Studies are linking high red meat consumption with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while high dairy consumption is being associated with decreased risk.

The study compared the impact on insulin sensitivity when consuming high levels of lean red meat and minimal dairy vs. no red meat with a low-fat dairy consumption.

Dairy foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, which are sources of high-quality protein, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals, have been associated with protection from developing T2D.

The randomized 4-week crossover study had 47 obese men and women divided into two groups: one with normal glucose tolerance and one with impaired fasting glucose.

Results were published in the March edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Results showed that fasting insulin was significantly higher after the dairy diet than after the red meat diet. It showed no change in fasting glucose resulting in a decrease in insulin sensitivity after the high dairy diet as assessed by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance.

Sex made a difference in diet interaction. In women the sensitivity was significantly lower in women after the dairy diet than after the red meat diet, with no difference between diets in men.

Dr. Richard Maurer, ND, author of The Blood Code: Unlock the secrets of your metabolism, discusses insulin and insulin resistance insulin resistance throughout his lectures and in his book. “This study reinforces the metabolic response our body has to dairy products. Ancestrally it makes sense right? In the first six months of human life, the goal is to double body weight with only one food, mother’s milk. And the sugar naturally in milk, lactose, does a fantastic job stimulating our body to release insulin—and anabolic (stimulates growth) hormone. The problem is…many of us grownups are no longer trying to double our body weight in six months. To the contrary, if we want to lessen the anabolic message in our body, replacing dairy with other meat-based protein sources can be a healthful move.”

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