Processed Meats Contribute to Diabetes

A diet loaded with hot dogs, lunch meat and Spam can significantly increase your risk of diabetes, according to research conducted by University of Washington scientists. In this study, scientists investigated the diets of rural-dwelling Native Americans and compared what they ate with diabetes rates.

They found that eating processed meats twice per week increased diabetes risk by 63%. The scientists state that compounds in canned meat, such as sodium nitrates, may interfere with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Also, these meats tend to be high in calories, which may promote obesity.

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24 comments

  1. what is meant by processed meat? Continental Europe is stuffed with salamis etc of every description, eaten daily in huge quantities and it hasn’t yet been held rsponsible for any exceptionally massive increase in Diabetes 2.

    Is it basically meat out of a tin that’s the problem referred to?

  2. Now that's strange—-during world war 2 people ate a lot of spam and even into the 1950s, yet there was not so much type 2 diabetes then. Also, I am suspicious of the study with only one ethnic group—-could they be predispsosed to this illness.

  3. Well look at the bun . the mayo . the sause with sugar added. true some studies are blind. with so many other variables. But saturated fat is damaged fat and difficult to digest and assimulate into our bodies.

  4. It make sense. Why eat greasy processed foods? Next time when I go to the shops for groceries I’ll look extra carefully at the food labels.Thank you for this article Blue heron.

  5. Doreen, great reply to such a biased alert.

  6. Yes that right I agree process meat can increase diabetes greatly

  7. thanks god,those junk foods are not my daily menu,regards.

  8. Yeah so much is written about stuff like this and I believe it is crazy..I’ve eaten hotdogs, lunchmeat and some spam all my life and no diabetes here. If the so called people who take these tests aren’t carfful they will surely find out that it isn’t the food necessarily but…. how much and what the diabetics stuff down their throats.

  9. That is something I already know. If when I get the craving for a hot dog or any other processed meat, I buy one that is natural with no nitrates and use gluten free bread or buns. It is hard to control what the Gov.and FDA allow to be put in our food today, so try to make good choices and when you see a article about GMO, Corn Suryp, Nitrates or any other JUNK they are now putting in our food , take time to sign the petition, support raw daries and organic farming, do the research…… Let's make a change!

  10. OK, as the gentleman at the beginning mentions, Europe eats a lot of “processed meats” or salamis and sausages and do not seem to have a problem, is that because they wash them down with wine instead of soda? Or is it the “nitrate” thing. What other things contain nitrates? I do know that there is a company that sells deli turkey, salami, ham, etc, without nitrates, so would that make the difference?

  11. George, you obviously do not live in Hawaii. The use of Spam by Islanders along with sodas (instead of just water) is the highest of anywhere and diabetes is going through the roof. Now as anyone knows if you are working hard, exercising to the max (soldiers?) you can burn most of that burden off, but we all live way to sedentary of a life. This wasn't a biased alert, but a wake up call to us all! And maybe just maybe there are more additives in today's Spam than before vs. the old days when the #1 preservative was salt.

  12. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE EATING,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, BE INFORMED,,,,,,,,,

  13. The problem is not fat. There are numerous conflicting reports regarding the damage created by saturated fats (transfats are bad). Those using carbohydrate free diets eat large amount of fats and their cholesterol levels drop.

    The real problem is sugar (simple carbhydrates) in all forms. In reality, it is anything that is sweet which includes diet foods made with artificial sweeteners.

    Whenever you eat anything sweet tasting, the cells on the pancreas (Islets of Langerhans) produce insulin. Insulin, in the high volumes to which Americans are exposed, due to the excessive amount of sweets we eat, is caustic to the delicate – one cell layer thick lining – of blood vessels.

    When that thin lining (made of what are called endothelial cells or endothelium) becomes damaged from the insulin, the body goes through its normal healing process which involves cholesterol. But, the insult to the cells from insulin does not stop! We continuously do damage to that lining as we rarely eat food that does not have something sweet tasting in it.

    The result is that the healing process using cholesterol is a continuous process and the cholesterol in our blood vessels continues to build. The result is the development of occlusions (blockages) in blood vessels … then heart attack or stroke.

    Of course, there is also the damage done to the pancreatic cells that results in their failure and Type II diabetes.

  14. If anyone of the many who added their comments on the above topic had done any reading,studying, research etc. you would have found that there is no truth to the speculation that canned meat leads to Diabetes. Folks if you did your homework you would understand that it is sugar, in the form of carbs (rice, potatoes,bread, many vegetables,fruit, and more) that is the main cause of diabetes. The body simply overloads and then becomes insulin resistant and eventually if we keep overloading the body develops diabetes. This of course is a total understatement of how diabetes develops. The way to avoid Diabetes is eat lots of protein (meat,eggs,cheese, nuts), skip the carbs or at the very least cut way back on carbs. You’ll be surprised at the results. For veggies eat green. Avoid yellow,& Red. This is also a prescription to ‘prevent cancer’. I said prevent, not cure. High carbs will fuel Cancer if it is present in your body. This is a scientific fact. Last word: only follow science, not opinion, or unproven studies etc.

  15. Sure, Spam was around in the 40s and 50s, but people also cooked a LOT of real food too. Now mom just works all day and family heads to Subway. Not mom's fault, it's just the economy — but hard on food choices.

  16. In response to Bob Pritchard, saturated fats are not necessarily damaged fats. Polyunsaturated fats in our diet are much more likely to be damaged.

  17. BE,,,,,,,,,,,,,, WELL, MY FRIENDS,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  18. The picture of the hairy chested guy is enough to make you not want to eat a hot dog for weeks. Ick. Anyway, thank you for the great articles. Such variety is alone enough to peak the interest.

  19. I must say that your articles are written to peak the interest of everyone. Some of the comments are indeed “scientific” and intellectual but they lack that certain element that makes them interesting. After reading some of them I want to go out and indeed eat everything they are against. However, after reading your articles I want to do more research and do what you have suggested. BRAVO!

  20. Marty Moore McLeod

    AMEN David!!! You are right on with this advice.

  21. There is a way to neutralize sodium nitrates in any food by just eating some tomatoes, or ketchup with the food…..As far as regulating blood sugar levels, certain herbs like “Bitter Melon,” “Gymnema Sylvestre,” and NAC and Alpha-Lipoic Acid seem to do this job, as well as Ginseng….

  22. As a diabetic I really don’t eat those processed meat and even fresh meat. That’s not my type of food I want to savor. Instead , I love eating fish, veggies and fruits but to their limits. And I’m thanking God I can withstand eating those kinds of foods not good for diabetics. I have self-discipline to maintain normal blood sugar level all the time.

  23. This has been very informative.I have to be cautious even though there has been no indication of Diabeties from my last medical checkup. Some family members have shown traces. Thanks

  24. I enjoy what you have done right here. I love the part where you say you are doing this kind of to give back but I would assume simply by all the comments that is working for you as well. Do you get any much more details on this kind of?

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