Can olive oil be used for frying? We debunk four myths about this wonder oil

Whether making the heart healthy or regulating sugar levels or bringing with itself vitamins and antioxidants, olive oil is an ideal companion for all who wish to lead a healthy life. Recent studies say it can also help in preventing brain cancer and reduce cholesterol levels. But due to a lack of precise knowledge about this oil, some are reluctant to make it part of their daily lives. This is, to some extent, a result of all the crazy marketing out there: Peruse the olive oils in a typical grocery store and you’ll be greeted by all kinds of terminology.

Some of it is confusing — like “pure” and “extra-virgin” — which is better? Other terms are just pointless — “cold-pressed”, for example, doesn’t really mean much. Basically, all extra-virgin olive oil is cold-pressed. So it’s time we debunk some of the myths about this beneficial Mediterranean favourite.

Factors like olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin create variability in oil colour. (Shutterstock)

Myth #1: If olive oil gets cloudy or solidifies in the refrigerator, it is 100% authentic and of high quality.

Fact: There is no home test to check for olive oil authenticity. Some oils get cloudy in the refrigerator and some don’t. Quality is best checked through taste and smell — authenticity is best-tested in a properly-equipped lab.

Myth #2: A very green colour indicates high quality olive oil.

Fact: Colour is not an indicator of the oil’s quality. Quality olive oil isn’t a generic product. Factors like olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin create variability in oil colour — from pale yellow to dark green — and how fast the oil will cloud or solidify in the refrigerator.

Myth #3: Heat diminishes olive oil’s health benefits; so it is best to use extra virgin olive oil “raw” or straight from the bottle.

Fact: Flavour may change when heated, but the health benefits remain. You can cook with all types of olive oil without losing health benefits because their smoking point is higher than most other cooking oils.

Myth #4: Olive oil cannot be used for cooking, frying and sautéing.

Fact: You can cook on high heat with olive oil. Here, the answer lies in understanding the various grades of olive oil. In India, one can most certainly find three grades of olive oil — extra virgin, classic/pure and extra light and, lastly, pomace, which is a chemically extracted variant of olive oil.

The difference lies in the taste, aroma and smoking point. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavour of olives and low smoking point as it is obtained from cold pressing. Pure olive oil is obtained from refining olive oil, so its smoking point is high but has the flavour of olives, so it can be heated and used for cooking pizzas, pastas, sautéing vegetables et al. Extra light has neutral/no flavour of olives and be used for everyday cooking/frying in Indian kitchens.

Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Washington Indian students have a “high level of concern” about potential study in the US and a large number of them worry about their physical safety and about the feeling of being welcomed, says a new survey.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) suggested that the final outcome of the US Supreme Court order in June that temporarily upheld President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict entry of nationals from six Muslim majority countries to America weighs on their mind.

With over a million international students pursuing higher education in the US and contributing more than $36 billion to the American economy, the stakes are high, it said.

Image result for Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Founded in 1919, the IIE is a US-based not-for-profit working to build peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. It focuses on International student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security.

The IIE said that the survey results indicate the highest level of institutional concern regarding enrolment of students from the Middle East, followed by India.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions are very concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, it said.

“This uncertainty raises valid concerns as to whether students from the Middle East may be deterred from US study,” it said.

“Securing and maintaining a visa is reported as the top concern among these students and was reported by 46 % of institutions, while feeling welcome in the United States was an almost equal concern, with 41% of institutions noting so from their conversations with students,” it added.

According to the IIE, survey findings suggest that Indian students “have a high level of concern about potential study in the United States, 80% of institutions responded that physical safety was the most pronounced concern for Indian students, while 31% of institutions indicated that feeling welcome was also a concern.”

“Although application totals appear to largely remain stable, yield rates and a concern about personal safety suggest the possibility that Indian students may not continue to grow as the second largest international group in US higher education,” IIE said.

