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Japanese-style Ginger Pork

Ingredients

1 piece pork shoulder roast, about 300 g
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon ginger juice 
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce 
1-1/2 tablespoons mirin 
1 tablespoon grated ginger 
1 tablespoon cooking oil 
raw vegetables (cabbage, lettuce, tomato, etc.)

Method

  1. Cut the piece of pork into slices 5-7 mm thick, cut into the connective tissue, and then lay the slices on a baking tray or similar before adding sake and ginger juice at room temperature. Marinade for around 30 minutes in summer and around an hour in winter.
  2. If you need to keep it in the refrigerator, marinade for between 2 hours and half a day.
  3. Combine soy sauce, mirin, and grated ginger to make the sauce.
  4. Heat a frying pan, coat it with oil, and then cook the meat. Fry gently, like cooking pancakes, rather than going for a full sizzle. Start off at a moderate heat. Once moisture forms on the surface of the meat, turn it over and cook the other side thoroughly on a low heat.
  5. Finally, pour the sauce around the outer edge of the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, coating the meat thoroughly.
  6. Pile a generous quantity of raw vegetables on a plate and lay the freshly cooked pork beside them to serve.

Source: Japanese magazine

Cut the Carcinogen in Your French Fries

You Can Help Cut Acrylamide in Your Diet.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may already be telling your waiter to hold the fries. Now there’s another health benefit you can reap: Cutting down on certain fried foods can also help you cut down on the amount of acrylamide you eat. That’s a good thing because high levels of acrylamide have been found to cause cancer in animals, and on that basis scientists believe it is likely to cause cancer in humans as well.

FDA chemist Lauren Robin explains that acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods—mainly plant-based foods—during high-temperature cooking processes like frying and baking. These include potatoes, cereals, coffee, crackers or breads, dried fruits and many other foods. According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, acrylamide is found in 40 percent of the calories consumed in the average American diet.

While acrylamide has probably been around as long as people have been baking, roasting, toasting or frying foods, it was only in 2002 that scientists first discovered the chemical in food. Since then, the FDA has been actively investigating the effects of acrylamide as well as potential measures to reduce it. Today, the FDA posts a draft document with practical strategies to help growers, manufacturers and food service operators lower the amount of acrylamide in foods associated with higher levels of the chemical.

In addition, there are a number of steps you and your family can take to cut down on the amount of acrylamide in the foods you eat.

Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid that are naturally present in food. It does not form, or forms at lower levels, in dairy, meat and fish products. The formation occurs when foods are cooked at home and in restaurants as well as when they are made commercially.

“Generally speaking, acrylamide is more likely to accumulate when cooking is done for longer periods or at higher temperatures,” Robin says. Boiling and steaming foods do not typically form acrylamide.


Tips for Cutting Down on Acrylamide

Given the widespread presence of acrylamide in foods, it isn’t feasible to completely eliminate acrylamide from one’s diet, Robin says. Nor is it necessary. Removing any one or two foods from your diet would not have a significant effect on overall exposure to acrylamide.

However, here are some steps you can take to help decrease the amount of acrylamide that you and your family consume:

  • Frying causes acrylamide formation. If frying frozen fries, follow manufacturers’ recommendations on time and temperature and avoid overcooking, heavy crisping or burning.
  • Toast bread to a light brown color rather than a dark brown color. Avoid very brown areas.
  • Cook cut potato products such as frozen french fries to a golden yellow color rather than a brown color. Brown areas tend to contain more acrylamide.
  • Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator, which can increase acrylamide during cooking. Keep potatoes outside the refrigerator in a dark, cool place, such as a closet or a pantry.

FDA also recommends that you adopt a healthy eating plan, consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
  • Choose foods low in saturated fats, trans fat (which both raises your bad LDL cholesterol and lowers your good HDL cholesterol and is linked to heart attacks), cholesterol, salt and added sugars.

