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Reducing your risk of getting type 2 diabetes

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Diabetes affects nearly 30 million Americans. And their health care costs are twice as high as the average American.

Experts from the American Diabetes Association say Americans spend $245 billion annually to treat the disease. Here are some simple changes to your diet that can reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

First, a new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge shows consuming soft drinks increased the risk of getting diabetes by up to 27 percent. Replace those sugary drinks with water, unsweetened tea or coffee.

Next, eat plenty of fiber. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains improve blood sugar control.

Also, limit your consumption of red meat and avoid processed meat altogether. The high iron content in red meat reduces insulin's effectiveness.

And finally, skip fad diets. Instead eat healthier and exercise regularly. One Mayo Clinic study showed people who lost seven percent of their body weight and exercised regularly, reduced their risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.

Studies project more than half of US adults will be diabetic or pre-diabetic within the next five years.