There’s No Such Thing As ‘Good Cholesterol’ Says Pivotal New Study

A surprising new genetic study shows that some people with naturally high levels of HDL cholesterol—the supposedly good kind of cholesterol—are at increased risk of a heart attack. Doctors are now further questioning the use of drugs to boost HDL levels while looking to new therapies to reduce heart risk.

Source: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Good Cholesterol’ Says Pivotal New Study

Sorry for the scare.

For the people with this genetic defect, HDL (“good”) cholesterol is not good because the defect destroys their liver’s ability to absorb fat brought to it by HDL.  In normal people, HDL still correlates with lower risk of heart disease.

This Video Explains What Can (and Can’t) Affect Your Metabolism

The only strictly genetic component to an “increased” metabolism is the amount of “Uncoupling Protein” you have on the inner cell membrane of your mitochondria. The more of this protein you have, the less efficient your body is at turning calories into energy so to speak. The calories are just turned into heat energy. This requires more calories to support body function.

A high concentration of these mitochondria with a high levels of UCP are located within what’s called brown fat. This brown fat is strictly used to generate and maintain body heat. The amount of brown fat that you have decreases with age, contributing to 90 y/o men wearing cardigans in the summer and a slower “metabolism.”

Also, the “eat smaller meals more frequently” is actually a fallacy. Much like “always eat breakfast,” it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Healthy people hear it’s healthy, attach themselves to the habit, and it becomes consequentially associated with health.

Use Leftover Corn Husks to Bake or Grill Perfectly Juicy Fish

Even in my adulthood, I continued the shuck-and-discard routine, only keeping the husks on if I grill. But recently I realized how wasteful I’ve been, and — as if I trashed a pair of jeans after one wear — I’ve been tossing out a valuable culinary ingredient every time I undressed my corn.

If you’ve ever eaten a traditional tamale, then you’ve experienced the cooking power of corn husks. But what about other dishes? You can add washed corn husks to your stock pot for extra-woody flavor, which could be nice in a mushroom soup or corn chowder. Or like a tamale, use those husks as a wrapper for sticky rice in place of lotus leaves. But let’s take it one step further and use them for both their flavor and wrapping abilities by placing some seasoned fish inside, like en papillote, and throw the whole thing on the grill.

…One ear of corn will yield about six to eight usable husks, give or take, so plan accordingly for how you will use the husks and how much fish you will be cooking.

Source: Why You Shouldn’t Throw Away Corn Husks

Or use banana leaves…

Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

Many people don’t get enough vitamin D in their food. They still get enough vitamin D, because ultraviolet radiation creates it—usually.

Source: Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

If you’re as fair-skinned as the average northern European, you only need about 20 minutes per day.  All you have to show is an area of skin about the size of your face.

Without vitamin D from sunlight exposure, lactose assists with the use of calcium. So, cultures with easy access to leafy greens plus sunlight or fish, calcium is taken care of and milk has no advantage. Cultures without access to leafy greens, sunlight or seafood need dairy either as a source of calcium, lactose, or both.  You can read more about it in a previous post.

The Easiest Way to Tell If Your Fish Is Properly Cooked

Cooking fish may seem a bit intimidating at first — what kind of fish should you buy? How do you keep it from sticking to the pan? — but once you take the plunge, the rewards are delicious. Knowing when the fish is ready takes a little know-how, and we’re here to help.

Source: The Right Internal Temperature for Cooked Fish

It can depend on the fish – you can tolerate some translucency, but it does come down to taste with some fish. Especially if it’s a thick cut of fish…

Raw seafood can carry Salmonella just like chicken, but it’s a lot more rare. Seafood of any kind can also have parasites. If the seafood has been thoroughly frozen at some point, that kills off most parasites; but if you bought fresh fish from the market, it’s coming right off the boat. Obviously, just consuming raw fish isn’t all that dangerous since sushi is a thing, but there are a lot of things to take into account when determining seafood safety. This tip practically guarantees it’s safe to eat, if that’s a concern of you have.

Make a Quicker and Easier Version of Bearnaise Sauce with Mayonnaise

A stress-free way to make a classic — and unruly — French sauce that’s a variation of hollandaise.