“Their concerns may lead some Indian students to accept admissions offers from other leading host countries, especially from those that issue student visas more quickly.”

The IIE, however, said despite widespread concerns that international student interest in the US might be flagging, the evidence from this survey suggests that “this is not the case.”

It said that interest among international students in the US remains steady overall despite the current environment.

According to the study, modest drops in yield – the percentage of students that attend a college or university after having been offered admission – at some institutions may be offset by steady or increased yield at other schools.

Among the 112 colleges that provided data there was a 2% decline in the expected yield rate this year compared to last year.

Overall, international undergraduate yield has dipped slightly from 26 to 24% from fall 2016 to fall 2017.

The two percentage point decline is comparable to shifts in the domestic (US) student yield reported by institutional respondents, which fell from 30 to 28% over the same time period, it said.

According to the study, there is however little concern about students from Europe and Canada arriving on campus in the fall and only modest concern about students’ arrival from China and Latin America.

IIT-JEE counselling: About 421 seats vacant in engineering institutes after round 5

After five rounds of seat allocation at Indian Institutes of Technology, one seat – at IIT Bhubaneswar – remained unclaimed. Close to 421 seats were vacant across all engineering institutes.

In the latest round, which ended on Sunday, about 69 seats from various IITs allotted in previous rounds and not accepted by students were reassigned. Most of the seats were from IIT-Kharagpur, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, Indian School of Mines (ISM) Dhanbad and IIT-Tirupati, among others.

All seats were taken up in IIT-Bombay after the second round of allotment.

“Since students are allowed to withdraw admissions till the sixth round, many seats remain vacant still. We have two more rounds after this and hopefully there will be no vacancy this year,” said an official from the Joint Entrance Examination-Advanced (JEE-Adv) office.

About 69 seats from various IITs  allotted in previous rounds and not accepted by students have been reassigned in the fifth round of counselling.

This is the third year when Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) is conducting admissions for IITs, National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and other Government Funded Technical Institutes (GFTIs).

About seven rounds of seat allotment will take place this year. Last year, 76 seats remained vacant across IITs after six rounds.

“No withdrawal of admission will be allowed in the seventh and final round, and we hope no seats will remain vacant till then,” an official from JoSAA said. The sixth and seventh round of seat allotment will be announced on July 18 and July 21, respectively.

After the fifth round of allocation, close to 421 seats still remain vacant across all institutes, including one in IIT-Bhubaneswar. About the latter, a JoSAA official said,“This particular seat is in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category and there seems to be no candidate eligible for the seat anymore, therefore it is not being allotted.”

There are 36,208 seats available across 97 institutes including all IITs, NITs, IIITs as well as GFTI (Government Funded Technical Institutes) . Of these 10,988 seats are in IITs.

Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Washington Indian students have a “high level of concern” about potential study in the US and a large number of them worry about their physical safety and about the feeling of being welcomed, says a new survey.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) suggested that the final outcome of the US Supreme Court order in June that temporarily upheld President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict entry of nationals from six Muslim majority countries to America weighs on their mind.

With over a million international students pursuing higher education in the US and contributing more than $36 billion to the American economy, the stakes are high, it said.

Founded in 1919, the IIE is a US-based not-for-profit working to build peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. It focuses on International student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security.

The IIE said that the survey results indicate the highest level of institutional concern regarding enrolment of students from the Middle East, followed by India.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions surveyed in the US are concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, a survey has revealed.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions are very concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, it said.

“This uncertainty raises valid concerns as to whether students from the Middle East may be deterred from US study,” it said.

“Securing and maintaining a visa is reported as the top concern among these students and was reported by 46 % of institutions, while feeling welcome in the United States was an almost equal concern, with 41% of institutions noting so from their conversations with students,” it added.

According to the IIE, survey findings suggest that Indian students “have a high level of concern about potential study in the United States, 80% of institutions responded that physical safety was the most pronounced concern for Indian students, while 31% of institutions indicated that feeling welcome was also a concern.”

