BMJ: Varicoceles can be a marker for metabolic syndrome and type two diabetes

Nancy Wang from Stanford University is a urologist and says, “Varicoceles which are varicose veins of the spermatic cords, are associated with low testosterone. This in turn makes men more likely to develop metabolic risks and heart disease. No one has connected the dots before now”.

These men have higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, and hyperlipidaemia.

My comment: Varicoceles feel just  like a bag of worms in the scrotum. Up to one in 5 men will develop these over their lifetime. 

Homemadewithmess: Prawn courgetti with a red pepper sauce

courgettes spiralised
For the Red Pepper Sauce
1 red pepper – deseeded and roughly chopped
Splash olive oil
½ yellow pepper – deseeded and roughly chopped
165g cherry tomatoes – halved
2 cloves garlic – left whole
75ml red wine
Pinch sugar
1 tbsp tomato puree
150ml vegetable stock
For the courgetti
2 courgettes – spiralised
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 pinch sugar
To serve
1 red onion – finely sliced
Splash olive oil
200g raw king prawns
1 handful fresh basil
Parmesan shavings – to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 180’C
Toss the pepper in the olive oil and roast for 20 minutes
Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for a further 20 minutes
Squeeze out the garlic from their skins and return to the dish. Stir in the red wine, sugar and tomato puree and cook for a final 10 minutes
Once cooked, blend the mixture together with the stock until smooth, and then push through a fine sieve to make even smoother.
Set-aside until ready to serve.
Spiralise your courgettes and then toss through the lemon juice and sugar and set aside.
Heat a large pan with a splash of oil and fry the onion until soft.
Add the sauce and once bubbling stir in the prawns
Cook through until the prawns have turned lovely and pink and then turn off the heat.
Fold in the courgetti and then plate up, sprinkling over your basil leaves and parmesan and enjoying with salad.

Nutritional Info:
Calories – 316
Fat – 9g
Carbs – 26g
Sugars – 15g
Protein – 28g

 

BMJ: Bariatric surgery best done before a BMI of 50

More than a third of patients who had bariatric surgery got back to a BMI of 30 or less after one year. Some patients respond better than others, and some operations are more effective than others.

Having a BMI of less than 40 made it more likely for the person to reach their goal weight. Obviously, they had less to lose. Only one out of ten patients who had a BMI of 50 or over got down to a BMI of 30, which corresponds to the limit between being considered overweight and being considered obese.

Sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass or duodenal switch operations were the most effective. Adjustable gastric bands were less effective.

BMJ  9 Dec 2017 from JAMA Surg 2017

Jovina cooks Spanish: Gazpacho

Gazpacho_in_Mijas.jpg
This cold soup is delicious and refreshing—a perfect summertime starter.
Ingredients
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup peeled, seeded and roughly chopped cucumber
3 cups  good quality tomato juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

A few drops of Tabasco for added kick (optional)
Garnish: chopped cucumber, onion or bell pepper
Directions
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Chill in the refrigerator for twenty four hours for the best flavor.  Garnish with chopped vegetables, if desired.

Natural Low Carb Store: Choc chip cookies

Looking for something sweet to eat that still works with your diabetes? Try this…

choc chip cookies

150g almond flour

100g desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking powder
120g butter (softened)
60g inulin powder (or granulated sugar substitute)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
30g 72% dark chocolate (chopped)

Pre-heat your oven to 160°C and line a baking sheet. In a bowl mix together the almond flour, coconut and baking powder. In a separate bowl cream the butter with the inulin, then beat in the vanilla and egg until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and the chocolate to form a dough. Divide the dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Press each ball gently with the heel of your hand to flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 12-14 minutes until just browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Option – drizzle with melted chocolate for decoration!

(NB: Don’t try to cut up the chocolate in a mini chopper. I broke one attempting this. Katharine)

 

Eat green leafy vegetables to give your brain many extra years

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If you eat one or two portions of green leafy vegetables a day you could have a brain 11 years younger than you otherwise would.

That is the conclusion of a longitudinal study of almost a thousand elderly  people in the USA. Compared to people who rarely or never ate green vegetables there was a very marked difference in brain function over time.

This seems to be due to the folate, phylloquinone and lutein in the foodstuffs.

So eat up and protect your brain. If like me, you prefer your salad well dressed and your vegetables laced with fat and garlic and spices look around the site for our recipes. Spinach in a cheese and garlic sauce, and buttered peas and leeks are my favourites.

Adapted from BMJ 13 Jan 2018 from an article in Neurology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eatwell plate advice doesn’t reduce cardiovascular disease

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Adapted from  BMJ 27 Jan 2018 from a study reported in PLOS Med

The UK Food Standards Agency uses a scoring system of their own devising to determine whether a food is “healthy” or not.  Fruit, vegetables, fibre and protein get top marks and saturated fat, sugar and salt get a fail.

When 25 thousand participants in the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer study completed a seven day food diary at the start of the study, and their food choices were marked on perceived health benefits, there was no difference in the incidence of cardiovascular disease over the next 16 years.

Time to lay the Eatwell Plate advice in the bin?