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Does Sodium Make You Gain Weight?

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Sodium is a vital nutrient. It is needed for many bodily processes, including fluid and blood pressure regulation, nutrient transport, and nerve cell function (1).

While sodium is necessary, most people consume too much sodium in the form of sodium chloride or table salt.

Consuming large amounts of added salt can increase your risk of health problems such as stroke, heart disease, or autoimmune diseases (2).

Additionally, you may be wondering whether sodium will make you gain weight.

This article explains the relationships between sodium intake and weight gain.

Many people associate excessive salt in their diet with fluid retention.

This is because by eating lots of salt, your body saves water (3).

A recent study found that high salt intake increased thirst. Your body uses the extra fluid it consumes to dilute the excess sodium it can’t get rid of quickly enough (4).

However, your urine volume does not change, which means that this extra fluid remains in your body.

Therefore, a sudden increase in sodium intake can cause you to gain weight in the form of fluids (4).

This is why some people report feeling puffy after eating very salty foods, such as take-out foods and salty restaurant dishes.

It is important to note that this fluid retention is generally temporary. The body fluid level usually returns to normal after a few days (4).

While some studies show that increased salt intake drives fluid intake, others have not shown this link.

For example, a small study found that while a high salt diet resulted in weight gain and water retention in 10 healthy men, higher salt intake was not associated with increased fluid intake.

In fact, the study found that a daily salt intake of 12 grams resulted in decreased fluid intake (3).

The relationship between dietary salt intake and fluid balance is complex. More research in this area is needed to better understand how high salt intake can affect your body’s fluid levels (6).

Summary

The relationship between salt intake and body fluid levels is complicated, but research suggests that high salt intake could lead to water retention and short-term weight gain.

Foods that are high in salt are often high in calories too.

For example, fast food, fried foods, boxed macs and cheeses, frozen dinners, creamy pasta dishes, and pizza are typically high in salt and calories.

Eating too many foods high in salt and calories can lead to weight gain.

Studies have also shown that high sodium intake can increase your risk of obesity, regardless of your caloric intake.

A study of 1,243 children and adults found that people with higher levels of sodium in their urine were more likely to be obese or overweight. High salt intake was significantly associated with a higher body fat percentage in both children and adults.

The study also found that an increase in sodium intake of 1 gram per day was associated with a 28% and 26% increased risk of obesity in children and adults, respectively (7).

Another study of 9,162 people found that sodium intake of more than 2,300 mg per day was significantly associated with a higher risk of obesity and belly fat compared to moderate sodium intake of 1,500–2,300 mg per day (8).

Both studies found that sodium intake was linked to weight gain and obesity, even after adjusting for total caloric intake and other confounders such as activity levels.

Although the possible mechanism is not entirely clear, a high-salt diet can directly lead to fat accumulation in the body (7).

Summary

Studies have linked high salt intake to an increased risk of obesity. Foods high in salt tend to be high in calories too. However, salt intake has also been linked to obesity regardless of caloric intake.

For most people, the sodium found naturally in foods like eggs and shellfish is not a problem. However, it is important to monitor your additional salt intake to make sure that your diet is not excessively high in salt.

Typically, most of the extra salt intake comes from consuming highly processed foods.

Here are some high-salt foods that you should cut down to reduce your intake of extra salt:

  • Highly processed and salty take-away foods: Pizza, street tacos, hamburgers, nuggets, fries, etc.
  • Salty packaged snacks: French fries, rinds, pretzels, etc.
  • Processed meat: Dried meat, bacon, salted and cured meat, salami, sausages, etc.
  • Salty spices: Salad dressings, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc.
  • High salt boxed or canned meals: ready-made pasta and rice dishes, canned soups, canned ham, potato casseroles in boxes, etc.

Additionally, adding too much salt to homemade meals can significantly increase your overall salt intake.

Try to reduce the amount of salt you add to foods and be sure to try the foods before adding any additional salt.

You can also use lemon juice, fresh herbs, garlic, and spices to reduce the need for salt in your recipes.

