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

Archive for the ‘ Diet ’ Category

25 Apr

Dear Mark: Saturated Fat Jet Lag, Collagenous Amino Acids, and Different Cutting Diets

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. The first concerns a recent study seeming to show that saturated fat disrupts our circadian rhythms, especially saturated fat at the wrong time of day. Should we—yet again—trade butter for soybean oil? Second, how necessary are the amino acids found in collagen? Aren’t they found […]

12 Apr

Why Breakfast Isn’t the Most Important Meal of the Day (For Everyone)

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m always interested in exploring those time-tested bits of advice, those old wives’ tales, that folk wisdom handed down generation over generation because they’re often right, or at least contain a kernel of truth. And if a piece of conventional folk wisdom […]

1 Apr

My New and Improved Diet

People are always asking me what I eat on a typical day. Though I’ve done these posts in the past, I’m always a bit hesitant of doing any more. For one, I’m a boring dude. I like what I like, and it’s all pretty typical stuff you’d see in anyone’s (who cares about real food) kitchen. […]

15 Mar

Can Exposure to Non-Primal Foods Actually Help?

Are we shortchanging ourselves by complete elimination of potentially allergenic or sensitizing foods like wheat, peanuts, or dairy? Do we become even more sensitive to “bad” foods by avoiding them entirely? This question stems from two things I recently encountered. The first was a recent rewatcing of The Princess Bride. The second was the recent peanut allergy […]

9 Mar

Should You Be Getting More B Vitamins?

When it comes to obtaining sufficient amounts of certain micronutrients, you’re hyper vigilant. Magnesium? You’re eating spinach, throwing back magnesium glycinate, and adding Trace Mineral drops to your water. Iodine? You’re making dulse “bacon.” To bask in the holy triumvirate of vitamin K2, vitamin D3, and vitamin A, you’re willing to eat fermented cod liver […]

23 Dec

8 Reasons Why Low-Carb Diets Actually Work

The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate intake lowers your insulin levels. Since insulin keeps fat locked into adipose tissue, lowering insulin can increase the amount of fat released to be burned for energy. For the portion of the overweight/obese population with insulin resistance and chronically-elevated insulin […]

17 Nov

Should You Reduce Your Iron Intake?

Iron has an unequivocally positive reputation among the general public. After all, pregnant women use it to construct tiny humans, tiny humans use it to become slightly larger, more functional humans, and our cells require it to grow. And in many developing countries, iron deficiency is a real issue. Too little iron can have disastrous […]

27 Oct

6 Hidden Superfoods You Probably Already Have in Your Pantry

I generally don’t subscribe to the idea of superfoods. While I’ll try your obscure Amazonian berry that spent a fortnight fermenting in a capybara’s colon, I won’t join your pyramid scheme to help sell it. I may very well add a teaspoon of gelatinized maca root to my smoothie, but I won’t claim it’s responsible […]

3 Sep

10 Food Pairings That Make Surprising Nutritional Sense

Some foods and flavors are just made for one another. Bacon and eggs. Strawberries and cream. Basil and tomato. Oil and vinegar. Sweet and sour. The list goes on and on. But what’s behind these classic and nearly universal combinations? Does taste alone drive the decision to, say, add fresh herbs to a charred piece […]

15 Apr

How Much Sugar Is Recommended Per Day?

By now, American exceptionalism is a universally-accepted truism. Like dogs over cats and Star Wars over Star Trek, it’s simple fact that America is qualitatively different than other nations. Some would say “superior,” but I think modesty is more becoming of a nation of our stature, providence, and history. Why else would extraterrestrials decide to […]

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 […]

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 […]

25 Mar

The Definitive Guide to Seeds

Last week, I gave you the definitive guide to nuts, focusing on the ten most widely available types. Today I give the same treatment to edible seeds. If you’ve ever wondered whether chia seeds are good to eat, or sesame seeds can be legitimate snacks, or flaxseed actually isn’t as good (or bad) as you […]

18 Mar

The Definitive Guide to Nuts

Of all Primal-approved food categories, none is more bedeviling to even seasoned followers of the lifestyle than nuts. The questions never end. What is a nut? When you’ve got all these nut-like gymnosperms, drupes, and legumes masquerading as nuts, what even qualifies as an actual nut? Does it even matter? Or phytic acid. Is it or […]

10 Feb

What’s Messing with Your Appetite? Three Possibilities.

Although a few weeks ago I explained how “stop eating so much” is bad weight loss advice and how “calories in, calories out” tells us very little about the cause of obesity, the fact remains: for whatever reason (and there are many), people who gain weight have eaten more energy than they’ve expended. Something is […]

8 Jan

9 More Calorie Myths We Should All Stop Believing

Yesterday’s post introduced the major myths surrounding calories, weight loss, and human regulation of body weight, but there are some other serious misconceptions surrounding the topic that need clearing up. People can really get down on themselves when they listen to all the “experts”. They’ll weigh, measure, and count themselves into oblivion only to experience […]

7 Jan

7 Common Calorie Myths We Should All Stop Believing

Many people think weight loss is simply about cutting calories. They believe that to lose weight, you must reduce calories (either eat less or burn more), to gain weight you must add calories, and to maintain weight you keep calories constant. To these folks, calories in, calories out is the only thing that matters. They […]

3 Dec

Should You Eat Periodic “Cheat” Meals?

I get a lot of questions about cheat meals. Are they allowed on the Primal Blueprint? Is there a reason someone should actively seek to eat unhealthy food from time to time? The allure of the cheat meal is obvious: you get to eat stuff that’s otherwise off-limits and extremely delicious. You get to throw caution […]

22 Sep

Dear Mark: High Uric Acid and Gout; From Vegetarian to Primal Without a Gallbladder

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m covering two questions. First, what’s the deal with really, really high uric acid levels? Assuming a person is fit with good body composition, feels good, and has no complaints, are they still worrisome? Can they still lead to gout? Maybe. Read on. And then I cover a question […]

4 Sep

Why We Eat: Other People

For those of you who did a double-take, how could I resist? It’s not only an example of why punctuation matters but another major reason why we hominids chow down (in addition to the hunger and cravings we discussed the last couple of weeks). Ah, the power of social suggestion… Think for a moment about […]

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