Foods, Uncategorized

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Lobster

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Lobster

caulliflowermacandcheesewithlobster

 

Mac and cheese may be a beloved staple from our childhoods, but this lower carb switch-up with a luxurious twist makes it the perfect dish for your next dinner party! This “mac” and cheese recipe featuring a crisped top, cheesy cauliflower and poached lobster comes to us from the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub, and we can’t wait for you to make it!

 

Ingredients

Cooking spray

1 cauliflower, trimmed into 8 cups florets

5 cups water

2 4-oz frozen lobster tails (or 1 cup chopped imitation lobster meat)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cups milk (fat free)

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp hot sauce

3 oz colby jack cheese (reduced fat)

4 oz cream cheese (fat free)

1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

lobstermac-cheese_rcp

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat in a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Place cauliflower florets in a large microwave-safe dish. Pour 1 cup of water over the cauliflower and cover. Microwave for 12 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Drain and then keep warm.

While cauliflower is microwaving: If using lobster tails, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and then reduce until water is just barely simmering. Add the lobster tails to the water and poach for 7 minutes. Remove the tails from the water to cool slightly. Cut the lobster tails, remove the meat from the tails and chop. Makes about a cup of lobster meat.

Add olive oil to saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the milk while whisking. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the Colby-jack and cream cheeses and stir until melted.

Add the cauliflower to the baking dish. Use a fork to break up the florets into 1-inch or smaller pieces.

Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and stir to coat.

Sprinkle the lobster over the cauliflower and stir to coat.

Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs evenly over the top of the casserole and then spray the top of the panko with cooking spray.

Bake for 30 minutes.

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Lipoprotein(a): the Other ‘Bad’ Cholesterol

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Lipoprotein(a): the Other ‘Bad’ Cholesterol

There’s a simple blood test your doctor can order to detect Lp(a).

lipidprofile.jpeg

YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD about low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol,” but did you know there’s another cholesterol that may be equally bad? Called lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a) – L-p-little-a – for short, it’s a cause of heart attacks, strokes, aortic valve disease, peripheral vascular disease and blood clots. And it’s not picked up by standard cholesterol tests you may receive at a doctor’s office. So, what’s the good news? There is a simple blood test your doctor can order to detect Lp(a), and there are potential treatment options if your level is high. Here’s what you need to know about Lp(a).

 

What Is Lp(a) and Why Is it Important?

 

Lp(a) is structurally similar to LDL or “bad cholesterol.” Like LDL, it’s a small protein carried in the bloodstream that transports cholesterol, fats and proteins to organs in the body. At high levels, Lp(a) may deposit in blood vessels and cause atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup, in vessel walls. Plaque buildup causes blood vessel narrowing and reduces the blood supply to vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and brain. Lp(a) may also get in the way of other molecules in the body that help break up clots. As a result, people with high Lp(a) levels are more prone to developing blood clots that may manifest as heart attacks and strokes.

 

The standard cholesterol/lipid panel of tests taken at a doctor’s office doesn’t include an Lp(a) blood test. They measure total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – or “good” cholesterol – and fats called triglycerides. LDL is typically calculated from these values. Historically, clinicians have focused on LDL because high levels were shown to cause heart attacks and strokes. Like Lp(a), LDL enters blood vessel walls and may cause significant atherosclerosis. However, recent studies have discovered that other cholesterol particles, such as Lp(a), may also independently cause heart disease irrespective of LDL values.

 

According to the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation, nearly 63 million Americans and approximately 1 billion people globally have high Lp(a) values. Nearly 1 in every 5 people have elevated Lp(a). With cardiovascular disease remaining the No. 1 killer of Americans, identifying all risk factors, including Lp(a), that lead to cardiovascular disease is critical.

 

 

What Are the Risk Factors, and Who Should Be Screened?

 

Lp(a) is inherited – the value is determined primarily by genes passed along from both parents. People with high Lp(a) levels have a 50 percent chance of passing on high Lp(a) to their children. Other factors such as age, sex and medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure don’t appear to affect Lp(a) value. Without treatment, Lp(a) values tend to remain constant throughout life.

 

Lp(a) may be measured by a simple blood test, which is offered by most major laboratories across the U.S. Values are reported in two ways: either in milligrams per deciliter or nanomoles per liter, with milligrams per deciliter indicating the mass or amount of Lp(a) proteins in circulation and nanomoles per liter reflecting the concentration of all Lp(a) particles present in the blood. Typically, values above 50 milligrams per deciliter or above 125 nanomoles per liter are considered high, but these may vary slightly depending on the lab.

