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

Archive for the ‘ Dear Mark ’ Category

1 Apr

Dear Mark: Eggs, More Eggs, and Marathon Man

eggs 2For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’re talking eggs, eggs, and marathons. First up are egg allergies/intolerances as determined by blood test. It’s not exactly clear what blood test was used to determine the inflammatory response to eggs, but regardless: the test was done and the reader is now worried about eggs, previously one of her favorite foods. Can she reintroduce eggs? Should she even worry at all? Next are eggs and blood lipids. Our reader’s naturopath has warned against four times daily egg consumption because of elevated LDL, and she wants to know if there’s really any reason to follow the advice. I lay out some of the evidence in favor of egg consumption; hopefully it’s enough to satisfy. Finally, I discuss the curious case of Stefaan Engels, the man who ran 365 marathons in 365 days. Does he discredit my whole view of fitness, chronic cardio, and endurance training? Should you therefore take up daily marathoning? Read on to find out.

Let’s go:

25 Mar

Dear Mark: Cycling at Work, Refueling After Sprints, Fasting for Caloric Deficit, and PUFAs for Pain

stationarybike2For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m tackling four questions. First, I discuss the negative effects of sitting and explore whether stationary cycling as you work can mitigate the bad stuff associated with sitting for too long. Next, I explore how and why a person might want to refuel (or not) after a sprint workout. Should you fast to maximize fat burning or feast to maximize glycogen replenishment? Read on to find out. Third, I field a question from a reader who wants to know whether he should make up for lost calories after a fast, lower his calories, or go with the flow and do what feels best. You probably know what I’m going to say, but you might like reading my reasons why. Finally, I discuss the fatty acid composition of black cumin seed oil and olive leaf oil for a reader who uses both to fight muscle pain. She’s worried about the PUFA content and I try to allay her concerns.

Let’s go:

18 Mar

Dear Mark: Brain Caloric Expenditure, Muscle Preservation, Potassium, and Iron Supplements

thinkingFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m covering four of your questions. First up is a question from Rachel, an English major who finds herself growing ravenous once exam time rolls around. I discuss whether or not her increased cognitive activity is increasing the amount of fuel her brain is burning through, and whether this affects her hunger. Next I provide a few tips to a young athlete who’s injured and has to rest, but doesn’t want to lose any muscle mass or curtail his fitness pursuits in the process. Luckily, there are a few dietary modifications he can make to preserve that lean mass. Third, I discuss the importance of potassium. It plays a few vital roles in the maintenance of our health, and if you want enough, you’ll have to consume some plants. Finally, I field a question from a woman who’s worried about iron supplementation. She’s not doing it, thinks she might need it, and wants my take on the subject. I explain why it’s probably better to get your iron from food, rather than supplements – which may do more harm than good.

Let’s go.

11 Mar

Dear Mark: Is Meat Going to Kill Me (Again)?

redmeat 1There’s another “meat is bad” study making the rounds, featuring such stellar prose as:

“Although causality cannot be established…”

“…further research is recommended.”

“…should still strive to reduce intake of red and processed meat, which tend to contain high amounts of saturated fat and sodium.”

And so on.

By now, we see these lines, roll our eyes, and keep on moving down the path that seems to be helping us. But that’s us, people who pay attention to nutrition news and stay abreast of the literature. We may be able to write off these breathless articles without thinking we’re going to die because we ate that bunless burger the other day, but our parents, our friends, our colleagues may not be so well-equipped. They’re worried about our health, and who can blame them? If you take mainstream health articles at face value, articles which confirm what your doctor is probably telling you, you would do the same.

4 Mar

Dear Mark: Obesogens, Tots Who Hate Veggies, and Pregnancy Recovery

broccoliFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’ve got three topics for you. First are the obesogens, those endocrine-disrupting chemicals that permeate our environment, our foods, our consumer products, and even our bodies. They sound scary and terrible, but how much should we be worrying about them? Next up is the tot who hates his veggies, as classic a trope as any other. Should we be force feeding these kids broccoli, collard greens, and butternut squash at all costs? Or should we take a more laissez faire approach and let them develop their tastes on their own? Finally, I discuss the importance of proper pregnancy recovery, especially in regards to lifting heavy (and not so heavy but extremely wiggly) things.

Let’s go…

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