Food & Wine

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Turns out you've been mashing potatoes wrong this whole time

<p><em>Images: Tiktok and Getty</em></p> <p>When it comes to producing the perfect creamy mashed potatoes, the internet is full of conflicting advice and information.</p> <p>Some swear by peeling and cutting them before boiling, then mashing them while still hot. Others are convinced the way to do it is to keep the skin on while boiling and remove it later, just before mashing them up to make that creamy consistency.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845866/new-project.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/be568044463347f38c5f1a7ab19415e8" /></p> <p>One of the problems with this method is, it can be difficult to peel the potatoes while still hot so they mash properly, which could be where The Wiggles drew their inspiration for the song ‘Hot Potato’.</p> <p>Instead, there is a kitchen hack you can use to peel hot potatoes without burning your fingers that will also help you mash them.</p> <p>Cooking ‘guru’ Lora McLaughlin Peterson has shared her method on TikTok @lorefied.</p> <p>Lora explains she boils her potatoes before slicing them in half. Once this is done, she places a wire cooking rack over a glass pie dish. The next step is pushing the potatoes down and through the wire rack, which serves to both mash them and remove the skin.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845867/new-project-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f49cf08674724a83a473e9a732590d65" /></p> <p>Once this is all done, she is left with rustic mashed potatoes that can be placed in a bowl and finished with salt, butter, milk and whatever else you desire.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 349.5145631067961px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845865/new-project-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e495c69ccf9743fa9831a2e1656f7f80" /></p> <p>This is the latest cooking hack to go viral and the perfect advice ahead of the festive season.</p>

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Food can play a part of the colour of your poo and pee

<h1>Optimal pee and poo colour for your health</h1> <h2>Food, medications and illnesses can all play a part.</h2> <div class="copy"> <p>Out of the blue I passed bright red pee. I freaked, thinking it was a sign of terminal disease. Then I remembered the roasted beetroot tarts served at the party the night before – so delicious I’d eaten three!</p> <p>Beetroot, artificial colours, vitamin supplements and medications can change the colour of your urine or bowel motions. Knowing which colour changes are due to food or medicines can save you worry, or provide an early alert to get to the doctor.</p> <h2>Beeturia</h2> <p>Beeturia is the term for passing red urine after eating beetroot. The red colour comes from a pigment called betalain, also in some flower petals, fruit, leaves, stems and roots. Concentrated beetroot extract, called Beet Red or additive number 162 on food labels, can be added to “pink” foods, such as ice-cream.</p> <p>Whether betalain turns your pee red or not depends on the type of beetroot, amount eaten and how it’s prepared, because betalain is destroyed by heat, light and acid.</p> <p>How much betalain enters your digestive tract depends on stomach acid and stomach emptying rate (people taking medications to reduce stomach acid may be prone to beeturia). Once in the blood stream, betalain pigments are filtered out by the kidneys. Most is eliminated two to eight hours after eating.</p> <p>Persistent red urine can be due to blood loss, infection, enlarged prostate, cancer, cysts, kidney stones or after a long-distance run. If you see red and have not been eating beetroot, see your doctor.</p> <h2>What should your pee look like?</h2> <p>Normal pee should be the colour of straw. If your pee is so colourless that it looks like water, you probably drank more than you needed.</p> <p>Very dark yellow pee usually means you are a bit dehydrated and need to drink more water.</p> <p>Compare your pee colour to the Cleveland Clinic’s scale below.</p> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Courtesy Cleveland Clinic</span></span> <h2>Strange pee colours due to food, drugs or disease</h2> <p>Pee the colour of syrup or molasses needs medical investigation. While it could be due to extreme dehydration, it can be a sign of liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, where a build up of bilirubin spills into your pee. Bilirubin is a breakdown product of red blood cells; it’s also responsible for poo’s normal brown colour.</p> <p>Pee can turn bright orange or yellow when taking beta-carotene or vitamin B supplements, especially large doses of riboflavin (vitamin B2). These supplements are water soluble. What your body can’t use or store gets filtered out via your kidneys and into pee.</p> <p>Medications including phenazopyridine (for urinary tract infections), rifampin (antibiotic for treating tuberculosis and Legionnaire’s disease), warfarin (blood thinner) and some laxatives can also change pee colour.</p> <p>If you pass blue or green pee, it’s most likely due to food colouring or methylene blue used in some diagnostic test procedures and some drugs.</p> <p>But a range of medications can also trigger blue or green urine. These include antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, antibacterials, antidepressants, some nausea drugs or those for reducing stomach acid.</p> <p>Rare genetic conditions Hartnup disease and Blue diaper syndrome cause blue-green urine. So see your doctor if it persists or it happens in an infant.</p> <p>You should never see purple pee, but hospital staff might. “Purple urine bag” syndrome happens in patients with catheters and infections or complications. The catheter or bag turns purple due to a chemical reaction between protein breakdown products in urine and the plastic.</p> <p>Occasionally, pee can be frothy. It’s a normal reaction if protein intake is high and pee comes out fast. It is more likely if you consume protein powders or protein supplements. Excess protein can’t be stored in the body so the nitrogen component (responsible for the froth) gets removed and the kidneys excrete it as urea.</p> <p>See your doctor if the frothiness doesn’t go away or gets worse, as protein can leak into pee if you have kidney disease.</p> <h2>Poo colours of the rainbow</h2> <p>Normal poo colour ranges from light yellow to brown to black. The colour is due to a mix of bile, which starts off green in the gall bladder, and bilirubin a yellow breakdown product from red blood cells.</p> <p>Poo can turn green after consuming food and drink containing blue or green food colouring, or if food travels too fast through the gut and some bile is still present.</p> <p>Poo that is yellow, greasy and smells really bad signals food malabsorption. If this colour is associated with weight loss in an adult or poor growth in a child, see a doctor to rule out gut infections such as giardia or medical conditions like coeliac disease.</p> <p>Very pale or clay-coloured poo can happen when taking some anti-diarrhoeal medications, or when digestive problems affect the liver, gut, pancreas or gall bladder.</p> <p>At the other extreme of the colour spectrum, black poo could be a serious medical issue due to bleeding in the stomach or upper gut. Or it could be a harmless side-effect from taking iron supplements, or eating lots of licorice.</p> <p>Red poo can also be a serious medical issue due to bleeding in the lower gut, or from haemorrhoids, or harmless after having large amounts of red food colouring.</p> <p>If you don’t know what colour your pee or poo is, take a look. If you see a colour that’s out of the ordinary and you haven’t eaten anything unusual, take a picture and make an appointment to show your GP.</p> <p>Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, <em>University of Newcastle</em>; Kristine Pezdirc, Research Associate | Post-doctoral Researcher, <em>University of Newcastle</em>, and Megan Rollo, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nutrition &amp; Dietetics, <em>University of Newcastle</em></p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=11561&amp;title=Optimal+pee+and+poo+colour+for+your+health" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p>This article was originally published on Cosmos Magazine and was written by The Conversation. The Conversation is an independent, not-for-profit media outlet that uses content sourced from the academic and research community.</p> </div>

