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The donut is available for a limited time at 300 yen each (tax included).

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Extra-firm Tofu Stuffed with Wakame Pesto

Ingredients

1/3 cup dried wakame
1 cup cilantro
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne, divided
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil or sunflower oil, divided
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 blocks extra-firm tofu
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Method

  1. In large bowl, place wakame, cover with water, and let soak for 10 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Remove wakame from bowl, squeeze out excess water, and place in food processor container along with cilantro, nutritional yeast, sesame seeds, garlic, and 1/4 tsp cayenne. Blend until wakame is broken down into small pieces.
  3. Add 3 Tbsp grapeseed or sunflower oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and 2 Tbsp water to container and blend until a pasty mixture forms.
  4. Line cutting board with a couple of sheets of paper towel. Top with tofu blocks and a couple more sheets of towel. Press gently to extract excess liquid. Slice each tofu along its width into 2 slabs, and then cut each slab in half so that you have a total of 8 pieces.
  5. Season each piece of tofu with salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne, and black pepper.
  6. In skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu squares to pan and heat until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Don’t crowd pan; cook in batches if necessary.
  7. Flip, and heat until golden on other side, adding more oil to pan if needed.
  8. Spread pesto on 2 pieces of tofu and top with remaining tofu.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Do You Really Need to Eat Breakfast?

Julie Davis wrote . . . . . .

When you were growing up, Mom might have told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But when you’re an adult trying to lose weight, you may not need to eat breakfast if you’re just not hungry first thing in the morning.

Dieters have long been told to start the day with breakfast to stave off mid-morning hunger pangs and a dash to the breakroom for donuts. But when researchers compared the weight-loss results of a group of dieters who ate breakfast to those who didn’t, they found no differences on the scale.

The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed nearly 300 people over a 4-month period. Another study done in the United Kingdom and published in the same journal found similar results.

While skipping breakfast in an attempt to starve yourself could backfire and find you gorging at lunchtime, it’s OK to simply wait until you’re really hungry to eat your first meal of the day. Postponing the calorie intake could give you more flexibility later on, should you have a snack craving at midday or want an extra protein portion at dinner.

Another option is to eat a very small morning meal, like a half-cup of cereal with a splash of nonfat milk. If you’ll be on the run and unable to stop when hunger kicks in, make a “to-go” breakfast like a hard-boiled egg or plain yogurt and some fresh fruit. Tuck it in your tote for the moment hunger strikes.

We’re not saying Mom was wrong, but experts think that her advice might have had more to do with the needs of a growing child than an overweight adult.

Source: HealthDay

Is Pasta Healthy?

Trisha Calvo wrote . . . . . . .

The low-carb diet craze is pretty much over, but misconceptions linger. Take pasta, for example. “Pasta doesn’t deserve its bad rap for being unhealthy or fattening,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a dietitian in Consumer Reports’ food lab. Cutting pasta out of your diet isn’t the magical path to a slimmer you.

Regular dried pasta (not fresh) is made from refined flour. However, that flour is durum wheat (semolina), a variety that has a higher protein content than most other types.

According to researchers at the University of Sydney, the way the carbohydrates and protein in pasta are bound means that pasta is digested more slowly than other refined carbohydrates. Therefore it might keep you full and release blood sugar (glucose) into your body more gradually, which could help with weight loss. Cold pasta is also a source of resistant starch, which may also aid weight loss.

Nor is there any evidence that cutting out pasta because it contains gluten will help improve your health or drop pounds. Unless you have celiac disease, there’s no reason to avoid gluten.

Regular white pasta is a refined grain product because the germ and bran of the wheat—where much of the fiber and nutrients are—is removed. It’s not devoid of nutrition, though. In addition to 6 to 7 grams of protein, white pasta has about 2 grams of fiber per cooked cup, and most brands are enriched with B vitamins, such as folic acid, and iron.

“Whole grains are the preferred choice, but there is room in your diet for some refined grain products,” Keating says. So celebrate National Pasta Day tonight by cooking up some noodles. Just follow these suggestions for making pasta healthy.

