“Let food be thy medicine,” said some old Roman guy, I think. Whoever he was, he was right. Food is the foundation for preventive medicine. It’s the first thing we examine when figuring out a health issue, and successful changes to what we eat usually have the most profound effect on our health. If we don’t eat well, we won’t be healthy – simple as that.
But what if food literally was medicine? What if certain foods had specific, established pharmacological effects that rivaled certain pharmaceuticals?
For today’s Dear Mark, I’ve got a three-parter. First I discuss the suitability and proper dosage of grass fed beef liver for babies and toddlers. It’s definitely a good choice, but you do have to keep a few parameters in mind to do it right and do it safely. Next, I discuss flax seed. Is it a good choice? Does it have health benefits beyond the meager conversion of alpha-linolenic acid into longer-chain omega-3s? Finally, I explore what happens when you eat medium chain triglycerides – the fats most prevalent in coconut oil – with fruit or other carb sources. Good, neutral, or certain death?
Last week’s Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch garnered a lot of attention. While the article covered a lot of ground, many of you had lingering questions and concerns about the topic: What is and isn’t resistant starch? How much resistant starch should I be eating? Why is resistant starch good for me? What is resistant starch again?
I don’t blame you; it’s a confusing one that appears, on first glance, to challenge some of the fundamental Primal ideas about food and nutrition.
Today, I’m going to answer as many questions from last week as I can. Hopefully it clears up most of the bigger questions.
Let’s get right to it:
For today’s Dear Mark, I’m answering a bunch of your questions rapid fire-style. First up, I discuss why a person might experience nausea after breaking a 24 hour fast with a meal. Second, I explore some pushup alternatives for a guy with terrible thumb arthritis. Third, I explain the importance of chewing for jaw development, dental health, and digestion, and for the last three, I give my take on sour cherry juice as a health supplement, yacon syrup as a Primal sweetener, and middle distance running as an acceptable form of exercise.
A few years back, I briefly covered a throwaway Yahoo! article about how “carbs will make you lose weight” because so many readers had emailed about it. It turned out that the “carbs” in the article were resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that our digestive enzymes cannot break down. I’ll admit now, with regret, that I didn’t look as deeply into the matter as I might have. I didn’t dismiss resistant starch, but I did downplay its importance, characterizing it as “just another type of prebiotic” – important but not necessary so long as you were eating other fermentable fibers. While technically true, we’re fast learning that resistant starch may be a special type of prebiotic with a special place in the human diet.
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