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Foods that make you fart are good for you

<h1>Foods that make you fart are good for you</h1> <h2>A good sign for your microbiome.</h2> <div class="copy"> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">The production of gas means that your body is hosting the right kinds of bacteria in your microbiome, an Australian scientists says.</span></p> <p>Dr Trevor Lockett, Head of the Gut Health and Nutrition Group at the country’s peak government science agency, says we should encourage these “good bugs” by eating more fibre.</p> <p>“Fermentable components of dietary fibre have a critical role in feeding the gut microbiome,” he told Bugs, Bowels and Beyond, the 2015 National Scientific Conference of the Australian Society for Medical Research held in Adelaide, South Australia this week.</p> <p>Recent findings describe how different dietary components influence the microbiome, and determine their production of not just gas, but also molecules that are beneficial in the large intestine.  </p> <p>“For example, we know now that bacteria living in the large intestine produce a short chain fatty acid known as butyrate, which can reduce inflammation by stimulating regulatory immune cells,” Lockett said.</p> <p>Resistant starches tend to make it through digestive processes in the stomach and small intestine to feed the microbiome in the large intestine. Unrefined whole grains, pulses and legumes, unripe bananas and cooked and cooled foods such as potatoes, pasta and rice are goods sources.</p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=11098&amp;title=Foods+that+make+you+fart+are+good+for+you" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p>This article was originally published on Cosmos Magazine and was written by Bill Condie. Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.</p> </div>

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New study finds vegetarians and vegans more likely to suffer from depression

<p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p>Researchers from Queensland’s Bond University have found that a low-quality plant-based diet, compared to a diet rich in fresh produce, could lead to poorer mental health.</p> <p>Nutritional psychiatry researcher Megan Lee said the finding was particularly significant given the increasing popularity of vegan and vegetarian lifestyles and the proliferation of packaged foods targeted at those groups.</p> <p>Processed foods are high in refined vegetable oils, grains, salt and sugar.</p> <p>“There is a general perception that following a plant-based diet is inherently healthy but like any diet it comes down to what you put in your mouth,” Lee said.</p> <p>“Vegans and vegetarians are not automatically eating heaps of fruit and veg because there are all these products out there that are fully processed, fully refined.”</p> <p>People may inadvertently be consuming high levels of processed plant foods which is a known risk factor for increased depression.</p> <p>During the study, researchers looked at the diet and mental health of 219 vegans and vegetarians aged 18-44 across the country, who were then asked to complete relevant questionnaires.</p> <p>Researchers found those with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains in their diet were at a lower risk of depression compared to those on low-quality diets.</p> <p>The link in diet and the risk of depression was likely due to the presence of complex carbohydrates, fibre, probiotics and antioxidants, which have all been found to decrease symptoms of depression, Lee said.</p> <p>“It seems to have more a protective role,” she said.</p> <p>“Our research did not find that a plant-based diet was a treatment or fix for those who were already depressed.”</p> <p>Vegans and vegetarians are already more vulnerable to depression than the general population, Lee added.</p> <p>“We think this (susceptibility to depression) might be because vegans and vegetarians tend to be more conscious about external issues—animal welfare, environmental concerns—and they can be ostracised socially because of their choice of diet,” she said.</p> <p>The research also found meat-eaters can also protect their mental health by consuming more fruits and vegetables.</p>

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Can you refreeze chicken?

<div> <h1>Can you refreeze chicken?</h1> <h2>A meat myth busted.</h2> <div class="copy"> <p>You can’t refreeze<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.chicken.org.au/quality-and-food-safety/" target="_blank"> chicken</a>, right? It’s a common Aussie food myth that has been busted by the Food Safety Information Council (FSIC).</p> <p>“Can you refreeze chicken? is one of the most searched terms that brings people to [our] website,” says Vivien Kite, executive director of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation.</p> <p>According to Omnipoll consumer research, <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://foodsafety.asn.au/topic/aussies-get-it-wrong-about-refreezing-defrosted-raw-chicken-australian-food-safety-week-13-to-20-november-2021/#:~:text=The%20Food%20Safety%20Information%20Council,safely%20defrosted%20in%20the%20fridge.&amp;text='%20FSIC's%20Cathy%20Moir%20said." target="_blank">76% of Australians</a> think you can’t refreeze chicken once it is thawed. But it turns out we were all wrong about this – at least when it comes to defrosting chicken in the fridge.</p> <p>“It has been such a common myth over the years that you can’t refreeze raw chicken or other raw meats that have been safely defrosted in the fridge,” says Cathy Moir, chair of FSIC.</p> <p>“While it’s absolutely the case that you need to take care with the way you defrost raw chicken, if it has been properly defrosted in the fridge it’s quite safe to refreeze. Minimising food waste is an important objective for our entire community, so it’s important for us to clarify this fact.”</p> <p>We’ve all been in the situation where we have defrosted more chicken or meat than we may need for dinner. As long as the raw chicken, or any other frozen food, has been safely defrosted in a fridge running at 5°C or below, it is perfectly safe to refreeze it to use at a later date. What you will get is a slight loss in the eating quality of the chicken, so use it up as soon as you can.</p> <p>“This myth [that you can’t refreeze fridge-defrosted chicken] is more common among older Australians, with 88% of those over 65 thinking this is unsafe compared with 58% of 18 to 24 year olds,” says Moir.</p> <p>“The survey also found that 83% of respondents correctly said you shouldn’t refreeze if the chicken had been defrosted out of the fridge, on the benchtop at room temperature.</p> <p>“That is definitely unsafe as food-poisoning bacteria can grow rapidly in these conditions. 93% of those over 65 got this right, although 67% of 18 to 24 year olds thought it fine to refreeze chicken defrosted on the bench.”</p> <h2>You can keep your chicken and other meats safe by following these simple tips:</h2> <ol type="1"> <li>Bring them home from shopping in a cooler bag with an ice brick</li> <li>Do not wash raw chicken before cooking as this will spread any bacteria throughout your kitchen</li> <li>Use the meat within two to three days (or follow manufacturer’s instructions) and store it in leak-proof containers in a fridge with a thermometer to make sure the temperature is at or below 5°C</li> <li>If you don’t plan to use your meat or chicken within two to three days, divide large pieces into usable portions and freeze immediately</li> <li>Only defrost the necessary amount – the safest way to defrost your chicken or meat is in the fridge at 5°C (for up to 24 hours).</li> <li>If you need it urgently, defrost in the microwave using the auto-defrost setting, following any prompts. Cook immediately afterwards.</li> </ol> <p>And if you can’t refreeze, you can always go for leftovers.</p> <p>“Finally, if you do end up with too much defrosted chicken or meat, you can also cook it, divide any large amounts into small containers and then freeze once it has stopped steaming,” says Moir. “This is a great way to be both food safe and prevent food waste.</p> <p>“This Australian Food Safety Week, we want Australians to learn more about food safety.”</p> <p><strong> Test your knowledge and take the food-safety quiz on the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://foodsafety.asn.au/" target="_blank">Food Safety Information Council website.</a></strong></p> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <div class="entry-content-asset"> <div class="embed-wrapper"> <div class="inner"><iframe title="Food poisoning" width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HllN9zfd5OI?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></div> </div> </div> </div> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=172672&amp;title=Can+you+refreeze+chicken%3F" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/nutrition/can-you-refreeze-chicken/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/dr-deborah-devis">Deborah Devis</a>. Deborah Devis is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) in biology and philosophy from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in plant molecular genetics from the University of Adelaide.</p> </div> </div>

