Character Barbapapa (バーバパパ) Donuts at Krispy Kream Donut Stores in Japan

Barbapapa x Strawberry

Barba Bravo x Apple

Barbazoo x Mango

The Donuts are available until late April. Price starts at 290 yen (plus tax).

Baked Vanilla Pears with Fig


1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
3 firm Bartlett pears
2 tablespoons butter
2 dried black mission figs


  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and set one half aside. Scrape seeds from other half into a small saucepan, and add the pod, 1/4 cup sugar, and the water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes to infuse vanilla flavor into syrup. Strain and set aside.
  4. Peel the pears and cut in half lengthwise, leaving stems on. Cut out core, scooping out a little extra flesh. Trim off a little flesh on round side so that halves will lie nicely on a plate.
  5. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and stir until melted.
  6. Add pears, cut side down, and cook until brown, shaking pan occasionally.
  7. Turn over and cook a few minutes more. Transfer to a baking dish, and pour vanilla syrup over pears.
  8. Add other half of vanilla bean. Slice figs lengthwise and put 1 or 2 slices in center of each pear. Spoon a little syrup over figs and bake until soft and tender, about 30 minutes, depending on ripeness of pears. Serve hot or warm.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: what to Have for Dinner

Video: The Future of Food

Have you ever wondered what we are going to eat in the future, how all that food is going to be produced and what is driving the change? We asked Lauri Reuter about the key drivers that are changing the future of food at SingularityU Nordic Summit in Helsinki.

Lauri Reuter is an expert in the future of food. He works as a Senior Specialist of Disruptive Technologies at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and has a PhD in Biotechnology. He is a specialist in cell biology, genetic engineering, and protein production, and is passionate about securing food production in the future. On this planet and the next one. This year, he was listed as one of the 35 under 35 shapers of the future in Finland.

Watch video at You Tube (2:40 minutes) . . . . .

‘Couch Potato’ Lifestyle Poses Danger to Women’s Hearts

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Most folks know that being a couch potato is bad for their health, but new research suggests that women who spend hours in their chairs and sofas might face greater risks than believed.

Sitting for long periods of time can increase risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, particularly if those bouts of sitting aren’t broken up by occasionally getting up and stretching, the study found.

Each additional hour of total sitting time per day is linked to a 6% increase in insulin levels and a 7% increase in insulin resistance, the study showed.

Further, each additional 15 minutes of uninterrupted sitting is associated with 7% higher insulin levels and an almost 9% increase in insulin resistance.

Long periods of sitting were also associated with excess weight, a wider waist and increased triglyceride levels, said senior researcher Dorothy Sears. She’s a professor of nutrition at the Arizona State University College of Health Solutions, in Phoenix.

“People need to think about trying to break up their sitting time,” Sears said. “Clinicians focus on getting people to exercise, but we also need to get people to think about breaking up their sitting.”

The benefits of exercise are well-known, but most people don’t understand that sitting around can wipe out those benefits, Sears said.

“We know from previous studies that exercise does not negate the negative effects of sitting time unless folks are engaged in extensive amounts of exercise, like two hours a day, and who does that?” Sears said.

For the new study, Sears and her colleagues asked 518 postmenopausal women to wear accelerometers on their right hip for 14 days, removing the devices only to sleep, shower or swim. These gadgets allowed the researchers to precisely track each woman’s physical activity throughout the day.

“We were able to measure their actual sitting time, and not just the total sitting time they had during the day but how long the average time was they spent sitting in chair or in a seated posture without getting up — what we call a sitting bout,” Sears said.

The women had an average age of 63, and on average met the clinical definition of obesity, the study authors said.

Blood tests showed that the women who had more total sitting time, and who sat for longer periods uninterrupted, were more likely to have higher levels of insulin and more insulin resistance.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

According to Dr. Malissa Wood, co-director of the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, “This is further evidence that the sedentary life many people in our country live is dangerous.” Wood was not involved in the new study.

“Many people in the world sort of think if you exercise for 30 or 40 minutes in the morning you’re all set, and you can go sit in a chair for the rest of your day,” Wood said. “What we’re seeing here is that being seated, regardless of whatever else they did, was detrimental.”

