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Nutrition and Food Engineering / Popcorn the perfect snack?
« on: April 07, 2012, 11:19:15 AM »
A team of researchers from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania has found that popcorn contains more antioxidants than other fruits and vegetables.

Antioxidants are substances that many scientists believe help protect against cancer and heart disease. According to Joe Vinson, PhD, who presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, "popcorn may be the perfect snack food." Vinson is known for his pioneering research on micronutrients in chocolate, nuts and other foods.
Although earlier research had already discovered antioxidants called polyphenols in popcorn, Vinson's study measured the exact amount and found that it contains about twice as many as fresh sweet corn or fruit per serving. Polyphenols are diluted up to 90 per cent in most fruits and vegetables because of their high water content. They are more concentrated in popcorn because it only contains about 4 per cent water.
The study also extols popcorn as a whole grain. "It's the only snack that is 100 per cent unprocessed whole grain," says Vinson. "One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70 per cent of the daily intake of whole grain. The average person only gets about half a serving of whole grains a day, and popcorn could fill that gap in a very pleasant way."
Vinson cautions against replacing fruits and vegetables, which contain many other important nutrients, with popcorn. He also warns that drowning it in butter or sugary flavourings is going to offset the nutritional benefits. To get your daily dose of antioxidants and whole grains, it’s healthiest to stick with plain, air popped corn. The second best option is microwave popcorn.

Nutrition and Food Engineering / Five things to protect your bones
« on: March 29, 2012, 11:34:52 AM »
1. Enjoy The Sunshine

Vitamin D is an essential bone-strengthener, but there’s a catch: it doesn’t do anything on its own—you need to add calcium to see results.

2. Read Food Labels

Too much salt makes it hard for your body to hold onto bone-boosting calcium (and most of us are guilty of eating too much) so make sure you check the salt-content on food labels.

Sodium can sneak into your diet in the most innocuous-looking foods—packaged soups and cereals are two surprising culprits. And the bread in that sandwich you’re eating -  Could contain up to a whopping 500 mg of sodium (the recommended daily dose is 100 mg). Most people probably have twice as much sodium as they need.

3. Make A Salad

Fruit and vegetables can do wonders for your bones. Studies suggest potassium-rich produce blocks salt’s adverse effect on bone health. What are the best bone-protecting fruit and veg? Don’t stress about that—just aim for five serves a day.

4. Serve A Steak

It’s a simple equation: higher protein means stronger bones. You should aim for 1 g for every 1 kg you weigh (so a 70 kg woman should consume 70 g of protein.) How do you work it out? Another easy calculation: divide the weight of the protein-source by one-third (so a 100 g steak has about 30 g protein).

5. Take A Walk

A simple exercise like walking can boost your bone density, plus losing excess kilos takes some stress off your frame, which in turn takes a load off your bones.

Pharmacy / Treatment of high blood pressure
« on: March 24, 2012, 11:48:39 AM »
There's no cure as such for essential hypertension, but following a healthy lifestyle can be enough to bring blood pressure down to a normal level. This is one reason why drug treatment may not be offered for healthy individuals with only mild hypertension (above 140/90 mmHg but below 160/100 mmHg).

Medication is used if lifestyle changes alone fail to lower blood pressure sufficiently. It's generally recommend that drug treatment is offered to those with:

    Blood pressure above 160/100 mmHg
    Isolated systolic hypertension of more than 160 mmHg
    Blood pressure of more than 140/90 mmHg (ie, mild hypertension) but who also have cardiovascular disease or significant risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or damage to the heart, kidney or eyes as a result of high blood pressure

Current UK guidelines also recommend that blood pressure levels need to be even lower for certain people and say treatment should aim to lower blood pressure to below 130/80 if a person has:

    A complication of diabetes, especially kidney problems
    Had a serious cardiovascular event such as a heart attack, TIA or stroke
    Has certain chronic kidney diseases

All medicines can have side effects and sometimes it’s necessary to try different drugs if initial treatments cause problems.

Pharmacy / What is high blood pressure?
« on: March 24, 2012, 11:44:27 AM »
It causes the heart to work harder than normal putting both the heart and arteries at greater risk of damage. High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, damage to the eyes, congestive heart failure and atherosclerosis.