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New food database to help consumers understand nutrition

<p><em>Image: Shutterstock </em></p> <p>A new food data base to help consumers understand the nutritional value of food they eat is currently in the works and will simplify understanding the nutritional value behind foods we love to eat. </p> <p>Do we really know and understand what is healthy and what isn’t when filling up the cart during your weekly shop?</p> <p>Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has begun developing a database to help consumers understand the nutritional value of the food they consume.</p> <p>FSANZ General Manager of Science and Risk Assessment, Christel Leemhuis, says the new Branded Food Database will work alongside the Health Star Rating system (HSR) and was requested by the department of Health.</p> <p>"It will allow us to track changes in the nutrient profile of foods over time, the database is targeted at providing a reliable source of information for modelling any future HSR changes."</p> <p>Consumers will be able to access the database online by entering a barcode to see the product’s health information. No scanning app will be available as of yet, but FSANZ hoped to add this consumer friendly feature to the database in time.</p> <p>Despite FSANZ's goal to include 85 per cent of food products available in Australia by 2023, it was up to food producers to opt-in, Ms Leemhuis said.</p> <p>"But by providing information to the database manufactures and retailers will contribute to industry transparency," she said.</p> <p>"We will compare that to our existing food composition databases, so that will allow us to identify if there are any products with a nutrient profile that doesn't look quite right [if we suspect a company is supplying inaccurate information]."</p> <p>Recent changes to the HSR system that prioritise sugar content as an assessment criteria have received harsh criticism from those who grow fruit, as juices are now ranked below diet soft drinks in terms of high sugar content.</p> <p>Agriculture Minister David Littleproud had also previously dubbed the labelling process as “madness” due to the emphasis on sugar content. Ms Leemhuis promises the new database will provide a more thorough breakdown of food’s nutrients.</p>

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Delicious and easy decadent double chocolate mousse cake

<p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">Image: Instagram </p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">The<span> </span><em>delicious.</em><span> </span>team have released a new range of baking mixes including Double Choc Mousse Cake, Cookies &amp; Cream Cake, Salted Choc-Chip Cookie Pie and Upside Down Golden Syrup Banana Cake.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">For all the information about the new range of<span> </span><em>delicious.</em><span> </span>cake mixes you can visit<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.delicious.com.au/bakingrange" target="_blank" class="css-1h8ruiq-StyledTextLink ezegcyi0" data-link-type="article-inline">delicious.com.au/bakingrange</a></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>DOUBLE CHOC MOUSSE CAKE WITH WHIPPED VANILLA MASCARPONE AND COFFEE SYRUP</strong></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">Serves: 12</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>INGREDIENTS</strong></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>DOUBLE CHOC MOUSSE CAKE BASE RECIPE</strong></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">1 x packet delicious. double choc mousse baking mix</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">80g unsalted butter, melted</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">2 large eggs</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">2 1/3 cups (580ml) cold full cream milk</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">150ml cold thickened cream</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>CHOCOLATE SHARDS</strong></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">100g dark chocolate, chopped</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>WHIPPED VANILLA MASCARPONE</strong></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">1/2 cup (125g) mascarpone</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">1/2 cup (80g) pure icing sugar, sifted</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">2 tsp vanilla bean paste</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">1 1/2 cup (375ml) thickened cream</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>COFFEE SYRUP</strong></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">3/4 cup (180ml) strong coffee</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">1 tsp vanilla bean paste</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>METHOD</strong></p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">1. Prepare the double choc mousse cake base recipe according to packet instructions. Set aside.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">2. Place the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted, then remove from heat. Pour the chocolate over a large sheet of baking paper and, using a spatula, spread until very thin. Place another sheet of baking paper over the top and flatten. Starting at the short end of the paper, roll into a cylinder. Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes or until cold and set. Unroll by pulling the two sheets of paper apart to create chocolate shards. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">3. Meanwhile, for the coffee syrup, place sugar, coffee and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes until reduced and slightly syrupy. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">4. For the vanilla mascarpone, place mascarpone, icing sugar, vanilla and cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk until firm peaks begin to form.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">5. To serve, remove mousse cake from the pan and place on a serving plate. Top with the vanilla mascarpone and drizzle over the cooled coffee syrup. Top with chocolate shards and serve immediately.</p>

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How to make healthy nachos with the perfect guacamole

