Cup Desserts of Jelly and Cakes

Perfect for Summer Tea Time

The sweets are available for a limited time period. A box of nine pieces sells for 2,100 yen in Japan.

The assorted desserts include black tea jelly, lemon tart, watermelon and apricot pudding, rose jelly, peach roll, soda jelly, fruit tarts, peach & orange jellies.

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Sweet and Tangy Pops with Strawberry and Graham Cracker Crumbs

Ingredients

2 cups hulled strawberries (about 8 ounces), plus 6 thinly sliced strawberry wheels (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coarse graham cracker crumbs (from about 2 crushed crackers), plus more for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Place the hulled strawberries in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing the pulp with a flexible spatula to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Whisk in the sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir in the 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs.
  2. Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds. Slide in the strawberry slices (if using) and insert sticks. Sprinkle crumbs around the base of each pop for garnish, if desired. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.
  3. To unmold the pops, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks.

Makes 6 pops.

Source: Perfect Pops

Cat Character Marshmallow

Enjoy it with tea or coffee

Higher BMI Linked with Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes

Results of a new study add to the evidence of an association between higher body mass index (BMI) and increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.

A connection between higher BMI and cardiometabolic disease risk usually arise from observational studies that are unable to fully account for confounding by shared risk factors. Mendelian randomization (a method of analysis using genetic information) is an approach that partially overcomes these limitations. Using mendelian randomization, Donald M. Lyall, Ph.D., of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and colleagues conducted a study that included 119,859 participants in the UK Biobank (with medical, sociodemographic and genetic data) to examine the association between BMI and cardiometabolic diseases and traits.

Of the individuals in the study, 47 percent were men; average age was 57 years. The researchers found that higher BMI was associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, as well as increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. These associations were independent of age, sex, alcohol intake, and smoking history.

The authors write that the results of this study has relevance for public health policies in many countries with increasing obesity levels. “Body mass index represents an important modifiable risk factor for ameliorating the risk of cardiometabolic disease in the general population.”

A limitation of the study was that the sample lacked data on a complete range of potential mediators, such as lipid traits and glucose levels.

Source: The JAMA Network

A Cheaper Alternative to Hearing Aids?

A handful of over-the-counter “personal sound amplification products” fared as well as an expensive hearing aid in helping people pick up more words in conversation, researchers report.

While the study took place in a sound booth, “in this controlled environment, some of these devices helped people with mild to moderate hearing loss as well as a hearing aid,” said study author Nicholas Reed. He is an audiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in Baltimore.

An estimated 16 percent of Americans have trouble hearing, and the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that almost 30 million people could benefit from hearing aids.

But hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars, and Medicare doesn’t cover them, the researchers noted.

“Hearing aids are regulated medical devices and should all be able to aid someone with hearing loss,” Reed said. “While not all hearing aids are the same, they should all be able to meet this minimum requirement of making sound louder at appropriate frequencies and with minimal distortion.”

In contrast, personal sound amplification products, available at stores and online, aren’t regulated and can’t be marketed as hearing aids. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says they’re supposed to be used by people without hearing problems to help them hear distant sounds. The devices fit in or around the ear and make use of Bluetooth technology.

People do use the devices as hearing aids, however, said Todd Ricketts, vice chair of graduate studies with the department of hearing and speech sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. But these products tend to be less technologically advanced than hearing aids, although some offer advanced features.

Should you go out and buy one of the amplification devices instead of getting a hearing aid from a hearing specialist? Some audiologists will refuse to fit you for one, and the U.S. government doesn’t consider them appropriate for people with hearing loss.

For the study, researchers recruited 42 patients at a university audiology clinic who had mild to moderate hearing loss. Two-thirds were women, and their average age was 72.

In a sound booth, the participants listened to sentences with “speech babble noise” in the background. The participants tried to understand what was said without any hearing assistance; while using a hearing aid (costing $1,910); and while using personal sound amplification products bought online and at a pharmacy (one was $30, and the others cost between $270 and $350).

The researchers measured the average accuracy — the percentage of the time that the participants understood the sentences. It was 77 percent without a hearing aid, 88 percent with the hearing aid, and 81 to 87 percent with four of the amplification devices (Sound World Solutions CS50+, Soundhawk, Etymotic Bean and Tweak Focus).

“The results suggest that the devices are technologically and objectively capable of improving speech understanding in persons with hearing loss,” Reed said.

A fifth amplification device, the $30 MSA 30X Sound Amplifier, scored the worst, with an average accuracy level of 65 percent, the researchers reported. Reed said the device caused distortion.

Reed added that the findings suggest that both hearing aids and the amplification devices should be regulated and available over-the-counter. In that case, he said, “the FDA would set technical standards for all of these devices.”

For now, he said, adults with mild to moderate hearing loss may want to consider using one of the devices and consult an audiologist if needed to adjust it.

Ricketts cautioned that “the downside of just trying these or ordering them is that they may not be appropriate. People aren’t very good at self-diagnosing how much hearing loss they have.”

That’s where an audiologist could be helpful, he said, but some won’t sell these devices.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: HealthDay


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