Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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This Is a Big Fat Blog Post

Apples, as you know, this is a pro-fat health site – pro-fat meaning we recommend eating beneficial fats, of course, not getting fat. There are a lot of issues to consider when it comes to fat – heart disease, inflammation, arthritis, obesity and prevention, to name a few – and I’m going to weigh in (I know, I know) on some of the latest findings.

Arthritis

Increasingly, the medical community is focusing on the interrelatedness of health conditions like obesity, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. These prevalent health problems have a common component – inflammation – and mounting evidence suggests that a wide range of lifestyle habits aimed at preventing inflammation is clearly the better avenue for public health. Soaring health care costs, unequal distribution of nutritious food, Americans’ sedentary lifestyle, grievous drug side effects, and inaccurate food and health information are all factors in a health crisis that I believe has hit critical mass – it’s time for a smarter solution.

Case in point: arthritis costs alone are over $120 billion dollars every year and growing. Just a few years ago, we were spending about $80 billion. By 2010, about 50 million people will suffer from arthritis. In my opinion, this is utterly unacceptable. Arthritis can occur for many reasons – I myself manage osteoarthritis from years of professional sports competition. Excessive levels of stress like hardcore athletic training or lack of any physical exercise are common culprits. Though there is a genetic predisposition to arthritis in some folks, the majority of people suffer from arthritis to a much greater extent than they need to, given the availability of easy prevention options (that are a lot cheaper and less painful than drugs, surgery and daily suffering). Personally, I’m rarely bothered by my arthritis because I maintain a good exercise routine, I don’t eat junk, and I am ruthless about preventing inflammation.

How to prevent inflammation:

– Douse yourself in antioxidants

– Consume “good” fats with reckless abandon

– Exercise

– Limit both physical and emotional stress

– Absolutely avoid anything that contributes to oxidation: smoking, excessive drinking, lack of activity, processed and prepared food, trans fat, and sugar

Add Another Test to the List

There have been several new heart disease markers identified this month (and a few thrown out as doctors realize basic prevention is worth a lot more). A Japanese study found interesting results for a specific set of women with particular heart conditions; and this study will help doctors determine how people who already have heart disease can avoid a second incident. In the same vein (there I go again), a few studies released this month are too fraught with questions and conflicts of interest to be of much insight (though no doubt Big Pharma will still bandy them about).

Look, heart disease is the biggest killer of men and women. And it goes beyond that – those suffering from heart problems also tend to suffer from other big health problems like diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. These health

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Bilingualism: a Passport to Brain Health

People who speak more than one language significantly reduce the likelihood of dementia in old age. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t mastered the grammar or spelling of a second language, either (or a first language, for that matter). Simply speaking a second language keeps the brain’s frontal lobe in great shape well into old age. Now, donde esta este estudio? Aqui.

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Fat Food Is Smart Fuel

Smart Fuel, Just in Time for the Weekend…

Want skin that Cindy Crawford would be jealous of? Eat fat. That’s right – fat! Many of us, especially women, tend to avoid fat because we’ve been told it’s bad for us. Mark will be posting later today on the fat debate (would you expect anything less than ornery here at Mark’s Daily Apple?), but for now, here’s our suggestion: fat is your friend!

Keep in mind the type of fat you eat is very important. Fried foods and processed items tend to be high in “bad” fats – the kind that clog arteries, release free radicals in your body, and stimulate inflammation. But good fats – heaven be praised – can prevent disease, help you lose weight, and make your skin positively glow. Sound too good to be true? Nope. Good fats really can help with all those health goals.

Here are some “good” fats you can eat to feel great starting this weekend:

Animal fats top the list: think tallow, lard, fish oil.

Other great fats:

Avocados

Avocado oil

Omega-3-enhanced eggs

Olive Oil

Coconut Oil

Butter/Ghee

Other good fats:

Organic yogurt and cottage cheese. These dairy products are typically easier to digest than cheese or milk. Be sure to get the sugar-free varieties of yogurt. Although dairy isn’t rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like fish or nuts, there are other valuable fats. And science reveals that the proportions of various fats in the diet are more important than any single fat. Fats work better together than alone.