<p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">'The healthy chef' Teressa Cutter shares her recipe for healthy nachos at home.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul class="List css-1hqo8ex-StyledUnorderedList-StyledBaseList ev5pl0r2"> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 onion, finely chopped</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 clove garlic, smashed</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 capsicum, finely diced</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 teaspoon ground cumin</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">½ teaspoon smoked paprika</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 x 400 g tin Roma tomatoes</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">125 ml water</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 x 400 g canned black beans, rinsed and drained</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">150 g sweet corn kernels</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 generous splash of green tabasco</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 teaspoon maple syrup</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">small bunch coriander, leaves and stalks chopped separately</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">sea salt and white pepper to taste</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">spring onions to scatter</li> </ul> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">Sides / to serve</p> <ul class="List css-1hqo8ex-StyledUnorderedList-StyledBaseList ev5pl0r2"> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">guacamole or avocado</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">sliced red onion combined with cherry tomato, cucumber, lime juice</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Greek yoghurt</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">roasted sliced sweet potato</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">organic corn chips or corn tortillas</li> </ul> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>Method</strong></p> <ol class="List css-1lqizin-StyledBaseList ev5pl0r1"> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Saute onion, garlic, capsicum, coriander stalks for 1 minute with the olive oil then add the cumin, paprika, tomatoes and water.</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Add the black beans, corn, splash of tabasco, maple and a pinch of sea salt and pepper.</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Fold through a handful of coriander.</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Serve in the pan with your choice of sides such as guacamole, avocado, lime, yoghurt, roasted sweet potato or gluten free tortilla chips.</li> </ol> <h2 class="css-7sl3hd-StyledSubhead e188yva80">Smashed Guacamole</h2> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul class="List css-1hqo8ex-StyledUnorderedList-StyledBaseList ev5pl0r2"> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 avocado, cut in half, stone removed</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Pinch of sea salt and white pepper</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 tablespoon lime juice</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">a few splashes of green tabacso (1 teaspoon)</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">2 tablespoons coriander, chopped</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped or spring onion</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">2 teaspoons avocado oil or olive oil (optional)</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Baby cucumbers to serve</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Celery sticks to serve</li> </ul> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><strong>Method</strong></p> <ol class="List css-1lqizin-StyledBaseList ev5pl0r1"> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Scoop the flesh out of the avocado into a bowl.</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Add the salt, white pepper, lime juice, tabasco, coriander, and red onion.</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Mash together with a fork until combined and spoon onto a serving plate.</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Drizzle with a little oil if using.</li> <li class="css-a2mnio-StyledTextListItem-StyledListItem ev5pl0r3">Serve with sliced baby cucumbers and celery.</li> </ol>

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Winners of the Wotif Uniquely Aussie Awards crowned

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With every small Aussie town claiming to have the best pubs, bakeries and hot chips, the </span><a href="https://www.wotif.com/vc/blog/australia/trending/2021-uniquely-aussie-awards/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wotif.com Uniquely Aussie Awards</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> have made the definitive decisions. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The travel site announced the winners of the six prestigious awards, as an annual guide to Australia’s quintessential experiences in both food and culture. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The awards were designed to highlight some of the nation’s best kept secrets in small towns, beachside communities and occasionally, the big cities. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The awards are Best Jaffle, Best Vanilla Slice, Best Country Pub, Best Hot Chips, Best Hotel Pool and Best National Park. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This year, New South Wales took home the crown for the Best Jaffle, with the award going to Miss Jaffles in Cronulla, and Best Country Pub going to the Beechwood Hotel in Beechwood (just half an hour drive from Port Macquarie).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Queensland’s JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa claimed the title of Best Hotel Pool, while the iconic Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory was named Best National Park. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The elite foodie awards went to the Bridgewater Bakehouse in Victoria for the Best Vanilla Slice, and Chicken Chef in Blair Athol, South Australia took home the Best Hot Chips title. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said the awards are an opportunity for locals to nominate the unsung heroes of their community for national recognition. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Country charm, cheesy jaffles and creamy vanilla slices - no one does them quite like Australia, and the thousands of nominations we received this year shows Aussies are a passionate bunch,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There's so much to love and discover about Australia, and with a really exciting summer period ahead, we hope to inspire and encourage Aussies to plan their next adventure and support local businesses.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the awards in their fourth year, Daniel said the 2021 awards have showcased an outpouring of community spirit, especially as local businesses have had a tough 18 months due to the pandemic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With thousands of votes from all over the country, it's clear to see that Aussies are passionate about their homegrown customs, and supporting their local communities along the way. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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UK bakery under fire over using “illegal” sprinkles

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A bakery in the north of England has come under fire after using sprinkles that are illegal in the UK. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Richie Myers, owner of Get Baked in Leeds, was infuriated when an unknown customer reported him to trading standards over the use of the confectionery. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the UK, the sprinkles</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> contain an additive known as Erythrosine, which is not banned in the UK but is reserved solely for use </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">in processed cherries, according to the International Association of Colour Manufacturers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">West Yorkshire Trading Standards confirmed to the </span><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-58896391"><span style="font-weight: 400;">BBC</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> it has taken action to ensure the usage of the sprinkles is stopped.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Richie dubbed the issue “Sprinklegate”, and shared a recount of the issue to Facebook, which has garnered worldwide attention. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The baker who is “passionate about sprinkles” called out the customer that reported him, saying he “hopes they fail”.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844935/get-baked-fb1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/300d0a19e7034e87bc56d943c1ab3ca8" /></p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook - Get Baked</em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As an investigation began into the elusive sprinkles, Richie said this hurt his small business, as they were a key ingredient in many sweet treats. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He told the BBC that it had been a “horrendous ordeal” and that he had “genuinely lost sleep” over it. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Richie provided an update on “sprinklegate”, he said he had no choice but to stop using the sprinkles and was trying to think of a suitable replacement. </span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844936/get-baked-fb2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1821d891cbed49eaba6d0cb5d3ae8a6c" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Facebook - Get Baked</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite having to change their famous recipe, Richie and the Get Backed team have kept their signature sense of humour through the whole “sprinklegate” ordeal.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CVD0_wdMlpb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CVD0_wdMlpb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by GET BAKED® (@getbakeduk)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By posting their hilarious updates online, Richie said he has been presented with “opportunities he could only have ever dreamed of”. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a recent Instagram post, Richie addressed the person who reported them to the trading standards, saying, “</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">I honestly cannot thank you enough. You have inadvertently flung us forward 5 years and saved me a f** load in marketing budget, not that I ever have a marketing budget, but you’ve still done a sensational deed.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I owe you a pint.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Instagram @getbakeduk</span></em></p>

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Does wine make the heart flutter?

