Is Pork Bad for Diabetics? 5 Best Meat for Diabetes

Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder affecting millions of people around the world. As a result, it is important for those with diabetes to understand how certain foods may affect their blood sugar and overall health.

One food that has raised many questions among diabetics is pork. This article will explore whether pork is safe for diabetics to consume, as well as discuss the nutritional benefits and considerations associated with eating pork for those with diabetes and diabetes risk.

In addition, this article will provide five of the best meats for diabetes. Ultimately, this article aims to equip readers with the knowledge to make an informed decision on if pork should be included in their diet or not.

Is Pork Safe for Diabetics?

Consuming pork in moderation and with portion control can be an acceptable option for people with diabetes. Pork loin is a lean cut of pork that contains very little fat and less than 1% sugar content, making it a better choice for diabetics than other cuts.

Veggie causing Diabetes

Despite this, research has linked the consumption of red meat consumption to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes due to its high saturated fat and cholesterol levels. To reduce this risk, following a balanced diet that includes a variety of lean meats, meat alternatives, and plant-based options is recommended.

Another important consideration is the research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which suggests that pork can be a healthy addition to a diabetes-friendly diet when consumed in moderation.

Additionally, following the Diabetic Exchange List can help individuals choose foods based on protein, fat, and calorie content so they can ensure their daily nutrition needs, including magnesium and carbs, are being met without jeopardizing blood sugar or glucose levels.

How Does Pork Affect Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics?

Research has suggested that the consumption of red meat, such as pork, and processed meat may be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes due to its high saturated fat and cholesterol levels and trans fats risk factors. However, lean cuts of red meat, such as sirloin, can be a part of a healthy diet in moderation.


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For diabetics, it is important to consider how their diet impacts their blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies have shown that consuming lean cuts of pork can help maintain healthy glucose levels in people with diabetes.

However, it is important to consider portion size when eating pork and pair it with other nutritious components such as vegetables and heart-healthy fats for optimal blood sugar control. Adding dairy, and protein foods to your meal can also help regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.

Additionally, incorporating variety into a diabetic diet by including both lean meats, meat alternatives, plant-based options, and physical activity can provide additional health benefits, including tuna.

Ultimately, managing blood sugar levels is essential for diabetics which requires moderation when consuming pork along with a balanced diet including both proteins and carbohydrates. For those who are at risk of developing diabetes, it is important to be aware of prediabetes and take steps to prevent its progression.

Is There a Preferred Type of Pork for Diabetics?

For those living with diabetes, selecting the right type of pork is essential in managing blood sugar levels. Pork loin, specifically, has been identified as a preferred choice for diabetics due to its low-fat content and lack of sugar.

It is the leanest cut of pork that can be considered part of a healthy diet and should be consumed in moderation with portion control. Not only is pork loin low in saturated fat, but it also contains high amounts of vitamins such as D and selenium. Additionally, pairing pork loin with whole grain options like brown rice or whole wheat bread instead of white bread can further enhance its nutritional value with grams of vitamin C.

The tenderloin variety is even lower in fat than regular pork loin while still providing essential nutrients that are beneficial for those with diabetes. As such, pork tenderloin, and skinless chicken can be a great addition to a diabetic diet when eaten in moderation. Another option for those looking for a low-fat protein source is salami, which can be enjoyed in small amounts as part of a balanced diet.

What are the Nutritional Benefits of Pork For Diabetics?

Pork has been found to offer beneficial nutritional properties for those with diabetes. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, vitamin D, potassium, and kidney which are important for maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.

The zero glycemic index (GI) score of pork means it shouldn’t cause a sudden spike in glucose levels, making it an ideal protein choice for diabetics. Moreover, its high content of thiamine can increase insulin sensitivity in the body which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

In the table below, you can find out about the various nutrients that are available in 100 grams of pork meat:

Sl. No.Nutrients available in 100 g of pork meat Amount available
2.Fats13.92 g
3.Carbohydrates0 g
4.Proteins27.32 g
5.Water57.87 g
6.Cholesterol80 mg
7.Potassium423 mg
8.Selenium45.3 mg
9.Phosphorus246 mg
10.Magnesium28 mg
11.Zinc2.39 mg
12.Choline93.9 mg
13.Calcium19 mg
14.Sodium62 mg
15.Iron0.87 mg
16.Copper0.073 mg
17.Manganese0.009 mg
18.Vitamin B10.877 mg
19.Vitamin B20.321 mg
20.Vitamin B60.464 mg
21.Vitamin B35.037 mg
22.Vitamin D1.3 µg
23.Vitamin B120.7 µg
24.Vitamin B50.698 mg
25.Vitamin C0.6 mg
26.Vitamin A7 µg
27.Vitamin E0.29 mg
28.Folate5 µg

The lean varieties of pork such as pork loin, tenderloin, or ham are preferable for diabetic patients as they contain very little fat and less than 1% sugar content. These meats are also lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than other red meats like sausage and beef which can raise cholesterol levels and put people at risk of heart disease.

Therefore, when adding pork meat to your diet it is recommended to do so with portion control in order to reap the full benefits without unwanted consequences on one’s health.

Are There Any Specific Considerations For Diabetics When Consuming Pork?

When consuming pork, it is important for diabetics to be mindful of certain considerations.

Pork can be a healthy source of protein if lean cuts are chosen and consumed in moderation with portion control.

However, processed meats have been associated with an increased risk of diabetes in observational studies.

Therefore, it is recommended to choose lean cuts of pork and pair them with nutritious components such as vegetables and heart-healthy fats.

Additionally, people with diabetes should be aware that some types of pork may contain high levels of saturated fat which can lead to insulin resistance and increase the glycemic index of foods.

It is important to follow a balanced diet that includes a variety of lean meats, meat alternatives, and plant-based options in order to reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

5 Best Meat for Diabetes

In order to understand the best meats for people with diabetes, it is important to consider the nutritional value of different types of meat.

  1. Lean cuts of pork and poultry are generally recommended for diabetics due to their low-fat content. Pork loin and tenderloin, as well as chicken or turkey (white meat, no skin) and Cornish hen (no skin), are all great options for those looking to consume lean meats while managing their diabetes.
  2. Fish such as salmon, herring, and swordfish also make excellent choices due to their low-fat content and high levels of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids which can help improve heart health.
  3. Beef is another good option but should be limited to lean cuts such as round or loin, as bacon or other high-fat beef products should be avoided due to their higher saturated fat content.
  4. Lamb is a healthy choice for diabetics too; however, it should only be consumed in lean cuts such as leg or loin in order to limit its fat content.
  5. Crayfish is also good for diabetics

With careful consideration of these dietary considerations, individuals with diabetes can enjoy a variety of delicious meals that promote optimal health outcomes without compromising on taste.


Based on the evidence presented, it is clear that pork can be consumed safely by diabetics in moderation. Pork is a beneficial source of high-quality protein and other essential nutrients.

However, diabetics should be aware that processed pork products such as bacon, sausage, and deli meats are higher in sodium and fat than leaner cuts of pork. It is important to choose leaner cuts and limit processed options when possible for better glycemic control.

Frequently Asked Questions



2 thoughts on “Is Pork Bad for Diabetics? 5 Best Meat for Diabetes”

  1. I eat pork tenderloin 3 to 4 times a week, is this to much? I eat only turkey sausage and think it is even better tasting than regular sausage. I am type 2.

    • Since pork is red meat, it’s better to restrict the quantity to 2-3 times per week. Recent studies indicate that excessive consumption of Pork can lead to atherosclerosis and liver disease.


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