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Iron Levels Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

Study Shows Threefold Increase in Risk in Women With Highest Levels of Iron in Blood

Other Dietary Influences? continued...

Hu tells WebMD that the strongest associations identified so far involve fiber, fats, and carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates and trans fats have been implicated in increasing diabetes risk, and dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fats, like those found in nuts and canola oil, appear protective.

But American Diabetes Association spokesman Nathaniel Clark, MD, says he is concerned that proven interventions for lowering type 2 diabetes risk -- namely losing weight and exercising -- may be obscured if people get the message that it is all about what they eat.

"I would hate to have the public distracted from focusing on these things," he tells WebMD.

He points to findings from a major intervention study, which showed a dramatic reduction in diabetes incidence among high-risk obese people who lost moderate amounts of weight and began an exercise program.

"Encouraging people to eat more complex carbohydrates and watch their intake of saturated fats and trans fats is a good message overall," he says. "But we know that weight loss and exercise play a big part in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

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