After excluding some of the participants due to factors such as viral liver disease and alcohol abuse, close to 800 subjects were included in the main analysis, of whom a sub-sample of 357 subjects completed the meat questionnaire. NAFLD was diagnosed in 38.7 percent of participants and insulin resistance in 30.5 percent. The proportion of red and white meat intake was about one third and two thirds, respectively, which is similar to the typical diet of the Israeli population. High meat eaters were slightly younger, mainly male, had a higher body mass index (BMI), caloric intake, and a worse metabolic profile.
The results showed that high consumption of red and processed meat is independently associated with NAFLD and insulin resistance regardless of saturated fat and cholesterol intake and other risk factors such as BMI. In addition, individuals who consumed large quantities of meat cooked using unhealthy methods and those already diagnosed with NAFLD who consumed high HCAs had a higher chance of having insulin resistance.
Low carb diets are frequently recommended to prevent metabolic diseases. These low carb diets can be very rich in animal protein, especially meat. While meat contributes valuable nutrients that are beneficial to health, including protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, the current study indicates that meat should be eaten in moderation and the type of meat and its preparation method should be wisely chosen.
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