Scientists from the University of Glasgow and elsewhere found fish and poultry eaters have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
More than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it.
If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond.
Eventually, your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Obesity is the leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes. In fact, obesity is believed to account for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the associations between types of diet and incident type 2 diabetes.
They used data from more than 200,000 people from UK Biobank, who had no diabetes at the beginning.
The team analyzed self-reported dietary intake information, and participants were categorized as vegetarians, fish eaters, fish and poultry eaters, meat eaters, and varied diets.
The researchers examined the association between the type of diet and incident type 2 diabetes The role of obesity was tested.
The team found that during the 5 years of follow-up, 5067 participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Fish eaters and fish and poultry eaters had a lower risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with meat eaters.
The association for vegetarians was not significant. A varied diet had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
The team also found obesity partially changed the association between fish, poultry, varied diets, and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that fish eaters, as well as fish and poultry eaters, are at a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than meat eaters, partially attributable to lower obesity risk.
The research was published in Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism and conducted by Jirapitcha Boonpor et al.
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