Gadget: Smart Kettle

Smarter iKettle

It works with a smartphone app so you can remotely boil water wherever you are, and it lets you select a specific temperature between 68-212 degrees F to suit your needs. This Smarter iKettle has a Wake Up mode that begins heating at a specified time, so it’s ready when you are.

The smart kettle is sold in the U.S. for US$150.


Peruvian-style Pudding Dessert


1-3/4 cups evaporated milk
1-3/4cups condensed milk
8 egg yolks, plus 2 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
scant 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup port
ground cinnamon, for decoration


  1. Pour the evaporated milk and condensed milk into a heavy pan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened and the bottom of the pan can be seen when you draw a spoon across it.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Mix together thoroughly. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. Place the sugar and port in a pan over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until a syrup forms.
  4. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a bowl until stiff and doubled in volume. Add the port syrup to the egg whites in a thin stream, beating all the while, until the inside base of the bowl is cool.
  5. Spoon the cooled custard into dessert glasses and top with the port-infused egg whites. Dust with ground cinnamon to finish.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Peru – The Cookbook

In Pictures: Character Cookies

How to Reduce Tooth Erosion When Consuming Acidic Foods and Drinks

Honor Whiteman wrote . . . . . . . .

Researchers from King’s College London in the United Kingdom sought to find out which acidic foods and drinks are the worst for tooth erosion, and whether the way in which we consume them has an effect.

Study leader Dr. Saoirse O’Toole — who works in the Department of Tissue Engineering and Biophotonics at the King’s College London Dental Institute — and colleagues report their findings in the British Dental Journal.

Tooth erosion — also known as dental erosion or acid erosion — occurs when acids wear away tooth enamel, which is the substance that coats the outer layer of each tooth. Over time, this erosion could give rise to tooth discoloration, sensitivity, and even tooth loss.

One leading cause of tooth erosion is acids in our foods and drinks, and soda and fruit juices are among the biggest offenders.

That said, as Dr. O’Toole and colleagues note, some individuals who consume such foods do not experience tooth erosion, which begs the question: does how we consume dietary acids impact our risk of tooth erosion?

To find out, the researchers primarily drew on data from a previous study, which included 600 adults. Of these, 300 had severe tooth erosion, while the remaining 300 did not.

As part of the study, subjects were asked to report their frequency, timing, and duration of dietary acid consumption. Additionally, participants were asked to report any drinking habits prior to swallowing acidic drinks — for example, sipping hot drinks or swishing them in the mouth.

The researchers also looked at data from other studies to determine which are the worst foods and beverages for tooth erosion.

Acidic foods, drinks worst for tooth erosion

Unsurprisingly, the analysis revealed that acidic foods and drinks posed the greatest risk of tooth erosion.

The team found that the risk of moderate or severe tooth erosion was 11 times higher for adults who drank acidic beverages twice daily, particularly when they were consumed between meals, compared with those who consumed such beverages less frequently.

When acidic drinks were consumed with meals, the risk of tooth erosion was slashed by half.

“It was also observed that one or less dietary acid intakes a day was not associated with erosive tooth wear,” the researchers note. “If a patient must go above one dietary acid intake per day, it would be prudent to advise them to consume the acids with meals.”

When consumed regularly, fruit teas and fruit-flavored candies — even fruit-flavored medications — may pose a risk for tooth erosion, the team reports, as can vinegars and pickled foods.

Interestingly, the researchers found that adding fruit flavorings to beverages — for example, adding lemon to hot water — made them just as acidic as cola.

What is more, sugar-free soda was found to be just as erosive for teeth as sugar-sweetened soda, and hot drinks were found to have greater erosive potential than cold drinks.

Sipping, swishing drinks may erode teeth

Importantly, however, the scientists found that it’s not just the type of foods and beverages we consume that affect our risk of tooth erosion; the study revealed that the risk of tooth erosion is increased when we sip drinks, as well as when we swish, hold, or rinse them in the mouth before swallowing.

‘It is well known that an acidic diet is associated with erosive tooth wear. However, our study has shown the impact of the way in which acidic food and drinks are consumed.”

The American Dental Association recommend against holding or swishing acidic beverages in the mouth — advice that is backed up by this latest research.

They also explain that drinking water or milk when eating and rinsing the mouth after consuming acidic drinks may help to reduce tooth erosion.

“With the prevalence of erosive tooth wear increasing,” adds Dr. O’ Toole, “it is vitally important that we address this preventable aspect of erosive tooth wear.”

“Reducing dietary acid intake can be key to delaying progression of tooth erosion,” she continues. “While behavior change can be difficult to achieve, specific, targeted behavioral interventions may prove successful.”

Source: Medical News Today

Both Lacto-ovo-vegetarian and Mediterranean Diets Are Good for Your Heart

A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, which includes eggs and dairy but excludes meat and fish, and a Mediterranean diet are likely equally effective in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Previous separate studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet reduces certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as does a vegetarian diet; however, this was the first study to compare effects of the two distinct eating patterns

Current study authors said they wanted to evaluate whether switching to a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet would also be heart-healthy in people who were used to eating both meat and fish. “To best evaluate this issue, we decided to compare a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet with a Mediterranean diet in the same group of people,” said Francesco Sofi, M.D., Ph.D, lead study author and professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Florence and Careggi University Hospital in Italy.

The study included 107 healthy but overweight participants, ages 18-75, who were randomly assigned to follow for three months either a low-calorie vegetarian diet, which included dairy and eggs, or a low-calorie Mediterranean diet for three months. The Mediterranean diet included poultry, fish and some red meat as well as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. After three months, the participants switched diets. Most participants were able to stay on both diets.

Researchers found participants on either diet:

  • lost about 3 pounds of body fat;
  • lost about 4 pounds of weight overall; and
  • experienced about the same change in body mass index, a measure of weight in relationship to height.

Authors said they did find two differences between the diets that may be noteworthy. The vegetarian diet was more effective at reducing LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, while the Mediterranean diet resulted greater reductions in triglycerides, high levels of which increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Still, “the take-home message of our study is that a low-calorie lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet can help patients reduce cardiovascular risk about the same as a low-calorie Mediterranean diet,” Sofi said. “People have more than one choice for a heart-healthy diet.”

In an editorial accompanying the study, Cheryl A. M. Anderson, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S., an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego, in California, wrote that there were similarities between the two diets that may explain the results. Both follow “a healthy dietary pattern rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes [beans], whole grains and nuts; focusing on diet variety, nutrient density and appropriate amount of food; and limiting energy intake from saturated fats.”

Anderson, who was not involved in the study, added that promoting both diets by healthcare professionals “offer a possible solution to the ongoing challenges to prevent and manage obesity and cardiovascular diseases.”

Study limitations include the fact that participants were at “relatively low” risk of cardiovascular disease. Anderson said future research should compare the diets in patients at higher risk for heart disease and should also explore “whether or not healthful versions of traditional diets around the world that emphasize fresh foods and limit sugars, saturated fats, and sodium can prevent and manage obesity and cardiovascular diseases.”

Source: American Heart Association

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