Grilled Meat and Chicken Increases Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

July 1, 2019

Summer is a popular time to break out the grill and host a family barbecue. However, it might be in your best interest to keep the hot dog and burger grilling to a minimum. We know from previous studies that cooking red meat at high temperatures can release carcinogenic compounds, and when eaten in excessive amounts it has been linked to breast, prostate and colon cancer. Now there’s a new study linking excessive consumption of meat and chicken cooked at high temperatures to type 2 diabetes. High temperature cooking methods include grilling, barbecuing, broiling or roasting. 


This prospective study followed 52,752 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, 60,809 women from NHS II, and 24,679 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for over ten years. All participants were initially free from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The study found that 7,895 participants developed type 2 diabetes (T2DM). The association to T2DM was significantly higher for those who consumed grilled meat more than 15 times per month versus less than four times per month.


Bottom line: Moderation is key. Consume grilled meat once a week and try to reduce your portions while adding extra grilled vegetables to your plate. After all, the side dishes are one of the best parts about barbecues. Put more of an emphasis on the watermelon, corn on the cob and coleslaw this summer. 

Written by: Amanda Pelletier, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.


1. Physician’s Briefing     
2. American Diabetes Association
3. The Washington Post

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