiting red meat intake and underscores the importance of alternative sources of protein, such as nuts, for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Gu, X., Drouin-Chartier, J.-P., Sacks, F.M., Hu, F.B., Rosner, B., Willett, W.C. (2023). Red meat intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in a prospective cohort study of United States females and males, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ISSN 0002-9165,

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