A new study from France has found that people who consume a diet high in animal products, such as meat and dairy, increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Red meat, cheese and egg can trigger stomach acids linked to the disease.
Scientists from the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, in Paris, studied a group of 66,485 women over a period of 14 years and discovered that those with the most acidic diets were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The scientists pointed out that acidic foods are typically animal products. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables help to neutralise acidity.
“A diet rich in animal protein may favour net acid intake, while most fruits and vegetables form alkaline precursors that neutralise the acidity,” said the leader of the study, Dr Francoise Clavel-Chapelon. “Contrary to what is generally believed, most fruits such as peaches, apples, pears, bananas and even lemons and oranges actually reduce dietary acid load once the body has processed them.”
She added: “We have demonstrated for the first time in a large prospective study that dietary acid load was positively associated with type 2 diabetes risk, independently of other known risk factors for diabetes.”
This long-term study follows a report earlier this year published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which showed how even a small increase in red meat consumption can almost double a person’s risk of developing diabetes.