Summary

To save sodium, try eating less salty foods and reducing the amount of salt you add to your meals.

Eating too much sodium in the form of added salt has been linked to weight gain.

Some studies suggest that eating a large amount of salt can lead to short-term weight gain due to fluid retention, while others have found that high salt intake can increase the risk of weight gain and obesity.

In addition, consuming large amounts of salt can damage your overall health and increase your risk of developing a disease such as heart disease.

To maintain healthy sodium intake, try cutting back on foods known to be high in salt and reducing table salt consumption when cooking at home.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

More whole grains in the diet could save Australia billions | Queensland Country Life

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Smaller dietary changes with more whole grain products could significantly improve health and save billions in healthcare costs, says the managing director of the Nutrition Council for Grains and Legumes, Sara Grafenauer.

ONLY small dietary changes that would make Australians eat more whole grains could significantly reduce the incidence of heart disease and diabetes and lead to massive savings in our healthcare system.

Research by the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) published last week in the international journal Nutrients found that swapping just three servings of processed grain foods a day for whole grains could save a staggering $ 1.4 billion annually.

These savings result from lower costs of treating heart disease and type 2 diabetes and a reduction in productivity losses due to illness.

The GLNC research, conducted in collaboration with an expert from the University of Kuwait, is the first study to quantify the health care savings associated with meeting the recommended daily intake for whole grains in Australia.

And the researchers believe the results have a significant impact on policy makers and could provide strong evidence that the messages regarding whole grains in national dietary guidelines are further strengthened.

Sara Grafenauer, managing director of GLNC, said conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are major health problems in

modern Australia and that increasing whole grain consumption would play a big role in reducing the incidence of these deadly conditions.

“Eating three servings of whole grains a day is known to reduce the risk of heart disease by 13 percent and type 2 diabetes by 32 percent,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

She said there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of increasing whole grain consumption in Australia.

The latest data shows that only 27 percent of Australians achieve the Recommended Daily Target Intake (DTI) of 48g per day.

The average whole grain consumption was 21 grams per day, which left a 27 grams per day gap.

“Knowing that a diet low in whole grains is the second leading risk factor for disease and death in Australia, the results of this study underscore the need for a change in diet,” she said.

“If 50 percent meet the DTI, it could save $ 734 million and more than $ 1.4 billion if 100 percent of Australians could achieve that goal,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

On the positive side, it is not difficult to stimulate the consumption of whole grain products.

“Three whole grain servings can be easily achieved by swapping out grain foods rather than increasing the energy density of the diet,” she said.

Breakfast is an important opportunity for change.

“By focusing on whole grain breakfast cereals and whole grain breads – the two largest sources of whole grains for Australians – the target levels for whole grains could be reached with minimal change in normal eating habits,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

“Simply switching to a whole grain option could have a profound impact on individual health as well as the Australian economy.”

There are a number of products that the GLNC recommends that consumers switch to whole grains, including bread, cereals, rice, noodles, noodles, polenta, couscous, crackers, oats, quinoa and barley.

Dr. Grafenauer said the next week would be a perfect time for consumers to start switching to more whole grains in their diet as this was whole grain week.

“There are a number of resources available to encourage increased whole grain consumption, including a video showing how refined grains are swapped for whole grains, an e-book with easy-to-prepare whole grain recipes, and searchable whole grain product data,” she said.

The Story More Whole Grains in the Diet Could Save Australia Billions, first appeared on Farm Online.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

5 Benefits of Sunflower Seeds and How to Eat Them

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Sunflowers aren’t just great backgrounds for Instagram photos. They also grow something tasty and nutritious: sunflower seeds.

Here are the biggest perks of this little snack.

Chewing sunflower seeds can’t just benefit your taste buds. Here are some ways adding sunflower seeds to your diet can benefit your health.

1. Good for your heart

Sunflower seeds are rich in nutrients that your heart loves. These include fiber, vitamins, healthy fats and minerals. Research suggests that a diet high in seeds can help keep your heart healthy and protect against heart disease.

