Scientists from the Federal University of Pelotas and elsewhere found that eating ultra-processed foods could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body does not use insulin efficiently and gradually loses the ability to make enough insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose in the blood.
Insulin helps glucose produced by the digestion of carbohydrates move from the blood into the body’s cells where it can be used for energy.
In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells do not respond effectively to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. It causes glucose to stay in the blood, leading to a higher-than-normal level of glucose in the blood.
Eating some foods is associated with the risk of diabetes. However, there is no evidence from a meta-analysis that examines how ultra-processed foods affect the risk of diabetes.
Ultra-processed foods are made mostly from substances extracted from foods, such as fats, starches, added sugars, and hydrogenated fats. They may also contain additives like artificial colors and flavors or stabilizers.
Examples of these foods are frozen meals, soft drinks, hot dogs and cold cuts, fast food, packaged cookies, cakes, and salty snacks.
According to a recent study, ultra-processed foods are the main source (nearly 58%) of calories eaten in the US and contribute almost 90% of the energy we get from added sugars.
In the current study, researchers aimed to review published findings about the association between the intake of ultra-processed food and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
They conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis and included long-term studies assessing ultra-processed foods and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
A meta-analysis was conducted to examine the effect of moderate and high intake of ultra-processed food on the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The team reviewed 18 studies that involved almost 1.1 million people. About 72% showed a positive link between ultra-processed foods and the risk of diabetes.
The team found that compared with non-intake, moderate intake of ultra-processed food increased the risk of diabetes by 12%, whereas high intake increased the risk by 31%.
The researchers suggest that the intake of ultra-processed foods increases the risk for type 2 diabetes. The higher the intake, the higher the diabetes risk.
The research was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and conducted by Felipe Mendes Delpino et al.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies that eating more eggs is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and green tea could help reduce death risk in type 2 diabetes
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and results showing Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by 30%.
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