Red meat remains a staple in the typical American diet, but it appears that if more people got their protein fix from other sources, it could help in the ongoing battle against type 2 diabetes.

A joint investigation between researchers in Denmark and at Harvard University discovered that replacing some red meat intake with other protein foods—including poultry, fish, legumes, dairy and nuts—during a 4-year period was associated with a 10%–18% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent 4-year timeframe. Nearly 150,000 adults participated in the study.

The drop in diabetes rates, reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was found to occur whether people replaced unprocessed or processed red meat, but the effect was stronger for the latter. That means serving up salmon or lentils for dinner more frequently than sausage.

See also: Switching to Poultry From Red Meat May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk