Infographic: The Hidden Problem Looming Over the Cannabis Edibles Market

See large image . . . . .

Source: Visual Capitalist

Modern Chinese-style Roasted Chicken


1 whole chicken


1/2 tsp five spices powder
1/2 tsp spiced ginger powder
3 star aniseeds
3 slices ginger
2 sprigs spring onion
1 tbsp Chinese rose wine
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp soy sauce


  1. Wash, clean and drain chicken.
  2. Place chicken into roasting pan, rub with marinade and set aside for 2 hours.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
  4. Roast chicken for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and spring onion, drizzle sesame oil before serving.

Source: Cook It Easy

In Pictures: Healthy Home-cooked Dishes Recommended by Dietitian

Rice with Tofu Keema Curry

Vermicelli Hearty Soup with Assorted Mushrooms

Brown Rice with Mushrooms

Tofu Gratin

Congee with Pressed Barley and Ginger

Oven-baked Croquette

There’s No Such Thing as ‘Bad Food.’ Four Terms that Make Dietitians Cringe.

Ellie Krieger wrote . . . . . . . . .

The words we use matter. Our choice of language not only mirrors our current way of thinking, it also has the power to shape our attitudes and behaviours over time. That’s why so many food and nutrition professionals cringe at much of the conversation around food and health today.

Seemingly innocuous words and phrases that are regularly tossed around set us up for unhealthy approaches to food.

I emailed several registered dietitian colleagues to identify the most common offenders – words they wish would be eliminated from the nutrition chatter – and asked them how to reframe that language for a healthier perspective. Here are their top four.

Good/bad food

Not surprisingly, almost every dietitian I surveyed ranked the categorisation of food as “good” or “bad” high on their cringe list. It is the root of unhealthy food speak, as most of the other reviled terms can be traced back to this notion.

Pinning a black or white value to one particular food shifts focus from the big picture, the overall eating patterns that really define a person’s well-being.

Sure, some foods have a better nutritional profile than others, but context matters immensely. Broccoli may easily win a “good” label, but if all you have eaten all day is broccoli, another serving of it may be the last thing you need.

On the flip side, even foods with a less than ideal nutritional breakdown can have unquantifiable health benefits.

Take pizza for example. “Pizza is often demonised as ‘bad’ because it is high in fat, high in refined carbohydrates and easy to overindulge,” says Chris Mohr, co-founder of the nutrition consultation company Mohr Results.

“But if that pizza isn’t an every day occurrence and it brought friends together, encouraged conversation, laughing and a connection, the otherwise ‘bad’ food becomes nurturing for your soul. Food inherently is not good or bad.”

Besides setting you up to overeat broccoli and miss out on pizza parties, the good/bad paradigm can lead to extreme, moralistically judgmental attitudes about food.

As Deanna Wolfe, co-founder of HealthyBody Nutrition puts it, “People use ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to describe food as if you are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for eating them.

“This only leads to guilt and stress over eating! You are not good for eating kale and bad for eating ice cream.”

Also, labelling foods “bad” can make them even more desirable, as Rahaf Al Bochi, owner of Olive Tree Nutrition and spokeswoman for the Georgia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has found.

When her clients declare certain foods “forbidden,” they are more likely to be preoccupied with thoughts of those foods and crave them more intensely.

Clean eating

The notion of clean eating is an offshoot of the good/bad food concept that marketers seem to adore, to the dismay of many dietitians.

“The original [clean eating] philosophy appears to be one I think we could all get on board with: eating food as close to its original state as possible, in the most nutritious form possible (also known as minimally processed),” says Jaclyn London, author of Dressing on the Side and nutrition director of Good Housekeeping.

“But what was once a sense of awareness about food seems to have spiralled into a diet culture driven system. On social media, it’s become yet another form of body and food shaming.No matter what, the alternative to ‘clean’ sounds like fear mongering.”

Elizabeth Ward recoils at the term, too, which she wrote about in her food and nutrition blog Better Is the New Perfect: “I can’t get past the notion that if you’re not eating ‘clean’, then you’re eating ‘dirty’.”

Declaring foods clean or dirty is not merely a simplistic misrepresentation, as with calling foods good or bad, it could ultimately be downright unhealthy, fostering overly restrictive eating (and the bingeing that often follows) and unwarranted self judgment around food.

Guilty pleasure

I bet you have been there: you declare you are going to “be good” or “eat clean” and you beat yourself up at the slightest deviation from what you’ve decided (or a book has told you) is the perfect diet. No wonder the term “guilty pleasure” makes dietitians wince.

“Eating is not cheating, and guilt should have no role in food choice,” says Ward. “Your diet does not need to be perfect.

“Guilt robs you of the pleasure of eating and makes you feel bad after, which can start a downward spiral of shame that prevents you from learning to make better eating choices while allowing for treats.

“As a dieter in my teens and early 20s, I battled guilt and shame, and I found it to be extremely unproductive.”