<div class="copy"> <p>A new study looks at wine intake and reduced heart risk but don't toast the conclusions yet!</p> <p>A few wines a week may slightly decrease risk of irregular heart flutters, according to a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2021.05.013" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Clinical Electrophysiology – </em>but the jury is still well and truly out on whether wine is good for your health, and responsible drinking is still required.</p> <p>A recent study, involving the University of Adelaide and Flinders University, analysed how small quantities of alcohol affect the risk of arterial fibrillation (AF) – rapid heartbeat that can lead to heart complications. the team found that found that, while drinking larger volumes of alcohol always has negative outcomes, the lowest risk of AF occurred in people who consumed less than seven glasses of wine a week, even compared to people who drank none.</p> <p>“AF can result in a range of symptoms including palpations, breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness and difficulty exercising,” says lead author Samuel Tu of the University of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide Hospital.</p> <p>“In the 1970’s, we found that binge drinking was associated with developing AF – the so called “Holiday Heart” syndrome, noted when patients would present to emergency departments in the hours or days following festive holidays where lots of drinking was involved. </p> <p>“What wasn’t very well known prior to our study was whether lower levels of alcohol consumption are associated with developing AF. Some studies have suggested that any consumption of alcohol (for example, 1 drink/day) is associated with an increased risk of developing AF.</p> <p>“Others however have suggested otherwise – that low amounts of alcohol consumption may not increase your risk of AF.”</p> <p>This research sought to clarify what the threshold of “low amounts of alcohol” was.</p> <p>To do this, the team studied 400,000 middle-aged, predominantly Caucasian individuals from the UK Biobank, with collected data from over a median 11 years. Researchers assessed how many AFs occurred over that time-period compared to how many drinks their subjects reported having.</p> <p>“We found that those who consumed less than 6 Australian standard drinks of alcohol/week had the lowest risk of developing AF, says Tu.</p> <p>“We also found that beer and cider consumption was associated with a greater risk of AF, compared to red wine and white wine consumption. These results were similar in both women and men.”</p> <p>There was a small dip in risk of AF when among people who consumed between 1 and 6 drinks, but only with wine. While no extra risk was observed for people who drank three measures of spirits a week, there was also no dip.</p> <p>With all alcoholic beverages, the risk of AF began to increase steadily with the amount of drinks consumed, regardless of what type of alcohol it was.</p> <p>Importantly, the paper does not endorse drinking wine or alcohol as a heart health benefit but clarifies how to drink responsibly to avoid AF.</p> <p>“Our findings suggest that responsible consumption of alcohol of up to 6 drinks per week may be safe in terms of minimising your risk of atrial fibrillation,” says Tu.</p> <p>“Notably, this threshold sits below what is currently recommended by the NHRMC for healthy Australians, which is 10 standard drinks per week.</p> <p>“Additionally, for those who currently consume alcohol, drinking red or white wine could potentially be a safer alternative to other types of alcoholic beverages.”</p> <p>Of course, a small decrease in the risk of AF when some alcohol is consumed can easily be interpreted as though wine is good for the health. But caution is required.</p> <p>“People like to positively reinforce their existing viewpoints,” says Simone Pettigrew, Head of Food Policy at the University of New South Wales.</p> <p>“This is partly due to how we process information – new information is tagged to existing knowledge in our brains, so it’s easier to assimilate things that gel with what we already think/know.</p> <p>“This is called a process of developing associative networks. Plus we have selective attention and recall, so we tend to focus on things we are most interested in and that we consider most beneficial to us.”</p> <p>The paper was also accompanied by an editorial by Thomas Dewland and Gregory Marcus, medical doctors from the University of California, that explains that, while the statistical analysis was robust, the results of the paper need to be considered within the context of alcohol research in general.</p> <p>They say that it isn’t uncommon for studies to show a small dip in risks for some health outcomes when only a “few drinks” per week are consumed, but that it depends on the type of alcohol and the health risk in question.</p> <p>They also say it is difficult to draw a line at what “a few drinks” means, because different countries have different standards – for example, the study used the UK standard of a drink (8 grams of alcohol), which is lower than the US standard (14g) and the Australian standard (10g).</p> <p>“What do we tell our patients?” ask Dewlands and Marcus in their editorial. “For secondary AF prevention, the message should be alcohol abstinence, especially if alcohol is a personal trigger for acute AF episodes.</p> <p>“For primary AF prevention, it is possible that continued consumption of some alcohol may be reasonable, but the exact threshold is unclear and is likely a very low amount.”</p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=159754&amp;title=Does+wine+make+the+heart+flutter%3F" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/wine-decreases-heart-health-risk-still-bad/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/dr-deborah-devis">Deborah Devis</a>. </p> </div>

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Customer shocked by exorbitant service fee

<p dir="ltr">One customer was taken by surprise after dining at Salt Bae’s new London restaurant, when they were presented with the bill for $60,000 worth of food as well as a $9000 service fee.</p> <p dir="ltr">Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, recently opened a new restaurant in the ritzy London neighbourhood of Knightsbridge. Diners at the establishment can expect to spend a pretty penny, including $1500 for a tomahawk steak and $55 for fries, but one diner wasn’t expecting a 15% service fee when they were presented with the bill.</p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to the exxy food and drinks, including $18,000 wine, the bill came with a 15% service charge, working out to £4829.10 on top of the £32,194 bill. That’s a charge of about $8933 on top of a $59,327 meal.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img style="width: 434.5156889495225px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844861/https___prodstatic9net.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/47ad6063eed94bab9aaef210baf96b52" /></p> <p dir="ltr">The customer shared a photo of the cheque on Snapchat with the caption, “That’s just taking the p*ss”, and the image quickly went viral online, with many wondering how any meal could be worth those kinds of prices.</p> <p dir="ltr">Many critics say Salt Bae is overstepping his markups, which include charging $33 for asparagus and $20 for Red Bull, while others believe the prices, including the service fee, are justified considering the quality of the food and the potential to see Salt Bae do his thing.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CUTA32OsX6x/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CUTA32OsX6x/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Nusr_et#Saltbae (@nusr_et)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Gökçe originally went viral in 2017 with a video of him sprinkling salt onto a meal getting over 10 million views. He now has almost 40 million followers on Instagram, and his videos of him doing his thing in the kitchen regularly get over 5 million views.</p> <p dir="ltr">With the opening of his London restaurant, Gökçe now owns luxury steakhouses in Miami, New York, Boston, Dallas, and Beverly Hills in the United States; Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; Ankara, Bodrum, Istanbul and Marmaris in Turkey; and Mykonos, Doha, London and Jeddah.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Laurent Koffel/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images</em></p>

