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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Diabetes could cause Alzheimer’s: Link between high blood sugar and dementia confirmed

EATING too much sugar could lead to Alzheimer’s disease - the most common form of dementia - experts have warned.

A diet high in sugar not only leads to diabetes and obesity but now researchers have revealed it can stop a protein from working efficiently.

Experts have confirmed there are biological links between dementia and high blood sugar.

Researchers at University of Bath compared brain samples of 30 people with and without Alzheimer’s disease and tested them for protein glycation, a modification caused by high glucose levels in the blood.

The team found that a particular enzyme was glycated in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease and that glycation stopped the enzyme from working properly.

The enzyme, known as ‘macrophage migration inhibitory factor’ or MIF, has been previously implicated in the inflammatory response that occurs in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Clare Walton, Research Manager at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We know that diabetes can double a person’s risk of developing dementia but we still don’t really understand how the two conditions are linked - this study offers a vital clue.

The researchers have found a specific effect of high blood glucose on an enzyme in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, providing a plausible biological mechanism connecting the two conditions.

“With diabetes on the rise, a better understanding of how it affects brain cells can help us to find ways to help people with diabetes manage their risk of dementia.

“Alzheimer’s Society is currently funding a clinical trial to see whether a diabetes drug can be used as a dementia treatment.”

Professor Jean van den Elsen, from Bath's Department of Biology and Biochemistry, said: "We've shown that this enzyme is already modified by glucose in the brains of individuals at the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. We are now investigating if we can detect similar changes in blood.

"Normally MIF would be part of the immune response to the build-up of abnormal proteins in the brain, and we think that because sugar damage reduces some MIF functions and completely inhibits others that this could be a tipping point that allows Alzheimer's to develop.

Dr Rob Williams, also from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, added: "Knowing this will be vital to developing a chronology of how Alzheimer's progresses and we hope will help us identify those at risk of Alzheimer's and lead to new treatments or ways to prevent the disease.

Every week 4,500 people are diagnosed with diabetes across the UK.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work properly.

The condition, which can be caused by being overweight and poor diet can cause blindness, limbs to be amputated and even kidney failure.


Reducing dietary carbohydrates is more effective in safely lowering blood glucose than any diabetes medications 

Graham

Caprese Omelette : Low Carb


Now, here is a piece of Italy in a bite! This omelette gives you all the flavours from a Caprese salad in a filling, but low-carb, omelette.
Just great for a sturdy breakfast, lunch or even a light dinner...
I wonder when may you serve yours?

Ingredients:
Serves Two
3g carbs per serving
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 eggs
100 g cherry tomatoes cut in halves or tomato cut in slices
1 tablespoon fresh basil or dried basil
150 g fresh mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Please find instructions at Diet Doctor Site here

the Italian Flag made from Basil, mozzarella and tomatoes

Caprese salad is a simple Italian salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and green basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil.
It is made to resemble the colours of the Italian flag: red, white, and green

Some other omelette ideas
herb omelette - find details here 
fish omelette - details here
broccoli and smoked salmon omelette - details here

Have you a favourite omelette?
All the best Jan

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

MRC to probe Prof accused of trying to discredit Noakes

The SA Medical Research Council is to probe a senior employee accused of teaming up with ‘Big Sugar’ to discredit Banting-diet champion Professor Tim Noakes, reports The Times. A recent investigation in the US supposedly linked Professor Ali Dhansay to the International Life Sciences Institute, described as a ‘Coca-Cola proxy’.

The report said that Dhansay, former director of the now defunct nutritional intervention research unit at the council, was president of the institute in South Africa in 2013 and worked with Coca-Cola, Mars and Nestlé.

The Medical Research Council’s executive committee has distanced itself from Dhansay’s evidence given at Noakes’ Health Professions’ Council of SA disciplinary hearing. It said it would investigate his alleged links to the sugar industry. Spokesperson Aziel Gangerdine said the council would investigate “Dhansay’s position in his capacity as president of the institute and the funding thereof; any association of research conducted in the field of nutrition, obesity and lifestyle with funding or support from the sugar/beverage food industry; any association by way of expert opinion or scientific advice in the field of nutrition, obesity and lifestyle to the sugar/beverage food industry; and any monies received in lieu of such advisory services.”

Gangerdine said the nutritional unit Dhansay headed had been disbanded as a result of “a recent organisational redesign”.

“The council is not associated with any of Dhansay’s testimony in the Health Professions’ Council proceedings, neither can the council be associated with any of the relations Dhansay is reported to have with the sugar industry, Coca-Cola or the institute.”

The report quotes the institute as saying that it “does not have activities related to infant nutrition, nor has it ever addressed the health effects of low-carbohydrate diets and has never been part of any discussion related to Noakes or his recommendations for nutrition and health”.

In its response, Coca Cola said: “The allegations against Coca-Cola are not true.”

Dhansay failed to respond to requests for comment, the report said.

http://www.medicalbrief.co.za/

Graham

Chicken Thighs Pan Roasted with a Chive Cream Sauce


I just don't think you can beat chicken, and in particular chicken thighs. This is such a tasty recipe idea - could be a mid-week hit - see what you think.

