The American Meat Institute (AMIF) Foundation says that red meat,including meat that has been cured or processed, continues to be a healthy part of a balanced diet and that nutrition decisions should be based on the total body of evidence, not on the latest study that stands in contrast to other research and to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

AMIF issued the statement in response to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which claims that consumption of both unprocessed and processed red meat is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

"The total body of research reflects the fact that we simply don't have any metabolic studies implicating meat consumption and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes," says James H. Hodges, AMIF president. "In fact, other epidemiological studies have found no link between eating fresh red meat and type 2 diabetes."

Hodges notes that it is widely understood in the scientific community that type 2 diabetes is a very complex disease with many risk factors, the most prevalent of which is obesity. Singling out individual foods that may be associated with type 2 diabetes ignores the fact that obesity and diabetes have a wide range of genetic, lifestyle, social, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to variations in their prevalence.

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