The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Emily Sonestedt

Emily Sonestedt

Associate senior lecturer

Emily Sonestedt

High intakes of protein and processed meat associate with increased incidence of type 2 diabetes.


  • Ulrika Ericson
  • Emily Sonestedt
  • Bo Gullberg
  • Sophie Hellstrand
  • George Hindy
  • Elisabet Wirfält
  • Marju Orho-Melander

Summary, in English

Diets high in protein have shown positive effects on short-term weight reduction and glycaemic control. However, the understanding of how dietary macronutrient composition relates to long-term risk of type 2 diabetes is limited. The aim of the present study was to examine intakes of macronutrients, fibre and protein sources in relation to incident type 2 diabetes. In total, 27 140 individuals, aged 45-74 years, from the population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort, were included. Dietary data were collected with a modified diet history method, including registration of cooked meals. During 12 years of follow-up, 1709 incident type 2 diabetes cases were identified. High protein intake was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes (hazard ratio (HR) 1·27 for highest compared with lowest quintile; 95 % CI 1·08, 1·49; P for trend = 0·01). When protein consumption increased by 5 % of energy at the expense of carbohydrates (HR 1·20; 95 % CI 1·09, 1·33) or fat (HR 1·21; 95 % CI 1·09, 1·33), increased diabetes risk was observed. Intakes in the highest quintiles of processed meat (HR 1·16; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·36; P for trend = 0·01) and eggs (HR 1·21; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·41; P for trend = 0·02) were associated with increased risk. Intake of fibre-rich bread and cereals was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes (HR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·98; P for trend = 0·004). In conclusion, results from the present large population-based prospective study indicate that high protein intake is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Replacing protein with carbohydrates may be favourable, especially if fibre-rich breads and cereals are chosen as carbohydrate sources.


  • Nutrition Epidemiology
  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health

Publishing year







British Journal of Nutrition





Document type

Journal article


Cambridge University Press


  • Nutrition and Dietetics



Research group

  • Nutrition Epidemiology
  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease


  • ISSN: 1475-2662