Eat your steak rare

CityPress - - News -

Peo­ple who eat lots of pro­cessed and red meat are at in­creased risk of de­vel­op­ing chronic liver dis­ease and in­sulin re­sis­tance, a di­a­betes risk fac­tor – espe­cially if they like their steak well done, an Is­raeli study sug­gests.

Re­searchers fo­cused on what’s known as non-al­co­holic fatty liver dis­ease, which is as­so­ci­ated with obe­sity and cer­tain eat­ing habits. While red and pro­cessed meat has long been linked to an in­creased risk of di­a­betes, cer­tain can­cers and heart dis­ease, ev­i­dence to date has been mixed about its con­nec­tion to liver dis­ease.

The study team ex­am­ined data on 789 adults who com­pleted ques­tion­naires about their eat­ing and cook­ing habits and un­der­went liver ul­tra­sound scans and lab tests for in­sulin re­sis­tance.

Overall, 39% of the par­tic­i­pants were found to have non­al­co­holic fatty liver dis­ease and 31% had in­sulin re­sis­tance, which hap­pens when the body is less ef­fec­tive at us­ing the hor­mone in­sulin to con­vert sug­ars in the blood into en­ergy for cells to use.

Peo­ple who ate more pro­cessed and red meat were 47% more likely to have liver dis­ease and 55% more likely to have in­sulin re­sis­tance, re­searchers re­port in the Jour­nal of Hepa­tol­ogy.

“Ev­i­dence is mount­ing with re­gard to the harm­ful ef­fect of over­con­sump­tion of red and pro­cessed meat,” said lead study author Shira Zel­ber-Sagi, a nutri­tion re­searcher at the Uni­ver­sity of Haifa.

Cook­ing meat at high tem­per­a­tures for longer pe­ri­ods of time un­til it’s “well done” was as­so­ci­ated with a higher risk of liver dis­ease and in­sulin re­sis­tance than eat­ing meat more “rare” or cooked more briefly, the study also found.

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