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Grilled Marinated Cod

Ingredients

4 cod cutlets, each weighing about 6 oz
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with 1/4 teaspoon salt
4-5 tablespoons oil
1 oz butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method

  1. Rinse the cod and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and leave to stand for about 15 minutes.
  2. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the garlic with the oil. Dip the fish cutlets into the garlic marinade and then place in an ovenproof dish. Dot with the butter.
  3. Grill for 3 minutes on each side under a preheated hot grill, basting occasionally with the marinade.
  4. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve from the cooking dish.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Versatile Vegetables

In Pictures: Sourdough Bread of San Francisco Bakeries

Why Sourdough Bread Is One of the Healthiest Breads

Alina Petre wrote . . . . . . . .

Sourdough bread is an old favorite that has recently risen in popularity.

Many people consider it to be tastier and healthier than conventional bread. Some even say that it’s easier to digest and less likely to spike your blood sugar.

But is there any truth to these claims? This article takes a close look at the evidence.

What Is Sourdough Bread?

Sourdough is one of the oldest forms of grain fermentation.

It’s believed to have originated in ancient Egypt around 1,500 BC and remained the customary form of bread leavening until baker’s yeast replaced it a few centuries ago.

A leavened bread is a bread whose dough rises during the bread-making process as a result of gas being produced as the grain ferments.

Most leavened breads use commercial baker’s yeast to help the dough rise. However, traditional sourdough fermentation relies on “wild yeast” and lactic acid bacteria that are naturally present in flour to leaven the bread.

Wild yeast is more resistant to acidic conditions than baker’s yeast. This is what allows it to work together with lactic acid-producing bacteria to help the dough rise.

Lactic acid bacteria can be found in several other fermented foots, including yogurt, kefir, pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi.

The mix of wild yeast, lactic acid bacteria, flour and water used to make sourdough bread is called a “starter.” During the bread-making process, the starter ferments the sugars in the dough, helping the bread rise and acquire its characteristic taste.

Sourdough bread takes much longer to ferment and rise than other types of bread, which is what creates its particular texture.

To this day, making sourdough bread remains popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries, as well as in the San Francisco Bay region of the US.

Some store-bought sourdough breads are not made using the traditional sourdough method, thereby reducing their health benefits.

Buying sourdough bread from an artisan baker or a farmer’s market increases the likelihood of it being “true” sourdough bread.

It’s More Nutritious Than Regular Bread

Although sourdough bread is often made from the same flour as other types of bread, the fermentation process improves its nutrition profile in several ways.

For starters, whole grain breads contain a good amount of minerals, including potassium, phosphate, magnesium and zinc.

Unfortunately, the absorption of these minerals is limited by the presence of phytic acid, which is commonly referred to as phytate.

Phytates are considered antinutrients because they bind to minerals, reducing your body’s ability to absorb them.

Interestingly, the lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough bread lower the bread’s pH, which helps degrade phytates. This results in a bread that has a much lower phytate content than other types of bread.

One study showed that sourdough fermentation may reduce the phytate content of bread by 24–50% more than conventional yeast fermentation.

Lower phytate levels increase mineral absorption, which is one of the ways in which sourdough bread is more nutritious than conventional bread.

Moreover, studies show that the lactic acid bacteria present in sourdough bread have the ability to release antioxidants during sourdough fermentation.

Sourdough fermentation also increases folate levels in the bread, although levels of certain nutrients like vitamin E may be slightly reduced in the process.

Finally, sourdough’s longer fermentation time helps improve the flavor and texture of whole grain bread. This may make people more likely to opt for a whole grain bread, thereby promoting a higher consumption of fiber and nutrient-rich breads.

It’s Easier to Digest

Sourdough bread is often easier to digest than bread that’s fermented with brewer’s yeast.

Researchers believe this could partly be due to sourdough bread’s prebiotic content and probiotic-like properties.

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, while probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in certain foods and supplements.

Regularly consuming both may help improve your gut health, easing digestion.

Sourdough fermentation may also degrade gluten to a greater extent than baker’s yeast.

Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains. It can cause digestive problems in people who are sensitive or allergic to it.

Gluten tolerance varies from person to person. Some have no visible issues digesting gluten, whereas it can cause stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation in others.

Sourdough bread’s lower gluten content may make it easier to tolerate for individuals sensitive to gluten.

Research has shown that the sourdough fermentation process may also help improve the taste, texture and nutrient availability of gluten-free bread.

This makes gluten-free sourdough bread a possible option for gluten-sensitive people.

However, keep in mind that sourdough fermentation does not degrade gluten completely. Sourdough bread containing wheat, barley or rye should be avoided by people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

It May Be Better for Blood Sugar Control

Sourdough bread may have a better effect on blood sugar and insulin levels than other types of bread, though the reason for this isn’t yet fully understood.

Researchers believe that sourdough fermentation may modify the structure of carb molecules. This reduces the bread’s glycemic index (GI) and slows down the speed at which sugars enter the bloodstream.

The GI is a measure of how a food affects blood sugar. Foods with a lower GI are less likely to produce a spike in blood sugar levels.

In addition, the lactic acid bacteria found in the dough produce organic acids during fermentation. Some researchers believe these acids may help delay stomach emptying and prevent a spike in blood sugar in a way similar to vinegar.

The sourdough fermentation process is often used to make rye breads, as rye does not contain enough gluten for baker’s yeast to work effectively.

One study showed that participants who consumed rye bread had a lower spike in insulin levels than those given the same amount of conventional wheat bread.

In addition, several other studies compared participants’ glucose response after eating sourdough bread and bread fermented with baker’s yeast.

Overall, participants who ate the sourdough bread had lower blood sugar and insulin levels than those who ate the breads fermented with baker’s yeast.

Source: Healthline

Blood Sugar Spikes Seen in Seemingly Healthy People

Serena Gordon wrote . . . . . . . .

You’d expect big blood sugar fluctuations in people with diabetes. But for those without the disorder, blood sugar levels should remain fairly stable, right?

Maybe not, says a new study. Researchers found some people who don’t have diabetes still have wild swings in their blood sugar levels after they eat.

Among nearly 60 participants, the study authors identified three “glucotypes” based on how much blood sugar spiked after eating — low, moderate and severe.

The study also found that certain foods were more likely to prompt an extreme change in blood sugar (glucose) than others.

“Even if you don’t have diabetes, you may not have normal glucose. There are a lot of people with glucose dysfunction out there who don’t know it,” said the study’s lead author, Michael Snyder. He’s director of genomics and personalized medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, in California.

Snyder said this finding is potentially concerning because spikes in blood sugar levels have been associated with risk of heart attack and stroke. And it’s possible — though it hasn’t been proven in this study — that people who have big rises in their blood sugar after eating may have a higher risk of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem, affecting more than 30 million U.S. adults and 422 million worldwide, the authors noted.

But not every medical expert is convinced that these changes in blood sugar in healthy people are something to be concerned about.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, pointed out that the study population was small. That makes it difficult to draw conclusions about blood sugar pattern “types,” he said. Zonszein was not involved with the research.

The study volunteers “were separated into low, moderate and severe spikes. But there may be many other patterns,” he said. “Absorption, storage and utilization of [sugars] is highly regulated and difficult to characterize by only three different patterns.”

Zonszein added that blood sugar metabolism is complex and affected by many different variables.

To determine the three glucotypes, the Stanford researchers recruited 57 people without diabetes to wear a device called a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks.

These devices measure approximate blood sugar levels every five minutes using a sensor that’s inserted underneath the skin, Zonszein said.

People with diabetes use these devices to monitor trends in their blood sugar and to see if treatment changes are needed. The monitors provide more information about blood sugar patterns than standard tests that generally only capture a short period of time.

In addition to discovering the three different glucose spiking patterns, the researchers conducted a sub-study with 30 volunteers who wore a continuous glucose monitor while they ate standardized meals. One meal was cornflakes with milk, another was a protein bar and the third was a peanut butter sandwich.

“Certain foods tend to spike nearly everybody,” Snyder said, adding that the cereal was one such food. About 4 out of 5 people saw their blood sugar jump after consuming cereal and milk, the researchers said.

Some of the spikes observed in the study reached prediabetic and diabetic levels, the study authors noted.

Zonszein said that while continuous glucose monitors are great tools for people with diabetes, they don’t necessarily capture someone’s “glucose metabolism.”

And he doesn’t see the devices being used to replace current screening tests for diabetes until much more research is done comparing this technology to current tests.

The study was published in the journal PLOS Biology.

Source: HealthDay


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