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...

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Category: Resistant Starch

14 Weird Plant Bits and Where to Find Them: Foraging Ethnic Markets

Five years ago, I wrote about all the odd animal bits one can find at ethnic markets. I procured and photographed the blood, the guts, the tendon, the tripe, the tails and heads and feet and all the other weird things you can and should eat—meaty bits you won’t find in the local Whole Foods.

Today, I’m going to talk about the weird plant bits available in ethnic markets—spices, greens, roots, noodles, and fermented things.

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The Benefits of Caloric Efficiency (and 10 Ways to Achieve It)

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.

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Dear Mark: Lead in Bone Broth, Cooked and Cooled Potatoes, and Stress Strategies

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. First one concerns the lead content in bone broth. A 2013 study reported elevated levels of lead in chicken bone broth. And not the canned or boxed stuff, but the real thing: broth made from actual chicken bits. Should you worry? Second, do cooked and cooled potatoes really make the carbs less problematic for people who typically try to avoid them? How and why should people who otherwise avoid potatoes consider eating cooked and cooled ones? And finally, do I have any good, simple strategies for dealing with stress? Why yes, yes I do.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Bodyweight with Weights; Glycemic Index Versus Load

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a pair of questions from readers. First comes from Gaspare, who heard me talking on Joe Rogan’s podcast in January and wonders whether bodyweight training and weight training can complement each other. It turns out they can. Then, I discuss glycemic index, glycemic load, how foods can have low glycemic loads but still be bad for weight gain, and how focusing on glycemic index and glycemic load might be misleading, if not an outright mistake.

Let’s go:

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Could Gut Bacteria Be to Blame for Your Stubborn Belly Fat?

We know how important gut health is for overall health. We understand that it improves digestion, that our pursuit of extreme sterility has compromised our immune systems, and that the gut biome is etiologically involved in the pathogenesis of various health and disease states. We’re even familiar with the more esoteric functions of gut bacteria, like converting antinutrients into biovailable nutrients, synthesizing sex hormones and neurotransmitters, and mitigating the allergenicity of gluten. But what about gaining and losing body fat, the real reason most people get interested in diet in the first place—are the bacteria in your gut responsible for the fat on it?

Maybe.

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What Does the WHO Report Mean for Your Meat-Eating Habit?

I’m sure you’ve seen the rash of fear-mongering headlines proclaiming red meat to be as carcinogenic as smoking. In fact, I know so because dozens of you have asked me for my thoughts. What’s going on? Do we need to worry? What actually happened? Why have your vegan friends become even more smug than before? Why did your crazy aunt send an email in all caps pleading for you to stop eating “so much beef”?

Citing a short summary paper of a much larger study, earlier this week the World Health Organization (WHO) named processed meat a definite human carcinogen and red meat a probable human carcinogen. That’s frightening at first glance. I mean, the WHO? Great band, weren’t quite the same after Keith Moon died, but for my money they’ve always delivered quality health information. When they issue a report about dietary carcinogens, I listen up.

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Resistant Starch Potato Salad

This is a guest recipe from Caitlin Weeks, a holistic nutritionist, author and creator of the wellness hub Grassfedgirl.com.

This recipe combines the benefits of resistant starch and the deliciousness of a classic potato salad. You’ll love this (easy) Primal upgrade to a barbecue favorite!

Servings: 4 to 6

Prep time: 20 minutes plus 8 hours inactive

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen™ Mayo or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons mustard (gluten free)
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 4 boiled eggs

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Dear Mark: Ketosis and Testosterone, Dehydration Hormesis, and Isomalto-Oligosaccharides

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. The first one concerns a potentially combative and controversial topic: ketogenic diets. What’s the deal with their effect on testosterone? You can find keto anecdotes across the web both inspiring and flaccid, but what, if anything, does the science say? Next, might there be a way to derive beneficial hormetic effects from acute bouts of dehydration? It seems like every other stressor can actually make a person stronger, so perhaps an otherwise wholly negative one like dehydration might as well. And finally, is the prebiotic fiber known as isomalto-oligosaccharide safe and/or good to eat?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Exercising (and Eating) in the Heat; Post-Antibiotics Gut Health Support

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a pair of questions from you folks. First up, what with the crazy heat wave sweeping much of the planet, a reader writes in asking about the best way to eat and move in the heat. Should you cease all activity? Should you modify your normal movement patterns and eat and drink differently to keep the heat at bay? Read on to find out. Next, how should a person deal with and support the post-antibiotics gut biome? What can we do to mitigate the negative effects broad-spectrum antibiotics have on our gut bacteria?

Let’s go:

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How to Take Care of Your Gut: The New and Improved Primal Flora

Anytime I discuss supplements, some readers balk. For them, if Grok didn’t do it, we shouldn’t either. And you know what? If that describes you, I get where you’re coming from. Ideally, optimal health develops organically — from the food we eat, the sun, sleep, and movement patterns we follow, the lifestyles we develop. But we don’t live in Grok’s world any more. We don’t have access to the same nutrient-dense plants and animals he did, and we face entirely new stressors and endure novel deficits previous generations never have. These new challenges call for new solutions, and supplements can be one of these solutions. As a supplement maker, I always take cues from Grok’s behaviors, physiology, and requirements and use modern day science to produce quality products. I’m not just making them to sell something. I’m meeting a need and filling a deficit. Usually my own!

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