 

Experts advise that the following people may particularly benefit from Lp(a) testing:

 

 

Those with premature heart disease or a family history of early heart disease, defined as a heart attack or stroke in men under age 55 or women under age 65.

People with a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, in which LDL levels are very high (often above 190 milligrams per deciliter) beginning at birth.

People with a family history of elevated Lp(a), since Lp(a) is genetically inherited.

People with progression of heart disease despite being treated with cholesterol drugs such as statins.

People with more than 10 percent 10-year heart attack and stroke risk according to U.S. guidelines – a recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that in women, Lp(a) was more associated with heart disease in those with high cholesterol.

People with premature aortic valve calcification or peripheral vascular disease.

If a person is found to have high Lp(a), first-degree family members (parents, siblings and children) are encouraged to undergo screening as well because of the inheritance risk of Lp(a). As an important recognition that elevated Lp(a) is a specific disease-causing entity, there are now new International Classification of Diseases-10 diagnosis codes for elevated Lp(a) (E78.41) and a family history of elevated Lp(a) (Z83.430) that will go into effect in October of this year. ICD-10 codes are used in health care to classify all diagnoses, symptoms and procedures as a way of recording and identifying health conditions.

 

 

What Are the Treatment Options?

 

While diet and exercise are recommended overall as part a healthy lifestyle to reduce cardiovascular disease, and they can improve other components of a person’s lipid panel, unfortunately lifestyle choices seem to have little effect on explicitly reducing Lp(a) levels. Even statins, which are used to reduce the amount of plaque caused by LDL, have no impact on Lp(a).

 

No specific medication is commercially available to specifically lower Lp(a). If Lp(a) levels are high, a prescription version of the dietary supplement niacin (vitamin B3) may be considered to lower Lp(a) values by as much as 40 percent, however evidence for this approach isn’t conclusive. In severe cases, an option is weekly plasmapheresis, a procedure similar to dialysis in which a machine can help filter out Lp(a) particles from the blood.

 

Research has been promising in the development of drugs specifically targeted for reducing Lp(a). In a 2015 landmark article published in The Lancet, volunteers with elevated Lp(a) levels were randomized into three groups to be administered the new drug ISIS-APO(a)Rx, which specifically targets the genetic material encoding for Lp(a). People in the group receiving the highest dose of this drug experienced an average decrease of nearly 78 percent in Lp(a) values after 30 days. According to a recent article in JAMA Cardiology, it was found that large reductions in Lp(a) are likely needed to produce meaningful benefit in reducing the heart disease risk. With these results, more clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of these new agents are eagerly awaited.

 

For now, if a person is diagnosed with high Lp(a), experts recommend lifestyle changes and therapies to decrease the overall cardiovascular disease risk attributable to other modifiable risk factors. Strategies may include focusing on lowering blood pressure, eating a heart-healthy diet, losing weight, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking and reducing LDL levels. Aspirin, a platelet blocking drug, can be considered to prevent clots. An individualized plan should be made with a clinician trained in treating elevated Lp(a).

 

 

Take-Home Points

 

Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), is another “bad” cholesterol that increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, even when other cholesterol numbers are normal.

Lp(a) isn’t measured in a standard cholesterol/lipid blood test, but blood tests are available to measure a person’s Lp(a) level.

Patients at unusually high risk for cardiovascular disease should ask their doctors about measuring Lp(a). These patients include those with early heart disease or a family history of premature heart disease, familial hypercholesterolemia, a family history of elevated Lp(a) and progressive cardiovascular disease despite optimal medical management.

While we await clinical trials testing the safety and efficacy of new Lp(a) drugs, current treatment revolves around using established therapies to reduce modifiable cardiovascular risk factors.

 

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Roasted Cauliflower/ Gobi

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Teleheatlh

Roasted Gobi/Cauliflower

Roastedcauliflowergobi.jpeg

Roasted Gobi/cauliflower is very tasty and we can serve it as a starter or evening snack for school going kids. I’ve used one medium sized cauliflower to prepare the recipe. Cauliflower florets are blanched in water and marinated for 20 minutes in fresh cream(Medium fat) adding spices. The marinated cauliflower florets are placed in a baking tray with greased parchment paper. They are oven roasted @190degrees centigrade in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Here I present delicious roasted gobi which can be served with mint curd chutney. Njoy Cooking, Serving n Savoring!

