Grilled Tuna with Stir-fried Vegetables

Ingredients

1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped
fresh coriander
6 x 200 g tuna steaks
2 tablespoons finely grated lime rind
1 red Thai chili, seeded, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 medium zucchini (240 g)
2 medium carrots (240 g)
2 medium red bell pepper (400 g), sliced thinly
1 medium yellow bell pepper (200 g), sliced thinly
1 small red onion (100 g), sliced thinly

Method

  1. Combine chili sauce, 2 teaspoons of the juice and coriander in small bowl.
  2. Combine remaining juice in large bowl with tuna, rind, Thai chili and garlic. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, using mandoline or sharp knife, cut zucchini and carrots into very thin slices, and then cut slices into matchstick-sized pieces.
  4. Drain tuna. Cook, in batches, on heated lightly oiled grill plate (or grill or barbecue) until browned both sides and cooked as desired.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oiled wok or large non-stick frying pan. Cook 1 tablespoon of the chili sauce mixture, zucchini, carrot, bell peppers and onion, in batches, until vegetables are just tender.
  6. Serve tuna on vegetables, drizzle with remaining chili sauce mixture.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Australian Women’s Weekly

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New York City Officials Want High-Sodium Warning on Restaurant Menus

New York could become the first U.S. city. to require warning labels on high-salt dishes at chain restaurants, taking campaigns to cut down on salt into new territory, health officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The city’s Department of Health will propose Wednesday that all chain restaurants add a salt-shaker-like symbol on menus next to products that contain more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium, about 1 teaspoon of salt.

Public health advocates hailed the proposal as a pioneering step to tackle a major problem. Salt producers called it off-base, and some restaurateurs said it would needlessly mire already burdened eateries in more bureaucracy. But city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Travis Bassett said it simply would give customers important information.

There’s a wide variety of food items that would require the warning label under the proposed guidelines. At Panera Bread, for example, the Italian combo sandwich — which includes seared steak, smoked turkey, ham, salami and onions — has 2,830 mg of sodium, while the sesame jack chicken strips at TGI Friday’s contain 2,700 mg of sodium.

“This doesn’t change the food,” Bassett said. “It enables people to identify single items that have a level of salt that is extremely high.”

If the city Board of Health votes Wednesday to consider the proposal, a final vote could come as soon as September and the warnings by December.

Overconsumption of sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day; only about one in 10 Americans meets the 1 teaspoon guideline.

“High sodium levels are probably the biggest health problem related to our food supply,” said Michael Jacobson, executive director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group.

While he hailed New York’s proposal as “showing true leadership,” he also called it a conservative approach, given that items would get special labels only if they have a full day’s worth of sodium. A meal with even half that amount would still have too much salt, he said.

The head of the Salt Institute, a trade association for salt producers, called the proposal “misguided” and based on “faulty, incorrect government targets” discredited by recent research.

“They’re too low … and, if followed, could actually harm people,” said the group’s president, Lori Roman.

Last year, a large international study questioned the conventional wisdom that most people should cut back on salt, suggesting that the amount most folks consume is OK for heart health. The study followed 100,000 people in 17 countries and found that very high levels of salt were a problem, especially for people with high blood pressure, but too little salt also can do harm.

Other scientists fault the study and say most people still consume way too much salt.

Federal law already requires restaurants to provide sodium content information on request, and the proposed menu labels will wrap restaurants in the nation’s biggest city in more red tape, said Melissa Fleischut, president of the New York State Restaurant Association.

“The composition of menus may soon have more warning labels than food products,” she said.

But Panera Bread expressed support for the city’s plan. Panera advocates providing nutritional information with menus, and the New York proposal is “aligned with that same goal,” CEO Ron Shaich said in a statement. He said he hoped such initiatives would prompt national and industrywide labeling requirements.

“These are necessary to create real change,” he said.

Some other chains, including Burger King and Wendy’s, declined to comment.

Studies have found that the vast majority of dietary salt comes from processed and restaurant foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been pressing the food industry to reduce sodium content voluntarily and is working on new sodium guidelines.

Under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York led development of salt-reduction targets for various table staples and got companies to start committing to them voluntarily, starting in 2010.

Many companies said they were able to shrink the salt without customers complaining, but that wasn’t always the case. Two years after the Campbell Soup Co. announced in 2009 that it was lowering salt in half its soups, it brought back some higher-sodium soups, citing concern about the taste.

New York City made a series of groundbreaking healthy-eating moves during Bloomberg’s tenure: banning trans fats from restaurant meals, forcing chain eateries to post calorie counts on menus and trying, unsuccessfully, to limit the size of some sugary drinks. While city officials and health experts applauded the initiatives, some critics saw them as nannyish.

Source: The New York Times

Avocados May Hold the Answer to Beating Leukemia

Rich, creamy, nutritious and now cancer fighting. New research reveals that molecules derived from avocados could be effective in treating a form of cancer.

Professor Paul Spagnuolo from the University of Waterloo has discovered a lipid in avocados that combats acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by targeting the root of the disease – leukemia stem cells. Worldwide, there are few drug treatments available to patients that target leukemia stem cells.

AML is a devastating disease and proves fatal within five years for 90 per cent of seniors over age 65. Spagnuolo’s new avocado-derived drug could one day significantly increase life expectancy and quality of life for AML patients.

“The stem cell is really the cell that drives the disease,” said Professor Spagnuolo, in Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy. “The stem cell is largely responsible for the disease developing and it’s the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse. We’ve performed many rounds of testing to determine how this new drug works at a molecular level and confirmed that it targets stem cells selectively, leaving healthy cells unharmed.”

Spagnuolo’s research is published today in Cancer Research, a top-ten oncology journal. Through partnership with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) he has also filed a patent application for the use of the compound, named avocatin B, to treat AML.

“It’s an exciting time for our lab. With the help of CCRM we are now pursuing commercial partnership that would take avocatin B into clinical trials,” said Professor Spagnuolo. “Not only does avocatin B eliminate the source of AML, but its targeted, selective effects make it less toxic to the body, too.”

The drug is still years away from becoming approved for use in oncology clinics, but Spagnuolo is already performing experiments to prepare the drug for a Phase I clinical trial. This is the first round of trials where people diagnosed with AML could have access to the drug.

Professor Spagnuolo is among only a handful of researchers worldwide, applying the pharmaceutical industry’s rigorous drug discovery research processes to food-derived compounds, called nutraceuticals.

There are multiple potential applications for Avocatin B beyond oncology, and the drug is just one of several promising compounds that Spagnuolo and his team have isolated from a library of nutraceuticals. Most labs would use food or plant extracts, but Spagnuolo prefers the precision of using nutraceuticals with defined structures.

“Extracts are less refined. The contents of an extract can vary from plant to plant and year to year, depending on lots of factors – on the soil, the location, the amount of sunlight, the rain,” said Spagnuolo. “Evaluating a nutraceutical as a potential clinical drug requires in-depth evaluation at the molecular level. This approach provides a clearer understanding of how the nutraceutical works, and it means we can reproduce the effects more accurately and consistently. This is critical to safely translating our lab work into a reliable drug that could be used in oncology clinics.”

Source: University of Waterloo