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New study doesn’t change dietary advice

11 August 2011

New study doesn’t change dietary advice

A new study, published today in the US, doesn’t change advice on eating meat here in New Zealand. The study suggests high intakes of red and processed meat are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, but the results have little significance to Kiwi meat eaters.

This type of study can only show an association between red meat and diabetes, not that one causes the other. Other similar studies have shown no link at all. There are a number of risk factors for diabetes; obesity remains the most prevalent. Singling out one food in a condition influenced by such a wide range of factors is misleading.

The amounts of meat being eaten by study participants were also far greater than those eaten by most Kiwis. New Zealanders eat red meat within national and international guidelines, based on large amounts of scientific evidence.

The scientific and medical communities agree eating lean red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet is beneficial to health. It is an excellent source of protein, readily available iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin D and a range of B vitamins, as well as being a low fat food.

“Like every well-designed study, the results raise more questions than answers, and do not, at this early stage, change advice about eating patterns for optimum health. Kiwis should therefore continue to enjoy red meat 3-4 times a week as part of an overall healthy lifestyle,” concludes Fiona Carruthers, Nutrition Manager, Beef + Lamb New Zealand.


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