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Junk food linked to gut inflammation

<div class="copy"> <p>Studies show how a diet high in fat and sugar impairs immune cell function.</p> <p>The impact of diet on health is really a no-brainer – even leading to calls for GPs to prescribe fruit and vegetables before writing out a drug prescription.</p> <p>Now, US researchers report in the journal <em>Cell Host &amp; Microbe</em> that they’ve found a mechanism to explain how obesity caused by an unhealthy junk food diet can induce inflammation in the gut.</p> <p>“Our research showed that long-term consumption of a Western-style diet high in fat and sugar impairs the function of immune cells in the gut in ways that could promote inflammatory bowel disease or increase the risk of intestinal infections,” says lead author Ta-Chiang Liu, from Washington University.</p> <p>This has particular relevance for Crohn’s disease – a debilitating condition that has been increasing worldwide and causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea, anaemia and fatigue.</p> <p>A key feature of the disease is impaired function of Paneth cells, immune cells found in the intestines that help maintain a healthy balance of gut microbes and ward off infectious pathogens.</p> <p>When exploring a database of 400 adults with and without Crohn’s disease, the researchers discovered that higher body mass index (BMI) was associated with progressively more abnormal looking Paneth cells, captured under a microscope.</p> <p>Armed with their discovery, they studied two strains of mice genetically predisposed to obesity and were surprised to find that the animals’ Paneth cells looked normal.</p> <p>To dig deeper, the researchers fed normal mice a diet in which 40% of the calories came from fat or sugar, typical of a Western diet.</p> <p>After two months the mice became obese – and their Paneth cells became abnormal. They also had associated problems such as increased gut permeability, a key feature of chronic inflammation that allows harmful bacteria and toxins to cross the intestinal lining.</p> <p>“Obesity wasn’t the problem per se,” says Lui. “Eating too much of a healthy diet didn’t affect the Paneth cells. It was the high-fat, high-sugar diet that was the problem.”</p> <p>Importantly, switching from junk food back to a standard diet completely reversed the Paneth cell dysfunction.</p> <p>Further experiments revealed that a bile acid molecule known as deoxycholic acid, formed as a by-product of gut bacteria metabolism, increased the activity of immune molecules that inhibit Paneth cell function.</p> <p>Liu and colleagues are now comparing the individual impact of fat and sugar on Paneth cells.</p> <p>Whether the damaged cells respond to a healthy diet in humans remains to be seen, but preliminary evidence suggests diet can alter the balance of gut bacteria and alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s disease.</p> </div> <div id="contributors"> <p><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/junk-food-linked-to-gut-inflammation/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/natalie-parletta">Natalie Parletta</a>. </p> </div>

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The secret to the Holy Grail of hot chips

<div class="copy"> <p><span>Perfectly golden, crunchy on the outside but fluffy pearly white in the centre, the perfect hot chip is a thing of undeniable beauty.</span></p> <p>The Belgians and Dutch know a thing or two about chips, but we do pretty well too – except for pubs that put the schnitty on top of chips.</p> <p>When that plate hits the table you know you’re in for a disappointing time.</p> <p>A soggy, mushy mess, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and money and quite frankly heads should roll.</p> <p>“Texture plays a very important role in why we accept or reject food,” says <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/gie-liem" target="_blank">Gie Liem</a> from <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.deakin.edu.au/exercise-nutrition-sciences/research/centre-for-advanced-sensory-science-cass" target="_blank">Deakin University’s Centre of Advanced Sensory Science</a>.</p> <p>Gie is a legend who decided to investigate the perfect hot chip. Someone had to.</p> <p>“This can be cultural, for example, <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/neba-neba" target="_blank">some cultures like slimy food</a>, while in other cultures that might be a sign that the food is off."</p> <p>"But we find that crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside is one of the texture combinations that is universally liked, and this is a key characteristic of good hot chips.”</p> <h3>Crunchy is the Goldilocks of food textures</h3> <p>This preference of crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside went back to <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4163920/" target="_blank">evolutionary factors</a>, ensuring humans were able to identify the right food to eat.</p> <p>“A lot of fruit and vegetables are crunchy on the outside when ready for consumption. When they’re too hard to bite into it means they’re not quite ready to eat and when they’re too soft then that means they’re overripe."</p> <p>"So in that way ‘crunchy’ can be like the Goldilocks of food textures, it tells us something is just right.”</p> <p>However, Gie says all our senses play a part in how we perceive the texture of food.</p> <p>“<a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.livescience.com/60752-human-senses.html" target="_blank">Sight</a> and <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.livescience.com/60752-human-senses.html" target="_blank">taste</a> all play a big part, and so does hearing the crunch. We consume food every day without thinking much about it, but there is a whole lot of science behind what we choose and why,” he says.</p> <h3>The recipe for hot chip success</h3> <p>So, what is a scientist’s perfect chip recipe? You gotta go for fresh fries to get the perfect crunch says Gie.</p> <p>He advocates celebrity chef <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/heston-blumenthals-triple-cooked-chips" target="_blank">Heston Blumenthal’s thrice-cooked method</a>.</p> <p>“People seem to be getting more serious about their chips…use fresh potatoes and take the time to cook them properly.”</p> <p>“That means starting by cooking the cut potatoes in water and then thoroughly drying them out in the fridge. Then fry them first on a low temperature, let them dry out again, then fry them at a high temperature before serving immediately for that super-crunch.”</p> <p>For those who are contending with the crowds at oval tuckshops, Gie recommends keeping an eye out for a fresh batch before swooping in.</p> <p>“It’s best to eat chips as soon as they’re out of the fryer or the moisture on the inside will start to come out and make the chips soggy.”</p> <p>“At sporting events the food outlets will make a lot of chips and they can sit there for a while. So if it looks soggy then it is soggy, use all your senses.”</p> <h3>The fraught question of sauces?</h3> <p>Once you’ve got the crunch right, it’s now all about what you put on top, and that choice might be influenced by where you are.</p> <p>“Sauce seems to be a cultural thing. While tomato sauce is popular here and in the US, vinegar is much more popular in the UK, mayonnaise in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, while it’s curry sauce in Germany, or gravy and curds in Canada."</p> <p>“While some of these seem to align with what we know about taste science – for example vinegar provides something acidic to cut through the fatty fries – they can also be counter-intuitive. Pouring on vinegar is the fastest route to a soggy chip.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p class="p1"><em>This article was published for <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/asc-edits/the-secret-to-the-holy-grail-of-hot-chips/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Cafe with Peppa Pig on the menu causes outrage

