Gadget: Salt and Pepper Shakers

Salt + Magic

Pan-fried Fish with Whole-grain Rolled Oats Crust

Ingredients

4 skinless white fish fillets, such as cod, snapper, or tilapia
1/2 cup rolled oats
4 tablespoons low-fat (1%) milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
lemon wedges, to garnish

Avocado Salsa

1 large ripe tomato
1 small green bell pepper
1 stalk green onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
dash of hot chili sauce such as Tabasco
1 ripe avocado

Method

  1. Dice the tomato and pepper and finely chop the scallion. Mix them with the garlic in a small bowl. Stir in the hot chili sauce. Dice the avocado and gently mix it with the other salsa ingredients.
  2. Place the milk in a large shallow dish and spread half the oats on a large plate. Place the fish fillets in the milk and turn to coat them thoroughly. Transfer one fish fillet from the milk to the oats. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of oats on top of the fillet and press them on gently to form a crust on both sides.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil then transfer the oat-coated fillet to the pan. Coat a second fillet and add it to the pan. Cook the fish for 3 minutes, or until the underside is crisp.
  4. Turn the fillets and cook the second side for another 3 minutes, or until crisp and golden.

  5. Transfer the cooked fillets to a plate and keep them warm.
  6. Cook the remaining two fillets in the same way. Put the fish on four plates, add the salsa and garnish with lemon wedges before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Super Foods Cookbook

Video: Deep-sea Battle Between A Shrimp and A Dragon Fish

Not for the faint of heart and definitely not something you see everyday!

On March 27, 2017, during the final dive of the Discovering the Deep: Exploring Remote Pacific Marine Protected Areas expedition, scientists witnessed a fierce battle between a caridean shrimp (Heterocarpus) and a type of midwater dragonfish. During this impressive display of predatory behavior, the shrimp was observed impaling and consuming the dragonfish while the fish was still alive!

Another example of how exploration can reveal things we would otherwise never know about. Deep-sea shrimp are typically observed as being scavengers, not hunters, and scientists wondered how this shrimp was even able to capture the fish.

Watch video at You Tube (2:03 minutes) . . . . .

Fresh Food by Prescription: This Health Care Firm Is Trimming Costs — and Waistlines

Allison Aubrey wrote . . . . . .

The advice to eat a healthy diet is not new. Back around 400 B.C., Hippocrates, the Greek doctor, had this missive: Let food be thy medicine.

But as a society, we’ve got a long way to go. About 1 out of every 2 deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes in the U.S. is linked to a poor diet. That’s about 1,000 deaths a day.

There are lots of places to lay the blame. Calories are cheap, and indulgent foods full of salt, sugar and fat are usually within our reach 24/7.

So, how best to turn this around? Consider Tom Shicowich’s story. It begins with a toe. His left pinky toe.

“One day I looked down and it was a different color … kind of blue,” Shicowich says. And he began to feel sick. “I thought I was coming down with the flu.”

The next day he was on the operating table. A surgeon amputated his toe, and it took two weeks of intravenous antibiotics to fend off the infection.

All told, he spent a month in the hospital and a rehab facility. “Oh, I tell you, it was a bad year,” Shicowich recalls.

But this wasn’t just bad luck. His toe emergency was somewhat predictable. Foot infections are a common complication of Type 2 diabetes — often due to nerve damage and poor blood flow, especially when the disease isn’t well-controlled.

He racked up about $200,000 in medical charges from his toe emergency. The portion he had to pay out of pocket drained his savings account. “I did shell out $23,000 to the hospital, so that was a kick in the head,” Shicowich tells us.

It was also a wake-up call.

Shicowich was more than 100 pounds overweight. He was was fighting nerve damage, high blood pressure and kidney problems — all complications of diabetes.

“So I knew it was time for a change,” he told me. And last year, he found the help — and the motivation — he was looking for: a new food pharmacy program that has helped him overhaul how he eats.

Welcome to the food pharmacy

“Folks, good morning, and welcome to the ribbon-cutting and opening of the Fresh Food Pharmacy,” intoned Sam Balukoff, the master of ceremonies at Geisinger Health System’s recent debut of a new food pharmacy located on the grounds of a hospital in central Pennsylvania.

At this event, Shicowich was one of the stars of the show. Over the past year, he and about 180 patients with Type 2 diabetes have been participating in a pilot program aimed at getting them to change their diets and lose weight. They receive free groceries of healthy foods every week.

