FDA contradicts recent science on salt and high blood pressure

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The FDA is lowering the guidelines for salt intake to deal with high blood pressure even though recent studies show salt does not cause high blood pressure.

A new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension analyzed data from 8,670 French adults and found that salt consumption wasn’t associated with systolic blood pressure in either men or women after controlling for factors like age.

Why not? One explanation, the authors write, is that the link we all assume between salt and blood pressure is “overstated” and “more complex than once believed.” It should be noted, however, that even though the study found no statistically significant association between blood pressure and sodium in the diet, those patients who were hypertensive consumed significantly more salt than those without hypertension—suggesting, as other research has, that salt affects people differently.

No Association Between Salt And Blood Pressure, Study Finds | Time

This is the same FDA that still recommends the SAD diet. Go figure. I don’t think I’ll be changing my personal salt intake any time soon.

In far-reaching guidelines, the FDA is seeking voluntary short-term lower sodium targets for food manufacturers, chain restaurants and food service operators – focusing largely on processed and take-out food. 

The agency wants to cut sodium intake to an average of 3,000 milligrams per day, compared with 3,400 mg over the next two and half years. 

But the average intake would still be above the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended limit of 2,300 mg per day for anyone over 14 years of age. 

FDA sets new goal for lower salt in everyday American food (yahoo.com)

Benefits of intermittent fasting

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There are many health benefits to intermittent fasting. Prevention magazine covers many of them. Mental health is not mentioned. How can intermittent fasting help with your mental health? You save money. If you’re practicing one of the many variations of intermittent fasting you’re most likely eating less. If you’re eating less you’re most likely not spending as much on food. Saving money has a positive effect on everyone’s mental health!

Maybe you’ve tried intermittent fasting (IF) to shed a few (pandemic!) pounds, since the hope and potential for weight loss is what this eating plan is best known for. And yes, scientists are looking into whether or not it really is effective at helping people slim down. But some studies show that IF—in which you only eat during a specified time period—may have other possible long-term health benefits as well.

“The goal with IF is improving metabolic health, reducing the risk of certain conditions such as diabetes, and increasing longevity,” says Laura Kelly, C.N.S., L.D.N., an advanced genomic nutritionist at Nutritional Genomics Institute. “One theory as to why fasting may be beneficial is that during the fasting period, the body’s cells are under mild stress, similar to exercise. The cells respond to this stress adaptively by enhancing their ability to cope with stress and to resist disease.”

Intermittent Fasting Benefits – Weight Loss, Immunity, Longevity (prevention.com)

New study finds metabolism doesn’t change as previously thought

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I’m not sure what to make of this. I need someone more qualified to examine the study to make more sense of what the NYT is reporting. I thought some of this was already known. For example, metabolism changes with different stages of life. I’m not sure what they found is true across all populations though.

Central to their findings was that metabolism differs for all people across four distinct stages of life.

There’s infancy, up until age 1, when calorie burning is at its peak, accelerating until it is 50 percent above the adult rate.

Then, from age 1 to about age 20, metabolism gradually slows by about 3 percent a year.

From age 20 to 60, it holds steady.

And, after age 60, it declines by about 0.7 percent a year.

What We Think We Know About Metabolism May Be Wrong – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

I noticed my metabolism started to slow around age 35. What else would account for no change in diet and exercise but an increase in weight? My metabolism wasn’t measured it was just something I noticed so I changed my eating habits.

I hope this gets some scrutiny from metabolic health doctors and researchers I follow so I can get some trusted opinions.

Are mushrooms low carb and keto friendly?

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The short answer is… yes. I use mushrooms all the time to accent a meal. I put them in my omelets, serve them along side a steak, sauté them with green beans, snap peas, or broccoli among other vegetables. I think they’re great. I don’t think it’s possible to add so many mushrooms to a meal or a recipe that you’ll pop over your carb limit for the day.

There are many varieties of mushrooms, and the most common types are naturally low in carbohydrates in their natural form.

For example, a 1-cup (96-gram) serving of raw, whole white button mushrooms contributes 3 grams of carbs to your day. A cup of raw oyster and shiitake mushrooms contains around 6 and 7 grams of carbs, respectively.