Also, snacking on sunflower seeds can help keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control. A 2012 study of 22 women with type 2 diabetes found that consuming 30 grams of sunflower seeds per day for 3 weeks helped significantly lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.

2. Rich in antioxidants

Sunflower seeds are full of compounds (like antioxidants) that help keep your body healthy.

These tiny seeds contain a variety of antioxidant compounds, including chlorogenic acid, vitamin E, and more. Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage that can lead to disease.

Diets high in antioxidants are associated with lower risk of chronic disease. For example, a 2018 review of 69 studies found that higher blood levels and higher dietary intake of vitamin E were linked to lower risk of cancer, stroke, and all-cause death. That means it can even help you live longer.

3. May help promote healthy blood sugar levels

Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels at healthy levels.

Some nutrients (such as protein, fiber, and magnesium) are particularly important for blood sugar regulation. Sunflower seeds are a great source of these nutrients and a healthy choice for peeps with and without diabetes.

Sprinkle sunflower seeds over a green salad or combine sunflower seed butter with apple slices for a blood sugar-friendly snack.

4. Rich in minerals

Sunflower seeds are packed with important minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium. It is important to make sure that you are getting enough mineral-rich foods in your diet as these nutrients do a lot for your body.

Zinc, for example, is important for a healthy immune response. Do you want well-functioning antioxidant enzymes? (Tip: Yes you do.) Selenium is essential. Magnesium is a superstar mineral that is essential for a healthy stress response, blood sugar regulation, and more.

Adding foods rich in minerals like sunflower seeds to your diet can help ensure that you are getting the recommended amount of these nutrients in the registry.

5. Practical and filling snack

Sunflower seeds are portable and, thanks to their high levels of protein, fat, and fiber, are super filling. That said, they’re a clever snack when you’re on the run.

Protein is the most filling macronutrient, and sunflower seeds provide 5.4 grams per ounce, which is pretty good for a plant-based source of protein. They also contain fiber and healthy fats, which makes them a well-balanced snack.

Try keeping a pack of sunflower seeds in your bag or backpack so you have a healthy option when hunger strikes.

Although they are tiny, sunflower seeds are loaded with nutrients. Even a small serving can have a big impact on your nutrient intake.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for one pack (50 grams) of plain, salted sunflower seeds.

  • Calories: 288
  • Protein: 9.55 grams (g)
  • Fat: 24.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.9 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Vitamin E: 12.0 milligrams (mg)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.397 mg
  • Magnesium: 63.5 mg
  • Phosphorus: 570 mg
  • Zinc: 2.62 mg
  • Copper: 0.904 mg
  • Folate: 117 micrograms (mcg)
  • Selenium: 39.2 mcg

Sunflower seeds are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium.

Vitamin E actually refers to a group of nutrients that play many important roles in the body. They act as a powerful antioxidant and protect cells from damage. These nutrients are also involved in immune function, cellular signaling, and more.

Selenium is another mineral that is concentrated in sunflower seeds and acts as an antioxidant. It is also needed for thyroid function and reproductive health.

Zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese are required for healthy bones and immune function. The B vitamins folate and B6 are essential for metabolism, enzymatic reactions and other important processes.

Sunflower seeds also provide protein, healthy fats and fiber. What more could you want from a delicious snack food?

You can buy sunflower seeds raw or roasted. They come in pits (for peeps who like instant gratification) or in their shells (for those who like a challenge).

Both forms work well as a snack. However, if you’re using sunflower seeds in recipes, topping salads, or mixing with other ingredients to create a delicious student mix, it’s better to buy the unpeeled version.

Remember that peeled or unpeeled sunflower seeds, salted or flavored, can be very high in salt. They may also contain additional ingredients such as added sugar, so reading the labels is important.

