Expert Q&A

Meat: Reasons Diabetics Must Limit Consumption

If meat doesn't raise my blood sugars, why can't I eat a lot of it?

Those with diabetes have a higher prevalence for dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, and hypertension than those without. Because of this, your diet should reflect foods that will lower your risk for these diseases.

Keep risks lower by eating moderate amounts of protein. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein intake is a 3- to 5-ounce portion (the size of a lady's palm). The serving size should be eaten once daily, and is the same for adults with or without type 2 diabetes.

Eating high amounts of red meat, eggs, and whole milk products have been shown to increase insulin resistance, making it harder for blood glucose to get into the cells, resulting in high blood sugars. Eating more protein usually means you are eating more saturated fat and cholesterol than you need. This eating pattern:

  • Raises total and Low Density Lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) values
  • Has an effect on blood pressure
  • Increases risk for heart disease.

Having type 2 diabetes increases your risk for kidney failure. Excess protein intake also aggravates your kidneys. Eat the right amount of protein to keep your kidneys healthier as well!

Megan Porter, RD/LD
Contributing Expert

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