“Although application totals appear to largely remain stable, yield rates and a concern about personal safety suggest the possibility that Indian students may not continue to grow as the second largest international group in US higher education,” IIE said.

“Their concerns may lead some Indian students to accept admissions offers from other leading host countries, especially from those that issue student visas more quickly.”

The IIE, however, said despite widespread concerns that international student interest in the US might be flagging, the evidence from this survey suggests that “this is not the case.”

It said that interest among international students in the US remains steady overall despite the current environment.

According to the study, modest drops in yield – the percentage of students that attend a college or university after having been offered admission – at some institutions may be offset by steady or increased yield at other schools.

Among the 112 colleges that provided data there was a 2% decline in the expected yield rate this year compared to last year.

Overall, international undergraduate yield has dipped slightly from 26 to 24% from fall 2016 to fall 2017.

The two percentage point decline is comparable to shifts in the domestic (US) student yield reported by institutional respondents, which fell from 30 to 28% over the same time period, it said.

According to the study, there is however little concern about students from Europe and Canada arriving on campus in the fall and only modest concern about students’ arrival from China and Latin America.

IIT-KGP to help eastern India students learn more about free online courses

Kolkata The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur will approach institutes of higher education in eastern India to familiarise students and teachers with free online courses offered by National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

NPTEL, a joint initiative of the IITs and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, offers 160 courses in various categories like agriculture, computer science, management studies, mathematics and basic science, engineering and humanities.

While over five5 lakh students had enrolled for NPTEL courses this year, only about 7% of them were from Eastern India.

“The biggest problem for NPTEL courses is that not only the students from eastern India, but also the colleges and universities in the region are not aware of it,” Anupam Basu, coordinator of NPTEL at IIT-KGP, said.

Students from eastern India will be familiarised with free online courses offered by the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).

“We are sure if people get to know about the facility and that it is encouraged by AICTE and UGC, there will be many takers,” said Basu, also professor of computer science and engineering.

Too boost enrolments from the region, IIT-KGP is talking to various institutes of West Bengal, Odisha and northeastern states to offer credit transfers to the students, an IIT-KGP spokesperson said.

For West Bengal, IIG-KGP would approach the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (formerly West Bengal University of Technology), while talks are on with general degree colleges like Vidyasagar College and Gokhale Memorial Girls’ College of Kolkata.

Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Jadavpur University and and Presidency University would also be approached, the spokesperson said.

IIT-KGP has also approached most of the private engineering colleges in Bengal.

A workshop with over 100 teachers from various private engineering colleges was held at IIT-KGP recently. PTI SUS NN SBN

Things you need to know about swimming during menstruation

Will you get terrible cramps or catch an infection? Women often come across these questions when they think of swimming while menstruating. If you enjoy swimming during the rest of your cycle, there’s no reason to stop just because you have your period. Female health app Clue has answered eight commonly asked questions about swimming when you’re on your period, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

infection, menstruation, female health, health, unhygienic, unhygienic conditions, swimming, vaginal disease, disease, Indian express news

* Is it unhygienic to swim while menstruating?

There’s nothing unhygienic about swimming during your period. If you use a tampon or menstrual cup, it’s unlikely that any blood will be released into the water while you swim. Even if your period started while you were swimming and a small amount of blood came out, this would be diluted by the water. Swimming pools contain small amounts of bodily fluids like urine and sweat, but the water is usually treated with chlorine to prevent the spread of disease. In other words, you are not endangering anyone’s health by swimming during your period.

* Will I leave a bloody trail in the water?

Water pressure can stop your flow temporarily while you swim, but if you laugh, cough, sneeze, or move around, the pressure can change and a small amount of blood might come out. The good news is it probably won’t be visible. When you get out of the water your period will flow again normally, so it’s a good idea to use a tampon or menstrual cup while swimming. Sanitary and pantyliners aren’t a good option because they will absorb water and become ineffective.

* Can I catch an infection from swimming during my period?

