Men with a high intake of plant protein also had healthy lifestyle habits, but lifestyle habits alone did not explain their lower risk of diabetes. The risk of men with the highest intake of plant protein to develop type 2 diabetes was 35 per cent smaller than the risk of those with the lowest intake of plant protein.
The researchers also discovered an association of a high intake of meat with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. The strongest association was seen in the consumption of meat in general, including processed and unprocessed red meat, white meat and variety meats. The link between eating meat and having a higher risk of diabetes is likely caused by other compounds found in meat than protein, as meat protein was not associated with the risk of diabetes.