A recent study in France found that women who eat higher amounts meat, cheese, eggs, fish, bread, and soft drinks were at greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes. The part about soft drinks may sound obvious, but what about meat and cheese? Can meat and cheese really lead to diabetes? If so, what’s the connection?
The connection, in short, is acid. Foods such as meat, fish, and other common “acidic offenders” produce acids when they are broken down by the body. This causes the body’s systems to be more acidic. Some researchers believe that this excess acidity can lead to all kinds of health problems—including (but not limited to) type 2 diabetes.
While proponents of the alkaline diet have long touted the benefits of weight loss, cancer prevention, and overall better health, the France study is one of the first of its kind to link a high acid diet and type 2 diabetes.
Some experts note that the correlation does not indicate causation, and that there are greater risk factors for diabetes than a high acid diet—with the main one being obesity.
Further research is needed on the matter to draw a clearer link, and to better explain the relationship.
Past research does, however, suggest a strong link between high acidity and certain cancers, which should alone be cause for concern. For the average American who is concerned about their health, it is advisable to take steps to keep the weight off and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and fewer acid-producing foods.