It’s very unlikely you would catch a vaginal disease from swimming. Skin infections and stomach illnesses from swallowing contaminated water are more common complaints. Check with your regional health authority for information on water quality at local swimming spots. Take a shower after swimming to reduce chlorine exposure, and avoid sitting around in wet swimwear. If you notice any itching, burning, or unusual discharge after swimming, get it checked by your doctor.

* Can swimming make my cramps worse?

Low-intensity exercise like swimming can actually help to relieve menstrual cramps. During exercise, your body releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers and give you an increased feeling of well-being.

* Will everyone know I have my period? What if I stain my bikini?

Menstruation is a natural process. If you’re worried about stains or leaks, you could wear a dark coloured swimsuit or add an extra layer by wearing swim shorts. Ask a friend to alert you to any problems, or take a quick trip to the bathroom to check – this way you can relax and just have fun in the water.

Four myths about olive oil busted

Olive oil is a gift of God, especially due to the numerous health benefits it offers. It is a gold standard when it comes to edible oil.

Whether making the heart healthy or regulating sugar levels or bringing with itself vitamins and antioxidants, olive oil is an ideal companion for all who wish to lead a healthy life.

But due to a lack of precise knowledge about this oil, some are reluctant to make it part of their daily lives. This is, to some extent, a result of all the crazy marketing out there: Peruse the olive oils in a typical grocery store and you’ll be greeted by all kinds of terminology.

Some of it is confusing — like “pure” and “extra-virgin” — which is better? Other terms are just pointless — “cold-pressed”, for example, doesn’t really mean much. Basically, all extra-virgin olive oil is cold-pressed.

So it’s time we debunk some of the myths about this beneficial Mediterranean favourite.

Myth #1: If olive oil gets cloudy or solidifies in the refrigerator, it is 100 per cent authentic and of high quality.
Fact: There is no home test to check for olive oil authenticity. Some oils get cloudy in the refrigerator and some don’t. Quality is best checked through taste and smell — authenticity is best tested in a properly-equipped lab.

Myth #2: A very green colour indicates high quality olive oil.
Fact: Colour is not an indicator of the oil’s quality. Quality olive oil isn’t a generic product. Factors like olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin create variability in oil colour — from pale yellow to dark green — and how fast the oil will cloud or solidify in the refrigerator.

Myth #3: Heat diminishes olive oil’s health benefits; so it is best to use extra virgin olive oil “raw” or straight from the bottle.
Fact: Flavour may change when heated, but the health benefits remain. You can cook with all types of olive oil without losing health benefits because their smoking point is higher than most other cooking oils.

Myth #4: Olive oil cannot be used for cooking, frying and sautéing.
Fact: You can cook on high heat with olive oil. Here, the answer lies in understanding the various grades of olive oil. In India, one can most certainly find three grades of olive oil — extra virgin, classic/pure and extra light and, lastly, pomace, which is a chemically extracted variant of olive oil.

The difference lies in the taste, aroma and smoking point. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavour of olives and low smoking point as it is obtained from cold pressing. Pure olive oil is obtained from refining olive oil, so its smoking point is high but has the flavour of olives, so it can be heated and used for cooking pizzas, pastas, sautéing vegetables et al. Extra light has neutral/no flavour of olives and be used for everyday cooking/frying in Indian kitchens.

Need any more persuasion about the benefits of olive oil?

5 Things Your Eyes Are Saying About Your Health

Eyes are said to be the windows to the soul, but could they also be a mini-preview of your health? Short answer—yes. Some medical conditions such as liver disease and high cholesterol can be seen by simply looking in a mirror. So, we tapped Largo, FL, oculoplastic surgeon Jasmine Mohadjer, MD, for the signs your eyes might be sending you about your health—and when to know it’s time to hit the doctor’s office.

