Women may find that a higher pre-pregnancy consumption of meat, especially red and processed meat, significantly increases the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus

In April 2018 researchers from Spain published the results of their study to assess the association between the consumption of meat and iron intake with the risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus in pregnant women. A total of 3,298 Spanish women were included in the study, with 172 of the women being diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus. Information on meat consumption and iron intake was collected via a 136-item food frequency questionnaire, and the women were divided into groups according to the amount of meat, especially red and processed meat, was consumed and the intake of iron. Results showed that when the highest meat consumption was compared with the lowest, total meat consumption was significantly associated with a higher risk of gestational diabetes mellitus. The association was particularly strong for both red meat and processed meat consumption.  No association was observed for iron intake, including supplements.

Marí-Sanchis A et al. Association between pre-pregnancy consumption of meat, iron intake, and the risk of gestational diabetes: the SUN project. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Apr;57(3):939-949

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