IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date:  April 1, 2010

Healthy shrimp in Remoulade Sauce

Although Remoulade sauce has its origins in Europe, it has been a classic taste of New Orleans since the early beginnings of fine dining in the Crescent City. It can vary in ingredients but two of the classic versions are those served at Arnaud’s and Emeril’s Delmonico.

It was said to be introduced to the Big Easy by Count Arnaud Chezenave when he opened his restaurant in the French Quarter in 1916.

Honey baked shrimp

1 pound  jumbo shrimp  (thawed)
1/2 tablespoon  reduced-sodium  soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons  Texas Pete pepper sauce
2 cups finely crushed corn flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 cup honey.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients, except the corn flakes and honey, and stir thoroughly. Put the mixture in a large zip-lock bag, add the shrimp and put the bag in the refrigerator for two to four hours to marinate.

Put the corn flakes in a wide shallow bowl and the honey in a small separate bowl. Dip the marinated shrimp in the honey, then roll them in the corn flakes for an even coating.

Place them in a baking pan or on a sheet and bake them at 425 degrees until crisp and slightly brown.

Remoulade sauce

1/2 cup Creole mustard
1/2 cup horseradish
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup of chives
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon of garlic
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar.

Mix and chill before serving.

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April is Cancer Control Month

Here's the latest dietary news about cancer prevention.

The 100th meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research emphasized the role of diet to reduce cancer risk. New research indicates that people should follow this advice.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. A study of 452,755 people in Europe showed a strong link to reducing colon cancer risk by 24 percent.

Avoid burned meat. Cancer-causing compounds are formed when meat is cooked and charred at a high temperature. A preference for extremely browned meat increased the risk of pancreatic cancer by 60 percent. The study included 62,581 subjects who gave details on their cooking preferences. The pancreatic cancer is often rapidly fatal.

A second European study showed that high intake of very browned meat increased the risk of colorectal cancer, but marinating meat in beer or wine before cooking reduces the formation of cancer-causing compounds.

Choose foods that are high in flavonoids. Scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital have found that flavonoids, antioxidants that occur naturally in plants, help protect cells against damage. Apigenin, a flavonoid found in foods including tomato sauce, celery, parsley and red wine, helps protect women against ovarian cancer.

Be sure to include broccoli sprouts. Fresh broccoli sprouts have a high concentration of sulforaphane-a, much higher than mature broccoli. Sulforaphane is a potent antibiotic that fights Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria known to cause gastritis, ulcers and possibly stomach cancer. Eating just 2.5 ounces a day for eight weeks showed a marked reduction in the bacteria.


Chuckles Corner

Proper care protects your skin, experts say

No matter what your age, protecting your skin from sun damage will keep it healthier and better-looking.

Whether you're young or not-so-young, and even if you already have wrinkles, exposure to the sun will cause damage, or further damage, and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

  • Doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher at least once a day to areas that are exposed to sunlight.
  • Wear clothing to block sunlight and wear a broad-brimmed hat whenever you can. Try to avoid being in the sun from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and try to stay in the shade when you are outside for more than a few minutes.
  • Bathe with warm water, not hot water, which can deplete natural oils from your skin. Use a mild, fatted or glycerin soap and only use soap on your face, underarms, genital area, hands and feet.
  • Moisturize. After a bath, pat your skin dry and immediately apply a moisturizing lotion to trap moisture in your skin. For very dry skin, a product in which petrolatum is one of the top three ingredients is advised. Products containing glycerin, lactic acid or urea provide an extra boost.
  • Drink enough water. Being well hydrated moisturizes your skin from the inside out.

    Skin cancer update

    In spite of all advice about prevention of skin cancer, about 1 million cases are diagnosed annually. Of those, the American Cancer Society projects 60,000 cases of melanoma this year, which will cause 8,100 deaths.

    Dermatologists are seeing more melanoma among women 20 to 29 years old who used tanning beds.


    Fibroid treatment reduces need for hysterectomy

    More than 200,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States each year for removal of fibroids. It's the second most common surgery for women, after Cesarean sections.

    In about one-third of uterine fibroid cases, they cause pain in the back, abdomen and pelvis, bloating and very heavy menstrual bleeding. Fibroids can become quite large.

    One new treatment, also used to treat liver and lung tumors, is in the last phase of clinical trial at six medical centers. Radio frequency ablation involves inserting a needle-like device into the fibroid through the abdomen and heating it with a low frequency electrical current.

    Those who have had it say they are very satisfied with the results.

    Study: Antidepressants not best for all patients

    A team led by Dr. Robert DeRubeis pooled data from six trials testing antidepressants, which showed they were not more effective than a placebo pill.

  • Some conditions respond to placebo treatments. In these, the body's own biochemicals, such as opiates and dopamine, act as natural medications. Because placebos and personal expectations trigger production of these compounds, dummy pills can be almost as effective as real ones.
  • In addition to depression, these conditions have been successfully treated with placebos: Hypertension, pain, Parkinson's disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcers.
  • The study team found that antidepressants were more useful only for patients with severe depression. DeRubeis, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, recommends that doctors think about non-drug options, such as exercise or psychotherapy for the mildly or moderately depressed.
  • A 2008 study reached similar conclusions from clinical trials submitted for the licensing of Prozac, Effexor and Paxil.