Ingredients:
Serves Four
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Yellow (white) Onion
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine (use whatever white wine you enjoy drinking for this, a chardonnay is nice)
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Heavy (double) Cream
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Chives
(Kosher) Salt + Black Pepper

read more about chives on this post here

Directions/Method:
Preheat oven to 425F / 220C / Gas Mark 7 and season both sides of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a large oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, top side down, and cook until nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Flip chicken over and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast for 8 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove chicken and let rest on a plate.

Place the skillet back over medium high heat (leave all of the chicken bits and juices in the pan). Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add wine and cook, stirring often and scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan, until its reduced by half.

Whisk in the Dijon mustard and then chicken stock and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in chives, add the chicken back to the pan and simmer until chicken is warmed through. Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve.

Tastes great served with a cauliflower mash and green beans.

For help with measurement conversion please see here

Please see original recipe idea, and more, at Nourished Peach Blog here

Put some flowers on the table - sit down and enjoy


All the best Jan

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Cod Parcels Steamed - With Fennel and Herbs


Serve up this pretty parcel of flaky cod, sweet fennel and fresh herbs. Whoever opens it is in for a delicious experience ...

Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tbsp olive oil
echalion shallots, finely sliced
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
125ml (4fl oz) white wine
4 x 125g (4oz) pieces cod loin
1 lemon, half cut into 4 slices (keep the other half for squeezing over the peas)
4 stalks lemon thyme
350g (12oz) frozen peas
large handful fresh mint leaves, chopped


Optional - new potatoes, to serve

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200ºC, fan 180ºC. Tear off 4 x 40cm (16in) long pieces of non-stick baking paper for your parcels.

2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and cook the shallots, fennel and garlic for 10 minutes, or until softened and golden. Add the wine to the pan and bubble for a minute. Remove from the heat and divide the shallot mixture between the parcels, top each with a piece of fish, scatter over a little salt and pepper then top with a slice of lemon and a sprig of lemon thyme. Spoon over the wine sauce. Scrunch up the edges of the baking paper to seal into a parcel. Put the parcels on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

3. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the frozen peas. Cook for a couple of minutes, then drain. Put in a bowl, add the mint and a squeeze of lemon, then crush lightly and season.

4. Place the parcels on 4 plates to be opened at the table, and serve with the minted peas.


Optional - may also be served with new potatoes.

Per Serving:
Carbohydrate 10.3g Protein 25.4g Fibre 5.8g Fat 4.5g

Recipe idea from
here



Fennel is from the same family as the herb and seed of the same name, it's also known as Florence fennel, finocchio, or sweet fennel, and is very popular in Italian cookery. When eaten raw, the texture is crisp and the flavour is quite assertive and aniseedy. Cooked, it's softer and more mellow.

I hope you may enjoy this dish soon ...

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Monday, 20 February 2017

Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data

Abstract

Objectives To assess the overall effect of vitamin D supplementation on risk of acute respiratory tract infection, and to identify factors modifying this effect.

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD) from randomised controlled trials.

Data sources Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials Number registry from inception to December 2015.

Eligibility criteria for study selection Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trials of supplementation with vitamin D3 or vitamin D2 of any duration were eligible for inclusion if they had been approved by a research ethics committee and if data on incidence of acute respiratory tract infection were collected prospectively and prespecified as an efficacy outcome.

Results 25 eligible randomised controlled trials (total 11 321 participants, aged 0 to 95 years) were identified. IPD were obtained for 10 933 (96.6%) participants. Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants (adjusted odds ratio 0.88, 95% confidence interval 0.81 to 0.96; P for heterogeneity <0.001). In subgroup analysis, protective effects were seen in those receiving daily or weekly vitamin D without additional bolus doses (adjusted odds ratio 0.81, 0.72 to 0.91) but not in those receiving one or more bolus doses (adjusted odds ratio 0.97, 0.86 to 1.10; P for interaction=0.05). Among those receiving daily or weekly vitamin D, protective effects were stronger in those with baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <25 nmol/L (adjusted odds ratio 0.30, 0.17 to 0.53) than in those with baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels ≥25 nmol/L (adjusted odds ratio 0.75, 0.60 to 0.95; P for interaction=0.006). Vitamin D did not influence the proportion of participants experiencing at least one serious adverse event (adjusted odds ratio 0.98, 0.80 to 1.20, P=0.83). The body of evidence contributing to these analyses was assessed as being of high quality.

Conclusions Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall. Patients who were very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses experienced the most benefit.

Full text here: http://www.bmj.com/

Graham

Turkish Salad : Mutlu yemek !


This recipe suggestion is from Mark's Daily Apple and it's a 'Turkish Salad'... he says, "because it’s loaded with fresh herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers, Turkish shepherd’s salad is often thought of as a summer salad. But go ahead and make it year round. Not only because it’s packed with antioxidants, but also because it’s the perfect cure for a case of the winter’s blues, when you need a taste of summer."

Ingredients:
Serves 4 - 6

16 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (450 g)
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 small or 1 large cucumber, chopped
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped or snipped parsley leaves (240 ml)
¼ cup chopped or snipped mint leaves (60 ml)
1 tablespoon chopped dill (15 ml)
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (15 ml)
½ teaspoon lemon juice (2.5 ml)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt (1.2 ml)
3 grinds black pepper
½ cup crumbled feta (2 ounces/56 g)

Please find the recipe instructions and more here

Mutlu yemek !