 

Ingredients:

 

Cauliflower: 1 no. Medium sized

Fresh cream(Medium fat): 3 tbsp

Salt: As required

Ginger garlic paste: One tsp

Red chilli powder: 3/4 th tsp

Garam masala: 1 tsp

Turmeric: Generous pinch

Method of preparation:

 

Take one medium sized cauliflower.

Separate the stem of the cauliflower.

Chop the big florets into bite size florets.

Rinse well with water and keep aside.

Keep the cauliflower florets in hot boiling water for three minutes to blanch them.

Now transfer the cauliflower florets into cold water to stop further cooking.

Take a broad vessel and put the ingredients mentioned above except cauliflower.

Mix thoroughly.

Now completely drain the water and keep the blanched cauliflower florets.

Mix thoroughly and marinate the cauliflower mixture for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven@190 degrees for ten minutes.

Meanwhile take parchment paper and place the paper onto baking tray. Grease with oil. Now place all the marinated cauliflower florets onto the parchment paper.

Bake them in a preheated oven@190 degrees for twenty five minutes or till they are completely roasted.

Take out of the oven and transfer them onto a Serving plate.

Serve the roasted(Oven) gobi with mint curd chutney.

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Amylopectin:    Amy What?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Amylopectin:    Amy What?

 

3 Reasons to Avoid Foods with This Type of Starch

 

We all know that loading up on the cookies, candy and soda can skyrocket blood sugar levels and lead to adverse effects on health. But did you know that the same could be true for certain types of starch as well? Thanks to amylopectin, a type of carbohydrate found in starch, some starches may actually have a similar effect.

 

Amylopectin digestion may raise blood sugar and insulin levels, causing an increase in triglycerides and cholesterol and leading to fat accumulation.

 

This carbohydrate is widespread throughout the food supply and is the main component of starches, including rice, bread and potatoes.

 

However, by opting for foods lower in amylopectin and increasing your intake of high-fiber, low-glycemic foods instead, you can sidestep the negative side effects of this carbohydrate.

 Amylopectin-Graphic-2 (2).jpg

What Is Amylopectin?

The official amylopectin definition is: “a component of starch that has a high molecular weight and branched structure and does not tend to gel in aqueous solutions.”

 

To put it more simply, though, amylopectin is a type of carbohydrate found in the starches that we commonly consume, such as rice, potatoes and bread.

 

Starch is made up of two different polysaccharides, or carbohydrates: amylose and amylopectin. Each starch molecule is about 80 percent amylopectin and 20 percent amylose.

 

Amylose is made up of long, linear chains of glucose units while amylopectin is highly branched. In fact, it is composed of between 2,000 and 200,000 glucose units, and each inner chain comprises 20–24 subunits of glucose.

 

Amylopectin is also considered insoluble, meaning that it does not dissolve in water.

 

This starch molecule has a very similar structure to glycogen, a type of branched polysaccharide that is used to store glucose, or sugar, in your liver and muscles. When comparing amylopectin vs. glycogen, both are highly branched and made up of alpha glucose units, but glycogen has more branches.

 

While starch molecules are considered the main storage form of energy in plants, glycogen is the primary storage form of energy in humans and animals.

 

Amylopectin vs. Amylose

Amylose and amylopectin share some similarities but are also drastically different in the ways that they are digested and processed in the body. As mentioned previously, the differences between these two starch molecules starts with their physical structure. Amylose is long and linear while amylopectin is made up of thousands of branches of glucose units.

 

Although starches contain both of these carbohydrates, the ratio can make a major impact on the way it’s digested and processed. This is because amylopectin is more easily digested and absorbed than amylose. While this may sound like a good thing, it actually means that eating foods rich in this carbohydrate can lead to spikes in blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels as well as increased belly fat. A high amount of amylopectin can also increase the glycemic index of foods, which is a measure of how much blood sugar levels increase after consumption.

 

Meanwhile, foods high in amylose tend to have higher levels of resistant starch, a type of starch that isn’t completely broken down or absorbed by the body. Resistant starch has been shown to reduce fat storage, increase satiety, lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar, and improve insulin sensitivity.

 

Therefore, it’s best to minimize your intake of foods high in amylopectin and instead focus on selecting starches that have a higher ratio of amylose to ensure you’re getting the most health benefits possible from your diet.

 

Amylopectin Function

Amylopectin makes up the majority of the starch molecule, which is the primary storage form of energy for plants.