    April 1, a time of tomfoolery

    Call it April Fools’ Day or the Day of Tomfoolery, April 1 can bring out the prankster in most of us. The trick can be as small as changing the time on someone’s clock, serving cereal that has been placed in the freezer, saying a snake is at their feet or telling someone there is a spot on their shirt.

    But hoaxes can also be elaborate and catch the world by surprise. Over the years, many have gained "elite" status.

  • In 1957, the BBC show Panorama announced that Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop from their spaghetti trees. Accompanying footage showed spaghetti strands being pulled out of the trees. Calls flooded in asking where the viewers could obtain a "spaghetti tree." ‘Tis said a wit at the BBC said callers could place a strand of spaghetti in tomato sauce and see what happened.
  • One year, Burger King ran an ad for a Left Handed Whopper whose ingredients had been shifted so condiments would leak out the right side.Not only did people attempt to order the Left Handed Whopper but some customers came in and specified they wanted a Right Handed Whopper.
  • Comic strips often join in the April Fools’ Day fun. Cartoonists of syndicated strips will draw each other’s strips or incorporate "visiting" characters into their own. In one strip, Garfield ate Dagwood’s sandwich.
  • TV shows are not immune. In 1997, Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy, traded places with Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune. Sajak and Vanna White then played as contestants on their own show.
  • In 2005, a news story was downloaded to the official NASA Web site announcing a picture of water on Mars.The photo consisted of a glass of water on a Mars candy bar.


  • Benefits of barefoot running described

    Recently, scientists writing in the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation's journal concluded that running in shoes exerts more stress on the knee, hip and ankle than running barefoot or walking in high heels.

    Mexico's Tarahumara Indians are a good example. They run marathons wearing thin rubber sandals or no shoes at all. During the 1960 Olympic games, Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian, thought none of the available running shoes fit him well and decided to run barefoot as he had trained in his home country. He won in record time.

    Interest in running without shoes has increased more recently with Christopher McDougall's best seller, Born to Run. But many podiatrists say there is little data on going barefoot, so runners should be careful when trying it.

    One runner, quoted in Time, found that his stride changed back to a natural form when he was wearing Vibram Five Fingers ($75) that protected the soles of his feet from debris while he was running.

    He said it put more stress on his calves, which led to some temporary soreness. Eventually, however, his knees and back felt better.


    Balance problems may benefit from tai chi

    In some patients suffering from dizziness and balance disorders, tai chi exercise works when medications don't, according to one study. It is estimated that about half of Americans experience balance difficulties with everyday tasks and have fear of falling.

    Tai chi is characterized by coordination and relaxation of the joints rather than muscular tension. It has been used for centuries to promote health and well-being.

    A study by the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and colleagues showed that after an eight-week course of tai chi, 45 minutes per week, patients who suffered from imbalance, dizziness and vertigo showed marked improvement as measured on the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale.


    Decrease heart risk, move around while watching television

    New studies show that the amount of time you spend not moving at all has been linked to a higher risk of death from heart problems or from any cause.

    Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health report the risk of death from any cause increased by 11 percent for each hour a day of reported TV watching or total inactivity. For death by heart problems, the risk increased significantly more.

    The benefits of getting 30 to 60 minutes of exercise on most days are still important. But if you sleep for eight hours and exercise for an hour, that leaves about 15 hours for either sitting still or moving.
    The new findings show that after sitting for a few hours, the enzyme that pulls fat from the blood shuts down. Instead of fat being transported to muscle tissue where it is burned as fuel, it accumulates in the blood stream. Over time, it can damage arteries and lead to cardiovascular disease.

    What you can do

    Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla., say adding almost any kind of movement to break up a period of sitting can help. When you are at the computer, driving, reading a book or watching TV, always add movement.

    Stretch and flex muscles, fold some laundry, stand up and walk about from time to time, or just get up to change the channel instead of using the remote. When you just stand up, you use muscles not required when you're sitting or lying down.

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    Part-time smokers need a new strategy to quit

    Because smoking isn't allowed in many workplaces, bars and restaurants, and often people don't allow it in their homes, many smokers have quit, or almost quit. The high price of cigarettes is another factor.

    But some quitters still light up on occasion. They do it for emotional reasons, anger management or because they are feeling depressed or anxious. A Harvard Medical School study shows that 44 percent of smokers suffer from symptoms including depression, anxiety or both.

    Some quitters smoke only in social situations where others are smoking, or they reward themselves when they want to unwind. Others smoke instead of snacking so they can be thin. And still others claim to have quit, but hide their smoking from family and friends.

    The health risks are still huge. Just three cigarettes a day can increase the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.

    There are plenty of tips on how to quit, but learning to live without cigarettes can be harder than quitting itself, say the experts.

    That's why the more you can understand your own behavior and find other means of coping, the more successful you'll be in the long run.

    Low-calorie sweeteners for cooking

    Some sweeteners work fine for popping into your coffee or sweetening cold cereal, but they lose their sweetening power when exposed to the heat of cooking. These include Equal and Nutrasweet, which are made with aspartame and, to a certain extent, Sweet'N Low made with saccharin.

    Sweeteners made with sucralose hold their sweetening power when used in cookies, cakes and the like. They include Splenda, Nevella and Natrataste Gold, according to Environmental Nutrition.
    Those made with stevia also work for cooking and include Purevia, Stevia in the Raw, Sweetleaf and Truvia.