Shicowich has lost about 45 pounds, and he is now much more active.

Each week, Shicowich and the other participants come to the food pharmacy. In its new incarnation, it looks more like a grocery, with neatly stocked shelves filled with healthy staples such as whole grain pasta and beans. The refrigerators are full of fresh produce, greens, low-fat dairy, lean meats and fish.

The participants meet one-on-one with a registered dietitian. They’re given recipes and hands-on instruction on how to prepare healthy meals. Then, they go home with a very different kind of prescription: five days’ worth of free, fresh food.

Shicowich says it’s a huge change from his old habit. “I would stop at a Burger King or a McDonald’s or buy a frozen Hungry-Man dinner, basic bachelor food — you know, heat and eat.”

But those days are over. Now, he and his girlfriend cook meals at home. He says now it’s much easier to climb a flight of stairs or take a walk with his girlfriend.

“It’s life-changing”

Shicowich’s health has improved. His blood sugar and blood pressure have dropped so much that if he keeps on track, his doctors say they will reduce his medications.

“It’s life-changing,” David Feinberg, the president and CEO of Geisinger Health System, says of the results Geisinger has seen.

He says, so far, all the patients in the pilot program have made similar improvements. “It’s mind-blowing,” he says. And he says the range of support patients are offered — everything from dietary counseling to wellness classes and workshops — can help them succeed.

Take, for instance, the significant declines in patients’ hemoglobin A1C levels. This is a blood test used to track how well patients with diabetes are controlling their blood sugar.

A year ago, Shicowich’s A1C was close to 11. Now it’s down in the high-6 range. Anything under 6.5 is considered below the threshold of Type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Feinberg says this means that Shicowich — and other participants in the program — have a much better chance of avoiding many complications of Type 2 diabetes if they can maintain their A1C levels down in this range.

“[They] won’t go blind; [they] won’t have kidney disease, amputations,” Feinberg says. “The list goes on and on.”

Cheaper than paying for complications

When this program started, some questioned the premise of giving away free, fresh food to patients with diabetes. But keep in mind, the costs associated with diabetes in the U.S. now exceed $240 billion a year.

Once you consider that price tag, Geisinger’s program can look like a bargain. Over the course of a year, the company will spend about $1,000 on each Fresh Food Pharmacy patient. All of the participants in the program are low-income, so the gift of the food eliminated a key obstacle to eating well.

But would this lead to a reduction in health care costs?

Feinberg says as his team tracks hemoglobin A1C levels in the pilot participants, it is also assessing the number of medical visits and sicknesses along with the overall cost of caring for these patients.

It’s still early days, and the team plans to fully analyze its first year of data. But here’s what it estimates so far: “A decrease in hemoglobin A1C of 1 point saves us [about] $8,000,” Feinberg says.

And many of the participants have seen a decline in hemoglobin A1C of about 3 points. “So that’s [about] $24,000 we’re saving in health care costs,” Feinberg says. “It’s a really good value.” Geisinger is now in the process of expanding the program to new locations within Pennsylvania.

Is prevention medicine the future?

This program is an example of the booming interest in prevention-oriented medicine.

The current health care system in the U.S. is often more aptly described as a disease-care system. “It’s reactive,” says Mitesh Patel, a physician and assistant professor of health care management at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “We wait until people get sick and then spend lot of resources helping them get better.”

But Patel says there are signs this is beginning to change. “I think the paradigm shift has already begun,” he told us. Patel’s take on Geisinger’s new Fresh Food Pharmacy program: It includes the kind of financial and social incentives that can help motivate people to make changes.

For instance, the Fresh Food Pharmacy gives free, fresh food not just to the patients enrolled but to everyone in their household as well.

“The way we behave is really influenced by others around us,” says Patel. So promoting a group effort could “make the program a lot more sticky and more likely to succeed.”

It’s always a challenge to get people to maintain lifestyle changes over the long term. But, Patel says, “If you get the entire family to change the way they eat, you’re much more likely to improve health.”

The evidence that lifestyle-modification programs can reduce health care costs is starting to accumulate.

Earlier this year, researchers published findings in the journal Health Affairs that evaluated the medical expenses of Medicare patients with prediabetes. The patients had completed a one-year diabetes prevention program focused on healthy eating and increased physical activity. The researchers found, overall, the average health care savings was about $300 per person, per quarter — compared with patients who hadn’t been through the program.

