What about the cholesterol? Prawns are full of nutrients but they're packed with cholesterol too. Three medium size prawns, 100 g or so, have about as much cholesterol as an egg yolk. Prawns are bad for you, right?
Tonnes of people believe they should limit the amount of cholesterol they eat, or face an early death from a heart attack or stroke. Everyone knows that, from doctors to the media, nutritionists, your friends, your mother, your dog, and your dog's fleas which suck only low cholesterol blood . . . . Everyone? Not quite. There's a small group of cholesterol skeptics who point out that:
When more cholesterol is eaten, the liver simply makes less, and vice versa. Hence, dietary intake of cholesterol has no impact on blood cholesterol.
Half of the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol.
Old people with low cholesterol die twice as often from a heart attack as do old people with high cholesterol.
High cholesterol is predictive of death from coronary heart disease in men of all ages and in women under the age of 50. However, low cholesterol is significantly associated with increased all-cause mortality in men across the entire age range, and in women from the age of 50 onward.
(Ladies, celebrate your big five-O with a cholesterol feast!)
Low blood cholesterol could lead to depression, anxiety, dementia, reduced cognitive function, malnutrition, hyperthyroidism, liver disease, and infections which result in gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.
Contrary to what almost everyone and his dog have been saying, cholesterol does NOT clog up arteries. Instead, it's inflammation – caused by viruses, toxins or bacteria – that's the culprit. When inflammation happens, arteries constrict, blood thickens so it can clot, and scars form during the healing process. As a result, arteries may become blocked. High cholesterol is found at the 'scene of the crime' because it's needed for forming new cells, which replace damaged, inflamed cells. Hence, inflammation leads to high cholesterol and clogged arteries. The clogging, however, is NOT caused by high cholesterol.
Cholesterol skeptics believe the cholesterol myth is fabricated by drug companies, and their doctor cronies, so that they can sell more statins for lowering cholesterol. What's the truth? Does high cholesterol food cause high blood cholesterol? Does high blood cholesterol cause clogged arteries? I don't know. I'm chewing on it . . . together with some prawns, heads and all. Om nom nom nom . . . .
|STEAMED PRAWNS WITH GARLIC (蒜泥蝦)|
(Recipe for 4 persons)
12 medium size prawns, around 400 g
2 egg whites
2 tbsp packed roughly chopped garlic
2 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp thinly sliced spring onions
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp white sesame oil
蒜泥蝦 is ideal if you like prawns in the shell but don't like shelling 'em at the table – and you don't have a mainland Chinese woman to do it for you! (Sorry if you don't understand the joke.) See how pretty the red, white and green colours are? Just make sure the prawns aren't overcooked, and you'll wow everyone at the table . . . with the dish as well as what you know about cholesterol.
Preheat plate for prawns by gently steaming for 5 minutes. Do this whilst preparing prawns, or about 10 minutes before serving.
To prepare prawns, trim and discard legs and feelers. Cut each prawn in the middle lengthwise, leaving the 2 halves joined at the tail. Rinse quickly under running water to remove veins. Dry with paper towels.
Beat egg whites, garlic, light soya sauce, fish sauce, wine and sugar till well combined.
Arrange prawns on preheated plate, cut side up, snugly. Drizzle with egg mixture. Bring water for steaming back to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat to low. Steam till prawns are red and cooked, 2-3 minutes depending on size. Turn off heat. Remove cover. Sprinkle with spring onions.
Heat vegetable oil and white sesame oil in a separate pan or pot till almost smoking. Drizzle oil on spring onions and prawns. Serve immediately.