Beef and Diabetes

Beef and Diabetes


Glycemic index:


Calories per 100 g:

200 kcal

Beef is commonly found in most mealswhether in BBQ, sausages, sandwiches, etc. But diabetes patients find it challenging to consume specific meals. It also doesn’t mean you should cut off all your favorite meals. However, you have to know how to make your meal choices. 

The truth is that beef is enjoyable and has a lot of health benefits. However, meat lovers should ensure to cut down on beef intake as it can lead to heart problems.

If you have diabetes, it is advisable to select your red meat wisely. If possible, totally cut down on meat or processed meat intake as they contain too much cholesterol that can affect the heart.


Nutritional value

  • Protein 14 g
  • Carbohydrate 0 g
  • Fat 16 g
  • Fiber 0 g
  • Sugar 0 g
  • Cholesterol 90 g

What Studies Say About Diabetes and Red Meat


Over the years, there have been various studies about diabetics.

In a 2018 research, meat cooked over an open flame and high temperature has been observed to cause type 2 diabetes. It showed that participants tend to develop diabetes when eating red meat or chicken cooked over high heat or open flames.

The research also stated that processed meat like cold cuts, sausages, and meat covered with salts poses a high risk of diabetes.

So, if people with diabetes can cut their consumption of this type of beef, they will be fine.


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How Does Beef Preparation Affect Diabetics?

Most prepared with high flame or open-air have high HCA (heterocyclic amines). This is usually formed when minerals found in food, like sugar and protein, react with high temperatures. So, cooking meals over a high flame or open air increases cholesterol levels, which leads to type 2 diabetes.


Can Diabetic Patients Eat Meat?

Of course, the American Diabetes Association does not eliminate eating meat completely. However, their 2021 Standard of Medical Care in Diabetes advises eating lean meats.

Lean meat includes top loins, round steaks, roast, top sirloin, arm roast, chuck shoulders, etc.

It is also ideal to go for beef with about 90 percent lean or more. For pork, you can go for lean options like tenderloin or pork loin.

Meat tagged lean is low fat. Also, ensure to remove the skin before cooking to avoid adding more fat.

If your budget can serve, you can purchase grass-fed beef, as they produce healthier meat with omega-3 fatty acids.



Meat low in carbs and sugar is suitable for people living with diabetes. It doesn’t mean you cannot have steaks, but ensure that you go for the leaner cuts. For ground beef, select those with 95 percent lean.

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