Sunflower seeds have a mild taste and go with almost anything. Here are some ways to use sunflower seeds in meals and snacks:

  • Sprinkle peeled sunflower seeds on top of your salad for a crispy boost of fiber, fat, and protein.
  • Make your own sunflower butter by mixing the seeds in your food processor.
  • Add sunflower seeds to oatmeal, yogurt, or chia pudding.
  • Mix together salted sunflower seeds, almonds, cocoa nibs and dried cherries to make a salty and sweet trail mix.
  • Use sunflower seeds in baked goods like muffins and bread.
  • Top grain bowls and pasta dishes with salted sunflower seeds for a unique texture and taste.

As wonderful as sunflower seeds can be for your health, there are a few things to keep in mind when consuming them.

Like all nuts and seeds Sunflower seeds are high in calories. That doesn’t mean they are bad for you, but it is something you should be aware of. Only one ounce contains 163 calories, so a few handfuls of sunflower seeds provide a pretty high amount of calories.

If you are sensitive to salt or have high blood pressure, it is a smart idea to avoid foods high in salt, such as salted sunflower seeds, as foods high in salt can contribute to high blood pressure. Choose unsalted or lightly salted sunflower seeds instead.

Likewise, if you are allergic to sunflower seeds, avoid them. You should also stay away from products that contain sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds may be tiny, but they offer some impressive benefits.

They’re packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. This means that they can help keep your heart healthy, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and keep you from getting hungry at noon.

Try adding sunflower seeds to your meals and snacks for a tasty nutritional boost.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Normatec Brand and products review: Pros and cons

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We include products that we believe will be useful to our readers. If you buy from links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here is our process.

Normatec offers air compression therapy for legs, arms and hips. Several sports organizations and teams use these products to aid athletes recovery after rigorous training sessions or competitive events. People with leg pain or poor circulation may find that Normatec’s products relieve their symptoms.

Air compression therapy works by increasing blood flow to the muscles, which can improve performance and aid recovery. However, these devices come at a high price and may not be suitable for those with certain underlying medical conditions.

This article takes a closer look at Normatec and its products. It also suggests alternative devices that people can use to relieve muscle fatigue and pain.

Hyperice acquired the rights to Normatec products and patents in 2020. Hyperice sells several different health-related products, including percussion massagers, heat and cold therapy devices, massage balls and rollers, and various accessories.

Hyperice has an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, customer reviews only give them 1.73 out of 5 stars. The main complaints mention problems with:

  • Delivery time
  • defective products
  • bad customer service

A representative has responded to all of the complaints people have made with the BBB. The company is not BBB accredited.

USA Softball announced its decision in 2019 to make Normatec an official USA Softball supplier. In the announcement, the governing body noted that several professional sports teams are using Normatec’s compression therapy products.

The Normatec website does not contain any customer ratings. However on Amazon, more than 300 customer reviews have given the Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Restoration System an average score of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Traditional compression therapy uses socks or stockings to support the veins in the legs. The stockings put pressure on the feet and lower legs to reduce swelling and improve blood circulation.

Normatec is a type of external pneumatic compression device (EPC). An EPC device uses air to apply external pressure to part of the body – often the legs or feet.

Doctors use EPC to treat deep vein thrombosis or blood clots. A person can use the device after surgery in the hospital or at home with proper instructions.

Normatec devices work similarly to the EPC devices that a doctor can use in a hospital. Both types use air to put pressure on specific areas of the body, such as the legs, hips, and arms. However, Normatec markets its equipment as an easy way to warm up before a workout, recover from a strenuous workout, and improve overall performance.

In a 2017 study, researchers found that air-pressurized devices like Normatec helped improve flexibility and relieve pain in a person’s legs after a workout. They also found that the device helped reduce oxidative stress and proteolytic markers when a person was recovering from resistance training. However, it is important to note that Normatec provided 50% of the funding for this research.

Other research involving a small number of male trail runners suggests that high pressure compression garments can improve neuromuscular function and reduce perceived muscle soreness.

Normatec currently offers its 2.0 system on its website and through other sellers, including Amazon. The system uses a patented pulse massage pattern.

The company’s current line of products includes the following options.