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A cafe in the centre of the Scottish capital of Edinburgh has come under fire for a divisive sign to lure in customers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gordon Street Coffee decorated their chalkboard with a drawing of Peppa Pig next to a bacon sandwich to sell the popular breakfast item. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As well as the “distasteful” sketch of the popular children’s character, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">the cafe had also included their own rendition of The Magic Roundabout cartoon cow, Ermintrude, to sell beef sandwiches. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the cafe’s light-hearted attempt at advertising tactics, outraged members of the public slammed their ideas and methods.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Angry parents expressed their disappointment online over the sign, as they thought the drawings would traumatise children once they realised their beloved characters were intended as food. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Animal rights organisation PETA led the online outrage, taking to Twitter to say, “Luring kids to meaty meals with cartoons of happy animals isn’t new, but it is dishonest.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Kids naturally love animals, and would be horrified to see gentle pigs' throats slit for a sandwich.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many other parents and vegan activists also slammed the cafe, saying the cafe was “sick, upsetting and dishonest”. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One woman wrote on Twitter. “That's going to make a lot of children question food.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I support that but damn this is pretty sick.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another mother agreed, saying, “Even if you are not vegan or vegetarian that could be really upsetting.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My kids would be absolutely traumatised if they saw that sign, it's really not funny.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The outrage comes after a new survey showed that one in five children have no idea that steak, sausages and ham are meat that comes from animals. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Twitter</span></em></p>

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Aldi customer shocked by "babushka" ice cream

<p>A stunned Aldi customer has revealed the strange thing that happened when she was unwrapping one of the store’s ice cream cones.</p> <p>Sharing her unusual find on Facebook, the woman from Victoria said she had settled down for some “me time” when she opened the Chocolate Crowns ice cream box which she purchased from Aldi.</p> <p>But what she unwrapped in the four-pack box from ice cream company Monarc was far from normal.</p> <p>Surprisingly, the ice cream was seemingly double wrapped with a wrapped cone inside another fully wrapped ice cream.</p> <p>“Dear Aldi, what the…. Is that?” she she wrote alongside a picture of her weirdly wrapped ice cream.</p> <p>“I don’t know if the whole box is like that.”</p> <p>Her bonus cone find delighted and perplexed fellow shoppers who were seriously stunned by the unusually wrapped cone.</p> <p>“I don’t understand what I’m looking at?” one baffled person said.</p> <p>“It’s an ice cream babushka?” another asked.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844307/new-project-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/58f5e70d144142be8eae847ca6ab108c" /></p> <p>Image: Facebook</p> <p>“A cone…. In a cone, what’s inside the wrapper,” questioned a third person.</p> <p>Simply put, one Aldi fan called the mishap “Cone-ception” while others thought the strange “bonus cone” find was extremely lucky.</p> <p>“Buy a lotto ticket….that’s some luck!!” one person said.</p> <p>“Probably the best thing I have ever seen,” added another.</p> <p>This isn’t the first time a shopper has spotted a packaging mishap in a supermarket product.</p> <p><strong>Surprising find in tin of tomatoes</strong></p> <p>This isn’t the first time a shopper has spotted a packaging mishap in the supermarket.</p> <p>Melbourne shopper Shell McKenzie told Yahoo News Australia she was shocked when she opened a tin of tomatoes that contained no tomatoes at all.</p> <p>Instead, the sealed tin was full of water.</p> <p>Shell said she had purchased the Woolworths Essentials brand diced Italian tomatoes as part of her online order.</p> <p>“It was delivered to my workplace,” she explained.</p> <p>“My cook opened it and was shocked it was filled with water….we bought others that were fine.”</p> <p>A Woolworths representative quickly responded to Shell’s odd fine on Facebook.</p> <p>“We’re sorry to see you’ve received a can of diced tomatoes filled with water. We can imagine the surprise this would’ve caused when you opened it,” the spokesperson says.</p> <p>“I spoke with them on the phone and they were shocked and offered a refund and a $10 goodwill credit,” she said.</p> <p>“They have no idea how it happened.”</p>

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10 simple rules to cook everything faster

<p><strong>1. Start with heat</strong></p> <p><span>Before doing anything else, turn on the oven, crank up the grill, preheat a frying pan and set water to boil. Appliances, pots, pans and water take time to get hot. Boiling water is always my first move.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Don't dirty an extra dish</strong></p> <p><span>Use kitchen scissors to chop cooked or tender raw vegetables (especially greens) right in the bowl or pan.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Speed up your washing time </strong></p> <p><span>Put all the produce together in a colander and rinse under cold water. (If you have a large amount, wash in batches, putting what’s done on towels.) During downtime while cooking, wash vegetables used toward the end of a recipe. Rinse foods like carrots and cabbage after they’ve been trimmed or peeled.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Chop all at once</strong></p> <p><span>If a recipe calls for minced garlic, minced ginger and/or minced chillies at the same time, consolidate the job with my go-to technique: Peel the garlic and ginger, trim the chillies, and put them all in a pile. Then chop and mince them together using a rocking motion.</span></p> <p><strong>5. Cut before cooking </strong></p> <p>Big, thick pieces of food take longer to cook through than those cut small or sliced thin. I cut chicken cutlets in half so they cook faster; chop veggies accordingly.</p> <p><strong>6. Make use of your grater </strong></p> <p>Making a pureed vegetable soup? Grate your veggies instead of chopping them. If you cut them into chunks, they’ll take 20 minutes or more to soften. But grated, they’re ready in a flash.</p> <p><strong>7. Let your pots do double dut</strong>y</p> <p><span>When you sauté or simmer something moist – such as vegetables, beans, or sauces – lay a different food on top (especially a protein like fish, chicken, or eggs), cover with a lid, and let the steam naturally cook that upper layer. For instance, for a fast eggs Florentine, steam the eggs on top of the spinach rather than poaching them separately.</span></p> <p><strong>8. Use less liquid when braising </strong></p> <p><span>Submerge your braising ingredients in about two centimetres of liquid, cover the pot and cook, turning occasionally, adding a little liquid as necessary.</span></p> <p><strong>9. One sandwich is faster than four </strong></p> <p><span>Cut a baguette in half the long way, assemble one giant sandwich, then cut that into as many pieces as you like. (I’ve seen people do the opposite!)</span></p> <p><strong>10. Cut around the core </strong></p> <p><span>This method is a fast way to prep apples, pears, tomatoes, cabbage, peaches and capsicums: Slice downwards around the core, removing flesh in three or four pieces; then cut flesh into slices or wedges.</span></p> <p><span><em>This article was first published for <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/18-simple-ways-to-cook-everything-faster">Reader's Digest. </a></em></span></p> <p><span><em>Image: Getty </em></span></p>

