The Quickest Way to Kill a Lobster at Home

According to Dr. Zen Faulkes, a scientist who studies crustaceans

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Italian-style Lasagne with Bolognese and Spinach

Ingredients

12 No-boil dried lasagne noodles
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bolognese Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pounds ground beef chuck (not lean)
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ricotta Filling

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 (15-ounce) containers whole-milk ricotta
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk

Method

  1. To make sauce, heat oil in a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden and softened, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps, until meat is no longer pink, 6 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in wine, milk, tomato paste, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated but sauce is still moist, about 1 hour.
  4. To make the ricotta filling, put spinach in a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and twist to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
  5. Whisk together ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Transfer 1-1/2 cups ricotta mixture to another bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup milk; set aside.
  6. Whisk spinach into remaining filling with remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F, with rack in middle.
  8. Soak noodles in a bowl of very warm water until pliable but not softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Place on a kitchen towel (it’s not necessary to pat them dry).
  9. Spread 1-1/2 cups Bolognese sauce in a 13-by 9-inch baking pan (3-inch deep) and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Cover with 3 noodles, leaving space in between. Spread half of spinach filling on top, then 1 cup Bolognese sauce, and top with 1 tablespoon Parmesan and 3 noodles; repeat. Top with remaining Bolognese sauce, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and remaining 3 noodles.
  10. Pour reserved ricotta mixture over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  11. Cover pan tightly with parchment paper and foil (or just buttered foil) and bake 50 minutes.
  12. Remove foil and bake until top is browned in spots, about 15 minutes more.
  13. Let stand for 15 to 30 minutes before cutting.

Cooks’ Notes:

  1. The Bolognese sauce can be made 2 days ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
  2. The lasagne can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat in a 350°F oven, loosely covered with foil.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian

New Soda with No Sugar and No Sweetener

Ugly Drinks – the UK’s first range of unsweetened, fruit-flavoured, 100% natural sparkling water.

Since launching in 2016, Ugly Drinks have undergone a rebrand to echo the pain points of their target market; an emerging generation of health-conscious consumers that are actively seeking healthier alternatives in their diet.

Ugly’s raw and uncut messaging coupled with their bright and bold personality give them a distinct personality, whilst their core ethos makes for a guilt-free alternative to the same old names in the drinks aisle.

Ugly Drinks are available in UK supermarkets including Tesco, Whole Foods and WHSmith.

After a lauch in May, Ugly Drinks are now sold in shops across New York.

According to the Ugly Drink’s website, the UK products are manufactured in U.K. and packaged in recycled and recyclable cans while the products sold in the US are manufactured in Canada. They are packed in BPA lined cans that he company is looking to replace.

Source: Trend Jackers and Food Nagvigator

How Much Carb is Best for Your Health?

Kathleen Doheny wrote . . . . . . . .

Carbohydrate confusion is rampant, and the latest research isn’t helping to clear it up.

Carbs have been vilified as the culprit behind weight gain in several trendy diets like Keto and Whole 30. But the headlines about one recent study were enough to unnerve even the most dedicated low-carb fan: ” ‘Low-Carb’ Diet May Up Odds for an Early Death” was one of the scarier ones.

But another recent study by Harvard researchers found a higher chance of premature death in both low-carb eaters and high-carb eaters.

These conflicting findings point to a larger problem with carb research, experts say. Carbohydrate studies are plentiful, but agreement about the best way to eat carbs — and how much of them we need on a daily basis — is rare.

“The confusion is major at this stage,” says Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis and former president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “People don’t know what carbs are, how much they need.”

So, what should you do about carbs — go low, high, or stay in the middle? What’s healthy and what’s moderate carbohydrate intake anyway? And which amount of carbs will help you lose weight and live longer? Or is that an impossible dream?

Low-Carb Diets

The newest study, presented at a meeting of European cardiologists in August, looked at a U.S. sample of nearly 25,000 people. It found that the low-carb eaters had a 32% higher chance of dying from any cause during a follow-up of over 6 years. The risk of death from heart disease, when looked at separately, was 51% higher, stroke, 50%, and cancer, 35%. They evaluated other studies to confirm their findings.

But experts not involved in the research took some issues with the study. It offered no clear-cut definition of low-carb; nor did the researchers have information about why people ate low-carb diets.

What are Good and Bad Carbohydrates?

Cutting back on carbs? Maybe you don’t have to deny yourself that slice of whole-grain bread.

“You don’t know if it’s a select group of individuals who chose to go on a low-carb diet for health reasons,” for instance, says Alice Lichtenstein, Gershoff professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University’s Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Another new study on carbohydrates from Harvard found that middle-of-the-roaders who kept their carbohydrate intake to 50% or 55% of total calories were the likeliest to live the longest. Those researchers evaluated dietary records completed by more than 15,000 U.S. adults, ages 45 to 64, between 1987 and 1989. During the 25-year follow-up, they found that the moderate carb eaters, staying at 50% to 55%, were less likely to die than both the low-carb eaters (in this study, less than 40%) and the high-carb eaters (in this study, more than 70%).

The researchers then combined their results with the results of seven other studies, including more than 432,000 people. They got the same results, finding moderate-carb eaters likely to live longer than low-carb or high-carb eaters.

In addition, they found that low-carb diets with protein and fat from animals, such as from beef, pork, and chicken, were linked with a higher risk of death than those that favored plant-derived protein and fat, such as from vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole grains.

Previous studies have produced conflicting findings. Some have found that low-carb diets promote weight loss and can help heart health. But other studies have found that low-carb eating could boost the risk of heart disease, cancer, and earlier death.

Carbs Defined

While researchers continue to sort out exactly how many of our daily calories should come from carbs, experts say most of us could use a bit more information on carbohydrates, starting with: What exactly is a carb?

Some carbs occur naturally — such as those in fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes. Other carbs are added to processed foods in the form of starch or extra sugars.

Sugar, the simplest carbohydrate form, is in fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. Starch is a complex carb found in grains, vegetables, and cooked dry beans and peas. Fiber, also a complex carbohydrate, is in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dry cooked beans and peas.

Our bodies convert carbohydrates into sugar or glucose as foods are digested. Glucose is a main source of fuel for our body, including the brain.

While carbs often get blamed for weight gain, they aren’t all bad. Besides providing energy, carb-containing foods such as whole grains and dietary fiber can lower the chance of heart and blood vessel disease, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. Fiber may also lower the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes and help your digestion. Eating healthy carbs from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is also linked with weight control.

“Carbohydrates are your body’s energy , but what is important is which ones you choose and the quantity. That word moderation, which we all hate to hear, is important,” says Diekman.

Defining Low, Moderate, High

Further confusing the issue is the definition of a low-carb diet. But most people term diets that allow 25% to 30% of calories from carbs as low-carb, says Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Virta Health, which offers a very low-carb treatment to reverse diabetes.

So if you eat 2,000 calories a day, a diet of 25% carbs would mean eating 500 calories from carbs, or about 125 grams. The keto diet, as it’s known, is even lower, with ketosis (the state at which your body is fueled mainly by fat and ketones) occurring when you eat 50 grams of carbohydrates a day or less.

Moderate, in general, is 45% to 65% of total calories from carbs.

And high is often defined as more than 70% of total calories from carbs.

The ‘Party Line’ On Carbs

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating a moderate amount of carbs — about 45% to 65% of your total daily calories. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, your carbs on this moderate plan should total about 900 to 1,300 calories, or about 225 to 325 grams a day. (A slice of whole wheat bread has 12 grams or more of carbs; a single 6-inch pancake, 30.)

Depending on which expert or which study you refer to, opinions differ about the benefits of low-carb versus higher-carb diets, and why moderation is the best course.

A low-carb diet can definitely benefit children with seizures, says Phinney, who’s a professor emeritus of medicine at the University of California, Davis. It can also help reverse type 2 diabetes. “This is dangerous to do on your own without expert medical supervision,” he says, especially if people are being weaned from their diabetes medications.

Eating a small amount of carbs doubles the body’s ability to burn fat during high-intensity exercise, Phinney says. Very lean and high-performing athletes, such as runners in 50- and 100-mile events, can run totally on body fat stores if they eat a very low-carb diet, improving performance, he says.

Phinney says he is not aware that the low-carb trend has gained traction among elite athletes who run shorter distances, such as the 26.2-mile marathon or the 13.1-mile half-marathon. But he has heard from many recreational runners who compete at these distances and shorter ones who follow the keto diet and find it improves their times. And he suspects the very low-carb diet may also be catching on with elite athletes besides runners.

What about very low-carb eating for your average healthy person without seizure issues or diabetes? “I wouldn’t advocate it for someone who doesn’t have a tangible benefit,” Phinney says.

If losing body fat is your aim, cutting dietary fat lowers body fat more than restricting carbs, according to a National Institutes of Health study. Kevin Hall, PhD, an NIH senior investigator and lead author, studied 19 men and women who were obese but free of diabetes. Before trying each of two diet types, they ate a diet of 50% of total calories from carbs, 35% from fat, and 15% from protein. Then they reduced total calories by 30% — while on the low-carb plan they reduced carbs by 60%; while on the low-fat diet they reduced fat by 85%.

The reduced-fat diet was better than the reduced-carb diet at increasing fat burning, which led to body fat lossExperts agree that some carbs are better than others. Choose the least refined carbs — think whole grains, brown rice — says Lichtenstein.

Aim for the moderate range and don’t focus only on carbs. “You have to think about the whole diet,” she says. The fat you eat should be healthy, such as from liquid vegetable oils. Protein should be lean. Within each category, choose the healthiest option, Lichtenstein says.

Follow these tips from Lichtenstein and Diekman to boost your diet’s content of ”better” carbs, fats, and protein:

  • Choose less-refined carbs — whole wheat pasta over regular, whole grain hamburger buns over non-whole grain, Lichtenstein says. Grain foods such as pasta, whole grain cereals and breads, quinoa, lentils, and beans are also good fiber sources, Diekman says. Plus, they provide a good base for eating more vegetables.
  • Aim to get most of your carbs from fruits, vegetables, and grain foods, Diekman says, with the rest from dairy foods such as milk and yogurt.
  • For fats, choose liquid vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, Lichtenstein says.
  • For protein, go for lean meats, nonfat dairy, and plant-based protein, Lichtenstein suggests.

Deciding how many of your daily calories should come from carbs isn’t an easy decision, but one thing is sure: Although more research about the optimal balance of carbs is on the horizon, it may help you with your decision, or it could complicate it even more.

Source: WebMD

More Daytime Sleepiness, Higher Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Analysis of data captured during a long-term study of aging adults shows that those who report being very sleepy during the day were nearly three times more likely than those who didn’t to have brain deposits of beta amyloid, a protein that’s a hallmark for Alzheimer’s disease, years later.

The finding, reported in the journal SLEEP, adds to a growing body of evidence that poor quality sleep could encourage this form of dementia to develop, suggesting that getting adequate nighttime sleep could be a way to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

“Factors like diet, exercise and cognitive activity have been widely recognized as important potential targets for Alzheimer’s disease prevention, but sleep hasn’t quite risen to that status—although that may well be changing,” says Adam P. Spira, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Spira led the study with collaborators from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the Bloomberg School and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

“If disturbed sleep contributes to Alzheimer’s disease,” he adds, “we may be able to treat patients with sleep issues to avoid these negative outcomes.”

The study used data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), a long-term study started by the NIA in 1958 that followed the health of thousands of volunteers as they age. As part of the study’s periodic exams, volunteers filled a questionnaire between 1991 and 2000 that asked a simple yes/no question: “Do you often become drowsy or fall asleep during the daytime when you wish to be awake?” They were also asked, “Do you nap?” with response options of “daily,” “1-2 times/week,” “3-5 times/week,” and “rarely or never.”

A subgroup of BLSA volunteers also began receiving neuroimaging assessments in 1994. Starting in 2005, some of these participants received positron emission tomography (PET) scans using Pittsburgh compound B (PiB), a radioactive compound that can help identify beta-amyloid plaques in neuronal tissue. These plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers identified 123 volunteers who both answered the earlier questions and had a PET scan with PiB an average of nearly 16 years later. They then analyzed this data to see if there was a correlation between participants who reported daytime sleepiness or napping and whether they scored positive for beta-amyloid deposition in their brains.

Before adjusting for demographic factors that could influence daytime sleepiness, such as age, sex, education, and body-mass index, their results showed that those who reported daytime sleepiness were about three times more likely to have beta-amyloid deposition than those who didn’t report daytime fatigue. After adjusting for these factors, the risk was still 2.75 times higher in those with daytime sleepiness.

The unadjusted risk for amyloid-beta deposition was about twice as high in volunteers who reported napping, but this did not reach statistical significance.

It’s currently unclear why daytime sleepiness would be correlated with the deposition of beta-amyloid protein, Spira says. One possibility is that daytime sleepiness itself might somehow cause this protein to form in the brain. Based on previous research, a more likely explanation is that disturbed sleep—due to obstructive sleep apnea, for example—or insufficient sleep due to other factors, causes beta-amyloid plaques to form through a currently unknown mechanism, and that these sleep disturbances also cause excessive daytime sleepiness.

“However, we cannot rule out that amyloid plaques that were present at the time of sleep assessment caused the sleepiness,” he added.

Animal studies in Alzheimer’s disease models have shown that restricting nighttime sleep can lead to more beta-amyloid protein in the brain and spinal fluid. A handful of human studies have linked poor sleep with greater measures of beta-amyloid in neuronal tissue.

Researchers have long known that sleep disturbances are common in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease—caregiver stress from being up with patients at night is a leading reason for Alzheimer’s disease patients to be placed in long-term care, Spira explains. Growing beta-amyloid plaques and related brain changes are thought to negatively affect sleep.

But this new study adds to growing evidence that poor sleep might actually contribute to Alzheimer’s disease development, Spira adds. This suggests that sleep quality could be a risk factor that’s modifiable by targeting disorders that affect sleep, such as obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia, as well as social- and individual-level factors, such as sleep loss due to work or binge-watching TV shows.

“There is no cure yet for Alzheimer’s disease, so we have to do our best to prevent it. Even if a cure is developed, prevention strategies should be emphasized,” Spira says. “Prioritizing sleep may be one way to help prevent or perhaps slow this condition.”

Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


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