Insight News

Jul 30th


People who eat less meat tend to live longer

People who eat less meat tend to live longerQuestion:
Is eating meat bad for your health?

Meat can provide many essential nutrients in our diet. It is a rich source of iron and of protein that is the building block for muscle and many of the chemical processes in our body. However, it is not the only source for protein. Non-meat sources of protein include dairy products, eggs, nuts and beans. It is possible to get enough protein in your diet without eating meat and many people chose to adopt a meat-free lifestyle for religious, health or ethical reasons. There are so many recommendations these days about how we should be eating. Some of these recommendations are often in direct conflict to one another. One area where many diets differ is on their recommendations about eating meat - some recommend eating a lot of meat while others recommend limiting or cutting meat out of one's diet completely. What is best? Read on.


Did You Know? Five facts about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

(StatePoint) For many of the 12 million Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, breathlessness, coughing and mucus production may not be symptoms of a nagging cold, but serious, daily effects of a progressive, irreversible lung disease that includes the respiratory illnesses chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

While COPD is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. and worldwide, many Americans are not aware that the disease even exists.

"Awareness is important to help ensure people are being diagnosed and treated properly," said Dr. Antonio Anzueto, a pulmonary specialist and professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Symptoms of COPD -- such as shortness of breath and a lingering cough -- can often be attributed to something else. With increased awareness, we are able to diagnose and treat COPD earlier, which can limit the amount of lung damage and help improve the quality of life for patients."

Facts You Should Know About COPD

• COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and kills more than 120,000 Americans each year. That's approximately one death every four minutes. In recent years, COPD death rates for women have risen steadily. Today, more women than men die from COPD each year.

• Only half of the people living with COPD in the U.S. have been correctly diagnosed, potentially leaving an additional 12 million Americans with undiagnosed COPD. One reason for under-diagnosis is that the symptoms of COPD can be mistaken for other conditions, such as asthma, another chronic inflammatory lung disease. While COPD and asthma have similar characteristics, they are two distinct conditions with varying treatment strategies.

• Smoking is identified as the most common risk factor for COPD. However, as approximately 20 percent of smokers develop COPD, it is believed that genetic and environmental factors can also influence the risk of developing COPD. It is also now recognized that 10 to 20 percent of COPD patients have never smoked. Nonetheless, smoking accounted for as much as 90 percent of COPD-related deaths.

• The assessment of COPD should determine the severity of airflow limitation in the lungs, the impact of symptoms on a patient's health and a patient's future risk of events, such as a COPD flare-up or exacerbation that could lead to physician office visits or hospitalization. This evaluation helps determine the progression of disease and guide therapeutic recommendations for each patient.

• While there is no cure for COPD, it is manageable. Lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, healthy eating and exercise, are recommended for COPD patients. According to Dr. Anzueto, "Shortness of breath can steer COPD patients away from exercise. However, there are many health benefits from regular exercise that can help COPD patients." Pulmonary rehabilitation, which includes breathing strategies and exercise training, can help improve COPD symptoms. Various prescription medications are also available to help COPD patients at all stages of severity manage their disease. Dr. Anzueto recommends that COPD patients speak with their doctor about the available treatment options.

"Today, treatment options are available that can help people with COPD, no matter how severe their disease," said Dr. Anuzeto. "When medications are combined with healthy lifestyle changes, many people with COPD find that they can continue doing the things they love doing."

For further information about treatment options and COPD, visit

Awareness is key to diagnosing rare diseases

Awareness is key to diagnosing rare diseases(StatePoint) Nearly 30 million Americans -- or one in 10 -- are currently affected by a rare disease. Many of these patients are now starting to speak out about the unique challenges they face daily.

Minnesota's diabetes rates have nearly doubled in the last 20 years

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that about 80,000 adults in Minnesota may have diabetes without knowing it.

They're back and they're gross, but bed bugs can be conquered

They're back and they're gross, but bed bugs can be conqueredMedia contact: Allison Sandve, U of M Extension,, (612) 626-4077; or Catherine Dehdashti, (612) 625-0237,

Cravings: Ways to get a handle on a 'sweet' tooth

Many of us (including myself) have regular cravings for sweet foods. In limited quantities, sweets may be something that are a manageable and sustainable part of our daily food intake. However, because these foods can be so habit forming and are so widely available many of us find ourselves eating more of these foods then we would like. There are many potentially negative health effects of eating a diet that contains moderate to high levels of processed sugars. Most of us are familiar with concerns about excess calories and weight gain. However, there is increasing evidence, that sugar (and other processed sweeteners) can have negative impacts on our mood and may play a role in increased depression.

April is National Minority Health Month: Ophthalmologists urge African-American seniors to get routine eye exams

To help curb vision loss among at-risk communities, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding African-Americans about race-related risk factors for eye disease during National Minority Health Month in April. African-Americans are more than twice as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy compared to Caucasians and are four times more likely than Caucasians to go blind from glaucoma. African-Americans also face a greater risk for cataracts.
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