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

Archive for the ‘ Worker Bees’ Weekly Bites ’ Category

21 Jun

The Art of Work: Avoiding the Pitfalls of a Sedentary Job

workchair2A series of recent studies have implicated sedentary lifestyle in the obesity epidemic. The idea is, even if you hit the gym a few times a week, parking it in front of the T.V. at night dwindles away any benefits gained. Every hour on the couch costs us dearly. But what about the office chair? Dare we take this one on? A recent study does exactly that in targeting the specific role of sedentary work in our nation’s obesity crisis. Our desk jobs, the study’s authors suggest, represent a key culprit behind our society’s expanding waistlines.

Dr. Timothy Church, Dr. John McIlhenny and their associates examined trends related to occupational activity and the corresponding increase in American obesity rates since the 1960s. Fifty years ago, over fifty percent of occupations included moderate physical exertion. Today that number has dropped to less than twenty percent. In keeping with this pattern, Drs. Church and McIlhenny suggest we use, on average, a hundred calories less during a workday than we did fifty years ago. The impact of this change adds up over time – one belt notch at a time.

2 May

Dear Mark: Soy Lecithin, Healthy Fat Alternatives, Wasted Workouts, and Magic Grapefruit

grapefruitThings got a little heated regarding the milligrams of evil soy lecithin used as in emulsifier in most dark chocolates in last week’s Dear Mark post, so before launching into today’s questions and answers, let’s go over that. Soy lecithin is simply the byproduct of soy oil extraction. It’s not hydrogenated soybean oil, folks allergic to soy can eat it without ill effect, and lecithin actually contains choline and phospholipids that can be quite beneficial. Don’t go out of your way to eat soy lecithin for any health benefits (egg yolks and liver are far better sources of choline), but don’t pass on some excellent dark chocolate simply because “soy” appears on the package.

Okay, onto the questions. We’re covering healthy fat alternatives, whether walking constitutes a wasted workout, and the magic of grapefruit.

Hello Mark!

I recently found out that I’m pregnant with my second child. I just started eating Primally about a month and a half ago, and my main sources of good fats are–outside of meat–avocados, raw macadamia nuts, and coconut oil. I’m dairy intolerant but I’m growing weary of the aformentioned fats. Do you have any suggestions for the good fat craving mama?

28 Apr

Is Fish Oil Linked to Prostate Cancer?

fishoilsThis is a special guest post from expert study-dismantler Denise Minger. (Read Denise’s previous guest posts – Will Eating Whole Grains Help You Live Longer? and High Fat Diet Linked to Breast Cancer? – and her blog at Raw Food SOS.) Enter Denise…

Like salmon? Pop fish oil? Got a prostate? Then listen up. A new cancer study rolled in this week, and at first glance, it looks like bad news for any fish-loving men out there. A team of researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found a disturbing link between blood levels of DHA – that darling omega-3 fat abundant in seafood – and the risk of developing aggressive, “high-grade” prostate tumors.

6 Apr

The Human-Animal Connection

horsechildI imagine most of us have (or have had) animals in our lives – pets at home, livestock on the farm, and so forth. For me, it’s a yellow lab named Buddha. True to his title, he has some calm, composed moments – mostly in the glory of outdoor adventures, but he’s just as much an example of big, slobbery enthusiasm. (Such is the life of a labrador retriever.) He’s been a faithful pal, eager workout companion, and much-needed comic relief more times than I can recall. When I’m in need of time away from society, he gets a special pass to join me. There’s just something different about hanging out with a dog – or most animals, I’d venture to say. There’s more to the human-animal connection, however, than just playing fetch. Throughout human existence, animals have acted as companions, protectors, and workmates. They’ve herded alongside us in the fields, accompanied us in battle, aided us in rescue missions, comforted us in illness and trauma, acted as service animals, stood by as patient and loyal friends. Experts have long examined this deep, even innate bond. Among the more intriguing theories are those that suggest our relationships with animals contributed to our species’ evolution and helped define our very sense of humanity.

18 Feb

Will Eating Whole Grains Help You Live Longer?

happywomaninwheatWe interrupt our regularly scheduled Friday Success Story to bring you a timely and critical look at this week’s Hottest Health Headline. And who better to tackle the research in question than expert study-dismantler Denise Minger? You may remember Denise from the recent article she wrote for MDA in which she went toe-to-toe with a study linking a high fat diet with breast cancer. Today she takes on our nemesis, our foe, our mortal enemy – the Whole Grain. And now, Denise…

A headline-grabbing study just hit the press, and on the surface, it looks like a home run for team Healthy Whole Grain. This chunk of research – officially titled “Dietary Fiber Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study” – followed a pool of over half a million adults and found that, across the board, the folks eating the most fiber had lower rates of death from almost every disease. But here’s the kicker: The only fiber that seemed to boost health was the kind from grains. Not veggie fiber. Not fruit fiber. Just grains, grains, grains.

Suspicious, eh?

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