Source: npr

Type 2 Diabetes: The Basics

Diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way your body handles glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood.

Most people with the condition have type 2. There are about 27 million people in the U.S. with it. Another 86 million have prediabetes: Their blood glucose is not normal, but not high enough to be diabetes yet.

What Causes Diabetes?

Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. It’s what lets your cells turn glucose from the food you eat into energy. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don’t use it as well as they should. Doctors call this insulin resistance.

At first, the pancreas makes more insulin to try to get glucose into the cells. But eventually it can’t keep up, and the sugar builds up in your blood instead.

Usually a combination of things cause type 2 diabetes, including:

Genes: Scientists have found different bits of DNA that affect how your body makes insulin.

Extra weight: Being overweight or obese can cause insulin resistance, especially if you carry your extra pounds around the middle. Now type 2 diabetes affects kids and teens as well as adults, mainly because of childhood obesity.

Metabolic syndrome: People with insulin resistance often have a group of conditions including high blood glucose, extra fat around the waist, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglycerides.

Too much glucose from your liver: When your blood sugar is low, your liver makes and sends out glucose. After you eat, your blood sugar goes up, and usually the liver will slow down and store its glucose for later. But some people’s livers don’t. They keep cranking out sugar.

Bad communication between cells: Sometimes cells send the wrong signals or don’t pick up messages correctly. When these problems affect how your cells make and use insulin or glucose, a chain reaction can lead to diabetes.

Broken beta cells: If the cells that make the insulin send out the wrong amount of insulin at the wrong time, your blood sugar gets thrown off. High blood glucose can damage these cells, too.

Risk Factors and Prevention

While certain things make getting diabetes more likely, they won’t give you the disease. But the more that apply to you, the higher your chances of getting it are.

Some things you can’t control.

  • Age: 45 or older
  • Family: A parent, sister, or brother with diabetes
  • Ethnicity: African-American, Alaska Native, Native American, Asian-American, Hispanic or Latino, or Pacific Islander-American

Some things are related to your health and medical history. Your doctor may be able to help.

  • Prediabetes
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • High blood pressure, even if it’s treated and under control
  • Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Having gestational diabetes while you were pregnant
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition with dark rashes around your neck or armpits
  • Depression

Other risk factors have to do with your daily habits and lifestyle. These are the ones you can really do something about.

  • Getting little or no exercise
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Sleeping too little or too much

Because you can’t change what happened in the past, focus on what you can do now and going forward. Take medications and follow your doctor’s suggestions to be healthy. Simple changes at home can make a big difference, too.

Lose weight: Dropping just 7% to 10% of your weight can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes in half.

Get active: Moving muscles use insulin. Thirty minutes of brisk walking a day will cut your risk by almost a third.

Eat right: Avoid highly processed carbs, sugary drinks, and trans and saturated fats. Limit red and processed meats.

Quit smoking: Work with your doctor to avoid gaining weight, so you don’t create one problem by solving another.

Symptoms

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be so mild you don’t notice them. In fact, about 8 million people who have it don’t know it.

  • Being very thirsty
  • Peeing a lot
  • Blurry vision
  • Being irritable
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet
  • Feeling worn out
  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Yeast infections that keep coming back
  • Getting a Diagnosis

Your doctor can test your blood for signs of diabetes. Usually doctors will test you on two different days to confirm the diagnosis. But if your blood glucose is very high or you have a lot of symptoms, one test may be all you need.

A1C: It’s like an average of your blood glucose over the past 2 or 3 months.

Fasting plasma glucose: This measures your blood sugar on an empty stomach. You won’t be able to eat or drink anything except water for 8 hours before the test.

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): This checks your blood glucose before and 2 hours after you drink a sweet drink to see how your body handles the sugar.

Long-Term Effects

Over time, high blood sugar can damage and cause problems with your:

  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Kidneys
  • Eyes
  • Nerves, which can lead to trouble with digestion, the feeling in your feet, and your sexual response
  • Wound healing
  • Pregnancy

The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your diabetes well.

  • Take your diabetes medications or insulin on time.
  • Check your blood glucose.
  • Eat right, and don’t skip meals.
  • See your doctor regularly to check for early signs of trouble.

Source: WebMD