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Can Red Meat Consumption Lead to Diabetes?

Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Harvard researchers have found a strong link between eating red meat of any kind and risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The large long-term study by the Harvard School of Public Health found a 19 percent higher risk for people who eat unprocessed red meat daily -- like steak or hamburger.  Furthermore, they found there was a 51 percent higher risk for those who eat processed red meat -- like a hot dog or sausage -- every day.

The researchers also found that risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is significantly lower if individuals replace red meat with healthier proteins such as low-fat dairy, nuts or whole grains.

The study's findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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