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    Healthy Coffee Additives to Supercharge Your Cup of Joe

    Coffee is one of the top beverages consumed around the world (other than water, of course). It’s routine for most—and somewhat of a religion to others. It helps you power through the afternoon slump and get amped for a workout. Coffee alone has many benefits, but can also get a bad rap due to its caffeine content. Coffee contains magnesium and potassium, which helps the human body use insulin, regulating blood sugar levels. Coffee is the best natural source of caffeine and, in moderation (one to three cups a day), helps you focus and can even improve mental alertness. Coffee and espresso also contain some of the highest natural sources of antioxidants that can help protect your body from free radicals. But creamers can turn healthy coffee into a sugar bomb.

     
    If you’re looking to get even more benefits out of your daily cup of Joe (cause why not?), there are many functional ingredients that can be added to increase nutrients. From cinnamon to collagen, take a look at some of the best functional powders and ingredients for a healthy coffee boost.

    Healthy Coffee Additives to Supercharge Your Java

    Courtesy Image1. MUDWTR
    Recommended serving: 1 tablespoon daily
    Why it’s good for you: MUDWTR is a unique mix of all-organic ingredients: cacao, masala chai, turmeric, cinnamon, and sea salt, and chaga, cordyceps, reishi, and lion’s mane mushrooms. Although they suggest this blend can be used as a coffee alternative for those looking to limit caffeine, it can be used as an extra boost to coffee as well. The delicious blend of ingredients provides many researched functional benefits including enhanced mood, mental performance, recovery, and immune support, as well as reduced inflammation and overall health.
    [$40 ; mudwtr.com]
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    Courtesy Image2. Respect des Fonds Focus
    Recommended serving: 1 scoop daily
    Why it’s good for you: Respect Focus is a mixture of potent adaptogens to help boost your overall mental clarity and cognition. This complex blend boasts powerful extracts including astragalus (herb), organic ashwagandha root (Ayurvedic herb), lion’s mane mushroom (adaptogen), shilajit, schisdandra berry, bacopa (herb), rhodiola (herb), and L-theanine (amino acid). Although you may have trouble pronouncing those ingredients, the function of them will help you focus and provide mental clarity.
    [$45; respectdesfonds.co]
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    Courtesy Image3. Hanah Life Coffee Boost
    Recommended serving: 1 rounded teaspoon daily
    Why it’s good for you: Hanah coffee boost is a blend of herbal nootropics, compounds thought to boost cognitive function. Amp up your morning coffee with ashwagandha, caopa monnieri, and macuna pruriens. These three ingredients can help improve focus and concentration, alleviate stress, and help calm the nervous system. It also helps ease the spike-and-crash effect caffeine can have.
    [$43; hanahlife.com]
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    Courtesy Image4. Suwink Cacao Clarity
    Recommended serving: 1 teaspoon daily
    Why it’s good for you: Cacao Clarity is packed with natural caffeine-free energizers like maca, reishi and lion’s mane with cinnamon and cacao for rich flavor. The powder provides a natural boost of clarity and focus without an energy crash. It mixes well into your favorite coffee (hot or cold) for some plant-powered wellness.
    [$35; sunwink.com]
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    Courtesy Image5. Momentous Collagen Peptides
    Recommended serving: 1 scoop daily
    Why it’s good for you: This product combines two high-quality collagen sources, as well as vitamin C, which improves absorption. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins found in the human body, ensuring the strength, elasticity, and regeneration of our connective tissues, including skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones. The amino acids needed for collagen synthesis are different from the amino acids needed for muscle synthesis, therefore it may be beneficial to add to your coffee routine.
    [$55; livemomentous.com]
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    Courtesy Image6. Laird Superfood Creamer with Functional Mushrooms
    Recommended serving: 1 tablespoon daily
    Why it’s good for you: This powder combines the power of chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, and maitake mushrooms. The nutrients from these mushrooms have been used for hundreds of years and have been studied for their support of the immune system, athletic performance, energy, cognition, and overall health and vitality. Laid Superfood Creamers also contain a full range of MCT’s. It’s an easy addition to your coffee to contribute to overall wellness and keep your body and mind fueled.
    [From $12; lairdsuperfood.com]
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    7. Raw, Organic Ceylon Cinnamon
    Cinnamon has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It contains many phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidants that make it one of the most beneficial spices—plus it tastes great in coffee. Ceylon cinnamon is less common than cassia cinnamon. They appear to be similar in health benefits, however cassia contains a lot of coumarin, which can be toxic in large quantities. It’s safer to choose ceylon if you eat a lot of cinnamon.
    [From $14; healthytruth.com]
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    Courtesy Image8. Raw, Organic Fair-Trade Cocoa
    In addition to its amazing flavor, cocoa has over 40 times the antioxidant value of blueberries, making it the highest plant-based source of iron (non-heme, so must be paired with vitamin C). It’s a great source of magnesium, and can help as a natural mood elevator and antidepressant.
    [$15; wildfoods.co]
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    Courtesy Image9. Raw Turmeric Root
    Turmeric is well known for its wide range of benefits; it’s been found to help ease the symptoms of depression and arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties; calm gut issues; and may help your immune system and potentially alleviate signs of aging and free radical damage. Although the active ingredient, curcumin, is poorly absorbed, adding this to your coffee can potentially help if consistently taken.
    [From $10; healthytruth.com]
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    10. Organic Maca Root Powder
    Maca is a Peruvian plant and cruciferous vegetable in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Maca has been used for generations for a number of studied benefits including boosting endurance and energy, improving mood, memory, helping fight free radicals and potentially even boosting libido and fertility. It has an earthy flavor and is an easy add to coffee.
    [From $23; kos.com]
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    The New Snack Down: Meet the Food and Drink Trends of 2021