 

Much like humans, animals and all living organisms, plants need energy so they can grow and function. Plants use a special process called photosynthesis, which involves using chlorophyll to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into sugar, or glucose, to be used as energy. Any extra glucose is stored as starch, which the plant can then convert back into glucose when it needs an extra bit of energy.

 

In humans, when we eat starch, it is converted to sugar, or glucose, which can also be used for energy. The cells in our bodies depend on this energy to function, making sure that we are able to build and maintain healthy tissues, move our muscles, and keep our organs working efficiently.

 

Like plants, we are also able to keep unused glucose for use later in the form of glycogen, which is mainly stored in the muscles and liver and can be easily converted to glucose when needed.

 

Amylopectin Side Effects

Spikes Blood Sugar and Insulin

Raises Cholesterol Levels

 

 

Increases Belly Fat

  1. Spikes Blood Sugar and Insulin

Foods with a higher amount of amylopectin have a higher glycemic index, which means they can cause a quick increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for the transportation of sugar from the blood to the tissues where it can be utilized. When you sustain high levels of insulin over a long period of time, it can decrease the effectiveness of insulin, leading to insulin resistance and high blood sugar.

 

A study from the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition fed 12 participants a diet composed of either 70 percent amylose or amylopectin for five weeks. Compared to amylose, amylopectin led to a greater increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

Another animal study from Australia showed that feeding rats a high-amylopectin diet for 16 weeks resulted in a 50 percent higher insulin response as well as insulin resistance.

 

Conversely, another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that higher amounts of amylose delayed carbohydrate digestion and absorption and caused decreased blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

  1. Raises Cholesterol Levels

In addition to increasing blood sugar levels, a diet high in amylopectin could also negatively impact blood cholesterol levels. Research shows that eating foods with a higher glycemic index, such as those that are high in amylopectin, could decrease triglyceride and good HDL cholesterol levels.

 

Studies have also found that insulin resistance, which can occur as a result of an a high-glycemic diet, may be associated with an increase in cholesterol production.  The Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center study mentioned above, in particular, found that eating a diet high in amylopectin led to increases in cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to a diet high in amylose.

 

Meanwhile, multiple animal studies have found that resistant starch from higher concentrations of amylose could lead to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in rats.

 

  1. Increases Belly Fat

One of the most visible side effects of amylopectin is its effect on your waistline. That’s because eating lots of amylopectin can increase insulin, leading to an increase in visceral fat.

 

Insulin plays a major role in fat storage and metabolism. It blocks the breakdown of fat and increases the uptake of triglycerides from the blood into the fat cells. Sustaining high levels of circulating insulin can cause insulin resistance as well as an increase in fat storage and a decrease in fat burning, as noted in research out of the University of Toronto in Canada.

 

Additionally, eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as those with a higher ratio of amylopectin, can increase hunger and the risk of overeating, as research from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University shows.

 

On the other hand, studies have shown that amylose and resistant starch can enhance fat burning, promote satiety and reduce fat storage.

 

Amylopectin Foods

Although all starches contain some amylopectin, certain types may have a higher ratio of amylopectin than others. Simple carbs that have a high glycemic index are likely to be higher in amylopectin while foods with a lower glycemic index are likely higher in amylose.

 

High-amylopectin foods include:

 

Short-grain rice                White bread                      Bagels                  White potatoes

Cookies                               Crackers                             Pretzels                Instant oatmeal

Puffed rice                         Cornflakes                          Rice cakes

Instead of filling your plate with these foods, consider swapping in a few foods that are higher in amylose instead. These foods can help you maintain normal blood sugar levels, keep cholesterol levels low and prevent fat accumulation.

 

Low-amylose foods include:

 

Long-grain rice                 Oats                      Quinoa                 Sweet potatoes                Bananas

Whole wheat                    Barley                   Rye                       Beans                                  Legumes

 

 

History

Starch has been an integral part of our history since ancient times. Early documentation on the uses of starch is limited; Egyptians supposedly used a starchy adhesive to stick pieces of papyrus together as far back as 4,000 B.C. while in 312 A.D., starch helped proved useful in preventing ink penetration in Chinese papers.

 

However, although starch has been a dietary and industrial staple for centuries, it is only in the last several hundred years that we’ve come to understand more about its unique structure and the way that amylose and amylopectin function in the body.

 

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, often dubbed as the father of microbiology, was the first to observe starch microscopically in 1716. However, it wasn’t until over 200 years later that researchers began to focus on the differences between amylose and amylopectin.

