Philadelphia City Council Passes Sodium Warning for Chain-Restaurant Menus

The Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously today to give patrons of chain restaurants the information they need to help make informed decisions to protect their health.

The new law will require a warning label next to menu items that contain 2,300 or more milligrams of sodium (the amount in about a teaspoon of salt). That’s the recommended limit for an entire day.

Americans consume far too much sodium, mostly from restaurant and processed foods, which contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year due to heart disease and stroke. When Mayor Jim Kenney signs today’s measure into law, Philadelphia will become the second city to take this important step—joining New York City, which passed the nation’s first sodium warning policy in 2015. The new sodium warnings will complement calorie labeling that just went into effect nationwide, providing even more incentive for restaurants to improve the healthfulness of their menus and giving consumers more information when choosing what to order.

Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

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Video: World’s Most Expensive Milkshake!

Available for ordering starting Wednesday 20 June, known as National Vanilla Milkshake Day in the US, Serendipity 3’s LUXE Milkshake has set the new Guinness World Records with a value of $100 USD.

Watch video at You Tube (2:18 minutes) . . . . .

Extremely Moist Cakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

butter, for greasing
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 eggs
scant 1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

White Chocolate Frosting

3 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease seven 2-1/2-inch diameter baking rings, 1-1/2 inches deep, line with parchment paper, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, using an electric handheld mixer, until pale. On slow speed, add the oil a little at a time until it has all been incorporated.
  3. Beat in the buttermilk, food coloring, and vanilla.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, then fold in, followed by the vinegar.
    <liDivide the batter among the baking rings, filling them three-quarters full. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.

  5. Let cool in the rings for 5 minutes, then remove the cakes from the rings to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Let cool. Beat together the butter and half the confectioners’ sugar until smooth, then add the remaining confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Add the milk and cooled chocolate and beat for another 2 minutes.
  8. To assemble, slice a cake horizontally into three layers. Thinly spread a layer of frosting onto the bottom layer, then sandwich the middle layer on top. Spread a little more frosting on the middle layer, then add the top layer. Repeat with five of the mini cakes so that you have six cakes in total, with one extra cake without frosting.
  9. Spoon the remaining frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a plain piping tip, then pipe around the edges of the cakes until completely covered. Crumble the remaining unfrosted cake and sprinkle the crumbs over the tops of the piped cakes. Serve dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Chocolat

Melon Desserts

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One Blood Test Might Be Enough to Diagnose Diabetes

New research suggests that a single blood test could confirm type 2 diabetes, saving patients time and health care costs.

Currently, it’s recommended that a blood test focused on elevated fasting levels of blood sugar (glucose) or a blood component called glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) be confirmed with a second blood test at a follow-up visit.

But taking the test twice takes up time and money and could still result in missed diagnoses, said a team from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

In the new study, researchers led by Hopkins epidemiologist Elizabeth Selvin looked at data on more than 13,000 people in a long-running U.S. heart disease study. The study began in the 1980s, and along the way has recorded valuable data from participants, including diabetes test data.

Selvin’s group analyzed that data, and reported that a positive result for glucose and HbA1c from just a single blood sample can confirm type 2 diabetes.

This could change care, “potentially allowing a major simplification of current clinical practice guidelines,” Selvin said in a university news release. “Doctors are already doing these [glucose and HbA1c] tests together — if a patient is obese, for example, and has other risk factors for diabetes, the physician is likely to order tests for both glucose and HbA1c from a single blood sample.

“It’s just that the guidelines don’t clearly let you use the tests from that one blood sample to make the initial diabetes diagnosis,” she explained.

Diabetes is treatable, but about 3 million Americans with the disease don’t know they have it.

“I’m hoping that these results will lead to a change in the clinical guidelines when they are revised in early 2019, which could make identifying diabetes a lot more efficient in many cases,” Selvin said.

Diabetes experts welcomed the findings.

“Diabetes moves fast, and the cost of diabetes has increased more than 20 percent since 2012,” noted Dr. Robert Courgi. The new study “helps us move quicker to treat diabetes,” he said.

“By diagnosing diabetes quicker, we can improve outcomes,” said Courgi, an endocrinologist at Northwell Health’s Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. “The current standard is to delay diagnosis with repeat office visits and blood work. Now we can educate the patient sooner and start treatment earlier to prevent complications of diabetes such as heart attack, dialysis and amputations.”

Dr. Gerald Bernstein coordinates the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He agreed that quicker diagnosis could mean better treatment and outcomes for patients.

“The CDC reports that greater than 52 percent of the U.S. population has either clinical diabetes or prediabetes,” Bernstein noted. “Given these numbers, any abnormality of glucose should be regarded as sufficient reason to start preventative treatment with an education program, lifestyle change and first-line medication such as metformin.”

According to Bernstein, if only one diagnostic test were needed, “this would mean that a follow-up visit would be a look at the treatment benefits — rather than a confirmation of an abnormal glucose.”

The study was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Source: HealthDay