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...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected

Category: Diet & Nutrition

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Yogurt!

The Fuming Fuji is outraged by the marketing of toxic food, especially when it’s aimed at the small fry. This week, the Fuming Fuji has decided to have a serious problem with yogurt.

But, Fuming Fuji, you ask, isn’t yogurt healthy in its wonderful bland creaminess?

The Fuming Fuji says no!

The claim: Yogurt is a great way to get a serving of dairy, which we all know is full of lovely calcium, protein, and vitamins.

The catch:
Yogurt is a great way to get a serving of gelatinous goop, which is actually full of sugar, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, dyes, artificial flavors, and probably pus.

The comeback: But Fuming Fuji, yogurt contains healthful cultures like acidophilus bifidus.

The conclusion: Yogurt still has as much sugar as a Coca-Cola. Yogurt makers do not have to prove how much of so-called beneficial bacteria is in actual product. You need a lot more than they include. You can get more culture from a Steven Seagal movie. Yogurt is glorified dessert.

The catchphrase: Yogurt? Nogurt!

Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji.

[tags] Steven Seagal, yogurt, Gogurt, acidophilus bifidus, cultured food, fermented food, Fuming Fuji, Coca-Cola, sugar, children’s snacks, calcium, dairy, beneficial bacteria [/tags]

Read More

Mark Sisson Is Not Afraid of Fat

Evolution is all about adaptation – to the environment, to circumstances, to stress and even (or especially) to food. In this context of adaptation, it’s truly amazing how “inventive” the human body has become in finding novel (and perhaps heretofore uncontemplated) ways to repair damage we do to ourselves through our diets and other lifestyle indiscretions. And most of these changes are less than a few hundred years old, which makes the adaptations even more remarkable.

Let’s use cholesterol as an example. Cholesterol is actually very beneficial. Among other duties, it’s a necessary component of every cell membrane and it’s involved in hormone production. The body makes about 1400 mg a day just to keep up!

Now let’s take a stressful lifestyle (show of hands, please), add in a bad diet and lack of exercise and we get an inflammatory process in the arteries that causes lesions. This inflammation problem is completely unrelated to amounts or types of cholesterol .

Nevertheless, the ever-inventive human body adapts to this inflammation sequence by using cholesterol as a band-aid to cover up the lesions until healing can take place – which, of course, almost never happens since the silly human continues to live the same pro-inflammatory lifestyle. Eventually, the cholesterol band-aids harden (sclerosis), narrow the arteries and sometimes break off causing a heart attack.

Of course, we blame the cholesterol for all this and embark on a national campaign to rid the body of this important substance instead of focusing on the foods (and other stresses) that promote inflammation in the first place!

Now let’s consider fat. For years we believed fat was nothing more than nature’s way of storing extra calories for some future famine. That would be a handy little adaptation in and of itself if that’s all it were. But when you do the math, you see that it doesn’t require a lot of fat to survive or even migrate for long periods. A 165-pound person with only 13% body fat has 21.45 pounds of fat. Being generous and assuming that you need a minimum 3% just to carry on basic survival functions, that leaves 10% or 16.5 pounds of fat to live off. At 3500 calories per pound of fat and 100 calories per mile walking, you’d theoretically have enough fat to survive weeks and migrate several hundred miles.

So maybe fat has another purpose, and this is where my friend Art De Vany’s description of fat as a toxic waste site (my words) comes in. Modern humans have so thoroughly altered foods to focus on simple carbohydrates (sugars) that we now consume hundreds of excess grams of it every day.

As Art has explained, the body recognizes excess sugar (glucose) as a toxic load – and remember, it doesn’t take a whole lot of it to be excessive – and the body starts the adaptive process of secreting insulin to take sugar out of the bloodstream and deposit it into the muscles.

Two problems arise immediately:

First, there’s not a lot of room in those muscles. Ask any athlete who’s ever tried to

Read More

The Bitter Swiss

SMART FUEL

Swiss Chard

Don’t let the spinach scare stop you from getting copious greens in your diet. I recommend trying out chard in replacement of spinach, regardless of the current health scare.

Chard is actually a member of the spinach family, but it is more substantial and greater in nutritional value than regular spinach. I’m always amazed at how inexpensive chard is, too – even the organic variety. For recipes, you’ll find chard’s texture is better than spinach, too – it doesn’t get stringy or mushy.

Chard packs a lot of nutritional density for bone health, so it’s appropriate given our osteoporosis discussion. Chop it up, throw it in any sauces, risottos or stir fries, and enjoy high levels of vitamin K, A, C, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese and magnesium. Chard is also the most fibrous leaf you can eat. Try it out this weekend.

