New Drinks for Spring: Beer Cocktails

Beer mixed with fruit liquor and garnished with edible flowers

The five flavours of the cocktails are plum wine sangria, tomato, mango, red grapefruit and pineapple.


Hong Kong Home-style Steamed Baby Oyster with Pork and Duck Eggs


160 g baby oyster, rinse and chopped
80 g ground pork
1 bunch mung bean vermicelli
2 duck eggs, beatened
1 stalk green onion, minced
1 sprig cilantro, minced


1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp light soy sauce
dash sesame oil
pinch white ground pepper


  1. Mix the pork with the marinade and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Soak vermicelli with cold water until softened.
  3. Mix oyster with all the ingredients. Pour into a deep clay dish.
  4. Steam over high heat for about 20 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Serve hot.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

In Pictures: Foods of Three Michelin-star Le Palais Resturant in Taipei, Taiwan

Cantonese Cuisine – The First Three Michelin Stars Restaurant in Taiwan

The Restaurant

Read also:

Full List: The MICHELIN Guide Taipei 2018 Released . . . . .

Survey Finds Huge and Unnecessary Salt Levels in Store-bought Bread

Major findings of the survey:

  • Canadian bread product saltiest in survey of global bread products
  • Some breads surveyed had as much sodium (salt) as seawater
  • More than a third of breads worldwide have more salt than UK maximum salt reduction target for bread (1.5 g of salt or 600 mg of sodium /100 g)
  • 73% of Canadian breads exceeded Health Canada’s 2016 targets for sodium in bread products and 21% were above recommended maximum levels.

Bread features heavily in many diets worldwide, and is one of the biggest sources of salt in diets. A new survey by World Action on Salt and Health (WASH), based at Queen Mary University of London, has revealed the shocking levels of salt present in this essential staple. WASH surveyed over 2,000 white, wholemeal, mixed grain and flat breads from 32 countries and regions, including over 500 products from Canada collected by Professor Mary L’Abbe’s lab at the University of Toronto.

Researchers found that the saltiest bread in the survey – Rosemary Foccacia by ACE Bakery, available in Canada – had a shocking 2.65 g of salt (1060 mg sodium) per 100 g, which is saltier than seawater.

In Canadians more than 1 year of age, bread contributes the most sodium to dietary intakes (14%), primarily because it is consumed in large quantities. While voluntary sodium reduction benchmark targets exist in Canada, there is currently no federal or provincial sodium-monitoring program to track the food industry’s progress, although aggregate data was published by Health Canada earlier this year.

Previous research by Professor L’Abbe’s lab has examined industry’s progress between 2010 and 2013 and found only a 6.6% reduction in bread products. Reducing salt in bread is an easy and effective way of lowering salt intake across the whole population – research has shown that the salt content of bread could be lowered by 25% over 6 weeks and consumers would not notice the difference.

44% of white breads included in the WASH survey had more salt than the UK’s maximum salt target. The Republic of Macedonia produced white breads with the highest salt content, averaging 1.42 g/100 g, compared to China which had the lowest average salt content of 0.65g/100g. Canadian breads in this category had an average salt content of 1.23g/100g, ranging from 0.43g/100g to 2.65 g/100 g.

Despite the UK’s progress with salt reduction to date, the average salt content of wholemeal breads from Qatar, China, Costa Rica and South Africa (0.78 g/100 g – 0.92 g/100 g) were lower than the average salt content of wholemeal breads in the UK (0.93 g/100 g). This suggests that mandatory salt reduction targets, such as those put in place in South Africa, may be more effective than voluntary targets.

Although mixed grain breads had the lowest salt content of the bread categories, there was still a huge variation within this category. The highest salt bread available in Bulgaria had a salt content of 2.50 g/100 g, compared to the lowest salt bread available in Costa Rica with a salt content of 0.09 g/100 g, a massive 27-fold difference in salt content. In Canada the highest salt bread in this category had a salt content of 1.69 g/100 g and the lowest 0.46 g/100 g.

A recent survey by WASH found that a third of respondents felt that the WHO could do more to encourage countries to lower salt intakes. However, the majority of respondents felt that their country’s government should take primary responsibility.

Professor Mary L’Abbe at the University of Toronto says: “Although recent Health Canada data has documented some progress in the reduction of sodium in prepackaged foods, Canadian bread products surveyed here demonstrate that more work is needed to meet recommended levels”

Mhairi Brown, Nutritionist at WASH, says: “This survey clearly demonstrates the progress still to be made to lower salt intake by 30% by 2025, in line with WHO recommendations. Bread is an essential staple food in many countries but is still a key source of salt in our diets due to the frequency with which we eat bread. Globally we must do more to reduce salt intake, and a simple way to do this is to lower salt in our staple foods.”

Graham MacGregor, Professor of Cardiology at Queen Mary, University of London, and WASH Chairman says: “Eating too much salt puts up our blood pressure, the major cause of strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Reducing salt intake around the world would save millions of lives each year and all countries should be working towards reducing salt intake by 30% by 2025. Our survey has shown that many bread manufacturers internationally are still adding huge and unnecessary amounts of salt to their products. Governments must act now and reinvigorate salt reduction work in the food industry.”

Source: EurekAlert!

Three Medications in One “Triple Pill” Helps Control High Blood Pressure

A pill that combines three blood pressure-lowering drugs improves people’s chances of lowering their high blood pressure, researchers report.

The pill contains low doses of the three medications — telmisartan, amlodipine and chlorthalidone.

The finding stems from a study of 700 people, who averaged 56 years old. All had high blood pressure.

Among those who took the so-called “triple pill” for six months, 70 percent had achieved their blood pressure targets, compared with 55 percent of those who received their usual care. Usual care meant taking whatever blood pressure medicine their doctor prescribed.

The rate of side effects was no greater among those who took the three-in-one pill than among the usual care group.

“Based on our findings, we conclude that this new method of using blood pressure-lowering drugs was more effective and just as safe as current approaches,” lead author Ruth Webster said in a news release from the American College of Cardiology. She’s a researcher with the George Institute for Global Health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

The study was presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Orlando, Fla. The findings should be considered preliminary because research presented at meetings has not undergone the rigorous scrutiny given to research published in medical journals.

“The most urgent need for innovative strategies to control blood pressure is in low- and middle-income countries,” Webster said. “The triple pill approach is an opportunity to ‘leapfrog’ over traditional approaches to care and adopt an innovative approach that has been shown to be effective.”

High blood pressure increases the risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney problems.

“A control rate of 70 percent would be a considerable improvement, even in high-income settings,” Webster said. “Most hypertension guidelines in these countries do not recommend combination blood-pressure-lowering therapy for initial treatment in all people.”

The findings, she said, “should prompt reconsideration of recommendations around the use of combination therapy.”

Source: HealthDay

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