University of Valencia's Mercedes Sotos Prieto, who conducted the study involving 945 men and women aged between 55 and 80 years with a high cardiovascular risk, found that fish consumption lowered the diabetes risk.
Eating red meat in excess is tied to higher cardio risk, higher blood pressure, diabetes and a moderate decrease in life expectancy mainly due to cancer or heart disease, the journal Nutricion Hospitalaria reports.
Conversely, fish is a staple in the Mediterranean diet and has health benefits for the heart, according to Spain's University of Valencia statement.
Various hypotheses have been put forward that attempt to explain why the consumption of fish can be related to diabetes, the researchers explain.
The increase of Omega-3 in the cells of the skeletal muscles improves insulin sensitivity, a factor associated with the lowered risk of diabetes.