Character Sweets and Containers

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Wrapped Gift Set


Italian-style Skewers of Shrimps


2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/4 cups very fine dry bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
salt and ground black pepper
lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Slit the shrimp down their backs and remove the dark vein. Rinse in cold water and pat dry.
  2. Put the olive oil and vegetable oil in a large bowl and add the shrimp, mixing them to coat evenly. Add the bread crLimbs, garlic and parsley and season with salt ind pepper. Toss the shrimp thoroughly, to give them an even coating of bread crumbs. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Thread the shrimp onto four metal or wooden skewers, curling them up as you do so, so that the tail is skewered in the middle.
  4. Preheat the broiler. Place the skewers in the broiler pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until the bread crumbs are golden. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Healthy Mediterranean Cooking

Video: The Chemistry of Sushi

Sushi is sublime. Just fresh fish and seasoned rice in its simplest form served one on top of the other or rolled up with some veggies in a seaweed wrapper. What creates the subtle interplay of flavors in your tuna nigiri? Take a deep dive with us into the chemistry of rice, fish, and seaweed!

Watch video at You Tube (5:50 minutes) . . . . .

Omega-6 Could Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk by 35 Percent

Researchers suggest that omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in soybean oil, could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Eating a diet rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by more than a third, a new review concludes.

From an analysis of almost 40,000 adults across 20 studies, researchers found that people who had higher blood levels of linoleic acid — a main form of omega-6 — were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with lower levels of the fatty acid.

Study co-author Dr. Jason Wu, of the George Institute for Global Health in Australia, and colleagues recently reported their findings in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is no longer able to effectively use insulin — the hormone that regulates blood glucose — or when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. As a result, blood glucose levels become too high.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes, and the majority of cases are type 2.

Following a healthful diet is deemed one of the best ways to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) such as omega-3 and omega-6 should form a part of a healthful diet, albeit in moderation. The new review, however, suggests that we might want to consider increasing our intake of omega-6 to protect against type 2 diabetes.

Omega-6: A help or hindrance?

Omega-6 fatty acids are considered to be essential for health; not only do they aid brain function, but they also play an important role in skin and hair growth, and they help to regulate metabolism and support bone health.

However, since the body is unable to produce omega-6, we can only get these fatty acids from certain foods, including soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and some nuts and seeds.

Current guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that omega-6 fatty acids should make up no more than 5–10 percent of our daily total energy intake, as they have been linked to increased inflammation and heart disease.

“Based on concerns for harm, some countries recommend even lower intakes,” says Dr. Wu.

However, Dr. Wu and team note that while there are an array of studies that have investigated the effects of omega-6 on heart health, little is known about how omega-6 influences the risk of type 2 diabetes.

“[…] only a handful of prospective studies have evaluated associations between linoleic acid or arachidonic acid biomarkers and type 2 diabetes,” write the study authors, “resulting in potential limitations of publication bias and inadequate power to assess interactions by demographic, medical, or genetic characteristics.”

“Thus,” they add, “the potential effects of omega-6 PUFAs, including linoleic acid and its metabolite arachidonic acid, on type 2 diabetes remain unresolved and are of considerable clinical, scientific, and public health importance.”

‘Striking evidence’

To find out more about the link between omega-6 and type 2 diabetes, the researchers conducted an analysis of 20 prospective cohort studies on the subject.

The studies included a total of 39,740 adults aged 49–76 years from 10 countries, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Finland, Australia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Sweden.

All study participants were free of type 2 diabetes at study baseline. During a follow-up period of 366,073 person years, 4,347 new cases of type 2 diabetes occurred.

As part of the studies, participants’ blood was assessed for levels of linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, and the team looked at whether or not these levels might be linked to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Compared with subjects who had low blood levels of linoleic acid, the researchers found that those who had higher levels of the omega-6 fatty acid were 35 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

“This is striking evidence,” says senior author Prof. Dariush Mozaffarian, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Middlesex County, MA.

“The people involved in the study were generally healthy and were not given specific guidance on what to eat. Yet those who had the highest levels of blood omega-6 markers had a much lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes,” he adds.

There was no significant link between blood levels of arachidonic acid and risk of type 2 diabetes, the team reports.

These findings persisted after accounting for a number of possible confounding factors, including body mass index (BMI), age, sex, race, and levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

‘Little evidence for harms’

Interestingly, the researchers say that their findings — together with results from previous studies — “do not suggest that high levels of dietary omega-6 PUFA[s] are harmful.”

“Additionally,” the team adds, “although omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA has been hypothesized to compete, we did not identify any evidence of a physiologically relevant interaction in this large, well-powered consortium analysis.”

The researchers caution that many of the studies included in their analysis were observational, so they are unable to prove cause and effect between higher linoleic acid levels and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

That said, they believe that their results indicate that we may benefit from increasing our intake of omega-6.

Source: Medical News Today

The Body Benefits of Pilates

If you’re looking for an exercise that’s gentle yet challenging and works your core like no other, consider Pilates.

Created by Joseph Pilates, a German gymnast and bodybuilder who immigrated to the United States in the 1920s, this fitness method uses controlled movements that can help flatten your stomach, strengthen your back, and give you better posture and flexibility.

Pilates combines exercises with a special breathing technique and concentration, so it connects the mind and body, and can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Pilates can be done on the floor using a mat and your own body weight as resistance. This so-called “mat Pilates” follows a sequence of moves that flows like a dance — in fact, dancers were the first group to embrace the activity for the performance benefits it gave them.

Other exercises involve special equipment developed by Pilates himself, with springs and pulleys to create the resistance. Best known is the unusual bench called the Reformer. The tension can be adjusted, so “machine Pilates” is good for both beginners and advanced enthusiasts.

You can learn Pilates from videos, but consider taking classes or private lessons to get started. An experienced instructor can make sure you’re using proper positioning and breathing and help guide your development.

Of course, check the credentials of potential instructors to be sure they were trained by an established Pilates association.

Also, keep in mind that while Pilates is a great core workout, it’s typically not considered an aerobic exercise. Don’t forget your heart: Work Pilates into an overall fitness routine that also includes cardio, like walking or swimming.

Source: HealthDay

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