My Food

New Year’s Eve 5-course Dinner

Minestrone

Arugula and Pomegranate Salad with Prosciutto, Persimmon and Walnut

Cod Fillet with Chopped Boiled Egg Béchamel

Rack of Lamb with Asparagus, Roasted Peppers, Sprouted Rice and Quinoa

Black Bean Brownie with Mandarin Orange

What Are Added Sugars?

Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk and fruits.

The major food and beverage sources of added sugars for Americans are:

  • regular soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks
  • candy
  • cakes
  • cookies
  • pies and cobblers
  • sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts
  • fruit drinks, such as fruitades and fruit punch
  • dairy desserts, such as ice cream

Reading the ingredient label on processed foods can help to identify added sugars. Names for added sugars on food labels include:

  • anhydrous dextrose
  • brown sugar
  • confectioner’s powdered sugar
  • corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • malt syrup
  • maltose
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • nectars (e.g., peach nectar, pear nectar)
  • pancake syrup
  • raw sugar
  • sucrose
  • sugar
  • white granulated sugar

You may also see other names used for added sugars, but these are not recognized by the FDA as an ingredient name. These include:

  • cane juice
  • evaporated corn sweetener
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • crystal dextrose
  • glucose
  • liquid fructose
  • sugar cane juice
  • fruit nectar.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Rich and Moist Cake with Cherry and Chocolate

Ingredients

90 ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
175 g plain flour
225 g caster sugar
50 g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp Artisan Malt Vinegar (or use regular malt vinegar with a good splash of balsamic)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping

300 g cherry compote from a jar
1 to 2 tsp arrowroot starch
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 tbsp milk, if needed
1/2 cup double cream
25 g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 5 cm deep, 20 cm diameter loose-bottomed cake tin; line the base with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the oil, warm water, vinegar and vanilla extract, then whisk together.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. (Cover the top with foil if it’s getting too brown.) The cake is done when a skewer pushed into the centre comes away clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  4. To make the topping, tip the cherry compote into a sieve set over a bowl and leave to drain. Measure the juice, then pour into a small pan and bring to the boil. Allow 1 tsp arrowroot per 1/2 cup of juice, mixing it with 1 to 2 tsp cold water. Stir into the boiling juice and simmer for 30 seconds or until thick and clear. Pour back into the bowl and leave to cool, then stir in the drained cherries.
  5. In a bowl, beat the mascarpone until smooth. If it’s very stiff, add the milk. Pour the cream into another mixing bowl, add the icing sugar and vanilla, then whisk until it begins to form soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and whisk until stiff.
  6. To serve, run a round-bladed knife around the edge of the tin, remove the cake, peel off the paper and sit on a serving plate. Spread the mascarpone cream over, then spoon the cherry compote over to serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Delicious magazine

Your Birth Year Could Influence Your Odds for Obesity, Study Suggests

‘Fat gene’ may be more active in people born after 1942, researchers say.

The year in which you’re born might affect the activity of a gene that could raise your odds for obesity, a new study finds.

Members of families who share an obesity-prone mutation of the FTO gene are more likely to carry extra weight if they were born after 1942, the researchers found.

“You could have a family where your father might be born in 1920 and you were born after 1942, and you look exactly like him, and only on the basis of the food and environment around you, you will have a higher BMI than your father,” said lead author Dr. James Niels Rosenquist, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and psychiatrist with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. BMI (body mass index) is a standard measurement of weight and height.

According to the researchers, prior studies have linked variations in the FTO gene to a propensity toward overweight and obesity. For example, federal researchers earlier this year reported that people with mutated FTO genes are more likely to eat high-calorie or fatty foods as they age, compared to people without the mutations.

While the study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect, the findings suggest that changes in American culture may be boosting the obesity threat tied to the FTO gene mutation.

To take a multi-generational look at obesity risk, the researchers relied on the Framingham Heart Study, a decades-old study of more than 10,000 parents, children and even grandchildren hailing from the town of Framingham, Mass.

About two-thirds of the more than 5,100 children born to the original Framingham participants have had their DNA sequenced. This allowed the research team to determine which families carried the obesity-prone versions of the FTO gene.

The researchers compared people’s genes to changes in BMI measurements taken over time, and then compared that to the years participants were born.

Rosenquist’s team found no link between the FTO gene and obesity for people born prior to 1942. However, they found a very strong link between the gene and obesity in those born after 1942 — a link twice as strong as reported in previous studies.

Dr. Mitchell Roslin is chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He said that science is beginning to show that genes alone may not determine a person’s fate. Instead, genes often appear to respond to outside influences, so there’s a combination of environment and genetics at play.

“While the genetic code is determined, factors in the environment that impact genes determine how they are expressed [activated],” Roslin explained. “Obesity certainly appears very much determined by these factors. Animal experiments have shown when foods given to pregnant mothers are altered, propensity for obesity in offspring changes. Studies like this show similar things occur in humans.”

The new study could not point to any specific differences in America pre- and post-World War II that might affect the FTO gene and create increased obesity risk. But Rosenquist believes that Americans’ increasingly sedentary lifestyles, a shift from a manual labor workforce to a service economy, and increased access to high-calorie foods all might play a role.

“The findings lend credence to the belief that our current obesity epidemic can be linked to major environmental changes that have occurred over the last 50 or so years,” added Christine Santori, a registered dietitian and program manager of the Center For Weight Management at North Shore-LIJ’s Syosset Hospital in Syosset, N.Y.

“The study doesn’t identify which factors are specifically related to gene expression, but one can look to changes in our workforce, sedentary lifestyle, how our food is manufactured, and our reliance on highly processed calorically dense foods as points of future research,” she said.

The findings are reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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