[tags] manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, sources of vitamins and minerals, plant sources of iron, swiss chard, fiber, green vegetables [/tags]

Read More

Ladies: We Can Stop With the Calcium Chews, Already

Sara here. Osteoporosis has been in the news again, and I want to share some important missing information with you. (If you want the nitty-gritty osseous-related research, please shoot me a line on the Forum .) In brief, though, here’s what every woman, and especially all the moms out there, must know:

Osteoporosis is not going to be prevented, treated or cured with three glasses of milk a day or yogurt every morning. Never was, never will be.

A few things the dairy people don’t want you to think about:

1) Dairy is not a common food in much of the world,

2) Osteoporosis is not a common disease – often, it’s not even heard of – in much of the world. However, osteoporosis is most common in Europe and in the United States, where dairy intake is exceptionally high. Strange? Sure, because there are other factors you need to know about. Osteoporosis is not simply a matter of calcium depletion.

Osteoporosis is caused by many factors, but here are the four key ones:

1) Vitamin and mineral deficiency. Although the western world has incredible abundance and access, centralized mass production of food leaves a lot to be desired in the nutritional department. And our calcium emphasis is skewed. Though calcium is important, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin D, and countless other vitamins and minerals are crucial to bone health. In fact, recent studies show that magnesium may actually be more important to bone health than calcium is. Not saying calcium isn’t important. It is. It’s vital. It’s just not the only thing you need. I hate to beat a dead llama, but take a multi-vitamin, ladies!

2) Soda consumption. (Even diet soda.) The worst, and I mean worst thing you can do to your bones is to drink death-by-can. There are lots of studies that prove this, but a recent long-term study published in the much-respected American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who consume just one soda daily have 5 to 7 percent less bone material than women who limit fizzy stuff to just once a month.

3) Lack of fruits and vegetables. Most Americans eat only 1-3 servings of produce daily . Blech! No wonder we’re all so chunkity chunk. A recent study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that postmenopausal women who ate adequate vegetable matter (at least 5 servings) in their daily diets were between 200 and 400% better in terms of bone mineral density loss. (Now, here’s a handy time to talk about studies and statistics. This doesn’t mean that these bone-hardy women have bones that weigh 2 to 4 times as much as other women. What it means is relative loss compared to veggie-avoiding women. So, that might mean a few ounces on up to a few pounds – scientists generally break things up into quartiles so they can examine a range of factors. Fascinating, I know!)

In other words, vegetables will not make you gain 300 pounds, and they will also not give you the bones of Hercules. But they’re still good for your bones.

Here was Mark’s take:

Read More

Trans Fat in NYC, Foie Gras in Chicago

It’s Prohibition all over again. What do you all think about major cities banning certain fattening foods? Is this blatantly unconstitutional, or simply in the interest of public health? In recent months Chicago has attempted to ban foie gras (French for greasy grease) and New York has now rumbled to restaurants about frying foods in trans fat oils. Even Killing Folks Covertly (KFC) is hopping in the anti-trans fryer.

While I don’t know that foie gras tops most people’s dietary vice lists, food manufacturers’ stubborn use of trans fat is utterly irresponsible and flagrantly unethical. (Yes, I said it.)

But here’s the real question: Just like the too-skinny models (perhaps a redundancy) banned in Spain, is banning trans fat in restaurants the right step? Might we think about going to the source by sending a message to Congressional lobbyists working for Big Agra instead?

Discuss, Apples.

[tags] foie gras, Chicago, New York, trans fat ban, KFC, banned models, Big Agra, food politics [/tags]

Read More

Eggs Are Good for More Than Silly Cliches

SMART FUEL

People like to use eggs in words like eggscellent, eggxactly and eggstatic.

Poor eggs. I recommend using them in your meals instead – and think beyond breakfast on occasion. Eggs are slowly regaining favor after their Humpty-Dumpty fall during the whole cholesterol paranoia of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

We know that they contain valuable protein, vitamins and minerals: stress-busting selenium, antioxidant E, and eye-healthy lutein among them.

Because I am an egghead (sorry), I’m proud to bring you the latest findings from a study Mark pointed out to the Bees in the Journal of Nutrition. In a study that was randomized (good), controlled (great), and cross-sectional (nice), scientists found that a daily egg gave people’s eyes a boost with lutein and zeaxanthin (an antioxidant from the carotenoid family) and didn’t raise their serum cholesterol. Not that we worry too much about cholesterol anyway. That’s right – we don’t lose sleep over cholesterol! Just one of the many MDA ongoing health debates you might want to check out in the forum.

Matt Bonnington Photo

So scramble, Apples!

[tags] lutein, zeaxanthin, carotenoids, antioxidant, cholesterol, egg, protein, selenium, vitamin E, Journal of Nutrition, nutrition study [/tags]

Read More

Join Over 300,000 Subscribers!

Signup and get:

Primal Blueprint Fitness plus 7 other eBooks
7-Day Course on Primal Fundamentals
Special Offers and More!