Verification Topic: Is Livestock Food the Main Cause of Diabetes?


Choi Yoon-jae Professor Emeritus, Seoul National University

Excessive carbohydrate intake in Koreans, directly linked to diabetes

Preventive effect of continuous intake of livestock products and milk

There is a misconception that livestock foods can cause diabetes. This is due to the error that excessive intake of animal fat from livestock foods can lead to type 2 diabetes, which is caused by a decrease in the reactivity of body cells to insulin. Or, there is a myth that the high milk fat content of milk can cause type 2 diabetes, but is this true?

Verification content

1. In the case of Koreans, the main cause of type 2 diabetes is excessive carbohydrate intake, not livestock food or animal fat.

When it comes to diabetes, the main cause is carbohydrate intake, not animal fat. Many studies have already found that the incidence of type 2 diabetes increases when calorie intake is centered on carbohydrates (various sugars such as starch and sugar) instead of livestock foods centered on fat and protein. Today, Koreans consume 307.8 g of carbohydrates per day, which is nearly three times the daily carbohydrate requirement recommended by the National Institute of Medicine. In particular, it is not right to attribute the main cause of diabetes to livestock food rather than carbohydrates in the reality that the average carbohydrate intake rate of middle-aged people over 50 years old is about 70% or more. In my opinion, to prevent diabetes, the recommended carbohydrate intake should be reduced from 60% to 40% and fat intake should be increased to about 40%.

2. The animal fat of livestock food prepared in a healthy way prevents diabetes by activating beneficial microorganisms in the intestine.

Recent studies prove that changes in the intestinal microflora made through the consumption of livestock foods are effective in preventing and treating diabetes by regulating the signaling effect of insulin and the immune system. In 2014, a research team from the University of Cambridge in the UK and a research team from the UK National Medical Research Council published an experiment that found that fat contained in dairy products such as yogurt and cheese actually reduced the risk of developing diabetes.

However, even with the same fat, obesity formed through the consumption of fried foods or excessive carbohydrates can cause diseases such as diabetes as previously recognized.

3. Habitual consumption of livestock food induces homeostasis and helps prevent diabetes in the elderly.

There is also a prejudice that high content of milk fat in milk among livestock foods will cause type 2 diabetes. However, research results suggesting that drinking milk helps prevent diabetes by developing homeostasis in the body rather than drinking milk, disproving that prejudice. The results of a study analyzing the correlation between livestock food and health showed that consumption of milk and dairy products reduced the risk of diabetes by 0.85 and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about 15%.

It is important to note that homeostasis is not created in a short period of time, so it is important to drink milk consistently from an early age. From the viewpoint of maintaining homeostasis in the body, experts recommend that it is necessary to make a habit of consuming dairy products as early as possible in order to prevent diabetes in adulthood.

Verification result

Livestock food is not the main cause of diabetes.

Many studies show that livestock food is not the main cause of diabetes, and that eating animal and plant foods in a balanced ratio with the right cooking method can reduce the incidence of diabetes, It has been shown that regular consumption of milk and dairy products in moderate amounts is good for preventing diabetes.

verification material

Malik, V. al., Adolescent dairy product consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in middle-aged women. Am J Clin Nutr 94, 854-861 (2011년)

Ministry of Health and Welfare, “Status of Korean Nutrient Intake through Nutrient Intake Standards” (distributed on December 22, 2020)

Dr Nita G Forouhi et al., “Differences in the prospective association between individual plasma phospholipid saturated fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study”, The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology (2014년)

“Some saturated fats could help protect against type 2 diabetes, study finds” (The Guardian, 2014년 8월 5일)

Livestock Newspaper, CHUKSANNEWS

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