Use a Measuring Cup

The Nutrition Facts label on a pasta package lists 2 ounces as the serving size, which for most shapes is ½ cup. That’s for dry pasta, which will become about 1 cup when cooked. A cup of pasta may feel a little skimpy for dinner, so if you’re having it as a main course, a 1½- to 2-cup cooked portion is fine. Two cups of cooked spaghetti (loosely packed) has 389 calories, and 2 cups of penne has 336 calories.

Cook It Al Dente

Italian for “to the tooth,” al dente pasta is cooked all the way through but is still firm when you bite into it. It tastes better that way, and overcooking pasta means it will be digested more rapidly.

Top It Right

You probably know that cream, cheese, and meat can significantly bump up pasta’s calorie and fat counts. But you don’t always want to be limited to just tomato sauce, which is lower in calories. You can round out a 1-cup serving of pasta and keep the calorie count low by mixing it with a cup of cooked vegetables. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss with any vegetables you like. In the fall and winter, roasted root vegetables (such as beets, carrots, onions, and parsnips) or winter squashes are a great choice. Asparagus and peas are nice additions in the spring. And in the summer, you can’t go wrong with fresh tomatoes and basil. For a hit of protein, add chicken or beans, such as cannellini or chickpeas.

Check the Sauce

Jarred tomato sauces tend to be high in sodium and sugars, so be sure to compare nutrition facts labels on different brands. For example, Bertolli Tomato & Basil Sauce has 350 mg of sodium per ½ cup. It contains added sugars, too, with 11 grams per ½ cup (some naturally present in the tomatoes). Muir Glenn Organic Tomato Basil Sauce has just 4 grams of sugars (all from the tomatoes) and 310 mg of sodium. You can also make your own quick sauce using canned crushed or diced tomatoes, which usually contain very little or no sodium and no added sugars.

Try Pasta Alternatives

There are many more whole-wheat and bean pastas on the market today than there were even just a few years ago. These products vary in nutrition from brand to brand, and there can be huge differences in taste and texture. Compared with white pasta, whole-wheat has more than twice the fiber. Chickpea pasta can supply four times the fiber and twice the protein.

Source: Consumer Report

Blood Thinners May Also Protect Brains of A-Fib Patients

Blood thinners may pull double duty for people with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation: New research suggests they help prevent dementia as well as stroke.

Because atrial fibrillation increases the risk for stroke, people with the condition are often prescribed blood thinners (also known as anticoagulants) to prevent blood clots that can cause a stroke.

Atrial fibrillation also increases the risk for dementia. During the study, more than 26,000 of the 440,000 participants, all with atrial fibrillation, were diagnosed with dementia.

At the time they joined the study, about half of the participants were taking oral anticoagulants, such as warfarin, Eliquis (apixaban), Pradaxa (dabigatran), Savaysa (edoxaban) or Xarelto (rivaroxaban).

The researchers found that people taking anticoagulants were 29 percent less likely to develop dementia than were those who were not taking the blood thinners.

When the researchers focused on people who continued to take the drugs, they found an even larger reduction (48 percent) in the risk for dementia. They also found that the sooner people started taking blood thinners after their diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, the lower their risk for dementia.

Along with not taking blood thinners, the strongest predictors for dementia were age, Parkinson’s disease and alcohol abuse, according to the study, published Oct. 25 in the European Heart Journal.

The findings strongly suggest that blood thinners reduce the risk for dementia in people with atrial fibrillation, but proving that would not be possible, the Swedish researchers said.

“In order to prove this assumption, randomized placebo-controlled trials would be needed, but such studies cannot be done because of ethical reasons,” researchers Leif Friberg and Marten Rosenqvist, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said in a journal news release. “It is not possible to give placebo to [atrial fibrillation] patients and then wait for dementia or stroke to occur.”

However, the findings show that people with atrial fibrillation should start taking blood thinners as soon as possible after their diagnosis and continue to take the drugs, Friberg noted.

“Patients start on oral anticoagulation for stroke prevention but they stop after a few years at an alarmingly high rate,” he said. “In the first year, approximately 15 percent stop taking the drugs, then approximately 10 percent each year.”

“If you know that [atrial fibrillation] eats away your brain at a slow but steady pace and that you can prevent it by staying on treatment, I think most patients would find this a very strong argument for continuing treatment,” he said.

Source: HealthDay


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