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For July 16, 2019

  • Salt in your diet.
    Salt in your diet.

    Many people regard salt as just another item on the list of "bad foods" that should be avoided in our diet. They mistakenly believe that excessive salt, or sodium, intake will lead to high blood pressure, or hypertension.

    When people talk about salt in the diet they are usually referring to table salt or sodium chloride. In fact, sodium chloride is just one of many salts that are in our food.

    Chemically a food is described as a salt when it shares common chemical characteristics. We can recognize these chemicals on food labels when we see the tags --ide (as in chloride), --ate (as in borate) or --ite (as in sulfite). If you take a look at the labels on prepared foods you can understand why we don't need to add table salt to our diet. If we don't have a diet high in fresh foods there's a good chance we've already consumed far more salt than we need.

    Interestingly, research has shown that salt has little or no effect on most people with normal blood pressure as well as many people with hypertension. There are, however, many individuals who are salt sensitive. They react unfavorably to salt in any form because it puts strain on the kidneys, increasing blood volume. If the arteries are unable to dilate sufficiently to accommodate this increased blood volume, blood pressure will rise.

    Depending on who you ask, most health promotion educators recommend that adults limit sodium intake to 1000 milligrams per day--that's about one teaspoon. To reduce the amount of salt in your diet, minimize the amount of canned and processed foods, smoked meats, condiments, chips, and soft drinks you consume.

    Of course, it's always a good idea to discuss health concerns with your physician, but moderation seems to be the key in most dietary matters, including salt.

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  • Maximize Your Fat Loss!
    Maximize Your Fat Loss!

    There are four primary areas to concentrate on if you want to maximize your fat loss:

    1. Increase aerobic activity
    2. Increase aerobic fitness level (increase intensity)
    3. Increase Muscle Mass (increase metabolism)
    4. Eat more intelligently

    Increase Aerobic Activity

    • Types of exercise: Walk, jog, bike, swim, treadmill, stairs, rowing, nordic ski machines, aerobic dance, in-line skating, etc.
    • Frequency of exercise: 3 days/week minimum to improve health and fitness level. 4-6 days per week for optimal fat loss.
    • Duration of exercise: Build up to a minimum of 30-40 minutes in your target zone.

    Increase Your Aerobic Fitness Level

    • Know Your Zone: Monitor your heart rate during exercise
    • Get Fit: Become more efficient with your exercise minutes. Burn more calories in less time. Increase the residual effect.
    • Fat Burning Myth: Long duration light intensity is NOT the most effective way to burn fat. Moderate to heavy intensity for 30-40 minutes plus is ideal.

    Increase Muscle Mass

    • Strength Training: Will significantly build or restore muscle mass
    • Elevates Metabolism: Each pound of muscle burns roughly 60 calories every 24 hours.

    Eat More Intelligently

    • Minimize high fat foods: fried foods, fast foods, nuts, chips fatty meals cream sauces etc.
    • Eat more frequently: Consider 4 or 5 smaller meals throughout the day.

    If you follow these simple tips, you will be on your way to maximizing your fat loss and getting in great shape! Remember to always keep a positive attitude and work hard!

    Copyright Fitrex.com, August 5th 1999.

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  • Caffeine Comes Out Smelling Sweet
    Caffeine Comes Out Smelling Sweet

    From John Hopkins Health

    It's OK to wake up and drink the coffee.

    Caffeine isn't as harmful as many people believe, according to experts at the American Dietetic Association's 82nd Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Atlanta. In fact, it's even OK for children to have caffeine.

    "If you enjoy caffeine-containing products in moderation, there isn't a need to discontinue them because of long-term health consequences," said Herbert Muncie, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Maryland. "There is no evidence that caffeine harms children or leads to hyperactivity."

    Researchers defined moderate caffeine intake as two or three cups of coffee a day or the equivalent of 300 milligrams of caffeine. A cup of brewed coffee has between 80 to 135 milligrams of caffeine while a 12-ounce can of soda has between 35 and 55 milligrams.

    The possible health effects of caffeine have been a hot topic of late, and one reason is coffee�s increasing popularity. In 1991, there were specialty coffee shops in 500 locations throughout the United States. By 1999, that number had skyrocketed to 7,000, according to the dietetic association.