All the best Jan

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Kind’s CEO Pledges $25 Million to Fight Food Industry’s ‘Influence on Public Health’

The CEO of snack-bar-maker Kind is pledging $25 million of his own hard-earned food-industry dollars to help “fight the food industry’s influence on public health,” the AP reports today. Daniel Lubetzky, who launched the health-oriented snack company in 2004, says that money will be used to create a watchdog group he’s calling Feed the Truth that will “improve public health by making truth, transparency, and integrity the foremost values in today’s food system.”

He apparently felt the recent spate of stories about Coke’s troubling sway on nutrition science was beyond the pale, so this is an attempt to curtail the industry’s “undue influence in shaping nutrition policy and ability to disseminate biased science.” Lubetzky tells the AP neither he nor Kind will have any involvement, and that the group’s 100 percent free to scrutinize them because “We don’t have any skeletons in our closet.” He’s assembled a team of three public-health advocates to nominate directors for Feed the Truth’s board. It’s actually an impressive crew of advisers: Deb Eschmeyer (the former executive director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign), Michael Jacobson (president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest), and Marion Nestle (the NYU public-health professor).

Nestle tells the AP the irony of a watchdog group created by the head of company whose last foray into food policy was a public fight with the FDA about whether its products were “healthy” isn’t lost on her. But says she found Lubetzky “very persuasive” and felt Feed the Truth could actually help hold corporations accountable.

Lubetzky says he broke the donation down into $2.5 million a year for the next ten years. It’s unclear if Feed the Truth will accept funding from other food companies. Although that would seem a little … self-defeating, Lubetzky says it’s ultimately up to the new board.


Graham

It's Sunday and ...


... here in the UK we have a Caribbean weather vortex passing our way, bringing some unseasonal,
but pleasant weather, it really is quite warm!




So time to enjoy a walk ... have a look for some snowdrops




... perhaps see some crocus




... a singing robin, he was in good voice chirping away



... returning for a cup of tea and a nice low carb Coconut Macaroon
you can see the recipe idea here



I do hope you have a pleasant Sunday
All the best Jan

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Train - Play That Song

Last one for tonight and as the title says play that song so here goes
Graham
"It was such a great time making the video for Play That Song. The idea to be on top of the world and have the whole town react to the happiness was super fun and corny and sweet and I wish life was really like this video! "

Tom Chaplin - Still Waiting (Acoustic)

My first offering tonight from the lead singer of the band Keane
Graham

The Mountain Written and Performed by Lee Maddison

Saturday night and music night on this blog. We saw this documentary on TV this week. Stunning photography at it's best and great music. Hope you like this song. Eddie 

Clafoutis : For dessert or lunch

Well, I wonder should a Clafoutis be sweet or savoury ...

this one for dessert


Low Carb Berries : Fruit and Almond Clafoutis
made with ground almonds - see this low carb recipe here

Clafoutis, also sometimes spelled clafouti, is a baked dessert which originated in the Limousin region of south-central France. Its name, which derives from the word clafir, meaning “to fill,” provides an accurate hint as to its preparation, which involves lining a dish with cherries and then “filling it up” with a batter mixture. A traditional clafoutis is always made with cherries, although many cooks have adapted the dish to center around their favourite fruits or even savoury ingredients.

this one for lunch


Cherry tomato mozzarella clafoutis
11.1 gram carbs per serving - see recipe here

Classified by some as “peasant food,” clafoutis is a simple dish which was created as a way of utilizing a fruit which has historically been abundant in the French region of Limousin: cherries. While the exact date of clafoutis’ invention is not known, the dessert has been popular in Limousin and beyond since the 19th century. As its popularity spread throughout France, many cooks devised altered versions of the dish which allowed them to showcase the produce of their own regions.

Making a classic clafoutis is a fairly simple process. First, cherries are layered in a greased baking dish. Purists insist that the cherries should not be pitted, alleging that the pits enhance the flavour of the finished dish. Whether a cook opts to pit or not to pit, the layer of cherries is covered with a batter mixture containing flour, eggs, milk, sugar*, and, in some cases, liqueur or butter. The baking dish is then placed in a preheated oven until the batter has risen and taken on a golden-brown hue. Many agree that the dish is best served before it has cooled fully, with a simple dusting of powdered sugar for garnish.

Traditionalists hold that only the original cherry version of this dish can properly be called clafoutis, with all adapted versions cast beneath the umbrella term flaugnarde. Cooks the world over rebel against these traditionalists, however, attaching the clafoutis name to desserts containing such varied sweet bites as pears, blueberries, blackberries, clementines, and chocolate. Some have even ushered this dessert into the realm of the savoury, devising dishes like bacon and cheese clafoutis.


... well perhaps there is only one thing for it!

A savoury one today, then make a sweet one next, perhaps in a few days time.

What do you think ...

