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Red Meat & Diabetes Risk

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Sherry Batrus is trying to be healthy, especially when it comes to food.

"I grew up in the south. I grew up with fried foods, carb city, tons of sugar. I mean if it was up to me I could eat Krispy Kreme every day."

A year ago Batrus, who is 62, cut out red meat and adopted a Mediterranean diet.

"I eat chick peas, lentils, beans, all that stuff. Lots of salads."

Eating less meat may have also reduced her chances of getting diabetes.

A new study followed 100,000 people for four years. Those who ate half a serving less of red meat a day, reduced their risk of diabetes by 14%.

But those who added a half serving increased their diabetes risk nearly 50%.

The study found the increase risk for diabetes was even greater for processed red meat like hot dogs, sausage and salami.

"As we enter the summer and we go barbecuing what I recommend is throw some vegetables on the grill. because they are going to be healthier for you," says Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum of Lenox Hill Hospital.

Diabetes affects about 25 million Americans and is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.

"If we can say to patients, get the saturated fats get the meat out of your diets, and you're going to prevent diabetes, that's hugely empowerful - empowering."

Sherri has lost 20 pounds and lowered her cholesterol. She says she doesn't miss the meat.

"I just feel better. I feel healthier. I heat lighter. I never have that full feeling after I eat."

But she says she's only human and still has a little ice cream once in a while.

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