If you like portobello mushrooms, you’ll find around 3 grams of carbs in both a 1-cup (86-gram) serving of them diced, or an average mushroom cap you might use to make a meatless burger

Can You Eat Mushrooms on a Keto Diet? (healthline.com)

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

New study says increased exercise doesn’t always lead to burning more calories throughout the day

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It seems the human body tries to balance itself out all the time. This makes sense if you think about it. Your body is always trying to survive. If you fast your body’s metabolism will slow so you don’t starve to death too quickly. If you eat frequently your metabolism fires up in order to try to get rid of excess calories consumed. And now a new study shows that if you exercise too much your body will compensate by restricting calorie burn during the times you’re more sedentary.

According to new research led by the University of Roehampton and published on 16 August 2021, people who take part in regular exercise burn fewer calories on body maintenance than people who don’t do any strenuous activity, dramatically reducing the calorie-burning gains of exercise.

Using data from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Doubly-labelled water database of over 1,750 adults, researchers found that the calories the body burns to exist (known as basal energy expenditure, basal metabolic rate or BMR for short) decreases by 28% during periods when daily exercise levels are consistently high.

BMR accounts for approximately 60–75% of total daily energy expenditure in individuals, way more than calories burned during recreational activities such as running or cycling. A significant reduction in BMR can effectively counterbalance the positive calorie-burning effects of frequent exercising.

In short, the more we exercise over the long term, the fewer calories our bodies burn for the most rudimentary activities, therefore reducing the overall calories we burn per day.

Regular exercise may hinder weight loss says new research but I disagree – here’s why | T3

Don’t stop exercising though! My take away from the recent news on this and the energy balance model versus the carbohydrate insulin model is the secret to losing or maintaining your weight is some combination of all this information that is customized to the person. You have to learn what is right for you.

The energy balance model simply says you have to expend more calories than you take in to lose weight. I think this is true to an extent. The carbohydrate insulin model says that reducing carbohydrates aids in weight loss or maintenance because reducing carbs in the diet makes a person more insulin sensitive which in turn prevents energy from being stored as fat. I also think this is true to an extent. Exercise will burn more calories for you throughout the day than if you did nothing at all and that could aid in weight loss and/or maintenance. I think this is true to an extent.

In my life I try to evaluate how my body reacts to certain foods. I exercise, not for weight loss, but for fitness. Diet and exercise combined serves my cause to maintain strength, flexibility, and balance as I get older. I’ll hit 55 this year and my fitness and weight goals are to simply stay around 165 lbs. to 175 lbs., be able to lift 90 lbs. to 100 lbs. in various exercises, be able to stand on one foot in various poses, and be able to touch the floor while bending forward. If I can continue this for the next 30 years I think my remaining years I can binge on Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups to my heart’s content.

Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting helps woman lose 105 lbs.

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It’s not all about calories in and calories out. Although on a Keto Diet you may indeed eat fewer calories because your satiety levels are much higher. If you’re not hungry all the time you’re not eating all the time and that’s where the magic of Intermittent Fasting adds to the progress.

I lived a keto diet lifestyle for three years and lost 100 pounds. Keto was amazing for my weight loss progress. It kept me on track because it was very clear what I could eat. I tracked my calories and carbs and would very rarely eat off plan.

When I hit my goal weight I transitioned from the keto diet to macro counting and incorporated healthy carbs back into my diet.

‘The Keto Diet And Intermittent Fasting Helped Me Lose 105 Lbs.’ (womenshealthmag.com)

Are we counting carbs wrong?

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Personally, I don’t count carbs at all. I don’t know how many I consume in a day. I don’t track macros either. What I do, and it’s a practice I’ve had for decades now, is eat mostly meat and vegetables that are cooked at home. If I do look at a label to see the carb count I don’t look at “net carbs” where you subtract the fiber from the carbohydrates to make you feel like you’re eating fewer carbs. I look at the total carbs and if a single serving is in the double digit range I might skip it depending on what else I’m eating that day.

I generally don’t eat breads, pastas, rice, or other grains. I stay away from potatoes and other starchy root vegetables. I do have them on occasion but they are not a mainstay of my diet. I might consume them once per month or so.