FDA Issues Final Guidance for Industry on How to Reduce Acrylamide in Certain Foods

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued final guidance to the food industry to help growers, manufacturers and food service operators take steps to reduce levels of acrylamide in certain foods.

Acrylamide is a chemical that may form in certain foods during high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting and baking. The National Toxicology Program (an interagency program that evaluates possible health risks associated with exposure to certain chemicals) characterizes the substance as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” And efforts to reduce acrylamide levels are already underway in many sectors of the food industry.

To help mitigate potential human health risks, the FDA’s guidance recommends that companies be aware of the levels of acrylamide in the foods they produce and consider adopting approaches, if feasible, that reduce acrylamide in their products. The guidance also offers a range of steps that growers, manufacturers, and food service operators may take to help reduce acrylamide levels.

Through this guidance and various research activities, the FDA is helping companies reduce acrylamide and reduce any potential risks to human health. The focus of this non-binding guidance is on raw materials, processing practices, and ingredients pertaining to potato-based foods (such as french fries and potato chips), cereal-based foods (such as cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals and toasted bread), and coffee, all sources of acrylamide exposure. Background on the FDA’s efforts to understand and reduce acrylamide is available on the FDA.gov.

Because acrylamide is found primarily in potato-based foods, cereal-based foods, and coffee, the FDA’s best advice for consumers to help limit acrylamide intake is to adopt a healthy eating plan, consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and
  • Limits saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

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

In Pictures: Food of the Jamie’s Italian at Yorkdale, Toronto

The Restaurant

Nutrition Scientists Provide Updated MyPlate for Older Adults

See large image . . . . .

Nutrition scientists at the Jean Mayer U. S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University with support from AARP Foundation are introducing an updated MyPlate for Older Adults icon today. The updated icon emphasizes the nutritional needs of older adults in a framework of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The icon and an accompanying website can be viewed at hnrca.tufts.edu/myplate.

“It is never too late to make smart changes in your diet. Shifting towards healthier food choices can improve symptoms or decrease risk for developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease – all of which are more common in older than younger adults,” said Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., senior scientist and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA. Lichtenstein served as vice chair on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

The new MyPlate for Older Adults icon depicts a colorful plate with images to encourage older Americans to follow a healthy eating pattern bolstered by physical activity. The plate is composed of approximately:

  • 50 percent fruits and vegetables;
  • 25 percent grains, many of which are whole grains; and
  • 25 percent protein-rich foods such as nuts, beans, fish, lean meat, poultry, and fat-free and low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheeses, and yogurts.

The new MyPlate for Older Adults icon also includes images of good sources of fluid, such as water, milk, tea, soup, and coffee; heart-healthy fats such as vegetable oils and soft margarines; and herbs and spices to be used in place of salt to lower sodium intake.

“We are so proud to collaborate with the USDA HNRCA at Tufts on the MyPlate for Older Adults icon to create practical nutritional guidance and awareness of the need for accessible meals,” said Jim Lutzweiler, vice president, hunger impact area, AARP Foundation. “We believe at AARP Foundation in the importance of encouraging vulnerable and low-income older adults to develop healthy eating and physical activity patterns to maintain quality of life as they age.”

The MyPlate for Older Adults icon also reminds older Americans to stay active by walking, riding a bicycle, swimming, or engaging in another activity. The Dietary Guidelines offers suggestions for older adults who are interested in improving their lifestyle and reducing their risk of disease and disability with regular exercise.

“Older adults who want to improve their overall health will benefit from using MyPlate for Older Adults. Many people are not aware of the key role that healthy eating patterns play in improving their bodily function such as that of brain, eye and the immune system,” said Simin Nikbin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the Jean Mayer USDA HNRCA at Tufts University in Boston, and senior scientist and director of its Nutritional Immunology Laboratory. “Our collaboration with AARP Foundation will help us empower a larger group of older Americans to act on the Dietary Guidelines by making our new MyPlate for Older Adults icon more widely available.”

