Archive | November, 2007

Stuffed Potatoes that’s good for you

30 Nov


  • 4 medium potato(es), baking variety
  • 3/4 cup(s) cottage cheese, low-fat
  • 1/4 cup(s) milk, lowfat (1%)
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed, dried
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt-free garlic and herb seasoning blend or other salt-free seasoning blend
  • 4 drop(s) hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoon cheese, grated Parmesan


1. Prick potatoes with fork. Bake at 425 degrees F for 60 minutes or until fork is easily inserted.

2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out potato, leaving about half an inch of pulp inside shell. Mash pulp in large bowl.

3. By hand, mix in remaining ingredients, except Parmesan cheese. Spoon mixture into potato shells.

4. Sprinkle each top with 1/4 teaspoon Parmesan cheese.

5. Place on baking sheet and return to oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Salt is under the microscope again

30 Nov

The American Food and Drug Administration listened to arguments against the increased used of salt in processed food the American is killing Americans in large number each year. Testifying at the meeting, Dr. Stephen Havas, the American Medical Association’s vice president for science, quality and public health, said that “the need for action is clear. The deaths attributed to excess salt consumption represents a huge toll – the equivalent of a jumbo jet with more than 400 passengers crashing every day of the year, year after year.”

In a statement, Havas said that cutting the amount of salt in the American diet in half over the next decade could save 150,000 lives annually.

“Americans don’t consume large amounts of salt because they request it,” he said, “but often do so unknowingly because manufacturers and restaurants put it in food.”

For example, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in the United States has more than twice as much salt as the same product in the United Kingdom, and Kellogg’s Special K in the United States has 58 percent more salt in than it does in the United Kingdom, CSPI noted.“There is no doubt that most Americans consume too much salt, and no doubt sodium excess contributes to high blood pressure, stroke and the rate of premature death,” said Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.“I strongly favor reductions in the sodium content of processed foods, and labeling that makes it easier for all of us to gauge and control our sodium intake,” Katz said.

Still, he has his reservations when it comes to regulatory intervention. “I am less enthusiastic about reclassifying a nutrient because of the failings of the food supply at large,” Katz said

   The American Dietetic Association does not believe in regulatory intervention and alarming people about the dangers of sodium.  They believe it may make Americans afraid to eat.  What is needed is education about making the proper choices and reading labels.

Supermouse may help humans with cancer cure

28 Nov

supermouse.jpgScientists have developed a super Mice carrying a gene which appears to make them invulnerable to cancer. They are hoping that this  may hold the key to safer and more effective treatments for humans. The new breed, created with a more active “Par-4” gene, did not develop tumours, and even lived longer, said the journal Cancer Research. University of Kentucky researchers said a human cancer treatment was possible.

Brain wiring link to paedophilia

28 Nov

Scientists are now saying that the brain pattern in a pedophile is different from ordinary people.  It has substantially less of the “white matter” responsible for wiring the different parts of the brain together.  However, a study by the Centre fore Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto  said it is not excuse to sexually abuse children.  Not being able to choose your sexual interest doesn’t mean you can’t choose what to do, said Dr. James Cantor of the Centre.It had been widely thought that paedophilia was triggered by childhood trauma or abuse. However, the condition has also been linked to low IQ, suggesting a possible link to brain development. Paedophiles are also three times more likely to be left-handed. Dr Narender Ramnani, an expert in cognitive neuroscience at Royal Holloway University of London, was surprised by the results. He said: “Environmental factors cause changes in the structure of the brain, so it is not clear whether these differences occur because of environmental factors, or whether these are in fact innate developmental traits that make people susceptable to such traits.” A total of 127 men participated in the study; approximately equal numbers of paedophiles and non-sexual offenders.

Kitchen Cabinet Overhaul for Better Health

27 Nov

Check your cupboards and get rid of foods that are not good for you or your weightloss goal. Clean it out and replace it with life giving foods that promote health and happiness.  Here is a start:

  • Eat whole grains, such as brown rice, wild rice, bulgur, slow-cooking oatmeal, and whole-grain breads and pastas  
  • Enjoy beans and legumes frequently
  • Enjoy plenty of vegetables, prepared with healthy fats, like extra-virgin olive and canola oils. Skip unhealthy fats (like margarine and butter) and sweetened sauces.
  • Consume whole fresh fruits like berries, apples, and/or citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit halves. Avoid canned or jarred fruits with added sweeteners or syrups.
  • Include nonfat or low-fat dairy in your diet (in all Phases), such as nonfat or 1 percent milk, plain or artificially sweetened low-fat soymilk, and nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt.
  • Focus on lean proteins, like fish, skinless poultry breasts, and lean cuts of beef; use healthier cooking methods, such as baking, roasting, broiling, and grilling.
  • Choose monounsaturated and omega-3 fats, found in avocados, nuts, fish, and extra-virgin olive and canola oils; avoid saturated and trans fats.

