High Animal Protein Consumption Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

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Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

Photo courtesy of Tanya Dawn via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Tanya Dawn via Flickr

  • High animal protein consumption linked to type 2 diabetes: According to a new study from the Wageningen University in Netherlands recently published in journal Diabetes Care, a high intake of protein (mainly animal protein) has been linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, especially among obese women. The large-scale study including over 15 thousand participants was led by Monique van Nielen, PhD, from the division of nutrition, at Wageningen University as part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-InterAct case-control study. The goal of InterAct was to investigate how both genetic and lifestyle factors affect diabetes occurrence in the European countries. For the purpose of the study, animal protein sources included meat, dairy, and fish; plant protein sources included bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and other vegetables. The estimated total protein (mainly animal) intake was 90.4 g/day for men and 91.0 g/day for women. The study results indicated that, overall, high total protein intake was associated with a 13% higher incidence of diabetes for every 10-g increment after adjusting for energy intake, center, sex, diabetes risk factors, and dietary factors. While obese women had a 19% increased incidence compared with normal-weight women, there was no association found in men. Among the E.U. countries, Spain had the highest intake of 102.5 g/day, followed by Germany  with 80.0 g/day, while Sweden had the lowest protein intake with 80.8 g/day.
  • Many foods labeled as “natural” in the U.S. contain GMOs: According to a new report recently published by the non-profit product testing group Consumer Reports, a majority of U.S. packaged foods labeled as “natural” actually contained a substantial level of genetically modified ingredients. As Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability, explained: “Consumers are being misled by the “natural” label.” Consumer Reports said that they tested more than 80 different processed foods containing corn or soy (the two most commonly grown genetically engineered crops in the United States) with the goal to verify accuracy of product labels for GMO presence. And while foods labeled as “non-GMO,” or “organic” were found to be free of genetically modified corn and soy, virtually all of the foods labeled as “natural” or not labeled contained substantial amounts of GMO ingredients. Such products included breakfast cereals, chips, and even infant formula. This report comes at the same time when the Grocery Manufacturers Association representing more than 300 food companies, is pushing the federal government to develop a definition of the term “natural” on food packaging, and also to allow foods containing GMOs to be labeled as natural.
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