Washington: A new study from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institutehas suggested that women, who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, should avoid consuming red meat and opt for fish and poultry.
The recommendation comes at a time when there is increasing evidence to suggest that red meat is linked with a higher rate of gestational diabetes in pregnant women, which poses risks to the health of both the mother and the baby.
Research leader and author Philippa Middleton said that the latest international research shows that women who eat a lot of red and processed meats even before they become pregnant have a significant risk of developing gestational diabetes.
However, the latest US research has shown that eating fish and poultry does not increase the risk of gestational diabetes, and consuming more vegetable and non-meat protein is associated with a reduction in risk, Middleton asserted.
For example, just over half a serving of nuts per day can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes by 40 percent, Middleton said.
Middleton said that although the link between red meat and diabetes is strengthening, more research is needed to better understand why this is happening and how to adapt women's diets and other lifestyle behaviors to prevent both gestational and type 2 diabetes.
The study is published in journal Evidence-Based Nursing.