Are you on blood thinners?

27 Nov

If you are on blood thinners, there can be some side effects. It is important to know what these are so that you can address them by contacting your physician as soon as they occur.  Bleeding is a common side effect. Here are some signs of bleeding, if you notice any such symptoms act on the side of caution and contact your doctor asap.


*       Abdominal pain or swelling

*       Back pain or backaches

*       Black, tarry or bloody stools

*       Bleeding from your gums when brushing your teeth

*       Bleeding in eye

*       Blood in your urine

*       Blood in vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

*       Blurred vision

*       Chest pain

*       Confusion

*       Constipation

*       Coughing up blood

*       Diarrhea (sudden and severe)

*       Dizziness or fainting

*       Headache (continuing or severe)

*       Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling

*       Loss of appetite

*       Nausea and vomiting (severe)

*       Nervousness

*       Nosebleeds

*       Numbness or tingling of hands, feet, or face

*       Paralysis

*       Pinpoint red spots on skin

*       Shortness of breath

*       Unusual bleeding or bruising

*       Unusually heavy bleeding or oozing from cuts or wounds

*       Unusually heavy or unexpected menstrual bleeding

*       Weakness (sudden)

Important concepts and words good to know

26 Nov

Glossary of Heart Health Terms

angina: Chest pain or discomfort that develops when the heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen and blood; also known as angina pectoris.

A procedure used to widen narrowed arteries, most commonly by inserting a thin tube, or catheter, into the affected artery and inflating a balloon.

Disorders of the heart’s pumping rhythm.

The buildup of fatty deposits in the walls of arteries; the disease responsible for most heart attacks and many strokes.

A waxy, fat-like substance that is present in animal tissues and produced by the liver. Excess levels can build up in artery walls.

congestive heart failure:
A disorder caused by a decrease in the heart’s ability to pump blood. May lead to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs, lower legs, or abdomen, resulting in shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, or swelling.

coronary arteries:
The small blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.

coronary arteriography:
An x-ray procedure that shows blood moving through the blood vessels and heart. It involves the injection into the bloodstream of a fluid (contrast agent) that can be seen on the x-ray. Also known as coronary angiography; the resulting image is called an angiogram.

coronary artery bypass surgery:
Surgery that bypasses a blocked coronary artery by grafting a blood vessel taken from another part of the body to restore blood flow to the heart muscle.

coronary artery disease:
The most important form of heart disease, caused by the buildup of fatty plaques in the coronary arteries.

C-reactive protein (CRP):
A by-product of inflammation.

creatine kinase:
An enzyme produced by skeletal tissue and heart muscle. One form, creatine kinase-MB, is produced only by the heart; it’s usually elevated only when there has been damage to heart tissue — for example, because of a heart attack. A blood test for this enzyme can aid in the diagnosis of heart attack.

diastolic blood pressure:
The pressure in the arteries while the heart is refilling with blood between beats; the second and lower of the two numbers obtained when blood pressure is measured.

electrocardiogram (EKG):
A graph recording the electrical activity responsible for the contraction and relaxation of the heart.

A chemical that is part of the blood-clotting process.

heart attack:
Damage to, or death of, heart muscle because of insufficient blood supply; the medical term is myocardial infarction.

high blood pressure:
A longstanding increase in blood pressure above the normal range — that is, abnormally high pressure of blood flow against the artery walls; also called hypertension.

high-density lipoprotein (HDL):
A lipoprotein that transports cholesterol from body cells to the liver and other sites for elimination; called “good” cholesterol.

High blood levels of this amino acid have been associated with an increased risk for heart disease. B vitamins appear to reduce blood levels of homocysteine.

Decreased blood flow that compromises the supply of oxygen and nutrients to organs or tissues.