Hypertension exists where the pressure at which blood is pushing against blood vessel walls is consistently above average.

Blood pressure changes throughout the day. In particular, it increases during exercise and decreases during sleep.

Untreated high blood pressure can cause the heart to become abnormally large and less efficient (ventricular hypertrophy) causing heart failure and increased risk of heart attack.

Pharmacy / Daily aspirin: Risks and benefits
« on: March 21, 2012, 12:33:45 PM »
What is aspirin?

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) has been used for many years as a painkiller. It has an anti-inflammatory action, and is used to relieve headache, menstrual pain and muscle aches. More recently it has been given to patients with known cardiovascular disease risk factors to reduce their chance of stroke and heart attack.

How does it work?

It works by helping to prevent blood clots forming in the blood vessels, by stopping cells in the blood known as platelets from sticking together and clogging an artery.

Why low-dose aspirin?

UK experts recommend 75mg for heart disease prevention. This is a lot less than the dose for pain relief. This is because taking aspirin every day raises the risk of side effects like internal bleeds.

What are the risks?

Low-dose aspirin treatment is linked with a very small increase in the risk major bleeding in the stomach and brain. Studies suggest that 769 people would needed to be treated with low-dose aspirin for one extra person to be harmed with major bleeding.

Pharmacy / Arm blood pressure differences 'predict death risk'
« on: March 21, 2012, 12:28:38 PM »
A large difference between the blood pressure in each arm suggests a bigger risk of dying early, researchers claim.

A study of 230 high blood pressure patients found those with big differences in systolic pressure were more likely to die from heart attack, stroke or other causes.

More heart health checks may be needed in those with different readings, says the British Heart Foundation.

Not all medics follow national guidance to measure blood pressure in both arms.

Source: BBC news.

Telecom Forum / 1 in every 3 mobiles is fake!
« on: March 14, 2012, 10:13:51 AM »
Around one third of the imported mobile phones are fake as importers bringing in cheaper and low quality handsets from China with L/Cs (Letters of Credit) they open to import cell phones of renowned companies.
The logos or stickers are of branded phone sets but the inside, in fact, is of lower quality, traders and regulatory officials say.
A syndicate of traders is collecting billions of taka from the customers every year through cheating, Mobile Phone Businessmen Association president Nizamuddin Jitu has told
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Corporation (BTRC) chairman Zia Ahmed has admitted that imports of fake mobile phone sets are happening.
The fake handsets have fake IMIE (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers.
The import cost of a fake handset is Tk 1,000-2,500 but they are sold at Tk 5,000-25,000, according to the report of

Telecom Forum / Google pressures developers to use Wallet
« on: March 13, 2012, 05:30:56 PM »
Google Inc has been pressuring applications and mobile game developers to use its costlier in-house payment service, Google Wallet, as the Internet search giant tries to emulate the financial success of Apple Inc's iOS platform.

Google warned several developers in recent months that if they continued to use other payment methods - such as PayPal, Zong and Boku - their apps would be removed from Android Market, now known as Google Play, according to developers, executives and investors in mobile gaming and payment sectors.

Telecom Forum / Apple iPad 3 expected on 7 March
« on: February 29, 2012, 02:28:31 PM »
Apple has announced an event on 7 March at which the company is expected to launch its latest iPad tablet.
The iPad range, which first launched in 2010, has sold over 50 million units worldwide.
Apple's first two versions of the iPad transformed the market for tablet computers and made it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the computer industry.
However, recently Apple's dominant position in the tablet market has been challenged by a string of tablets powered by Google's Android operating system.
Later this year, industry experts expect a new category of tablet devices powered by Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Telecom Forum / More mobiles than humans in 2012, says Cisco
« on: February 20, 2012, 11:16:10 AM »
Mobile devices will outnumber humans this year, according to network firm Cisco's latest analysis of global mobile data traffic.

By 2016 it predicts that there will be 10 billion mobile connected devices around the world.

By the same date networks will be carrying 130 exabytes of data each year, equivalent to 33 billion DVDs.

Mobile data traffic in 2011 was eight times the size of the global internet in 2000, according to the report.

High levels of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere mean the next ice age is unlikely to begin for at least 1,500 years, an article in the journal Nature Geoscience said on Monday.

