The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate...
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
Standard Primal eating is quite simple. Meat, veggies, and perhaps some starch. That’s partly what makes it so effective and intuitive. As far as dietary lifestyles that call for making most of your food from scratch, the Primal Blueprint is one of the easier ones.
As a red-blooded American, most of the recipes I post on MDA and publish in my books are “Primalized” versions of American cuisine. It’s only natural. So you get Primal meatloaf, Primal casserole, Primal pancakes, and other familiar fare. I even published an entire cookbook devoted to it called Primal Cravings.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t like different flavors. I do.
Over the past several years, I’ve noticed a subtle shift in the way the media discusses dietary protein, with many experts promoting lower intakes. The push for lower intakes hasn’t only come from the mainstream crowing about red meat and colon cancer. Many voices from the alternative health communities are urging a reduction in protein. Even the ancestral health community counts among its ranks protein skeptics.
Today I’m addressing the standard arguments levied against high protein intakes. Hopefully, we can get to the bottom of the issue.
We really like to eat. We choose restaurants based on portion size. We work out just to increase our capacity for guilt-free gluttony. And even when we don’t actually like it, we still want it because the food industry employs experts in brain hedonic processing to engineer food products your brain literally cannot stop craving. As Louis CK put it, we don’t stop eating when we’re full, we stop eating when we hate ourselves.
I’m not immune. In college, they called me Arnold, after the pig from Green Acres, because I could (and did) out-eat anyone. Linebackers 1.5x my size were no match. I love food, but I’m not interested in cramming as much food as I can get away with. Not anymore.
For today’s Dear Mark, I’m answering a question about the optimal diet for longevity. An article sent in by a reader claims that a recent mouse study has identified the perfect diet for everyone, but especially for older people: a high-carb, low-protein one. They even manage to throw in some stuff maligning the paleo diet (they just can’t resist).
Find out below if the claim holds water. Let’s go:
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions. First, are ground meats actually better for your glycine:methionine ratio, seeing as they contain all sorts of weird bits? Next, are the dairy proteins casein and albumin worth including in one’s protein arsenal? Third, is eating beef heart for its CoQ10 content another example of “eat like for like”? And finally, what’s my take on a recent article in the Atlantic about the futility of commonly-available probiotics?
Sometimes the simple story is good enough. I’d venture to say that simple is usually good enough, particularly when it comes to health. A good diet? Eat lots of plants and animals, don’t eat so many carbs, and stop being scared of natural fat. Training? Lift heavy things, move around a lot at a slow pace (constantly, if you can swing it), go really fast once in awhile, and enjoy what you do. Lifestyle in general? Get some sun, be with your tribe, get into nature as often as possible, inject meaning, laugh, love, and live. There—that gets you most of the way. Simple, right?
Another common piece of advice is “eat protein.” And yeah, that’s true. We need protein to survive. It’s probably the most essential nutrient in existence because we can’t make it ourselves. But sometimes digging a little deeper pays off.