    Johns Hopkins dietitian Cheryl Koch, M.S., R.D., C.N.S.D., who attended the Atlanta conference, said many people believe that the caffeine in coffee, tea and some sodas can be harmful to their health.

    Even some nutrition experts at the conference had the wrong ideas. Koch said Dr. Muncie asked the gathered dietitians four questions about caffeine, noting that other health care providers he had polled had gotten them wrong. Koch said she correctly answered three of the four, missing a question about the amount of caffeine in espresso. The other questions asked how much caffeine is in brewed coffee, whether caffeine contributes to heart disease and whether it contributes to some types of cancer.

    Here's what caffeine doesn't do, according to the experts who talked about the issue at the conference. There is no evidence that caffeine is linked to cancers of the stomach, liver, colon, breast, mouth, bladder or rectum. Studies show caffeine does not increase the risk of heart disease and has no effect on cardiac arrhythmias. Caffeine causes a very slight rise in blood pressure, but the effect appears to be insignificant and temporary.

    Caffeine doesn't cause fibrocystic breast disease, and reducing caffeine intake doesn't reduce the severity or frequency of symptoms in someone who already has the disease.

    Studies show caffeine doesn't cause peptic ulcers or contribute to inflammatory bowel disease. However, one of caffeine's negative effects is to increase the symptoms of gastric reflux in people who experience the problem. Koch said patients with reflux often mention that caffeine and spicy foods in particular cause them distress.

    Perhaps the most surprising information presented at the conference is that caffeine appears to have little effect on pregnancy. Studies found that drinking caffeine during pregnancy reduces a baby's birth weight by 3 to 6 grams. That amount was statistically significant, but researchers are still unsure whether caffeine has an adverse effect on the baby.

    Studies also showed that caffeine intake during pregnancy may slow a baby's growth after birth, but the connection is not yet clear.

    Koch said researchers at the conference concluded that moderate caffeine drinking during pregnancy may be OK. But Koch said the jury's still out on questions of caffeine drinking during pregnancy, and she still believes it's a good idea for pregnant women to limit caffeine intake.

    "It's not something I'm sure I'm going to tell people to go out and do, but it's interesting to know that there appears to be a limited effect," Koch said. Dietitians at the conference were surprised by the findings, she said, because they, too, believed caffeine could slow the fetus' growth and lead to other problems with the pregnancy. "We always tell pregnant women to avoid caffeine."

    As to whether caffeine is addictive, it depends on the definition of addiction. Quitting caffeine produces withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, lethargy and reduced concentration. But caffeine withdrawal doesn't have other effects that are commonly linked with drug addiction. For instance, it doesn't alter brain chemistry or lead to antisocial behavior.

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  • The Scoop on the Atkins Diet
    The Scoop on the Atkins Diet

    (From Phys, August 1999)

    THE DIET: Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins, M.D.

    THE CLAIM: Carbohydrates provoke hunger, causing you to overeat and gain weight. If you eliminate carbs and increase protein and fat intake to satisfy hunger instead, your body will thank you for it by losing weight without food cravings.

    THE DOC'S PRESCRIPTION: A meat lover's dream: Thick steaks with slabs of melting butter, crisp bacon, eggs (yolks and all), thick cream instead of milk, mayonnaise-based salad dressings, fried pork rinds and, finally, rich desserts like cheesecake and mocha pie.

    HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO WORK: Atkins claims that ketosis is the key: Without incoming carbs, your body first burns its carbohydrate stores, and then the protein in its lean muscle tissue for energy, both of which release a lot of water. Your body also starts burning some fat in an inefficient way that creates toxic by-products called ketones. These build up in your bloodstream and need to be processed through your kidneys to be eliminated.

    BUT HOW DO YOU FEEL? Too many ketones in your blood can cause dizziness, headaches, mental confusion, nausea, fatigue, sleep problems and bad breath. Also, high protein intake causes your body to lose calcium, so add weakening bones to the list.

    WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING: Since your brain and body are designed to get energy primarily from carbohydrates, they view anything else as abnormal food, especially ketones. "Ketosis is a signal that your body has gone into starvation mode," says Howard Flaks, M.D., a bariatric physician (weight loss specialist) based in Beverly Hills, California. When your body thinks it's starving, it slows your metabolism to conserve whatever fuel it can and eats at its own muscle tissue to get at the carbs stored there as glycogen.

    Worse, after you quit the diet, your body fights to turn every bit of food you eat into fat because it doesn't know when you're going to starve again and it needs to build up a bigger reserve than you had before. The result? You gain more fat than you had when you started.

    WHAT TO TELL FRIENDS ON THE DIET: If you lose weight, you'll gain it all back � and more � once you stop the diet. Not planning on quitting the diet? Then don't expect to have healthy kidneys for the long term: Over time, the stress of processing so many ketones can damage your kidneys, causing ketoacidosis or toxic ammonia in your blood, according to Megan McCrory, Ph.D., a researcher in the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University.

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  • Gear Up: Finding Your Ideal Sports Bra
    Gear Up: Finding Your Ideal Sports Bra

    Comfort or Bust: Great Sports Bras

    (Prevention, September 1999) � Sports bras are looking more like regular bras, complete with hooks, cup sizes and even underwire. Sounds like a step backward, right? We thought so, too, until we tried out two of those new styles.

    Surprisingly, even reluctant testers found them comfy. The underwire didn't jab on either one, but provided good support. The padded, adjustable straps didn't dig into shoulders. Favorite feature: back hooks -- no more looking like Houdini trying to get out of a straitjacket.

    One tester found these bras so comfortable that it "felt like not having a bra on at all." Two others liked them more than their everyday bras and wore them to the office.

    These sports bras with cups -- referred to as encapsulation-type sports bras -- offer more support and better fit for larger breasted women than the more traditional Ace-bandage-type sports bras. Some styles even offer cup sizes up to DD.

    (We tested Champion Jog-bra style #161, and Speedo by Warner's style #1900, available in department stores for $30 to $40.)

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  • Notes On Nutrition And Supplements
    Notes On Nutrition And Supplements

    By BOB MYHAL

    When using a thermogenic product (such as Ripped Fuel, Hydroxycut, EPH 833, etc.) to stimulate fat loss, be sure to take in sufficient amounts of protein�at least 20 grams every 3 hours�to prevent your body from cannibalizing muscle tissue. The easiest, most effective way to do this is with a low-fat protein powder or MRP.

    If you frequently experience painful muscle cramps during or after your training, then you should try taking 1 or 2 grams of the amino acid taurine approximately 2 hours prior to training�it has powerful and proven anti-cramping properties.

    As far as thermogenics or so-called fat-burners are concerned, ephedrine is still the king of the hill, but when you�re deciding on your weightloss supplementation program don�t overlook hydroxycitric acid (HCA).

    HCA is derived from the tamarind fruit and seems to work by inhibiting excess carbohydrates from being stored as bodyfat. MuscleTech�s Hydroxycut is a popular product containing HCA.

    The chemistry of 19-norandrostenedione is telling. Basically, 19-norandrostenedione is structurally identical to a testosterone molecule right up the chain with two key exceptions: first, it is missing the hydrogen atom in the 17th position and second, it also lacks a carbon atom in the 19th position.

    What happens is that when the liver processes the norandrostenedione molecule it adds a hydrogen atom in the 17th position. The liver, however, has no mechanism for adding the carbon atom in the 19th position.

    What results is virtually a testosterone molecule missing the carbon atom. This molecule has the anabolic properties of testosterone (it may in fact have 2 or 3 times the anabolic effect of testosterone) without the level of androgenic side effects typically seen with extended testosterone use.

    If you�re looking to drop fat and get lean, you�ll benefit from 3-5 cardiovascular training sessions per week. Ideally, each session should be 30-45 minutes in duration.

    For fat burning, it�s actually more beneficial to train at a consistent level of intensity throughout the session rather than using some sort of interval training (as with some of the machines which stimulate a series of inclines and declines).

    It�s also crucial for you to do your cardio training on an empty stomach�otherwise you�ll simply be burning up glycogen stores (sugar rather than fat). First thing in the morning is the best time for cardio training. If this isn�t possible, at least try not to eat for 3 or 4 hours prior to your cardio session�that way you�ll be primarily burning fat stores.

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