Bulging Eyes

“Hyperthyroidism may first be diagnosed because of eye changes,” Dr. Mohadjer warns. “Patients may notice swelling of their eyelids, bulging of the eyeball, and their eye lids may open too widely,” she explains. Also, according to Dr. Mohadjer, many types of cancers can metastasize to the orbit of the eyeball and present itself as bulging eyes, so this isn’t a symptom that should ever go overlooked.

Deposits That Look Like Skin Tags on the Eyelid

“Some patients will have deposits of cholesterol on the upper, lower and inner corners of their eyelids called Xanthelasma, which can indicate high cholesterol,” says D. Mohadjer. “The only cure is excision, but they can recur.”

Yellow Eyes

“You can have jaundice or yellowing of the eyes, which is usually a very late sign of liver disease,” explains Dr. Mohadjer, reiterating that this symptom should be brought to the attention of both your eye doctor and your general practitioner.

Prominent Blood Vessels

“Any person with a history of diabetes should have an eye exam to look for abnormal blood vessels or bleeding in the back of the eye. If gone untreated, this can lead to blindness—it’s actually one of the leading causes of blindness in America,” exclaims Dr. Mohadjer. While you can’t necessarily see this on your own, a simple eye exam can detect the symptoms so  your eye doctor can refer you to a specialist.

Red, Painful Eyes

“Contacts are the leading cause of corneal ulcers, which can lead to scarring, loss of vision and ultimately, loss of eyesight if left untreated,” says Dr. Mohadjer. “To avoid this, good hygiene habits are important, contacts are not generally recommended for overnight wear and if the eye becomes red, painful or irritated (which indicates corneal ulcers), the contact should be removed and you should have an eye examination.” To avoid something like this happening to you, invest in contacts that maintain optimum levels of hydration at all times. A good option is would be the Acuvue Vita Contact Lenses, which provide maximum comfort for one full month.

Our weekly wrap of key findings about obesity that you should know

Obesity numbers have more than doubled in 73 countries and surged elsewhere around the world. In an earlier report by the New England Journal of Medicine, in 2015, excess weight affected close to 30% of the world’s population. That included a lmost 108 million children and more than 600 million adults with a body mass index (BMI) above 30.

From an increased risk of stroke and various types cancer, to post-surgery infection and fatty livers, here are five scary facts about obesity that you need to know about.

1) Teenage obesity: Obese teenage boys are more likely to be at risk of getting a stroke as an adult. One of the factors that leads to it is the drop in the number of calories burned during adolescence due to a lack of exercise. A new finding reveals that men with excessive BMI increase from childhood to age 20 had a higher risk of stroke than those with average BMI increase.

2) Risk of cancer: A study recently concluded that obesity may lead to 13 types of cancer, including that of pancreas and oesophagus, as fat cells affect the processes that regulate the growth of cancer cells in the human body. Due to excess fat in the body, fat cells produce hormones and proteins, that are released into the bloodstream, and then circulated around the body.

 

3) Obesity and pregnancy: The relationship between the two is like a vicious cycle. Obese pregnant women are most likely to pass on a health threat to their unborn child. For instance, a study recently linked obesity during pregnancy to a fatty liver. According to the results, children born to obese mothers had an increased risk of suffering from a fatty liver during their teenage and well into adulthood.

 

Obesity may lead to 13 types of cancer.

4) The risk of infection: Obesity may cause a higher risk of infection, especially after bypass surgeries. A study established associations between body mass index the various outcomes following coronary artery bypass grafting and coronary angioplasty. Compared to patients with normal BMI, patients with BMI greater than 30 were 1.9 times more likely to suffer infections.

 

5) The cure: Despite the potentially fatal effects of obesity, beating obesity is often possible. From infants to the elderly, a regularised exercise routine, a healthy diet, and a stress-free sleeping pattern is all it takes to keep the disease at bay. For instance, a study published it’s reports, claiming that a proper eating and sleeping schedule can negate the risk of obesity in infancy, thereby ensuring a healthy and health conscious lifetime ahead.