    Say goodbye to whipped coffee and banana bread, and hello to the latest food and drink trends of 2021. The future of our pantry shelves are good for you and the environment. Ryan Andrews, RD, principal nutritionist and adviser at Precision Nutrition says he sees a pull toward more sustainability in our food practices and our choices overall, from pasture-raised animal products to eco-friendly packaging. Meanwhile, thanks to a year of waking up to health reminders, Robin Foroutan, RDN, integrative medicine dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says we’re also putting our well-being at the top of the grocery list. Here are the food trends blowing up—and the best ways to taste them.

    Earth-Friendly Upcycling
    The World Food Program World Food Programestimates that one-third of the planet’s food is lost or wasted every year. (The average American trashes 20 pounds each month.) Andrews says a new wave of forward-thinking snack brands are upcycling undesirable and leftover food byproducts into irresistible munchies. For example, addictingly crunchy ReGrained Super-grain+ Puffs are made from the spent grain of brewed beer.
    [$20, 5-pack; regrained.com]
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    Legumes Reimagined
    First kimchi was all the rage, now good ol’ reliable beans are joining the alternative snacks party. “Legumes are sustainable, health-promoting and tasty,” says Andrews. Plus they’re part of another major movement: plant-based eating. Fiber and protein keep you full longer, while powerful nutrients ward off disease. Brami’s pickled lupini beans have 50 percent more protein than chickpeas and 80 percent fewer calories than almonds.
    [$17, 4-pack; bramisnacks.com]
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    Punchy Spice Blends
    Herbs and spices will take you to Flavortown without torching your taste buds like some hot sauces can. Bonus: Most of these blends are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, says Foroutan. A big trend for 2021 is artisanal fusions. Try Asian-influenced umami mixes. Or Mexican-inspired adobo spices, like SpiceWalla Al Pastor Rub, in which ancho and guajillo chilli powder lend a slow burn that’s mellowed by pineapple and citrus.
    [$11; spicewallabrand.com]
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    Diversified Grains, Seeds and Greens
    Go all-in on trendy whole grains like teff, spelt and sorghum; seeds like chia and sunflower; and while you’re at it, swap kale for collards. To achieve variety that yields superfood levels of vitamins and minerals, reach for Go Raw’s Sprouted Organic Mixed Seeds. The pumpkin, sunflower and watermelon seed medley is nutrient-dense due to the sprouted germination process, which breaks down some starch.
    [$80, 6-pack; goraw.com]
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    Premium Coffee
    Prioritize fair-trade beans; they’ve met standards that help the environment and ensure workers are treated well and paid fairly. Also, expect to see more coffee products mixed with adaptogens—plant compounds thought to armor the body against biological and physical stressors. Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee boasts ashwagandha, chaga mushroom and more adaptogenic ingredients known to lower stress and spike immunity.
    [$20; foursigmatic.com]
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    How to Make Grilled Oysters With Nduja Butter