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans:

  • Follow a healthy eating pattern across their lifespan;
  • Focus on the variety and amount of nutrient-dense food they consume;
  • Reduce their intake of added sugars, saturated fats and sodium to allowed limits;
  • Shift toward healthier food and beverage choices; and,
  • Support healthy eating patterns for all.

Lichtenstein advises older adults to begin by making small shifts in food and beverage choices to improve their overall eating pattern, and then continue to build on them. Making small changes, she says, and sticking with them is the best approach to long term improvements in eating habits. If someone plans on making major changes in their diet they are advised to talk with their primary healthcare provider.

The website that accompanies the updated MyPlate for Older Americans icon offers information about physical activity, using spices to reduce sodium, shopping tips, and recipes. Additionally, the MyPlate for Older Adults emphasizes all forms of food – fresh, frozen, dried and canned – to ensure the icon is relevant across personal preferences, availability, and cultural backgrounds. The website also offers helpful links to studies from researchers at the USDA HNRCA that are especially relevant for older adults.

Both can be found online at hnrca.tufts.edu/myplate.

Source: EurekAlert!


Updated on April 1, 2016

An Age-appropriate Healthy Food Guide for Adults Over Age 51

Adriana Barton wrote . . . . . .

Vintage cars tend to be gas guzzlers, but human oldies are the opposite.

We need less fuel as we age – and healthier foods when we do tank up, Dr. Alice Lichtenstein, director of the cardiovascular nutrition laboratory at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, said.

With this in mind, Lichtenstein and colleagues created a new guide called MyPlate for Older Adults, at Hnrca.tufts.edu/myplate. It includes age-appropriate shopping tips, recipes and advice on exercise and salt alternatives.

The tool is more detailed than Canada’s Food Guide, which offers little information for adults over age 51 other than slight adjustments in the number of recommended daily servings of each food group.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Dr. Lichtenstein explained why older adults need to keep their fluids up and calories down.

How do our nutritional needs change as we age?

As we get older, even if we stay at the same body weight and remain active, we develop more fat and less lean muscle mass.

Our basic metabolic need for energy declines but our nutrient requirements remain the same, or increase – we may need a bit more protein, for example. So it’s important that we get a nutrient-dense diet.

MyPlate for Older Adults is divided into familiar food groups: proteins, grains etc. What’s new about it?

We moved the dairy into the protein quadrant because dairy is a good source of high-quality protein for older adults. In the middle of the plate we put in a sector for healthy fats because there’s been this fat phobia and healthy fats are important in the diet.

On the fruits and vegetables side of the plate, we’ve shown a wide range of forms: frozen berries, frozen vegetables, little bags of carrots, fresh fruits and vegetables, canned low-sodium tomato sauce, canned fruit. This is important for older adults, particularly if they’re living alone and find that large packages of fresh produce tend to go bad.

With frozen fruits and vegetables, you can open a bag and pour out just what you need, and it’s already cut up for anyone who has arthritis.

Why does this guide include sources of fluids?

In many older adults, there seems to be a disassociation between the sensation of thirst and hydration. That’s why during heat waves there is always this concern about older adults, that they consume adequate fluids.

And sometimes there is confusion. At one point we thought that coffee didn’t count, but it does count, as does milk and juice, tea and certain vegetables with high water content, such as celery and cucumbers.

What else should older adults keep in mind?

It may be time to develop some new shopping habits, especially if you are used to shopping for a large family. Look around the grocery store. If you’re having problems with your teeth, for example, there are many forms of protein that are softer and easier to chew, such as nut butters, canned beans, eggs and Greek yogurt. Also, it’s important to get exercise on a daily basis, regardless of what it is. Walking is fine.

At what age should we start rethinking our diet?

We know that most chronic diseases start early in life. However, it’s never too late to start thinking about eating healthier, even if you’re 70 or up. It’s also never too early.

Source: The Globe and Mail


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