It may come as no surprise that hot dogs and cold cuts aren't exactly health foods, but new research reveals just how bad processed meats really may be.
Announced last week, a new study from Harvard School of Public Health reports that processed meats have a "shockingly high" association with type 2 diabetes. A daily serving of 50 grams of processed meat, about the same as two slices of cold cuts or one hot dog, can increase your risk of the disease by 50 percent, according to the researchers. And that applies to anyone, fat or slim, warned head researcher An Pan, a Harvard research fellow, in a statement.
The research, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is based on data from three major US studies involving more than 200,000 adults, some of whom have been followed for nearly 30 years.
Other options for your barbecue? Unprocessed red meats, such as ground beef and pork, can also raise your diabetes risks, but not to the same degree, the researchers reported.
Even better, replace a daily serving of red meat with a serving of nuts, which is associated with a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes, according to health website MyHealthNewsDaily. Substituting meat with a portion of low-fat dairy can reduce your risk by 17 percent; whole grains, by 23 percent.