Please note that the author of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.

Normatec 2.0 Pro

The Normatec 2.0 Pro is the most advanced device from Hyperice. It offers several features including:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Transport Security Administration (TSA) approval for hand baggage
  • 10 intensity levels
  • Touchscreen and color display
  • ZoneBoost technology
  • 15 V power supply and rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Pre-programmed modes such as Recovery Flush, Rehab and Custom
  • 1 year warranty
  • customizable time, pressure and zone settings
  • light and compact design
  • Pressure overlap zones for maximum compression
  • Use of durable construction materials, including tubing and zippers
  • three different size options for legs of different lengths
  • Free Shipping

Customers who purchase this device can add tote bags, such as a backpack, to their order for an additional fee.

The 2.0 Pro is available in three models: legs, hips and arms. A person can order just one of the systems or the entire body system, which includes all three zones.

If a person has a discount code, they can enter it at checkout to save money on their order.

Hyperice sells the Normatec 2.0 Pro leg system here.

Normatec 2.0

The Normatec 2.0 is the simpler model. As with the Pro, people can choose between legs, arms, and hips versions. One person can order them individually or all together as part of a larger package.

The main difference between this base model and the Pro is the features and functions. The basic model includes the following features:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • TSA approved for hand luggage
  • seven intensity levels
  • Color display
  • ZoneBoost technology
  • 15 V power supply and rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • 1 year warranty
  • customizable time, pressure and zone settings
  • light and compact design
  • Pressure overlap zones for maximum compression
  • Use of durable construction materials, including tubing and zippers
  • three different size options for legs of different lengths
  • Free Shipping

One person can order the Normatec 2.0 leg system here.

Other Hyperice products

Hyperice offers a variety of products that help with muscle regeneration, fatigue and pain. Some of its other products include:

  • Hypervolt: A percussion massager.
  • Poison: A device that, depending on the model, supplies different areas of the body with heat and vibrations.
  • Hypersphere: A vibrating massage ball.
  • Vyper: A vibrating muscle roll.
  • Hyperice: A portable cooling device that offers cold therapy on different parts of the body depending on the type selected.

Normatec devices can be helpful to some people. The company heavily markets its products to athletes and others who are physically active and need help recovering from workouts. The main advantage of Normatec products is that the massage effect can promote blood flow to the muscles. Humans can maximize the effectiveness of the devices by lifting the part of the body being treated.

Normatec may not be for everyone. A big downside is the price, with the base model starting at around $ 1,000 and the Pro starting at around $ 1,500. A person may be able to find more cost effective solutions to recovery.

People with injuries or underlying illnesses should speak to their doctor before using Normatec devices. A doctor familiar with a person’s medical history can make recommendations as to whether the Normatec device is likely to work for them.

Normatec is not the only commercially available brand of EPC muscle recovery devices. Several competitors offer similar products at different prices. You may want to consider the following options, all of which are available at a lower price than Normatec’s products:

Alternatively, people looking for an easy fix can try wearing compression stockings, which research has shown can improve exercise performance and reduce perceived muscle soreness.

A person should speak to their doctor before using a Normatec device. The doctor may be able to advise you on other ways to get the desired effects from this treatment.

Normatec or similar EPC devices should not replace medical advice or care. If the pain persists during exercise or activity, a person should speak to their doctor and get an exam. It is possible that the pain was not related to recovery but was due to an injured muscle or joint.

A person should seek medical advice if any of the following symptoms occur after using an EPC device:

  • Swelling in the limbs
  • Warmth in the limbs
  • Pain in the skin under the cuffs
  • Collapse of the skin under the cuffs

Normatec is a brand of EPC devices that have a massaging effect on the muscles of the legs, hips and arms. Normatec’s product marketing is aimed at athletes who are looking for faster recovery after training.

Similar devices are available from other brands, often at a lower cost.

Although EPC treatment presents a small risk, a person should speak to their doctor before using any device. You should stop using it immediately if you experience a skin reaction or if your muscle pain persists or increases.

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