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‘Healthy’ Omani halwa developed

A research team from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) is developing low-fat Omani halwa — a symbol of Omani hospitality. Mohammad Shafiur Rahman of the department of food science and nutrition has initiated the project to develop the ‘healthy-halwa’.
“Considering the type and amount of fat and sugar content is used for making Omani halwa, it could be categorised as an unhealthy food, especially if consumed in high quantities,” he said.

The team said that the healthy halwa could be developed with reduced input of fat and sugar, and the addition of other compounds considered beneficial to health.

Halwa is a traditional candy in Oman, and is consumed on a day-to-day basis, or during formal social occasions. It is usually served in Omani homes before drinking Arabic coffee. Halwa is mainly made up of starch, sugar, water, ghee, and aromatised with saffron, nuts and/or rose water. Omani halwa is usually made with sugar (50 per cent), water (25 PC), mill flour (10 pc) and ghee (Rs 15)).

Cereal with milk — healthiest way to start the day

The healthiest breakfast choice is cereal with milk. According to the research, breakfast is the key to a healthy lifestyle determining the quality of your whole day’s nutrition.
And the best way to start the morning is with a simple bowl of cereal, as it makes people less likely to turn to fatty, sugary food through the rest of the day.

Nutritionist Sigrid Gibson said cereal is a good source of calcium and numerous other key nutrients, such as fibre, protein and carbohydrate. The research team analysed 12,068 food records from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, which interviewed Britons aged from 19 to 64.

The results showed that one in five adults ate no solid food for breakfast, one third chose cereal and 45 per cent enjoyed a non-cereal breakfast. The most popular item was tea or coffee, taken on 84 per cent of breakfast occasions.

Milk was consumed with 82 per cent of breakfasts, followed by cereal (39 per cent), bread (33 per cent) and fruit (14 per cent).
Women were less likely than men to choose bread, sausage, bacon or eggs and more likely to have fruit instead.

Stem cells help regrow breasts after surgery

A new technique, which uses stem cells, could help women regrow their breasts after cancer surgery. Experts in the UK and Melbourne University in Australia say that the new breasts look natural and feel soft to the touch and are much more comfortable than silicone implants.

The researchers are now in a race to bring the technology to as many women as possible. The breakthrough technique involves putting a special plastic mould under the skin from where the breast was removed. This area is then injected with the patient’s own stem cells.

Over a period of six months to a year the stem cells and fat slowly grow until new breast tissue is formed.

Kefah Mokbel, St George’s Hospital, London, has conducted the procedure on a handful of patients in the past few months and they have started to develop new breasts.

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