    Oysters are rich in zinc and amino acids that boost sex hormones, but science doubts they’re a true aphrodisiac. They sure set the mood, though. Having a backyard oyster feast? Save some to toss on the grill and earn points with this gourmet-but-simple treatment: grilled oysters with nduja butter.Not sure what nduja is? No sweat. It’s a spicy, spreadable Italian salumi that’s made with pork, fat, herbs, spices, and Calabrian chillies. It just so happens to be this recipe’s secret weapon, so don’t skip it! You can find it available at many gourmet shops or online. It also pairs beautifully with scallops, so it can do double duty in flavoring more than one seafood element.Before you attempt grilled oysters, make sure you know how to properly suck one with our foolproof four-step guide from Florida shucking champ Robert Daffin. Gain some knowledge about the comeback of gourmet Chesapeak Bay oysters from our profile of Rappahannock Oyster Company.Recipe provided by chef Dylan Allwood of Tavola restaurant in Charlottesville, VA.How to Make Grilled Oysters With Nduja ButterFor access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!Ingredients8 oz. unsalted butter, softened2 oz. nduja*Sea salt to taste1 Tbsp. olive oil1½ oz. panko bread crumbs16 oysters, shucked on the half shell2 chives, thinly slicedHow to make itPreheat grill to 450°F. Blend butter with nduja until well combined and season with sea salt.Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat and toast bread crumbs until golden brown. Remove from heat.Scoop 2 tsp. butter mixture on top of each oyster. Arrange in a single layer on grill, cover and cook until hot and bubbly, about 5 minutes.Remove from grill. Garnish with bread crumbs and chives and serve warm. More

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    How to Make Food Your First Line of Defense Against Depression

    In June 2020, depression and anxiety were up threefold across America compared to the same time last year, reports the CDC. The knee-jerk reaction is too often popping a pill. What if we looked at food more methodically to engineer homeostasis within? Eating healthier can improve symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and nausea, says psychiatrist Leela Magavi. Feeling more alert and energetic can domino into other mood-boosting behaviors like exercise and self-care. What’s more, a growing body of research suggests certain nutrients may help rein in anxious feelings and curb depression.

     
    Fatten Up Your Diet
    People who eat a Mediterranean-like diet—high in omega-3-rich fish, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, but low in meat and dairy—are the least likely to develop anxiety. Healthy fats lower inflammation (linked to depressive symptoms) and boost production of a specific brain protein (BDNF) that influences neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to form new connections and communicate effectively, says Jody Bergeron, RN.
    Try it: Eat fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, and avocados, or take a supple-ment with EPA and DHA to get up to 2,000 milligrams of omega-3 per day.

    The Whole of It
    Twelve key vitamins and minerals—including iron, omega-3s, magnesium, zinc, plus vitamin C, B6 and 12—help prevent and treat depressive disorders. An international meta-analysis concluded that ingesting a full spectrum (30+) can ease mood dysregulation, ADHD, aggression, and anxiety. Your gut and brain have a direct line of communication, so micronutrients impact inflammation levels and mood, Bergeron says. Vegetables and whole grains keep your gut microbiome diverse and healthy—necessary since nearly 90 percent of the happiness hormone serotonin is produced in the GI tract, she adds.
    Try it: Every day, load up on leafy greens, fresh herbs, whole grains (oats, farro, wild rice), quinoa, beans, nuts, cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage), berries, and other colorful produce. Get more probiotic foods like miso, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt, too.
    Ditch the Sugar to Dampen Depression
    Men who consume a lot of sugar are nearly a quarter more likely to develop anxiety or depression over five years, while the low-sugar DASH diet helps older adults stave off depression. Too much sweet stuff creates insulin resistance, which increases inflammation and releases chronic stress hormones, Magavi explains. Higher glucose levels slow brain cell growth and lower overall connectivity.
    Try it: Cut back on added sugar, at least to the RDA of 6 percent of daily calories.

    The Nutrition Plan to Boost Mood and Fight Depression
    Breakfast: Green tea, half a grapefruit, an omelet with sautéed veggies, fresh herbs, a small amount of cheese, and olive oil, plus a side of whole-grain toast.
    Mid-Morning Snack: Cottage cheese and blueberries topped with honey crunch wheat germ.
    Lunch: Mexican bowl with black beans, farro, corn, red cabbage, leafy greens, avocado, salsa, and cheese.
    Afternoon Snack: A few squares of 60 percent dark chocolate with almonds.
    Dinner: Broiled wild sockeye salmon or steamed mussels with a side of brown rice and steamed asparagus or broccoli.
    Dessert: Plain Greek yogurt topped with berries and whole-grain granola.

