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If You Have Diabetes, Turkey Could Be a Go-To Protein Provision

If you have diabetes, why wait until Thanksgiving for a slice of turkey? Turkey, like all meat, is high in protein and has virtually no carbohydrates. That means its glycemic index and glycemic load values are low, so eating turkey is unlikely to disrupt your immediate blood sugar control. Turkey also contains vitamins such as vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin); it's a rich source of iron; and with the skin removed, its total fat and saturated fat content is reduced by nearly half.

Although meat consumption in general has been linked to higher risks of diabetes and its complications, the strongest associations are with red meats (beef, lamb, and pork) and processed meats (like hot dogs and bacon). In fact, when considered alone, fresh poultry (chicken and turkey) appears not to increase diabetes risk, and small amounts of poultry are often included in eating patterns considered prudent for diabetes prevention and management. Before you cook it, keep in mind that removing turkey’s skin, marinating it before cooking, and roasting it at a low temperature can all go towards reducing some of its less savory features like saturated fats and advanced glycation end-products (damaged proteins that cause cellular damage and may contribute to insulin resistance).

Source: Diabetes Care

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