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

* please note the recipe's I've featured above have no added sugar

All the best Jan

Number of Net Carbs In Nuts and Seeds per 100gram




Please read more at Libby's Ditch The Carbs Site here

All the best Jan

Friday, 17 February 2017

Vegetarian bean and artichoke crown


We certainly eat a wide variety of food in our house, and sometimes we will take a vegetarian option. I know many readers choose to eat vegetarian, and some vegan, and it is of course a personal choice. Looking at this weeks meals we have already enjoyed chicken, lamb, beef, and fish dishes so I thought why not have a vegetarian choice today! Well why not indeed ...
So without further ado - have a look at this recipe - it really can and does make a nice change!

Ingredients:
Serves Six
1 x 280g (9oz) jar roasted artichokes
2 x 400g (13oz) tins cooked butter beans, drained
75g (3oz) mature vegetarian cheddar, grated
3 eggs, beaten
300g (10oz) leeks, sliced 
2-3 red peppers, de-seeded and sliced 
                      
Method:
1. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 5, 190°C, 375°F. Drain the artichoke hearts and use the oil to lightly grease a non-stick savarin or garland ring cake tin (keep the remaining oil).
2. Put the drained butter beans in a bowl, cut the artichoke hearts in half and add to the beans along with the cheddar and beaten eggs. Fill the cake tin with the mixture, then cover with foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
3. Toss the sliced leeks and red peppers in a little more oil from the artichoke hearts. Place in a roasting pan and roast in the top of the oven for 25 minutes.
4. Turn the ring out onto a serving plate, and spoon the roasted vegetables into the middle before serving.

Each Serving:
Carbohydrate 11.1g Protein 11.3g Fibre 6.2g Fat 12.5g

Original idea from
here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Vitamin D 'proved to cut risk of colds and flu'

Move would also save NHS money, argue authors of major study that shows vitamin D can reduce risk of respiratory infections

Adding vitamin D to food would significantly cut NHS costs, say the authors of a major global study that shows it can reduce the risk of colds, flu and other dangerous infections such as pneumonia.

A government advisory committee on nutrition has already warned of the low levels of the so-called “sunshine vitamin” in the UK population and recommended food fortification as a possible course of action. In the US, for example, milk is fortified with vitamin D.

A study published in the British Medical Journal should add persuasive evidence in favour of fortification, argues its lead author. “The results are likely to change the cost/benefit analysis significantly,” said Adrian Martineau, clinical professor of respiratory infection and immunity at Queen Mary University of London.

Many studies have tried to discover whether the increase in colds and flu in the winter is partly down to a lack of sunlight producing vitamin D in the body, but they have had mixed results. The team from Queen Mary argue that their work settles the question because they have reanalysed and pooled the raw data from 25 clinical trials involving about 11,000 patients from 14 countries. The studies that found no benefit had usually given people a large one-off dose of vitamin D rather than regular supplements.

Martineau and his team say their results show a significant but modest benefit for everybody who takes vitamin D daily or weekly, but a more substantial benefit for those who have low levels of it in their bodies. These may be people who do not get outside very much, cover themselves against the sun or for religious reasons, or have dark skins which absorb less sunlight. It is hard to get enough vitamin D from food – it is in oily fish and shiitake mushrooms, but not much else.

Taking a regular supplement halved the rate of respiratory infections in people with the lowest levels of vitamin D, below 25 nanomoles a litre (nmol/L). But it also cut infections by 10% among those with higher vitamin D levels.

Respiratory infections, which can include flu, bronchitis and pneumonia, take a big toll on the nation’s health. About 70% of the UK population get one respiratory infection in any year, with 25% going to the GP. They are the most common reason for a GP consultation and days off work. More than 50% end up with a prescription for antibiotics, which is inappropriate because they are usually caused by a virus. These infections are responsible for 300,000 hospitalisations a year in the UK and about 38,000 people die. Globally they caused an estimated 2.65 million deaths in 2013.

The Queen Mary researchers calculate that daily or weekly supplements of vitamin D would mean 3.25 million fewer people in the UK having at least one respiratory infection a year, assuming a population of 65 million.

“Vitamin D fortification of foods provides a steady, low-level intake of vitamin D that has virtually eliminated profound vitamin D deficiency in several countries,” said Martineau.

“By demonstrating this new benefit of vitamin D, our study strengthens the case for introducing food fortification to improve vitamin D levels in countries such as the UK where profound vitamin D deficiency is common.”

Although the authors consider the case proven, scientists are still divided. Mark Bolland from the University of Auckland and Alison Avenell from the University of Aberdeen say in an editorial in the BMJ that large randomised controlled trials – comparing people taking vitamin D with others who do not – are still needed.

“Current evidence does not support the use of vitamin D supplementation to prevent disease, except for those at high risk of osteomalacia (weak bones and muscles due to low blood vitamin D levels, currently defined as less than 25 nmol/L),” they write.

Others applaud the Queen Mary study. “Bolland and other sceptics try, but fail, to find weaknesses in Martineau’s analysis,” said Dr Benjamin Jacobs, a consultant paediatrician at the Royal National Orthopaedic hospital.

“Martineau’s data is strong, from 11,000 patients in good quality clinical trials around the world. The case for universal vitamin D supplements, or food fortification with vitamin D, is now undeniable. Governments and health professionals need to take Martineau’s study into account when setting vitamin D policy now.”

Martin Hewison, professor of molecular endocrinology at the University of Birmingham, said he agreed the case for vitamin D supplementation against respiratory infections was proven.