Shulz and her co-author, Joanne Slavin, a professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Minnesota, suggest looking at carb quality rather than quantity. When it comes to the quality of carbohydrates, they recommend looking at factors such as the percentage of whole grains, whether there’s any added sugar, the total amount of fiber, and the ratio of total carbohydrates to the amount of fiber and added sugar.

If these factors can be summed in one sentence, it would be: “Eat more unprocessed food.” This is something that we all know is good for us in theory, but when it comes to the many, many food choices we make every day, it can be all too easy to just focus on the quantity of carbs, rather than the quality, letting the fruits and vegetables fall to the wayside.

We’re Counting Carbs All Wrong (lifehacker.com)

American Diabetes Association sees strong genetic links with Type-2 diabetes

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Personally I believe almost everything is genetically linked. With something like Type-2 diabetes there may be people that are more susceptible than others but it seems relatively curable through diet.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that type 2 diabetes has a stronger link to family history and lineage than type 1. It goes on to say that studies of twins have shown that genetics play a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

The ADA also advises that race can also play a role, and research Trusted Source indicates a higher prevalence among Asian, Black, and Latino people. But this may not be entirely due to genetics.

Environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle also influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The ADA notes that it is possible to help prevent type 2 diabetes by exercising and reaching or maintaining a moderate weight.

There can also be a genetic role in obesity, and families often develop similar eating habits. This can put someone with a genetic predisposition at more risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Is type 2 diabetes genetic? Causes, genes, and prevention (medicalnewstoday.com)

Is beef jerky healthy?

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Beef jerky is healthy without the sugar. That’s the problem with most beef jerky on the market today. You have to be careful and really read the label. A lot of jerky uses a lot of sugar. That’s part of the reason why it tastes so good. It’s not that low sugar jerky is bad. It’s different and not as addicting as the ones with sugar.

The health.com article is mostly concerned with salt. I believe it’s been proven that salt is not a big deal and is largely not responsible for high blood pressure. To me it’s the jerky with high carbs you have to watch out for.

The nutrition facts for beef jerky can vary by brand, but according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) database, a 1-ounce portion provides 116 calories, 9 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, and 3 grams of carbohydrate. It also has 15% of the daily value for immune-supporting zinc; 11% for phosphorus, a mineral needed to produce energy and repair cells; and 8% for iron, which helps transport oxygen in the body. These key minerals, as well as the fact that it’s a handy, non-perishable source of protein, are some of the benefits of beef jerky.

Beef jerky is generally quite high in sodium. A 1-ounce portion can pack nearly 20% of the daily advised sodium limit for adults. According to the American Heart Association, nine out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium, which may increase water retention, potentially leading to puffiness, bloating, and weight gain. The organization also states that, over time, excess sodium may up the risk of various health conditions, including enlarged heart, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and kidney stones.

Is Beef Jerky Healthy? Here’s What a Nutritionist Wants You to Know | Health.com

Pecans may help reduce cholesterol

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I love pecans. I regularly make nacho cheese pecans. I created my own nacho cheese seasoning based off of a recipe I saw from Bon Appetit’s former YouTube channel. I fry raw pecans with salted butter in a pot. When they are a deep brown I remove them to a bowl and toss them with about 3 tbsp of this nacho cheese seasoning. Most people like their pecans sweet but I like mine salty and tangy like Doritos.

“We examined the impact of daily pecan consumption on blood lipids and glycemia in adults at-risk for cardiovascular disease.”

The researchers assigned 52 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 who were at higher risk for cardiovascular disease to one of three groups.

One group consumed 68 grams (about 470 calories) of pecans a day as part of their regular diet; a second group substituted pecans for a similar amount of calories from their habitual diet, and a control group did not consume pecans.

At eight weeks, participants consumed a high-fat meal to determine changes in blood lipids and the amount of glucose in the blood.

There was a significant reduction in fasting total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio, non-HDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B in the two pecan groups, with no changes in control.

Daily Pecan Consumption May Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels | Medicine, Nutrition | Sci-News.com

Pecan-Enriched Diets Alter Cholesterol Profiles and Triglycerides in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease in a Randomized, Controlled Trial | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic (oup.com)