While some doctors have suggested that consuming hot dogs might raise your risk of developing colorectal cancer, Harvard researchers recently reported processed red meat like bacon and hot dogs raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to an article in the New York Times, replacing just one serving per day of processed red meat with nuts or low-fat dairy can lower the risk of disease.
The study analyzed 300,000 people ages 25 to 75, including three groups of male and female health professionals and looked at their eating and health habits dating to 1976.
Overall, researchers discovered that eating just 50 grams a day of processed meat — one hot dog or sausage, for example, or a little more than two strips of bacon — increased the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 51 percent.
Instead of chowing down on bacon, sausage, bologna or ham, medical professionals recommend limiting consumption of processed red meats and instead selecting a low-fat dairy product, a serving of whole grains or a serving of fish or poultry.
Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and an author of the study told the New York Times that the results of the study should encourage Americans to reduce the amount of red meat in their diet.
“It’s a very important message, given that diabetes is rising very rapidly and consumption of red meat, including both processed and unprocessed, is very high,” Hu said.
Dr. Hu told the New York Times that he would recommend the average person eat no more than one serving of processed meat a week and limit unprocessed red meat to two or three servings a week.
If you eat a meat-centric diet, try some of our favorite recipes to help you cut down the amount of processed and unprocessed meat in your diet.
If you love grilled meat, opt for barbecued chicken salad for the hearty flavors you love with less fat and more protein.
If you love pulled pork, opt for crock pot chicken picante to enjoy a rich texture and bold flavors.
If you love beef stew, opt for home style chicken stew, which has all of the flavor of this one-bowl comfort classic.
If you love cheeseburgers, try a white bean veggie burger, packed with flavor and protein with minimal saturated fat.