Concentrations of the main gases blamed for global warming reached record levels in 2010 and will linger in the atmosphere for decades even if the world stopped pumping out emissions today, according to the U.N.'s weather agency.

An ice age is a period when there is a long-term reduction in the earth's surface and atmospheric temperature, which leads to the growth of ice sheets and glaciers.

There have been at least five ice ages on earth. During ice ages there are cycles of glaciation with ice sheets both advancing and retreating.

Officially, the earth has been in an interglacial, or warmer period, for the last 10,000 to 15,000 years, and estimates vary on how long such periods last.

"(Analysis) suggests that the end of the current interglacial (period) would occur within the next 1,500 years, if atmospheric CO2 concentrations do not exceed (around) 240 parts per million by volume (ppmv)," the study said.

However, the current carbon dioxide concentration is of 390 ppmv, and at that level an increase in the volume of ice sheets would not be possible, it added.

The study based on variations in the earth's orbit and rock samples was conducted by academics at Cambridge University, University College London, the University of Florida and Norway's University of Bergen.

The causes of ice ages are not fully understood but concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, changes in the earth's orbit around the sun, and the movement of tectonic plates are all thought to contribute.

The world is forecast to grow hotter as greenhouse gases continue to rise, increasing threats such as extreme weather events and sea level rise.

Scientists have warned that global temperature rise should be limited to within 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst effects of climate change but delays in curbing emissions growth are putting the planet at risk.

Telecom Forum / From Feb, only Bangla phones allowed
« on: January 31, 2012, 04:05:51 PM »
The telecoms regulator has decided that starting February, it will not allow mobile phones that do not have Bangla keypads into Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission chairman Zia Ahmed told that the importers had been informed of the decision.
Bangladesh Mobile Phone Business Association hailed the step but urged BTRC to be flexible about some 200,000 mobile sets that were pending import.
BTRC says the ban was pressed to push the usage of Bangla in mobile phones into trend and increase the ease of use.

When asked about instructions on touch screen mobiles, the BTRC chief said so far the directive was for phones with keypad which were more commonly used.

"Gradually we will order the usage of Bangla in the more enhanced mobiles," he added.

BTRC warned importers in November that a decision to ban phones without Bangla keypads was coming. At that time the regulator also banned mobile operators from importing mobile phones.

Eating fried food may not be bad for the heart, as long as you use olive or sunflower oil to make it, experts say.
They found no heightened risk of heart disease or premature death linked to food that had been cooked in this way.

Professor Michael Leitzmann from the University of Regensburg in Germany said: "Taken together, the myth that frying food is generally bad for the heart is not supported by available evidence.

However, this does not mean that frequent meals of fish and chips will have no health consequences.

The study suggests that specific aspects of frying food are relevant, such as the oil used, together with other aspects of the diet.

Mediterranean diets have long been hailed as healthy, being packed full of low-fat, high-fibre fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh fish.

And numerous studies have shown a balanced diet such as this can cut the risk of illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

Participants in the study used unsaturated fats such as olive and sunflower oil to fry their food. Researchers  currently recommend swapping saturated fats like butter, lard or palm oil for unsaturated fats as a way of keeping your cholesterol down and this study gives further cause to make that switch.

Science Discussion Forum / Treat your Brain right!!!!!
« on: January 23, 2012, 11:36:01 AM »
Did you know a good night's sleep can improve your test scores without you doing any extra work? And a wrongly timed chocolate bar can slow your thinking right down? Your brain's very sensitive and it constantly needs to repair itself and build new connections between the cells as you learn new things.

To do this, it needs top class nutrition, a steady supply of energy, a steady supply of oxygen, and time asleep to do all its updating.

Tip 1: For general brain health, you need to eat a balanced diet, containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Every other part of your body will benefit from this too.

Tip 2: Your brain needs a steady supply of energy, but it can only get this from a type of sugar called glucose. This glucose comes from the carbohydrates you eat, but only certain kinds of carbs will do. These include wholemeal bread, pasta, porridge and pulses, which take time for your body to break down, so release their glucose slowly and steadily. Chocolate, biscuits and other sugary snacks are sadly not good for your brain. They release their sugar so quickly that your brain will peak... but then quickly crash afterwards leaving you feeling less energised than before. Not recommended for any brainy work.