DU tales: Sites in North Campus that will make you inquisitive about history

Who said history is boring? Did you know that the vice-chancellor’s office in North Campus is the place where Bhagat Singh was held captive for a day? There are many such nuggets of history hidden in the monuments in and around the North Campus of Delhi University. Though K- Nags (Kamla Nagar) and Hudson Lane will pop up as popular hang out options during conversations; use the breaks between your classes to get acquainted with the hidden gems of history on campus and feel the old stone on your skin. Click a selfie or two at these places of historical importance as we provide you the trivia.

Chauburji Mosque 

Chauburji Mosque was constructed in the 14th century. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

Located in the Northern Ridge, this heritage site was constructed in the 14th century. Many say that it was built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq — a prominent ruler of the Tughlaq Dynasty. It’s name probably came from the four turrets that were once present around the main structure but now there’s only one. “We don’t call it the Chauburji Mosque. We just refer to it as ‘the monument’ whenever we talk about going there. We often hang out in the Northern Ridge and one day we spotted this monument. We tried to go inside and explore it but we found that it’s under restoration and it’s premises are usually locked. I wish it opens soon for the visitors because it looks amazing just from it’s exterior,” says Ankit Attree, II year student of Political Science at Ramjas College.

Pir Ghaib

Pir Ghaib was the hunting lodge of Feroz Shah Tughlaq. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

The hunting lodge of Feroz Shah Tughlaq is known as Pir Ghaib today. Wonder why this name? The popular folklore has the answer — once a pir (saint) was mediating inside this historical structure and never came out of it. Since then, the place is known as Pir Ghaib (read gayab) — which translates to ‘vanished saint’. Some believe that the saint’s spirit still haunts this monument, located inside the premises of Hindu Rao Hospital. If you are interested in haunted places, must find out the truth behind this one!

Mutiny Memorial

Mutiny Memorial is an evidence of the lives lost in 1857 mutiny. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

“My seniors told me about this place, and since I’m a student of history, I know for a fact that the Mutiny Memorial holds a special place in the 1857 revolt. It was on top of my to-do list since the day I joined DU and was excited when I finally got to visit the towering beauty from the British era,” says Palak Kapoor, II year History student from Hindu College. Built in 1863, the memorial is located in the lush greens of the Northern Ridge and the building can be spotted from far. In the panels placed around the base, there’s a record of more than two thousand officers and men who were killed, wounded or went missing during the mutiny. “It’s usually locked but there’s always a guard present. You just need to request him to open the gates and relive the history,” adds Kapoor.

Qudsia Bagh 

Qudsia Bagh was built for Qudsia Begum by her husband, emperor Muhammad Shah. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

Qudsia Bagh, a garden complex near Kashmere Gate, is near DU’s Indraprastha (IP) College for Women. This structure was built for Qudsia Begum, wife of emperor Muhammad Shah. As history has it, the river Yamuna used to flow near it. Today, one can just feast the eyes in the greenery of the place and the tweeting of the birds. In addition, the sound of prayers from the Qudsia Mosque within the complex make you laze around all day long. “This is the best place for us when we want to read a book or organise a quick selfie session. After college, if we have to hang out, it’s not always shopping that’s on our mind. That’s when this garden becomes our chilling zone,” says Pragya Priyadarshani, II year mass communication student of IP College.

Khooni Jheel 

The signage leading to Khooni Jheel. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

Another place related to the 1857 Revolt is a water body called Khooni Jheel, also in The Ridge. The bodies of the rebels and soldiers, during the mutiny, were dumped here, and thus the place got such a name. Though it might look like a water body in the woods, a number of spooky and mysterious tales attached to this place make it another haunted spot.

The bodies of the rebels and soldiers, who fought during the 1857 Revolt, were dumped here. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

Or may be not because the beauty of this place makes it difficult to believe that the place is haunted. Yet, one must try to know the story of the headless soldier, who protects bodies of the dead at the night. Excited?