If you’re reading this while shovelling a nice juicy piece of steak into your mouth, you might want to put the fork down.
It’s common knowledge that red and processed meats can lead to cardiovascular problems, but according to a new study, that’s not all that it might lead to.
The study, published in the Journal of Hepatology, found that eating large amounts of red and processed meats, as is common in a lot of western diets, contributes to both non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and insulin resistance.
The researchers analyzed over 800 40 to 70 year olds. They measured NAFLD and insulin resistance and compared it to the amount of red and processed meat the subjects ate, as well as how they cooked it.
They found that even without considering other factors such as cholesterol, BMI or saturated fat intake, there was still a very large correlation between the meat and the diseases.
Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. It means that your cells don’t like insulin and are less effectively using it. It doesn’t mean you’re going to get diabetes, but it’s a big risk factor.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is exactly what it sounds like- an accumulation of fatty cells in the liver in people who drink very little or not at all.
Neither disease is serious on its own, but they are both risk factors towards developing other diseases.
The study suggests the best way to avoid these results is to limit the amount of red meat you consume and to pay attention to the cooking method.