Over a four-year period, researchers at the National University of Singapore found that people who increased their intake of red meat by more than half a serving a day were 48 per cent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
The study, which analysed data from three studies of 149,000 men and women, was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The researchers also found cutting out the same amount of red meat can lower the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes by at least 14 per cent.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects approximately 2.9 million people in the UK. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin, causing the body’s blood-sugar level to become too high.
“Our results confirm the robustness of the association between red meat and Type 2 diabetes and add further evidence that limiting red meat confers benefits for prevention,” said Dr An Pan, lead research for the study.
She added that eating less red meat also helps prevent coronary heart disease and certain cancers, as a significant number of recent studies have shown.