Source: How To Hack Béarnaise, A Mother Of A French Sauce

I wouldn’t describe a bain marie as a “special piece of equipment.” A metal bowl over a pot of heated water is something most people can manage.

I guess for the sake of product placement, no one mentions or recommends a specific brand.

Scientists: There Should Be No Dietary Limit on Fat Intake

Dietary limits on fat intake have been around for years, but now two scientists are urging the federal government to drop restrictions on total fat consumption entirely.

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, co-authors Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and David Ludwig, MD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, argue that all fats aren’t created equal.

Source: Scientists: There Should Be No Dietary Limit on Fat Intake

I’m surprised the article didn’t mention the avocado – high in fat, but what’s currently regarded as “good fat and cholesterol”.  It also doesn’t mention that we know that fat-soluble vitamin uptake increases dramatically when consumed with fat.  The low-fat craze was never good for us, aside from as the article points out – those on a restricted fat diet.

Lobster Butter: An Awesome Use For Leftover Shells

This is a Yankee take on the classic French recipe for beurre de homard, which incorporates cooked lobster meat into a compound butter. It is thriftier, using the shells to bring flavor instead of the lobster meat, but is no less delicious for that. The process is akin to making a lobster stock, with butter in place of water. Use the lobster butter as a melted dip for shrimp or yet more lobster, or as a topping for sautéed scallops or fish.

Source: Lobster Butter

For double lobster-y butter, you can cook the tails by basting over hot butter in a small saucepan – basically poaching them. The lobster itself tastes great this way, and the leftover butter is amazing. You can add the shells back in (and more butter if needed) and follow the basic steps here. Play around with it – add a few other flavors, a little salt and pepper, small amount of cream sherry, some thinly sliced lightly sauteed shallots and/or garlic… Toss with fresh linguini, brush onto grilled bread to serve alongside clam chowder.

You could also boil shrimp shells down… Strain and freeze the broth in ice cube trays.  Then use it to make corn and potato chowder later when you want the flavor without the actual shrimp.

Fish Oil Not So Perfect After All

Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals, according to a recent report from the National Institutes of Health. At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, most believing that the omega-3 fatty acids in the supplements will protect their cardiovascular health.

But there is one big problem: The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.

…Dr. Stein also cautions that fish oil can be hazardous when combined with aspirin or other blood thinners. “Very frequently we find people taking aspirin or a ‘super aspirin’ and they’re taking fish oil, too, and they’re bruising very easily and having nosebleeds,” he said. “And then when we stop the fish oil, it gets better.”

Source: Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research

While it’s interesting that so many studies support that there’s no link between the health claims and fish oil extract, there’s only a passing mention of FDA review and support.  Nothing about if the supplement actually contains fish oil.  If other supplements are full of asparagus and lies

My stance remains firmly no-supplement.  Nothing is 100% safe, with farmed salmon getting dyed to resemble wild, or the known fraud in olive oil…  Doing the best you can is all you can hope for, and the field changes without your knowledge.

Why Wine Can Trigger Your Food Allergies (and How to Avoid Them)

Here’s a fun fact you may not know: not all wine is vegan. Some wine is clarified with “fining agents” that are made from animal products.

These fining agents help eliminate proteins, yeasts and other molecules that give wine a cloudy appearance. They can also eliminate harsh tannins, helping the wine taste smoother at a younger age, wine blog VinePair says. As The Kitchn explains, the fining agents attract molecules. By collecting around the fining agent, the molecules form larger particles that are then easier to filter out of the wine.

Source: Not All Wine Is Vegan, And Here’s Why

The amount of the fining agent left in the wine (or beer) might be minute, but some people are extremely sensitive to any amount.

Another wine production thing I was not aware of.  I would expect this to be an issue for the large scale wine production outfits.  It never came up when I was working for someone who was transitioning from accounting to wine making.  My recollection was wine makers were interested in good grapes, and what you got in the bottle was it for that year.  It depends, but a lot do not grow all the grapes themselves.  They’ll have some of their own, but source a fair bit from local wine grape growers.

The article mentions the wine bottle label.  I don’t know what or if anything changed since I last looked into it, but there was no standardization whatsoever as I knew.  I get the impression that hasn’t changed.

Truth in advertising