Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

1 Apr

25 Ways to Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin does a lot of important things for us. It pulls glucose from the blood and fritters it away into our cells to be burned for energy or stored as glycogen. It prevents hyperglycemic toxicity to neurons, pancreatic cells, the arterial walls and the generation of excessive levels of reactive oxygen species. It even promotes muscle protein synthesis and helps augment muscular hypertrophy, especially following resistance training. Clearly, we need insulin. Without it, we’d die, as type 1 diabetics readily do without an exogenous source.

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31 Mar

Why Some Like It Hot

We’ve explored the health benefits of cold (water) exposure. What about heat?

I decided to explore the health benefits of acute heat exposure in the form of saunas, baths, and steam rooms for one main reason: the sauna is a near-universal human tradition, and I’m always curious about those. Indigenous peoples of North America had the sweat lodge, those of Central America the temazcal. The Romans had the thermae, which they picked up and refined from the Greeks. Other famous traditions include Finnish saunas, Russian banyas, Turkish hammams, Japanese sentó (or the natural spring-fed onsen), and the Korean jjimjilbang. Are all these many billions of people across time and space sitting in heated rooms for the heck of it?

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30 Mar

Dear Mark: A New Whole Grain Study, Advice for a Teen, Broken Leg Sprints, and The 3 Mules

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got four questions and four answers. First up, there’s a new whole grain study, and some people are claiming it demonstrates that low-carb diets will lead to early mortality. Does it do anything of the sort, or is this yet another flawed observational paper? Next, a teen on top of his diet game who hopes he’s doing it right writes in with a list of questions. I answer them. Next, what can a person recovering from a broken leg do in the way of sprinting? Or should she just focus on recovery? Finally, a wild and free man is roaming California with three pack mules, flouting convention and leading a nomadic existence. Police are occasionally called and media attention is often attracted. What are my thoughts?

Let’s go:

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29 Mar

Weekend Link Love – Edition 341

Weekend Link LoveResearch of the Week

Older really can mean wiser, depending on which cognitive ability you’re studying.

Bad sleep kills sexual desire in women. Extra sleep makes sex more likely and increases genital arousal.

Too much homework is an independent predictor of obesity in children.

Vitamin D seems to keep low-grade prostate cancer from getting too aggressive.

A brisk walk can curb snack cravings and reduce stress-eating.

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28 Mar

Anchovy Butter

PrimalJust when you thought butter couldn’t get any better, there’s anchovy butter. It’s an umami-rich secret ingredient that transforms simply cooked meat and veggies into an amazing meal. Don’t worry, anchovy butter won’t make your food taste fishy. Rather, it gives everything it touches a subtle, savory flavor boost. Meat tastes meatier. Veggies taste bolder.

A batch of anchovy butter can be kept in the fridge (or freezer) and sliced as needed. Melt it over steak and roasted and raw vegetables. Use it to sauté just about anything. When you have anchovy butter in the fridge, elevating a meal from good to great is so much easier. Don’t worry about fancy sauces or seasonings – just come home, throw your steak on the grill and your veggies in a pan. Then smother it all in luscious anchovy butter. It doesn’t get much easier, or much tastier, than that.

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