Now, admittedly, we’ve been on a bit of an Omega-3 tear this week, but that’s because we see people missing out on these fantastic fats. Fat’s not bad. Far from it – so enjoy! You’ll sleep better, your skin will be radiant, your organs will love you, and your waistline might even shrink a bit. Magical things happen when Omega-3 fats come to town: headaches run in fright, bad moods slink away, and spare tires get rolling.

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Got News?

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

You’ll want to click out today’s most interesting news, Apples:

1) We Promise, This Is the Last Dairy Discussion

…for a while, anyway. This is merely to highlight the general conclusion that can be had from all the various dairy-makes-you-skinny debates: dairy obviously does not make you skinny enough. If dairy were the wonder tonic Big Moo would have you believe, wouldn’t we all have noticed by now?

Some of the studies are inconclusive, like this one just out (yet another one!). Some of the studies are total quackery questionable because they’ve been funded by Big Moo. Most of them, actually. Some of the studies make it seem like low-fat dairy is better. A recent one makes a case for regular old fattening dairy. Mark happens to think dairy is the ultimate Blunder Tonic .

While there’s no definitive dairy answer, how about some common sense? If you exercise, eat a lot of vegetables, and stay away from things like sugar and French fries, it just might not matter if your beverage of choice is soy milk, cow’s milk or hemp milk (yep, and it’s tasty). Folks who are unhealthy might benefit marginally from foods like dairy, but at the end of the day, no food is the magic answer to your waistline concerns or health goals.

Except, possibly, for spinach.

2) We Can’t Wait for All the Clever Headlines!

You just know the mainstream media is going to have a cliched-headline carnival with hemp milk . Oh, well, maybe they don’t get out much.

Thanks to Slashfood for the heads up on this yummy, high-protein unmilk. It’s available in chocolate, vanilla and regular (what will that taste like?).

Slash says: “Some of the benefits of Hemp milk are: it is high in protein and is a good source of balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and has lots of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, thiamin, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and iron. It is the only product made from seeds that contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a controversial substance that may help fight cancer, treat problems with inflammation, and auto-immune diseases.”

3) When Will Law Makers Actually Give Two Figs?

Mark says sugar is the new trans fat, and others are sayin’ the same, too. Check out this handy little corn syrup summary . Then drop a line to these spineless saps and tell them you’re sick of Americans being sick. And say something to your senator , too. They don’t listen to Bees but they listen to you.

Because when a website actually brags about the fact that – yes – corn syrup is only as bad as sugar, you have to do something, Apples…

It’s a payday for someone, all right.

4) Tsk, Tsk

Parents seem to eat more fat than other adults , especially fat from kiddie-foods like pizza, chips, candy and snacks. Be honest, now – if you’re a parent, maybe you’ve snatched some of the French fries from the Happy Meal.

The important thing to remember is that these little bites add up to serious health problems. They seem

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5 Is the New 10

5 Tips to Feel Great Today:

1 – Eat something green at every meal. And by green we mean a vegetable. Limeade and green apple Jolly Ranchers do not count. Veggies fight cancer, help you lose weight, boost your brain, and just generally mean business.

2 – Eat something red, like a tomato. Tomatoes contain lycopene. This is great for your eyes, which are fresh now but often get blurry by day’s end, right? We humans may be endlessly fascinated by the latest office memo (sure), but fortunately, our eyes seem to know when to call it quits. Give them a little lycopene and lutein love, would ya? (Psst…cooked tomatoes are actually richer in lycopene than fresh tomatoes.)

3 – Jam out to some really sappy music you loved in high school. Not that anyone here ever does that, but we hear it’s great for stimulating endorphins and other feel-good brain compounds.

4 – Call a friend. See a movie. Take a walk around the block. Anything that gives you a little respite from a long work week. Remember that caring for your emotional health is a major part of beating stress and staying fit!

5 – Get some good fatty acids in that body! Pick from Smart Butter (yum!), avocados, nuts, fish, grass-fed meat, olive oil, or organic peanut butter.

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The Sisson Spoof

Coffins can be cute. They even come with cheese!

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