“This may be particularly important for people in the UK who are at high risk of vitamin Ddeficiency, particularly in the winter,” he said, adding that higher doses than currently recommended for bone health might be needed and called for more trials. Low levels of vitamin D can cause the bone disease rickets in children.

Prof Louis Levy, head of nutrition science at Public Health England, said PHE already suggested everyone should take vitamin D throughout the winter months, based on the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Those who get low doses of the sun’s rays because of their skin or clothes or staying indoors should take 10 micrograms all year round, he said.

But he was not convinced of the case for vitamin D against colds and flu. “The evidence on vitamin D and infection is inconsistent and this study does not provide sufficient evidence to support recommending vitamin D for reducing the risk of respiratory tract infections,” he said.

The Department for Health said: “The vast majority of people get the Vitamin D they need through a healthy diet and sun exposure. However, experts do recommend supplements for certain groups of people, and advise everyone to consider taking them in the winter months. Mandatory food fortification is a complex issue, but experts keep evidence under review.”

https://www.theguardian.com/

Graham

Lemon Cake : Everybodies Favourite : Low Carb Version


You may have seen this lovely low carb lemon cake before. In fact you may have already made one or two! If you haven't please let me introduce you to this recipe suggestion. The creator of this cake is Ewelina - meet her below, she writes ... 

"What I like about this cake is a perfect combination of soy flour and ground almond. Cakes made with ground almond are slightly too heavy for me but soy flour on its own has a bit funny taste. Combination of these two together, makes a nice, fluffy cake and you can’t really taste soy flour. It’s also lower in calories and cheaper than using ground almond only."

Ingredients (makes about 15 slices):
· 80g Soy flour, sieved
· 100g Ground almond
· 85g butter, softened
· Equivalent of 250g sugar (Ewelina used 250g xylitol, grind using coffee grinder)
· 5 eggs, separated
· 2 tsp. baking powder
· Pinch of cream of tartar
· Juice from 1 lemon
· Zest from 1 lemon


Carbohydrates and Calories details  (using Xylitol as a sweetener):
Whole cake batter 24g carbohydrate : 2533 Calories 
1 portion (1/15 of the cake) 1.6g carbohydrate : 168 Calories

To see the instructions on how to make this cake please use this link here



Ewelina is a Type 1 Diabetic ... and she says "Diabetes and cakes doesn’t sound like a great combination. Well not to me, I have always loved baking and after diagnosis with diabetes type 1 in 2011 I had to find some way of combining these two. It is quite challenging and anyone who knows a little bit about baking will agree with me. How to bake without using flour or sugar?! After long research and checking hundreds of recipes I came across some great ideas. There are sugar substitutes that work quite well in most recipes and there are many different low carb flours and flour substitutes. I’m still learning and discovering new products and recipes but with every cake I make I know more and more. Now I’m convinced that low carb cakes can be delicious and we don’t need to feel sorry for not having regular cakes. Cakes from my blog are equally good (if not better) and you can eat them without worrying too much about your sugar levels"

I'm sure you will like this low carb lemon cake, especially with a cup of tea or coffee, do try it soon!

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Nutrition and CVD: Data from 17 countries on 150’000 people


Dr Malcolm Kendrick has a post covering this video 
"Last night I watched a you tube presentation which completely astonished me. It was given by Professor Salim Yusuf, who is as mainstream as mainstream can possibly be"

Graham

Slow Cooked Beef With Soffrito


I'm sure whatever part of the world you live, you each have your own favourite food stores or farmers markets. Living in the UK one of my favourites is Waitrose. I always find the staff so helpful, the stores are clean and the standard is very good. The only downside (if it can be called a downside) is it can be more expensive than some of our other UK outlets, but then I guess if you are among the fortunate few who can afford to shop in the wonderful Harrod's food hall or perhaps Fortnum and Mason, Waitrose is a breeze! Now hold on - before you say it - yes, I'm sure there are some very good and reasonably priced food items in all these stores ...
As with anything we each have our choice of how we want to shop, where we want to shop, taking our needs, wallets and food choices into account.

Now enough blurb! On with the recipe ...
Do you know:

What soffritto is? I didn't, not until I saw and researched more. In this 'Waitrose' menu it is a ready mix of diced white onion, carrots and celery - so of course you could make your own 50% onion and 25% each of carrots and celery to make up the 400g needed to serve four.
The casserole vegetables are a mix of carrot, swede, leeks & onions, so you can easily mix these to get the required 550g.
The
beef shank is the shank (or leg) portion of a steer or heifer. In Britain the corresponding cuts of beef are the shin (the fore-shank), and the leg (the hind-shank).

Here we go (to Serve Four) you will need:
Ingredients
2 x packs (or equivalent) British beef shank joint (each pack about 750g, 1.5kg total)
1 tbsp oil
400g pack Cooks’ Ingredients Soffritto Mix (or equivalent)
77g pack Cooks’ Ingredients Diced Beechwood Smoked Pancetta (or equivalent)
550g pack Cooks’ Ingredients Casserole Vegetables (or equivalent)
1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
400g can chopped tomatoes
200ml beef stock

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C, gas mark 3. Cut the meat into large chunks. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the beef including the bone then transfer to a casserole dish.