I experienced this, too, in my younger years, and what pulled me out of that negative thought trap is to mindfully, non-judgmentally extract pleasure from whatever I choose to eat, whether it is a carrot or a piece of chocolate cake.

Low-carb/cutting carbs

We dietitians get it: people are generally better off eating fewer foods made of refined flour and sugar. If I may speak for the group, we applaud and support efforts in that direction. But somewhere along the way, “carb” has become synonymous with unhealthy.

That is a big problem because many of the most healthful foods in the world are rich in carbohydrates.

“I’m asked if fruit is bad because it’s a ‘carb’ at least once per week,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, owner of MNC Nutrition and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“The fact that people, who are trying to do right by their heath, actually question if fruit is bad for them is a window into how distorted our society’s view of food is.”

Wendy Lopez, co-founder of the online platform Food Heaven Made Easy, cringes when she hears people say carbs are bad for you.

“People think they’re eating healthier by cutting down on carbohydrates,” she said. “However, carbohydrates are in so many nutritious and tasty foods. Aside from bread, pasta and grains, carbs can also be found in nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes and more! Carbohydrates provide our bodies with fuel, nutrition, and satisfaction.”

Eating carbohydrates shouldn’t be the all-or-nothing proposition it has been made out to be. Enjoy them in balance, focusing on the healthiest, least processed choices.

The bottom line is that much of the language around food and nutrition that is batted around today traps us into a reductionist, all-or-nothing way of thinking that prevents us from achieving true well-being.

So next time you catch yourself or others using the words here, take a moment to pull back far enough to see the bigger, more nuanced picture and reconsider.

Source: SCMP

Higher Coronary Artery Calcium Levels in Middle-age May Indicate Higher Risk for Future Heart Problems

Higher coronary artery calcium levels in middle-age were associated with structural heart abnormalities linked to future heart failure, particularly among blacks, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, an American Heart Association journal.

Coronary artery calcium (CAC) is the buildup of calcified plaque made up of fat, calcium and cholesterol. The calcium found in this type of plaque is not related to dietary calcium. Elevated cholesterol levels in the blood can contribute to plaque buildup, known as atherosclerosis, which narrows the channel within an artery and reduces blood flow.

CAC is a risk marker for heart health problems, and CAC screening was added to the American Heart Association’s 2018 cholesterol management guidelines to further improve early detection of heart health abnormalities, especially among people who might be at a higher risk. A CAC score of zero indicates there is low risk in the absence of other high-risk conditions, while a score above zero indicates increasing risk.

In this study, researchers tracked 2,449 people (52% white, 57% women) from young adulthood to middle-age. Non-invasive computed tomography imaging tests were used to gauge the participants’ vascular health, with participants’ imaging tests and CAC scores compared at years 15 and 25 of the study period.

By year 25, participants’ average age was about 50. Seventy-two percent of the group had a CAC score of zero compared with 77% a decade earlier.

“We looked at early adulthood to middle-age because this is a window in which we can see abnormalities that might not be causing symptoms, but could later increase the risk of heart problems,” said Henrique Turin Moreira, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and an attending physician at Hospital das Clínicas de Ribeirão Preto at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. “Prevention and control of these abnormalities are key, so early identification of risks can be crucial.”

Moreira and team found that increases in CAC scores were independently related to increasing age, male sex, black race, higher systolic blood pressure, higher total cholesterol, diabetes mellitus and current smoking, as well as the use of medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, they found:

  • Compared with patients who had CAC scores of zero, those who had higher CAC scores at middle-age had a 12% increase in left ventricular mass and a 9% increase in left ventricular volume, independent of other risk factors including demographic information and cardiovascular risks. Abnormalities in the left ventricle means the heart had to work harder to effectively pump blood, and as a result, became enlarged and thickened, a risk factor for heart failure.
  • These findings were even more significant among blacks. For every one-unit change in a CAC score, blacks had four times higher increase in left ventricular mass compared with whites.
  • While progression in CAC over the follow-up was strongly related to higher left ventricular mass in blacks, this relationship was not significant in whites.

Blacks already face a greater risk and burden of heart disease and stroke: 60% of adult black men and 57% of adult black women have some form of cardiovascular disease, compared with 50% of white men and 43% of white women.

“Racial differences in our findings may be due to genetic factors or perhaps greater exposure to cardiovascular risk factors that usually appear earlier in blacks,” Moreira said. “We need more research to examine the link between coronary artery calcium and heart health.”

“Prior studies have shown that presence of CAC and higher CAC scores are associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in young to middle aged adults. The results of this study are important as they highlight that presence of CAC and higher CAC scores may also be associated with echocardiographic markers of subclinical LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction,” said Salim Virani, M.D., a member of the writing committee for the American Heart Association’s 2018 cholesterol guidelines and director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Given the burden of morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure, these are important findings. Prior studies from this cohort have also shown that a better risk factors profile in young adulthood is associated with much lower CAC and therefore, these results further highlight the importance of primordial prevention and risk factor modification in early adulthood.”

Source: American Heart Association

Today’s Comic