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Plant based diets could prevent type 2 diabetes

<p>Eating a diet high in plant foods with little or no red meat has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the most comprehensive scrutiny of this connection so far.</p> <p>This protective effect is even stronger for diets high in healthier plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.</p> <p>Diabetes has been called “the fastest growing health crisis of our time”. At the same time, plant-based diets are gaining popularity.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">Therefore, the researchers thought it was important to quantify their link with diabetes risk, says first author Frank Qian from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, US – especially given the large variation in these diets. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">The analysis, </span>published<span style="font-family: inherit;"> in the </span>Journal of the American Medical Association<span style="font-family: inherit;">, included nine studies with more than 300,000 participants – of whom 23,544 had type 2 diabetes – over two to 28 years of follow-up. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">In the primary evaluation, Qian and co-authors focussed on an overall higher intake of plant-based foods along with little or no animal-based foods. Therefore, this included vegetarian or vegan dietary patterns.</span></p> <p>They found that people with the highest adherence to predominantly plant-based diets had a 23% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those with the lowest consumption of plant foods.</p> <p>But these dietary patterns didn’t exclude plant-derived foods that have been linked to higher diabetes risk, such as sugar and refined carbohydrates.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">When narrowing the analysis to four studies that defined a plant-based diet as the healthy whole food options, they found a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.</span></p> <p>While it must be noted that the studies are observational, most, if not all, adjusted for well-known risk factors, including body mass index (BMI), gender, smoking status and family history of diabetes, among other potentially confounding variables.</p> <p>Several factors could explain the associations, the authors say.</p> <p>Plant-based diets typically include healthy plant foods packed with nutrients, polyphenols and fibre, which can improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and help maintain a healthy weight.</p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">All of these can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Conversely, eating red and processed meat has been linked to higher risk.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">Because the studies controlled for BMI, and excess weight and type 2 diabetes are a deadly duo, the authors suggest the associations they found could underestimate the actual degree of protection conferred by the diets.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: inherit;">“Overall,” says senior author Qi Sun, “these data highlight the importance of adhering to plant-based diets to achieve or maintain good health.” </span></p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=26041&amp;title=Plant-based+diets+could+prevent+type+2+diabetes" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></p> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --> <div id="contributors"> <p><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/nutrition/plant-based-diets-could-prevent-type-2-diabetes/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/natalie-parletta">Natalie Parletta</a>.</p> </div>

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When is milk chocolate good for you?

<div class="copy"> <p>It’s always gratifying to hear that our guilty pleasures can have health benefits – like dark chocolate being <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/eating-chocolate-helps-keep-your-heart-beating/" target="_blank">good for your heart</a>, or coffee <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/coffee-may-prevent-chronic-liver-disease/" target="_blank">preventing</a> chronic liver disease, or wine keeping your teeth <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/want-healthy-teeth-drink-red-wine/" target="_blank">healthy</a> – but what about milk chocolate?</p> <p>Though it’s higher in fat, sugar and calories than dark chocolate, milk chocolate’s effect on your health depends on when you eat it, according to a new study <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1096/fj.202002770RR" target="_blank">published</a> in <em>The FASEB Journal</em>.</p> <p>Spanish and US researchers set out to understand how the timing of milk chocolate consumption affects human health.</p> <p>Nineteen participants – all postmenopausal women – were split into groups and asked to eat no chocolate, eat 100 grams of milk chocolate within an hour of waking up, or eat the same amount an hour before going to sleep.</p> <p>During the study, other factors were recorded, including the participants’ weight, physical activity, hunger and cortisol levels, number of calories consumed per day, and glucose metabolism.</p> <p>“One of the surprises was that despite eating close to 550 kilocalories [of chocolate] per day for two weeks, people didn’t gain weight, either when taken in the morning or in the evening,” says co-researcher Frank Scheer, a neuroscientist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.</p> <p>“The morning group showed more fat oxidation, as opposed to the evening group, which had more carbohydrate oxidation occurring. So the mechanisms appear to be different, but both led to no weight gain in these two cohorts.”</p> <p>In the morning group, fasting glucose levels also went down, along with waist circumference.</p> <p>“Waist circumference is really thought to be primarily related to visceral fat, which has been associated with adverse metabolic effects,” says Scheer.</p> <p>The mechanism behind the loss of waist circumference is unclear. It may be due to the fact that 100 grams of milk chocolate is approximately 30% of a typical daily calorie intake, so participants may have cut down other food intake for the day.</p> <p>This study builds on previous research, which has <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-63227-w" target="_blank">shown</a> that the timing of chocolate consumption in rats affected their circadian rhythms, preventing their sleep cycles from becoming disrupted during simulated jetlag. Other studies have also <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society/article/shiftwork-is-time-of-eating-determining-metabolic-health-evidence-from-animal-models/8206519ACC4CA25C459525F01DB94280" target="_blank">suggested</a> that mistiming food intake can lead to obesity and problems controlling glucose.</p> <p>It’s clear that the time at which we eat is important to energy balance and metabolism. But further research is needed, with a larger and more diverse group of participants over a longer period of time, because the findings pose even more questions for the researchers.</p> <p>“Are these findings due to effects that the energy timing has on metabolism?” asks Scheer. “If you eat chocolate in the morning, for example, does the body, by perceiving this kind of excess energy, then dial up energy expenditure or dial down cravings for food? And then, in addition to hedonic mechanisms and energy-balance mechanisms, could it be anything more specific to the content of the micronutrients in chocolate?”</p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=157513&amp;title=When+is+milk+chocolate+good+for+you%3F" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/nutrition/when-is-milk-chocolate-good-for-you/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/lauren-fuge">Lauren Fuge</a>. Lauren Fuge is a science journalist at Cosmos. She holds a BSc in physics from the University of Adelaide and a BA in English and creative writing from Flinders University.</p> </div>

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