Tip 3: Your brain needs to be primed with oxygen. It gets this from exercise, but you also need to have a good supply of iron in your bloodstream. This iron comes from foods such as red meat, green leafy vegetables like spinach, dried fruit, fortified cereals, and pulses, including baked beans.

Tip 4: Don't skip breakfast (or lunch) – especially before an exam. Your brain will perform less well if you haven't eaten for hours. Brain scientists have shown that a student's test results are lower when they haven't eaten. But you need to eat the right thing. Again, junk food won't work. The brain needs those slow-releasing carbohydrates. Beans on toast for example has been shown to be particularly beneficial.

Nutrition and Food Engineering / kick your sugar habit
« on: December 10, 2011, 04:33:26 PM »
Sweet treats are bad news because they typically deliver a load of kilojoules with little to no nutrition. A more troubling fact: as our consumption of sugar rises, so do the numbers on our scales. It’s difficult to say accurately what percentage of our daily kilojoule intake comes from sugar, as the most recent statistics are from 1995 (Australia abolished its national nutrition surveys under the Howard government, although there is a new National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey Program in the works).

Though there is no denying the escalating obesity statistics in Australia and New Zealand, there is some controversy in nutrition circles over whether sugar is to blame. Dr Alan Barclay, media spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia and chief scientific officer of the Glycemic Index Foundation believes that it’s the over-consumption of all foods that’s making Australia fat. In the other camp, David Gillespie, author of Sweet Poison: Why Sugar Makes us Fat and The Sweet Poison Quit Plan points the finger squarely at the sweet stuff. “Sugar makes you fat,” Gillespie says. “It is directly converted into fat by your liver. It also destroys your appetite control signals – while you’re eating it you can never really tell when you’re full.”

Now brace yourself for two more nasty newsflashes: (1) Eating sugar can stoke your appetite rather than satisfy it; and (2) Sugar can become addictive – no surprise to those of us who have a daily Snickers craving so strong we might be tempted to hurl an office chair at the vending machine if we ever ran out of change.
How hooked you get on sugar may depend on what kind you eat. Fructose – natural sugar found in fruit and certain vegetables – doesn’t make you immediately feel as if you need another sugar hit again, mainly because the fibre and other nutrients in those foods slow down the digestive process and help keep your blood sugar level stable.

And if getting too many kilojoules is what worries you, reaching for a Coke Zero isn’t the solution: artificial sweeteners may be almost as bad for you. In 2004, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that rats ate more after consuming an artificially sweetened drink than they did after sipping sugar water. Researchers speculate that kilojoule-free artificial sweeteners act like stomach teasers: as you swallow diet soft drink, your body anticipates the arrival of kilojoules. When they don’t show up, your body sends you looking elsewhere for them, often in snack form. A 2005 study by researchers from the University of Texas, US, found that people who drank a can of diet soft drink per day had a 37 per cent greater incidence of obesity. And because artificial sweeteners are often many times sweeter than sugar, stirring a teaspoonful into your daily coffee may mean that when you do use real sugar, it doesn’t taste sweet enough, making you reach for extra.

Once you know how much sugar you’re eating, you can control your intake.
Here are the tips:

Eat breakfast “Ninety per cent of sugar addicts skip breakfast,” says Kathleen DesMaisons, author of Potatoes Not Prozac. When you eat breakfast, you prevent the drop in blood sugar that makes you crave sugar later.

Pick fruit Satisfy your sweet tooth with apples, bananas and berries, which temper natural sugar with fibre and antioxidants. Dried fruit and 100 per cent fruit juices will also do in a pinch, but they don’t have nearly as much fibre and are more concentrated sources of kJs, so limit yourself to a quarter cup or less of dried fruit or one cup of 100 per cent juice a day.

Indulge right after dinner Late-night ice cream fixes give you a pure, unadulterated sugar rush. Have a small scoop soon after dinner instead and you’ll reduce (though not counter) the insulin-spiking effect.

Cut out “overt” sugars Tackle the worst offenders first: sucrose-laden treats like lollies, frappuccinos, ice cream and soft drinks. If you drink a sugary soft drink every day, try having one every other day, then once a week, then not at all.

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