Fats, oils, and waxes that serve as building blocks for cells of the body or as energy sources; also capable of accumulating in the artery walls to form the plaques of atherosclerosis.

A combination of fat (lipid) molecules and protein molecules bound together as packages that enable other fats and cholesterol to move easily through the blood. See low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein.

A type of lipid that is similar in structure to LDL.

low-density lipoprotein (LDL):
Spherical particles that transport cholesterol in the blood; called “bad” cholesterol because high levels are associated with a high risk for heart attack.

myocardial infarction:
Heart attack.

Deposits of cholesterol and fatty and fibrous substances in the walls of the arteries.

Small, fragmentary blood cells that initiate the clotting process.

A condition that increases the risk of developing high blood pressure; defined as 120–139 mm Hg systolic pressure or 80–89 diastolic pressure.

Renarrowing of a blood vessel that has been widened (with or without stents) during angioplasty.

Cholesterol-lowering medications that interfere with the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase; also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Statins work by changing the way the liver processes lipids.

A wire mesh device inserted into a coronary artery to prop it open once a blockage has been cleared by angioplasty.

stress test:
A diagnostic test in which cardiovascular measurements — including heart rate, blood pressure, and electrical activity — are recorded while the heart is being “stressed” (usually by having the person exercise on a treadmill or bicycle).

systolic blood pressure:
The pressure in the arteries at the point when the heart pumps; the first and higher of the two numbers obtained when blood pressure is measured.

thrombolytic agents:
Agents or medications that dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow through a blocked artery; used to treat heart attack and stroke. Also called “clot busters.”

Particles that transport fats through the bloodstream.
Source Harvard Medical Health

A little citrus to green tea boosts antioxidant

26 Nov

Mario Ferruzzi, assistant professor of food science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. said in a prepared statement recently that mixing in some citrus juices or vitamin C to green appears to raise its antioxidant level particularly the one called catechins which is responsible for some of green tea health benefits in reducing the risk of cancer, heart attack and stroke goodness.

“Although these results are preliminary, I think it’s encouraging that a big part of the puzzle comes down to simple chemistry,” Ferruzzi said.

Using a laboratory model that simulates digestion in the stomach and small intestine, Ferruzzi tested green tea with a number of additives, including juices and creamers.

He found that citrus juice increased recoverable (absorbable) catechin levels by more than five times, while vitamin C (ascorbic acid) boosted recoverable levels of the two most abundant catechins by six and 13 times.

The findings were published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

Citrus juices and vitamin C may interact with catechins to prevent degradation in the intestines, Ferruzzi said.

Great Chicken Stew Recipe

26 Nov

*       8 chicken, pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks)

*       1 cup(s) water

*       2 clove(s) garlic, minced

*       1 small onion(s), chopped

*       1 1/2 tablespoon salt

*       1/2 teaspoon pepper, black

*       3 medium tomato(es), chopped

*       1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

*       1/4 cup(s) celery, finely chopped

*       2 medium potato(es), peeled, chopped

*       2 small carrot(s), chopped

*       2 bay leaf


1. Remove skin from chicken, along with any extra fat. In large skillet, combine chicken, water, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and parsley. Tightly cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes.

2. Add celery, potatoes, carrots, and bay leaves and cook for 15 more minutes or until chicken and vegetables are tender.  Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving.

Time for a little holiday review of portion sizes

26 Nov

Thanksgiving just past for some (US) Canadian celebrated their Thanksgiving earlier and before that was Halloween – so we have been treating ourselves more than usual.  It is easy to get carried away and forget that it is not so much what you eat but how much.  Remembered there is always the balance. Fat is the difference between how much you take in and how much you expend. Anything that is left over  parks in the fat zone. Christmas is coming and that is another time we will start another eating frenzy. It’s important you keep portion sizes on the radar screen.  Here are some tips by professionals in the field:

       –Measure out proper portions for one week to learn what the serving size looks like.

       –Dish out meals and snacks in single serve containers before storing them in the pantry, fridge or freezer.

–   Spend a little extra on pre-measured foods if that technique helps you eat less; it won’t cost more in the end because you’d have finished the box faster the old way.

   –    At restaurants, when the mega-plate arrives, immediately cut it in half and ask the waiter to bring a second plate, and put it aside, or better yet have the waiter put it in a doggie bag at the start of the meal, so you’re not tempted by it.

I am going to take this advice as well because it is a great idea.

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