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    The Best Portable Grills for Barbecuing Outdoors Like a Pro

    One of the most satisfying rituals of being in the outdoors is scouring the woods for downed branches and logs to build a fire. Flames that you brought to life are then only naturally followed by grilling up a succulent meal, whether that’s on a skewer of charred veggies or a few links of split-open sausages. But making a fire to cook up some vittles is sometimes tough to manage—the forest may have already been cleaned of fallen wood, you’re in a parking lot after a long day of skiing, or camping in area where open fires are strictly forbidden. That’s where portable grills come in handy.

     
    Portable grills can mean the difference between a ho-hum bagged meal rehydrated with boiled water and a meal of flame-licked meats, starches, and veggies. Whether fueled by wood, charcoal, or gas, we tested the top portable grills for outdoor lovers, from super slim, packable options to big, rowdy cookers that can satisfy a crowd.

    Courtesy Image
     
    1. Primus Kuchoma
    This handsome, lightweight propane-powered grill has modern Scandinavian design cues like a wood-faced handle, stainless steel folding legs, and boxy lid with triangular vent holes. The 16×9-inch grilling surface is made from a non-stick ceramic and rests over a stainless drip tray, both easily removable for washing. An integrated Piezo ignitor blasts off a powerful 8,500 Btus of indirect, hot dog-roasting heat.[$190; primus.us]
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    2. Solo Stove Grill
    Solo Stove has mastered building fire pits that use managed air flow for efficient burning of combustibles like wood and charcoal. Its beefy new grill brings that design to a cheeseburger near you in a sleek stainless steel drum-like form that rests on a 13-inch high aluminum frame. It’s a fairly big unit, with a generous 480 square inches of circular grilling area, so is ideally suited for outings like group camping or tailgating. The kit comes with grilling tools, heavy-duty cover, carrying case, plus 4 pounds of briquettes and four fire starters.[$775; solostove.com]
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    3. Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill
    Crafted out of solid and sturdy stainless steel, the Takibi grill is an investment you’ll end up owning for years. The fold-up design makes stowing and deploying this mighty mite a cinch, and the strategically placed air holes and bottom vent create the optimum environment for efficiently burning your fuel, whether wood or charcoal. The burly mesh grill grate—with 290 square inches of cooking area—has adjustable legs to maximum heat levels for ultimate grilling goodness.[$320; snowpeak.com]
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    4. UCO Flatpack Grill & Firepit
    This is the grill you’ll want to pack for any trips where light and versatile are the key words. It only weighs slightly over 3 pounds and folds down to the size of a thin three-ring binder, making it easy to slip in a pack or leave in the back of your truck for impromptu burger sessions, or any on-the-go fire pit opportunities. The durable stainless steel grill is a bit small though, as it only gives you 130 square inches of grill space, and the grate is a little flimsy, but it’s the perfect solution for two- or three-man trips into the backcountry.[$50; ucogear.com]
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    5. NomadiQ Portable Gas Grill
    The clever, folding suitcase-like design of this propane grill makes deploying it up in front of BBQ buddies a neat trick. Even cooler are all of the trick features like integrated electronic ignitor, cast iron grill grates that give you 226 square inches of cooking room, and almost 10,000 Btus of flame power. Made from powder-coated steel, with stainless burners, the NomadiQ is a bit heavy at 12 pounds but the included carrying strap helps manage the load.[$400; nomadiqgrills.com]
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    6. HitchFire Forge 15
    One annoying thing about toting along your grill when out and about in the outdoors is that inevitably, after a few grill-downs, your trusty appliance will become coated with grease. Which is not something you want to toss in your rig. But with the HitchFire, you get portability outside of your vehicle, plus the convenience of having a swing-out grill that’s ready to go and at a back-friendly, waist height. It uses two of the green 1-pound propane camping propane canisters that nestle neatly under each side, and the grill is removable so you can use it on a picnic tabletop.[$449; hitchfire.com]
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    All the Essentials You Need to Throw an Oyster Fest

