Pork and Squash Stir-fry

Ingredients

1 lb pork fillet, thinly sliced across the grain
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
10 oz butternut squash, sliced into pieces about 3/4 x 1-1/2-inch and 1/4-inch thick
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves

Method

  1. Place the pork in a bowl, add the crushed garlic and about 2 teaspoons of the peanut oil, then season with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the side of the wok. Stir-fry the pork in two batches for about 1 minute per batch, or until the meat changes colour. Transfer the meat to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining oil to the wok and stir-fry the squash for about 4 minutes, or until tender but not falling apart, then remove and add to the plate with the pork.
  4. Put the sugar, fish sauce, rice vinegar and 1/2 cup water in the wok, stir thoroughly, then bring to the boil and boil for about 10 minutes, or until syrupy. Return the pork and squash to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until well coated with the sauce and heated through.
  5. Stir in the coriander and serve immediately with steamed rice and some steamed Asian greens, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook

In Pictures: Food of Golden Flower (京花軒) in Macau

Regional Chinese Tan (譚家菜), Lu (魯菜) and Sichuan (川菜) Cuisine

The 2020 Michelin 2-star Restaurant

Social Distancing

Limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What is social distancing?

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.

To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing cloth face coverings, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Why practice social distancing?

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible, even if you—or they—do not have any symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If you are sick with COVID-19, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people until it is safe to be around others.

COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.

Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community. In addition to practicing everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread in communities.

Tips for Social Distancing

When going out in public, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a cloth face covering to slow the spread of COVID-19. Consider the following tips for practicing social distancing when you decide to go out.

  • Know Before You Go: Before going out, know and follow the guidance from local public health authorities where you live.
  • Prepare for Transportation: Consider social distancing options to travel safely when running errands or commuting to and from work, whether walking, bicycling, wheelchair rolling, or using public transit, rideshares, or taxis. When using public transit, try to keep at least 6 feet from other passengers or transit operators – for example, when you are waiting at a bus station or selecting seats on a bus or train. When using rideshares or taxis, avoid pooled rides where multiple passengers are picked up, and sit in the back seat in larger vehicles so you can remain at least 6 feet away from the driver. Follow these additional tips to protect yourself while using transportation.
  • Limit Contact When Running Errands: Only visit stores selling household essentials in person when you absolutely need to, and stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household while shopping and in lines. If possible, use drive-thru, curbside pick-up, or delivery services to limit face-to-face contact with others. Maintain physical distance between yourself and delivery service providers during exchanges and wear a cloth face covering.
  • Choose Safe Social Activities: It is possible to stay socially connected with friends and family who don’t live in your home by calling, using video chat, or staying connected through social media. If meeting others in person (e.g., at small outdoor gatherings, yard or driveway gathering with a small group of friends or family members), stay at least 6 feet from others who are not from your household. Follow these steps to stay safe if you will be participating in personal and social activities outside of your home.
  • Keep Distance at Events and Gatherings: It is safest to avoid crowded places and gatherings where it may be difficult to stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household. If you are in a crowded space, try to keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others at all times, and wear a cloth face covering. Cloth face coverings are especially important in times when physical distancing is difficult. Pay attention to any physical guides, such as tape markings on floors or signs on walls, directing attendees to remain at least 6 feet apart from each other in lines or at other times. Allow other people 6 feet of space when you pass by them in both indoor and outdoor settings.
  • Stay Distanced While Being Active: Consider going for a walk, bike ride, or wheelchair roll in your neighborhood or in another safe location where you can maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other pedestrians and cyclists. If you decide to visit a nearby park, trail, or recreational facility, first check for closures or restrictions. If open, consider how many other people might be there and choose a location where it will be possible to keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.

Source: CDC

Women Taking Beta Blockers for Hypertension May Have Higher Risk of Heart Failure with Acute Coronary Syndrome

Women taking beta blockers for hypertension with no prior history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) have a nearly 5% higher risk for heart failure than men when they present to hospital with acute coronary syndrome, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.

Beta blockers are medications that reduce high blood pressure and are prescribed for adults with hypertension, a leading cause of CVD. In this study, researchers analyzed the effects of beta blockers on men and women with hypertension and no history of CVD after presenting with acute coronary syndromes. Following incidence of heart failure was recorded to determine if the medication caused different outcomes depending on biological differences.

“Past research on the effects of beta blockers included a majority of participants who were men, so we sought to examine how sex/gender plays a role in the patient outcomes,” said Raffaele Bugiardini, M.D., professor of cardiology at the University of Bologna and lead author of the study. “Women are historically underrepresented in most clinical studies on hypertension. It’s important to include an equal split of male and female patients in future research, which could shed light on disparities and actionable treatments.”

The study analyzed information from the International Survey of Acute Coronary Syndromes (ISACS) Archives, the ISACS-TC and the EMMACE-3X clinical registries from October 2010 to July 2018. The research included data from 13,764 adults in 12 European countries who had hypertension and no prior history of cardiovascular disease. Patients were classified by sex/gender and then separated into two groups: those taking beta blockers and those who were not.

Researchers found that among the participants taking beta blockers:

  • women had a 4.6% higher rate of heart failure than men when presenting to the hospital with acute coronary syndrome;
  • the mortality of both men and women with heart failure was approximately seven times that of patients with acute myocardial infarction and no heart failure complications;
  • women who had ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) were 6.1% more likely to have heart failure than men with STEMI, a serious form of heart attack in which a coronary artery is completely blocked and a large part of the heart muscle is unable to receive blood; and,
  • men and women not taking beta blockers had approximately the same rate of heart failure.

“What we found presents a solid case for re-examination of the use of beta blocker therapy for women with hypertension. For women who have no history of cardiovascular disease and only hypertension, we think it is incredibly important for them to regulate their blood pressure through diet and exercise,” Bugiardini noted. “It’s possible that the increased risk of heart failure for women is due to an interaction between hormone replacement therapy and beta blockers, though this information was not collected or tested in our study. This and other potential factors need to be investigated in more depth.”

Researchers noted some limitations. Since the study was observational, results may have some variance and additional data is needed for confirmation. However, a randomized controlled trial of beta-blocker therapy in patients with hypertension may not be considered ethical since it would be designed to confirm risk and not benefit. The study did not include, nor have information for, the length of time patients used a previous treatment or dosing of beta blockers.

Through its signature women’s initiative, Go Red for Women®, the American Heart Association has advocated for increased representation of women in cardiovascular research studies for nearly two decades. Go Red for Women’s Research Goes Red empowers women to contribute to health research. The initiative has built a community of women scientists, researchers, and medical and health professionals to further raise awareness around women’s heart health by closing gender disparity gaps in research and clinical trials. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Research Goes Red expanded their reach and impact through a COVID-19 survey. This survey assesses the top concerns women have related to the health, social, economic and emotional impact COVID-19 has had on their lives.

Source: American Heart Association


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