2. Add the soffritto mix and pancetta to the frying pan and fry for 3 minutes then add the casserole vegetables and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil then pour into the casserole dish. Season then cover and cook for 3 hours or until tender.

It is the slow cooking that makes this meal, I would serve mine with some cabbage, (not the bread as photographed) - but what may you choose?

Nutritional Information - per serving:
Fat 21.5g Carbohydrate 17.1g Protein 58.4g

Original recipe idea here


All the best Jan

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Celebrate Valentine's Day 2017


Out shopping recently there were so many around the special 'Valentines' aisle in the supermarket. You could see them wondering what may be the best gift to buy. Shall I buy this ... err no - perhaps this one would be better. Call me an incurable romantic but shouldn't every day be Valentines Day?

How often do you treat your wife / husband / partner to a bouquet of flowers, a special smile, or squeeze of the hand to say thank you ... Thank you's are special and cost nothing but they mean so much.

In celebration of Valentine's Day here is a bunch of flowers and a sumptuous dessert that you may like to try. However, you celebrate February 14th Valentine's Day I wish you a good one.



Champagne jelly recipe is a 'Delia' one, just substitute 100g zsweet for sugar and top with a blob of whipped cream instead of syllabub, no frosting on grapes either. Tastes really good - well worth it! Please click on link here for recipe.

All the best Jan

Monday, 13 February 2017

Low-Fat Diet Harms Part of Brain Responsible for Hearing Criticism of Low-Fat Diet

A new report from the University of Calgary answers a question that has troubled doctors and nutrition researchers for years: “Why are people who lived through the low-fat diet craze of the 1990s immune to new dietary information?”

The report focuses on the effect of low-fat eating on the thalamus, the part of the brain responsible for updating and correcting dietary misinformation.

“We observed a behavior pattern in our lab,” explained Aaron Grayson, a resident in Neurology at the University of Calgary and one of the contributing authors of the new report. “When we encouraged certain patients to increase the amount of fat in their diets and reduce sugar consumption, we received what seemed to be verbal confirmation of understanding. The problem is, these patients would continue to order low-fat vanilla latte’s and choose rice cakes over almonds as a snack.”

Grayson’s team quickly recognized that these patients weren’t intentionally being non-compliant. The patients simply couldn’t process the new dietary recommendations they received from their doctors.

“It was like their brains simply filtered out anything that contradicted what they had learned about nutrition in the mid ’90s,” Grayson said.

The Calgary team carefully reviewed the dietary history of these patients and found they had all consumed a higher-than-average amount of SnackWells and Healthy Choice products.

“Once we made the connection, we began ordering hi-resolution CT scans of the thalamus,” Grayson explained. “The results were clear: dietary fat restriction had effectively starved the brain of vital lipids, causing shrinking of the thalamus.”

Grayson is optimistic that the damage is reversible but admits the process would be extremely difficult.

“Basically you just need to lie to your loved ones and sneak bacon fat and butter into their low-fat foods,” Grayson said.

https://theoverheardpress.com/

Graham

Pancetta : What is it : How Can I use It


Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong, slightly salty flavour, is fairly fatty and comes either smoked or unsmoked.

You can buy pancetta either as straight rashers (which tend to be smoked), as round slices cut from a roll (which tend to be unsmoked), or diced. If you need diced pancetta, it's cheaper to buy rashers and cut them yourself, although the cubes won't be as thick if you do this.

Availability:
All year round.

Choose the best:
Fresh pancetta should look pink and damp - avoid anything that's discoloured or dry. The fat should be white or creamy coloured, not yellow or greasy, and the rind should be thin and elastic. Avoid pancetta that is wet, slimy or smells unpleasant.

Prepare it:
Whether you buy your pancetta in rashers or cubed, it's ready to use.

Store it:
Keep pancetta in the fridge, away from any other meat and food that will be eaten raw. Never exceed the consume-by date printed on the package. Open the original pack only when you're going to use it, and then keep the pancetta wrapped in cling-film or in a sealed container.

Loose pancetta rashers should be tightly wrapped in greaseproof paper and kept in the fridge; they will last for up to three weeks. Loose diced pancetta should be kept in a sealed container.

Cook it:
Fry (cubed, 5 minutes; sliced, 2-3 minutes each side). Add to pasta sauces, soups, stews, quiches, stuffing; serve with crusty bread and a selection of cold meats; use to top pizza.

Alternatives:

Try bacon or ham.

The above words and picture from article
here

Some recipe suggestions using Pancetta:

Loin of Pork Pot Roast with celeriac, shallots and pancetta see here

Cream of Celeriac Soup which can be served with crispy pancetta see here 

Broccoli Bouquets Wrapped In Pancetta Served With Cod see here

Italian Style Braised Celery With Onion, Pancetta and Tomatoes see here

Coq au vin, with diced pancetta, served with celeriac mash see here

Soft-boiled eggs with pancetta avocado soldiers, great LCHF food see here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you.
If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Should a Low Carbohydrate Diet be Recommended for Diabetes Management?