Sears explained that sitting for long periods impairs blood flow to the lower part of your body, which can create inflammation and reduce your metabolism.

And Wood noted that prolonged sitting also prevents your body from enjoying small improvements that occur with even small amounts of movement.

“It’s very likely in those settings with increased activity that the metabolism is switched into a different gear that potentially revs up the pathways to improve utilization of glucose and improve lipid numbers,” Wood explained. “When you’re seated, those pathways likely aren’t as active. They go more into a hibernation mode. As humans, we’re not meant to hibernate.”

Hispanic women faced the greatest risk from sitting, the researchers found.

In addition to the effects of sitting on insulin, Hispanic women also had 5% increased blood sugar levels for every 15-minute increase in uninterrupted sitting, compared to a less than 1% increase for non-Hispanic women, the results showed.

Hispanics in general have a higher risk of diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, both Sears and Wood said.

“There seems to be some kind of genetic component that causes increased risk,” Sears said.

Wood advised that people who want to stay healthy need to keep moving, and make sure to break up long periods of sitting by getting up to stretch or walk a bit.

“Societies that experience better health into their ninth and tenth decades of life, one of the factors that’s very common amongst them is that they move throughout the day,” Wood said. “They don’t necessarily move a lot but they get up, they move, they’re active. They do functional exercise, carrying things, lifting things, bending, stretching.”

Source: HealthDay

Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Together Might Increase Stroke Severity

Bleeding strokes are the deadliest type of stroke and the hardest to treat. What might make matters worse is having both diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease versus either condition alone, new research shows.

The study looked at 2,071 adults in the Kentucky Appalachian Stroke Registry who had a hemorrhagic stroke. The researchers reviewed each patient’s health records to look for a previous diagnosis of diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease. They found 75% of those with both conditions had died or needed hospice or long-term care after their stroke compared to 39% with neither condition, 42% with diabetes alone, and 62% with Alzheimer’s disease alone.

This stroke registry gave us “the opportunity to think about how having more than one (health condition), like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, could influence outcomes compared to having just one,” said the study’s lead researcher Amanda L. Trout, a scientist at the Center for Advanced Translational Stroke Science at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Trout will present the preliminary study Wednesday at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.

Diabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar is too high. The condition increases risk for stroke, heart disease and other health problems.

Likewise, previous studies suggest stroke risk is higher for people with Alzheimer’s disease, a brain disorder that slowly erases a person’s memory and makes it difficult for them to carry out simple tasks. It is the most common cause of dementia – the lack of ability to think or reason – in older adults.

Comparisons of state data show rural Kentucky has one of the highest rates of stroke and stroke risk factors in the nation. The Kentucky Appalachian Stroke Registry was started in 2010 to identify gaps in care.

Most strokes are caused by a clot that cuts off blood flow to the brain. But about 13% are caused by a weakened blood vessel that bleeds into or around the brain. According to American Heart Association statistics, about 795,000 people have a stroke each year in the U.S. and about 146,000 people die from it.

The most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled high blood pressure. Previous research shows high blood pressure is prevalent in Kentucky. Although researchers in this latest study controlled for a previous diagnosis of high blood pressure, they were unable to include people’s specific blood pressure measurements at the time of their stroke.

Not knowing if the people included in the study had high or uncontrolled blood pressure “makes it difficult to assess the overall health of the patients and determine whether it was having both Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes that put them at higher risk for a severe stroke,” said Dr. Robert H. Eckel, a professor emeritus of medicine and a diabetes specialist at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine in Denver.

Eckel, who was not involved with the study, said the findings wouldn’t change the way he provides care to patients. But, he said, “it does raise my curiosity about whether there is something going on between the two, because we know that diabetes is related to dementia.”

Trout said the team’s study points to the need for more basic science research on why people with multiple health problems may have more severe strokes.

Overall, she said, the findings show the importance of managing conditions like diabetes with medications or lifestyle changes.

Source: American Heart Association

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