BOSTON (CBS) – Harvard researchers have found a strong association between eating red meat and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

In a study that analyzed nearly a half a million people, results show that a daily serving of red meat is associated with a 19 percent increased risk.

The risk jumped to 51 percent for those who ate process meat such as bacon or sausage, even in smaller portions.

Diabetes is becoming global epidemic. Here in the U.S. it’s estimated 1 in 3 Americans will have the disease by 2050.

Researchers said healthier proteins, such as low-fat dairy, nuts, or whole grains, can significantly lower the risk.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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