The current dietary recommendations for diabetics are not significantly different from that of the general population; a high carbohydrate, low fat diet. Glycaemic fluctuations are unavoidable when consuming even moderate intakes of carbohydrates, exacerbating hyperglycaemia and dyslipidemia both of which are associated with the development of diabetic complications. The aim was to carry out a literature review to evaluate if restricting carbohydrate intakes was a safe and effective management strategy for diabetes.

A literature review was conducted using primary electronic databases to identify randomised control trials and intervention studies published between 2001–2015. Inclusion criteria were studies that were conducted in adults with diabetes and assessed the impact of restricted carbohydrate intakes on metabolic outcomes. They also specified the amount of carbohydrates in grams per day or percentage of total daily energy intake (TEI). Primary outcomes were changes in glycated haemoglobin levels and weight from baseline. Secondary outcomes were changes in lipoproteins, glycaemic variability and adjustments in medication.

There were significant reductions in glycated haemoglobin levels reported across the literature with the greatest reduction −2·2 % (p < 0·001) correlating with the lowest carbohydrate intakes (30gm/d) ( 1 ) . A decrease of −0·7 % (p < 0·001) was reported at 4 years for those consuming ≤75gm/d ( 2 ) , −1·1 % (p < 0·001) at 22 months for those following 80–90gm/d ( 3 ) and −0·9 % (p < 0·05) at 2 years when consuming up to 120gm/d ( 4 ) . Decreases in bodyweight ranged from −8·6 kg( 3 ) to −0·9 kg( 2 ) with greater reductions reported at 2 years in subjects following the low carbohydrate diet (−4·7 kg) compared to the low fat diet (−2·9 kg)( 4 ). Effects on fasting blood glucose were immediate dropping from 11·7 mmol/l to 7·0 mmol/l requiring an immediate reduction in medication( 3 ). 52 % of subjects consuming 14 % (TEI) from carbohydrates reduced their medication (p = 0·01) compared to 21 % following a diet of 53 % (TEI)( 5 ). A reduction or elimination of medication lead to a decrease in hypoglycaemic events( 1 ) with a two-fold greater decrease in glycaemic variability (p = 0·09) and greater periods in euglycaemic ranges (p = 0·07)( 5 ). There were significant improvements in lipoprotein profiles observed despite increases in dietary fat. When comparing intakes of 58 % fat and 14 % carbohydrates (TEI) (35 % MUFA, 13 % PUFA, 10 % SFA) to 30 % fat and 53 % carbohydrate (TEI) the low carbohydrate group significantly decreased triglyceride levels (p = 0·001) and increased high density lipoprotein levels (p = 0·007)( 6 ). It was also reported that there was a significant decrease in the psychological stress associated with diabetes management alongside a reduction in negative moods between meals( 7 )

A carbohydrate restricted diet can provide a safe and effective solution for improving diabetes management and should have a place within the diabetic guidelines. The diet was effective in reducing postprandial hyperglycemia and glycaemic variability resulting in low levels of glycaemia without the risk of hypoglycaemia. The ability of the diet to reduce the symptoms of dyslipidemia is of particular importance and when compared to the traditional low fat diet for weight loss, the low carbohydrate diet was comparable and in some instances better. There were significant reductions or cessation of diabetic medication reported throughout the literature alongside a reduction in the psychological aspects of living with a long-term disease. It is possible that the current dietary advice may actually accelerate beta cell exhaustion with elevated blood glucose diminishing the islet cells ability to produce insulin.

https://www.cambridge.org/

Graham

Loin of Pork Pot Roast with celeriac, shallots and pancetta : Low Carb


I do find that Pork is so often reasonably priced, and can make a great choice for family or friends Sunday lunch ... take this chunky, comforting casserole for instance. You've no doubt already got this weeks Sunday lunch sorted ... but how about trying it next Sunday!

The carb count is only 3 carbs per serving - it's a winning recipe for all who love great LCHF food.

Preparation Time 30 -40 mins
Cooking Time approx 1 hr 45 mins
Plus 6 - 24 hours marinating time

Ingredients:
Serves 8
about 2½kg (British) Pork Loin
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slivers
7 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juice only
1 tsp dried fennel seed
8 sprigs fresh oregano
300g shallots
1 large celeriac, quartered and peeled
1 x 130g twin-pack cubetti di pancetta (small cubes of Italian cured belly pork)
600ml full-bodied red wine – drink the remainder !

Method:
1. Using a small, sharp kitchen knife, stab through the fatty side of the pork loin to make about 30 fairly deep, randomly spaced incisions. Insert a sliver of garlic into each stab mark, pushing the garlic well into the meat and smoothing over the fat to close up the entry points. Reserve a few slivers to push in cuts made on the flesh-side of the joint.


2. Put 5 tablespoons of the olive oil, the juice of the lemon, tsp of fennel seeds and the leaves stripped from 4 oregano sprigs in a large non-reactive dish (a non-porous dish, such as glass or stainless steel, which won’t react with acidic foods and alter the flavour). Grind in plenty of black pepper, then swish everything into a sludge with one clean hand. Put the joint into the dish and massage the marinade into every nook and cranny. Leave the pork to marinade for 6-24 hours in a cool place or the fridge.


