August 10/Boston/UPI -- Eating red meat -- particularly processed meat such as hot dogs, bacon and deli meats -- increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, U.S. researchers say.

The study, published online ahead of the October print edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also finds replacing red meat with healthier proteins, such as low-fat dairy, nuts or whole grains, can significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Study leader An Pan, a research fellow in the Harvard School of Public Health and senior author, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, and colleagues analyzed questionnaire responses from 37,083 men tracked for 20 years in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study; 79,570 women tracked for 28 years in the Nurses' Health Study I; and 87,504 women tracked for 14 years in the Nurses' Health Study II.

They also conducted a meta-analysis, combining data from their new study with data from existing studies that included a total of 442,101 participants, of which 28,228 developed type 2 diabetes.

The researchers find a daily 100g serving of unprocessed red meat -- the size of a deck of cards -- was associated with a 19% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, while one daily serving of processed meat such as one hot dog, a sausage or two slices of bacon -- was associated with a 51% increased risk.

 From the August 11, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.