Specifically, the study, published in the Journal of Hepatology, suggests high consumption of red and processed meats, including sausage and hot dogs, may lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance.
Previous studies have connected high consumption of red meat and processed meat with several other chronic conditions, including cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The new study is the first to connect the popular protein choices with these metabolic conditions.
“Unhealthy Western lifestyle plays a major role in the development progression of NAFLD, namely, lack of physical activity and high consumption of fructose and saturated fat,” Shira Zelber-Sagi, the study’s lead researcher, said in a statement. “Our study looked at other common foods in the Western diet, namely red and processed meats, to determine whether they increase the risk for NAFLD.”
At the end of the two-year study, 38.7 percent of participants were diagnosed with NAFLD, and 30.5 percent were diagnosed with insulin resistance.
The food journals revealed that in general, people ate more white meat than red meat.