3. When you are ready to start cooking, preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 4/fan oven 150C. Put the 300g of shallots in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 2 minutes to loosen the skins, then tip the shallots into a large sieve or colander and rinse under cold water. Trim off the root end, then peel the shallots, breaking any large ones into their natural segments. Halve the 4 celeriac wedges, then cut into large, bite-sized chunks.


4. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Toss in the 130g pack of pancetta and fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly frazzled. Transfer the cubes to a large casserole big enough to take the pork, using a slotted spoon so the fat drains back into the pan. Throw the shallots and celeriac into the frying pan and sauté them for 3-4 minutes until coloured, turning frequently. Transfer them to the casserole, again draining off the oil.


5. Pull the frying pan to one side. Quickly scrape off any excess marinade from the pork loin, then season the meat with fine sea salt. Replace the frying pan over a medium-high heat and brown the pork on all sides, including the ends. Place the loin on the vegetables in the casserole. Stuff the remaining 4 sprigs of oregano around it.


6. Pour off and discard all the fat in the frying pan, raise the heat and pour in the 600ml of wine. Bring to the boil, scraping up all the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine bubble and reduce for 3 minutes, then pour into the casserole.


7. Place the casserole over a high heat and bring the juices up to a bubble. Immediately put the lid on the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the loin for 1 hour 45 minutes, turning it halfway through. Remove the casserole from the oven and leave the pork to rest in a warm place for 15-30 minutes, still covered, before carving.

Original recipe idea can be found
here

Cheers - enjoy your Sunday Lunch

All the best Jan

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Imelda May - Black Tears - Live

This Irish singer songwriter is another that's been on this blog before this is a song written by her from the new album Life Love Flesh Blood
Graham

Jack Savoretti - Only You (Live At Hammersmith Apollo)

Saturday is music night, starting with a new song from one of my favourite singer who's been featured a few times before on our blog
Graham

Goulash Soup : Perfect for a winter's day : Low carb cooking


Yes it's Saturday again, and just imagine - if you will, your niece and some friends from a hockey team are coming around. They've been running around on a hockey pitch, going from one end to the other chasing that ball and hoping to score some goals! I certainly hope they won! I know they will be feeling hungry, and this wonderful bowl of soup could be just what they each need to replenish themselves, and warm up too!

This recipe is Anne Aobadia's low-carb take on a traditional Hungarian dish. Goulash is a warming soup with a rich taste of tomatoes, red bell peppers and caraway. A great ground (minced) lamb dish that is easy and quick to make!

Here is what you need to serve six:

(12g carb per serving)
1 yellow/white onion
2 garlic cloves
½ lb / 225 g root celery or rutabaga/swede

1 red bell pepper
1 lb / 450 g ground (minced) lamb or ground beef
4¼ oz. / 120 g butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon crushed caraway seeds
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
14 oz. / 400 g crushed tomatoes
2½ – 3 cups / 600 – 700 ml water
1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar

For serving:
1 cup / 240 ml sour cream or
mayonnaise
fresh parsley, for garnish

Tips:
This soup is best with lamb, which has more flavour than beef, but you can use any ground (minced) meat you like. Why not try ground chicken or turkey for a milder taste. You can also make the soup a day ahead before enjoying it, almost all soups taste their best after a day or two!

Please see Anne's recipe and full instructions here


Whatever your weekend plans are, I hope it's a good one for you
If you should be involved in any sport, either playing or watching, enjoy the game
Of course you don't have to be playing sport to enjoy this soup, why not try it soon and see

All the best Jan

Friday, 10 February 2017

Breakfast cereals targeted at children contain 'steadily high' sugar levels since 1992 despite producer claims

The sugar content in some cereals is as high as 35 per cent of the total product - unchanged from levels seen over 20 years ago

A major pressure group has issued a fresh warning about perilously high amounts of sugar in breakfast cereals, specifically those designed for children, and has said that levels have barely been cut at all in the last two and a half decades.

According to a study, jointly conducted by Action on Sugar and Consensus Action on Salt and Health, or CASH, and published on Wednesday, the sugar content in some cereals is as high as 35 per cent of the total product—unchanged from levels seen back in 1992 even though numerous studies have linked high sugar to health issues. Salt content, by contrast, has been cut by approximately 50 per cent over the past 12 years, according to research in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

Sugar quotas in breakfast cereals are a particular concern because high levels have been linked to obesity and diseases like type 2 diabetes. According to CASH, a typical 30g serving of some cereals contains a third of the recommended daily allowance of sugar for a six-year-old, which is 19g or five teaspoons.

“There has been no national sugar reduction programme, as there has been for salt, which is imperative if we want to see real and measurable improvements,” says Kawther Hashem, a registered nutritionist who works for Action on Sugar at Queen Mary University in London.

Public Health England is due to announce a national sugar reduction programme, as part of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan, in March, according to Ms Hashem.

The salt-reduction programme, launched in 2015 by the Food Standard Agency and CASH, has already proved effective, but Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London and chairman of CASH says that more still has to be done in relation to salt levels too. He said that salt remains far too high in cereals.

“Reducing salt is the most cost effective measure to lower blood pressure and reduce the number of people suffering from strokes and heart disease – one of the commonest causes of death in the UK,” he said.

Earlier this month Public Health England said that sugar-laden breakfasts mean that the nation’s children often consume half of their daily sugar allowance before 9am.


Graham