Red Meat Linked to Increased Diabetes Risk
Large study finds higher consumption increases risk, but experts are at odds with findings
But Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, countered that Americans are eating too much red meat.
"In 2012, Americans ate an estimated 166 pounds of meat per person," she said. "That is a titanic amount of unhealthy saturated fat and other compounds found in meat, such as iron, zinc or N-nitroso -- compounds that research suggests are linked with increased risks for diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers."
"A plate loaded with meat also leaves less room for vegetables, whole grains and other healthy foods," Heller said.
Zonszein also doesn't put the blame for type 2 diabetes on red meat alone.
"The public health message should be to eat a heart healthy and balanced diet with balanced macronutrients, and low in saturated fat," he said.
He added, however, that "excessive caloric intake is not good, but I will eat a good steak and potatoes from time to time and enjoy it."
"If the cause of the associated risk is saturated and total fat content," Evans said, "the public health message should be to reduce intake from all sources, such as cheese, whole milk and meat that is rich in saturated fat, not to single out specific types of meat because of redness."