    It’s believed oysters have been around for roughly 200 million years ago. No doubt the first Paleolithic oyster fest was low on modern niceties like linen napkins and silver oyster spoons, but you don’t need anything fancy to turn your own shellfish fest into a success. Just make sure you have a few simple essentials like we’ve outlined below on hand to satisfy any hungry mollusk lovers who show up. Tried-and-True Oyster Fest Essentials1. Oyster KnivesRaw bar shuckers wield cheap ones, so they’re good enough for you—but yes, get the tool designed for the job, not a butter knife. And get several so you’re not stuck shucking by yourself. Use our foolproof guide on how to shuck oysters.2. PlattersDisplay your half-shell beauties for that raw bar vibe. Any rimmed platter that holds ice works; vintage beer trays make a statement, but cooler lids will do in a pinch.3. IceThis is a non-negotiable for keeping oysters chilled and creating an authentic presentation. You need crushed ice—and lots of it. Grab double what you think you need, then a bit more.4. CondimentsLemon wedges, cocktail sauce, and because you’re a class act, mix champagne vinegar with minced shallots and black pepper for a zingy mignonette.5. CrackersYes, eating an oyster atop a saltine is a rookie move. But be nice to newbies, too, especially if they brought good beer.For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube! More

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    Should You Only Eat Oysters in Months With an 'R'?

    You’ve probably heard the ages-old rule about eating raw oysters only in months that include the letter “R.” In other words, don’t consume them in the summer, no matter how many seafood shacks you might frequent. We call bullshit. Not that the caution didn’t make sense way back in the day, when lack of refrigeration meant that slurping raw oysters, quick to spoil in summer heat, was like playing shellfish roulette. Nowadays, oysters are kept icy cold and alive all the way from the water to your local raw bar, or doorstep.Red tide? Toxic algae? Yes, these occur more often in summer’s warming waters, but the United States is so strict about quality inspections that oysters aren’t imported from the European Union because it has less strict guidelines.Another previously relevant factor was that wild oysters spawn in warmer waters, a process that leaves them flimsy and rank. (Maybe you can relate.) Today’s farmed oysters are largely bred as sterile triploids that never reproduce. So forget about only eating oysters in months with an ‘r’. As long as you’re not ordering a wild-harvested oyster from warmer waters, there’s no issue. Pass the lemon wedge.For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube! More

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    Scientists Investigate: Is a Low-Fat, Plant-Based Diet Better Than Keto?

    It can be supremely frustrating trying to figure out what type of meal plan works best for you. There are so many fads and trends, all battling against solid advice and reputable research. Finding the right nutritional balance can be overwhelming—fast. It’s enough to make a guy give up and revert to continuously snacking on bags of baby carrots. But a recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shed a little more light on this diet dilemma by pitting perennially dueling macros—carbs and fats—against each other. What’s better: keto or a low-fat, plant-based diet?

    In the small but controlled four-week study, researchers analyzed 20 diabetes-free adults and found those who ate a low-fat, higher-carb plant-based diet consumed fewer daily calories—550 to 700 fewer—compared to subjects on a low-carb, higher-fat animal-based plan, or a ketogenic diet. And, even though the subjects on the low-fat, high-carb diet consumed less overall, they ended up with higher insulin and blood glucose levels. Possibly a result of three-quarters of their meals containing carbohydrates.

    None of the subjects gained any weight even though all had access to three meals a day, plus snacks, and could eat as much as they wanted. There were also, between the two diets, no differences in hunger, enjoyment of meals, or satiety. And though both groups also lost weight, only the participants on the low-fat diet burned off a good amount of body fat (plus the high-fat subjects didn’t gain any fat).
    The study macro breakdown for the plant-based, low-fat diet folks was 10 percent fat and 75 percent carbs, while the animal-based, low-carb people ate 10 percent carbs and 76 percent fat. Each meal included about 14 percent protein. All meals were minimally processed with about the same amounts of veggies.
    Chelsea Kyle for Men’s Journal

    “Interestingly, our findings suggest benefits to both diets, at least in the short-term. While the low-fat, plant-based diet helps curb appetite, the animal-based, low-carb diet resulted in lower and more steady insulin and glucose levels,” said study lead Kevin Hall, Ph.D., a senior investigator at the NIH.

    “Despite eating food with an abundance of high-glycemic carbohydrates that resulted in pronounced swings in blood glucose and insulin, people eating the plant-based, low-fat diet showed a significant reduction in calorie intake and loss of body fat, which challenges the idea that high-carb diets per se lead people to overeat. On the other hand, the animal-based, low-carb diet did not result in weight gain despite being high in fat,” he said.
    Though the study doesn’t provide a solid answer to whether or not you should eat carbs over fat or vice versa, it does help show that consuming too many carbs daily can mess with your insulin levels, which over the long term, could lead to pre-diabietes or worse. And that, as has been shown before, eating high levels of fat doesn’t neccssairly lead to weight can or increase in fat stores.
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