 

In the 1940s, scientists developed more accurate techniques to separate amylose and amylopectin from starch molecules and began studying the highly branched structure of amylopectin. They were also able to discover the amylopectin enzyme that contributes to the synthesis and breakdown of starch, which helped them understand the complexities of its structure even more.

 

Other research into the different types of starch has also been fairly recent. In the 1970s, for example, the concept of resistant starch was initially created. Years later, the Commission of the European Communities officially funded research to form an official definition of resistant starch.

 

As our knowledge about starch continues to increase, we have begun to learn more about how this important dietary component can affect many different facets of health.

 

Precautions/Side Effects

A diet high in starch can negatively impact many aspects of health. It can result in an increase in blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as increased fat accumulation.

 

Ideally, amylopectin should be limited in all diets. However, this is especially important for those who have diabetes or uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

 

For these individuals, carbohydrate intake should be kept in moderation, and the carbs that are included in the diet should be from nutrient-rich, high-fiber and low-glycemic foods. This can help slow the absorption of sugar from the bloodstream and prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.

 

Additionally, many foods high in both amylose and amylopectin contain gluten. If you have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, you should swap these foods for gluten-free, nutrient-dense whole grains like millet, quinoa, sorghum, rice or buckwheat.

 

Final Thoughts

Starch molecules are made up of two types of carbohydrates, amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is long and linear while amylopectin is highly branched.

Amylopectin is broken down rapidly and has a higher glycemic index, meaning it can increase blood sugar rapidly after eating.

Eating a diet high in this carbohydrate can also increase insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels; lead to insulin resistance; and cause fat accumulation.

Conversely, eating foods higher in amylose may have the opposite effect, decreasing cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin and blood sugar levels, while also promoting satiety and weight loss.

Foods high in amylopectin include white bread, short-grain rice, cookies, crackers, pretzels and breakfast cereals.

To promote healthy blood sugar levels and achieve optimal health, opt for low-glycemic foods that are lower in amylopectin and high in fiber and use in combination with an overall healthy diet.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Why Should You Pick Steel Oats?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Why Should You Eat Steel Oats and Not Quaker Oatmeal

 

steel oats

 

Oats are sold in more forms than any other grain. All of them are high in beta-glucan, a kind of fiber that has special cholesterol-lowering properties. Studies have shown that individuals with high cholesterol have reduced their total level by eight to 23 percent simply by consuming three grams of this soluble fiber per day – the amount you get in one bowl of oatmeal.

 

Steel-cut oats (also known as Irish or pinhead oats) are whole oats that have been chopped into two or three pieces with steel blades. Uncut, they are known as oat groats. Steel-cut oats and oat groats are the least processed forms available.

 

Rolled oats are made by steaming the groats, then rolling them, steaming them again, and, finally, toasting them resulting in the familiar thin flakes. Though processed, rolled oats are still a whole grain. The cooking time for steel-cut oats is 20 to 40 minutes, compared to 10 minutes for rolled oats and 45 to 60 minutes for oat groats.

 

I prefer steel-cut oats because they digest more slowly than rolled ones. Like all other grains in whole or cracked form, steel-cut oats rank lower than rolled oats on the glycemic index (GI), which ranks carbohydrate foods on the basis of how rapidly they affect blood sugar (glucose). The reason for this difference is that it takes longer for digestive enzymes to reach the starch inside the thicker pieces, slowing down their conversion to sugar.

 

The higher on the glycemic index a food ranks, the more likely it is to cause spikes in blood sugar. Over time, these rapid fluctuations can cause genetically susceptible people (many of us) to develop insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood fats, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

You can be sure you’re eating a whole grain with a low GI ranking if you have to chew it or can see the grains or pieces of grains. The more your jaw has to work, the better.

 

Oat bran – the finely ground meal of oat groats’ outer layer – has the health benefits of a whole grain with its high fiber and low starch content. It makes a good addition to other foods, especially baked goods. Despite its short cooking time and smooth texture, it won’t spike blood sugar levels, thanks to its soluble fiber.

 

While I recommend steel-cut oats, “old fashioned” rolled oats are preferable to quick-cooking ones or instant oatmeal. Those products do not provide whole, intact grains, and some brands of the latter contain partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and colors, or a lot of added sugar and salt.

 

Because oats have a higher fat content than other grains, they go rancid more easily. For that reason, whether you’re buying oat groats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats or oat bran, buy in smaller quantities, and store these foods in the refrigerator.

 

 

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