Why Foods and Drinks Taste Bad after Brushing Teeth

If you have no idea why we’re pondering that question today, go brush your teeth real quick and grab a drink (orange juice, iced tea, beer—anything except water). Awful, isn’t it?

You can thank sodium laureth sulfate, also known as sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) for ruining your drink, depending on which toothpaste you use. Both of these chemicals are surfactants ““ wetting agents that lower the surface tension of a liquid ““ that are added to toothpastes to create foam and make the paste easier to spread around your mouth (they’re also important ingredients in detergents, fabric softeners, paints, laxatives, surfboard waxes and insecticides).

While surfactants make brushing our teeth a lot easier, they do more than make foam. Both SLES and SLS mess with our taste buds in two ways. One, they suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, inhibiting our ability to pick up the sweet notes of food and drink. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they break up the phospholipids on our tongue. These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they’re broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced.

So, anything you eat or drink after you brush is going to have less sweetness and more bitterness than it normally would. Is there any end to this torture? Yes. You don’t need foam for good toothpaste, and there are plenty out there that are SLES/SLS-free. You won’t get that rabid dog look that makes oral hygiene so much fun, but your breakfast won’t be ruined.

Source: Mental Floss


What’s for Lunch?

Vegetarian Noodle Lunch

The Menu

Hot and Sour Soup

Pickled Cucumber and Seaweed

Noodle with Veggie Meat Sauce

Shredded Daikon Cake

The Restaurant – Northern Vegetarian Noodle Shop, Taichung, Taiwan

Eating More Fiber May Lower Risk of First-time Stroke

Eating more fiber may decrease your risk of first-time stroke, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Dietary fiber is the part of the plant that the body doesn’t absorb during digestion. Fiber can be soluble, which means it dissolves in water, or insoluble.

Previous research has shown that dietary fiber may help reduce risk factors for stroke, including high blood pressure and high blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) “bad” cholesterol.

In the new study, researchers found that each seven-gram increase in total daily fiber intake was associated with a 7 percent decrease in first-time stroke risk. One serving of whole wheat pasta, plus two servings of fruits or vegetables, provides about 7 grams of fiber, researchers said.

“Greater intake of fiber-rich foods – such as whole-grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts – are important for everyone, and especially for those with stroke risk factors like being overweight, smoking and having high blood pressure,” Diane Threapleton, M.Sc., and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Leeds’ School of Food Science & Nutrition in Leeds, United Kingdom.

Researchers analyzed eight studies published between 1990-2012. Studies reported on all types of stroke with four specifically examining the risk of ischemic stroke, which occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain. Three assessed hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel bleeds into the brain or on its surface.

Findings from the observational studies were combined and accounted for other stroke risk factors like age and smoking.

The results were based on total dietary fiber. Researchers did not find an association with soluble fiber and stroke risk, and lacked enough data on insoluble fiber to make any conclusions.

The average daily fiber intake among U.S. adults is lower than the American Heart Association’s recommendation of at least 25 grams per day. Six to eight servings of grains and eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables can provide the recommended amount.

Most people do not get the recommended level of fiber, and increasing fiber may contribute to lower risk for strokes,” Threapleton said. “We must educate consumers on the continued importance of increasing fiber intake and help them learn how to increase fiber in their diet.”

In the United States, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, killing more than 137,000 people annually. Among survivors, the disease is a leading cause of disability.

In addition to following a nutritious diet, the American Heart Association recommends being physically active and avoiding tobacco to help prevent stroke and other heart and blood vessel diseases.

Source: American Heart Association

Grilled Beef Wrapped in Rice Paper


2 lb beef flank steak
16 pieces 9-inch round rice paper
1 head green leaf lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed and pat dried with paper towel
16 mint leaves
16 cilantro sprigs
1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise


2½ tbsp minced garlic
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, minced
3 shallots, minced
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large zippered plastic bag and mix well. Score the surface of the beef and add to the plastic bag. Seal bag and toss back and forth to coat the beef with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight for best results.
  2. Preheat the grill.
  3. Brush beef with oil and place on the grill. Grill beef to the desirable doneness, about 25 minutes for medium rare. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into long thin strips.
  4. To serve, bathe a rice paper in a large bowl of warm water. Shake off excess water and lay it flat on a plate. Line the centre of the paper with a lettuce leaf. Top with 2 to 3 slices of beef, a mint leaf (torn into small pieces), cilantro, and some sliced cucumber. Wrap into a round parcel and eat with Vietnamese sweet-and-sour dipping sauce.

Makes 16 Wraps.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

Today’s Comic

Chinese Food in Singapore

The Food

The Restaurant – Le Chasseur Restaurant, Singapore