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Study Shows That Processed And Unprocessed Meats Pose A Diabetes Risk

Red Meat! by ThisParticularGreg via Flickr and a Creative Commons license

There’s a strong association between daily servings of red meat, especially processed meat, and a nearly 20% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers found.

Replacing red meat with healthier proteins, such as low-fat dairy, nuts, or whole grains, can significantly lower the risk, according to a study was published online at the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers reviewed questionnaire responses from 37,083 men followed for 20 years in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, from 79,570 women followed for 28 years in the Nurses’ Health Study I, and from 87,504 women followed for 14 years in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Diet was assessed by validated food-frequency questionnaires, and data were updated every four years. Diabetes was confirmed Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Some Young Europeans Are Starting To Eat Like Americans

For years I have touted the health benefits of the “Mediterranean Diet” and encouraged patients to eat like the Europeans.   Fresh farm vegetables, olive oil, fish and red wine have been linked with longevity and good health.  I just read in NPR news that young Italians are forgoing the eating patterns of their elders and are imitating the “U.S. diet”.  The result is soaring obesity, just like in the United States.

According the the article, young Italians ages 6-12 are sitting in front of the TV and are eating fast foods and soda.  In just three generations, the eating habits and activity of kids has changed from their healthy grandparents.  Italian health officials say obesity is reaching epidemic proportions.

Part of the diet changes are a result of Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Drug Resistant Bacteria Found In Half Of US Meat And Chicken

Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus were found in nearly half of meat and poultry samples, and were likely from the animal themselves, a study reported.

Meat Department by Anthony Albright via Flickr and Creative CommonsResearchers collected and analyzed 136 samples of 80 brands of beef, chicken, pork and turkey from 26 retail grocery stores in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Flagstaff, Ariz. Among the samples, 47% were contaminated with S. aureus, and 52% of the strains were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics–and some to nine antibiotics.

Translational Genomics Research Institute, a non-profit research organization, conducted the study and published results in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

DNA testing suggested that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Perverted Economics: Eating Healthy Is Too Expensive

I watched a good documentary called “Food, Inc.” It was nominated for an Academy Award. The promo says “you’ll never look at dinner the same way” and they’re right. Since I’m a fan of Michael Pollan and have read “Fast Food Nation,” I was already a healthy-food fan, but seeing how agriculture and farming has changed over the last 40 years was still a shocker.

There’s no doubt that high-calorie, sugar-laden processed foods are contributing to serious health issues in America. And 10 billion animals are raised on factory farms under inhumane conditions.

So when I went to the grocery store today, I made a conscious choice to ask if Safeway had any grass-fed beef for a healthy stir fry I was making for dinner. The answer was “No,” so I journeyed over to Whole Foods where I bought a pound of grass-fed sirloin. The cost was a whopping $16.43.

I have to ask myself why grass-fed beef should be so much more expensive than corn-fed beef. There’s no way the average family could afford to eat the way we should. The impact on our environment and our health is suffering terribly because of these perverted economics.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Why Does A Salad Cost More Than A Big Mac?

A reader pointed me out to this current food pyramid subsidy model showing what the daily recommended servings are for each category of food compared with how the federal farm subsidy programs actually work against the goal of a healthy nation.  You can click on the image to enlarge it and take a close look at how powerful lobby groups have become.

There is no reason why dairy and meat farmers should be getting 50 billion dollars in farm subsidies.  And if we are playing the subsidy game (which I think is a fraud), why are vegetables, one of the most healthy things we can put in our mouth, getting slaughtered at the table of entitlement handouts? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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