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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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April 06, 2010

How Much is Too Much? – Round 2

By Mark Sisson
104 Comments

Last week’s post covering upper recommendations garnered so much interest – and additional questions – that I thought we’d give it another go around. While last week’s list took on basics like protein and fat as well as worthy indulgences like chocolate and – drum roll, please –BACON (break for rampant applause), this week I’ll take on a mix of specific foods and activity. Thanks for everyone’s great comments and questions last week, and be sure to weigh in on this week’s round.

Coffee

Why not start off today with the typical morning ritual? Our society, many say, is fueled by coffee, and a number of us might think we’d barely be standing some days without it. For coffee lovers, a good cup of joe is a work of art. From a health standpoint, it’s not a bad deal at all. Ample antioxidants, potent anti-inflammatory powerhouse, protective factors against conditions like diabetes, certain cancers, Parkinson’s, yada, yada, yada.

Coffee’s controversy, of course, is rooted in the caffeine. Personally, I happen to like the taste, and I have one big cup every morning with a healthy splash of heavy whipping cream. But leaning on it a little bit isn’t the same as letting it become a regular crutch. Caffeine’s effect on people spans a wide spectrum. A half cup of decaf leaves some of us bouncing off the walls, animated with a manic fervor that scares small children. Others of us keep our local brew house in business with nary a hint of spastic energy. In the short term, unmistakable symptoms tell you when to put the coffee cup down: insomnia, jitteriness, anxiety, stomach issues. As far as the long term, I think the tipping point is relying on it for sustained energy levels. Caffeine can give us the occasional leg up, but if it’s keeping us upright day after day, it’s covering a larger problem. In both cases, the amount is unique to each person, although it’s known that we grow more sensitive to caffeine the older we get. For most folks, 200-300 mg of caffeine a day (100 mg being the typical content in a 6 oz. serving) – imbibed at least eight hours before bed – probably won’t cause significant problems. Once you’re downing a whole pot (500+ mg), however, you put yourself at risk for everything from heart palpitations to muscle tremors. My suggestion for upper limit: gauge your individual tolerance, but drink only what you need and keep it below 3 cups/300 mg of caffeine daily (generally when health benefits level out and negative symptoms increase). If you’re pregnant, I think there’s enough ample reason to avoid it period.

Sodium

This one got people talking last week. I still stand by the Primal bacon, but there’s a good point to be made about sodium intake. Although I don’t consider myself part of the alarmist camp on sodium, I do think there’s reason to exercise moderation. Yes, salt is crucial for muscular and neurological function as well as the maintenance of extracellular volume. Salt intake around the world varies considerably, ranging from the .2 grams/day to more than 10.3 grams/day.

There is definitely a connection between higher sodium intake and higher blood pressure levels, but the impact is highly individualized. A portion of the population is genuinely salt sensitive, and they’re considerably more affected by their sodium intake than non-sensitive individuals.

Upper recommendations, as offered by medical organizations, vary between 1.5 grams and 2.3 grams per day. Sure, certain populations (like those of Northern Japan) seem to be fine with higher levels, and I don’t think it’s necessary to omit healthy sea vegetables (or to give up true delicacies such as bacon). Nonetheless, I’d suggest going with conventional current in this instance and limiting sodium to the recommended range. By the way, a good Primal diet devoid of processed foods slashes sodium automatically, given that more than 70% of the average American’s sodium intake comes from processed food. Furthermore, most Primal people find that their taste for salt tends to “self-regulate” (meaning they add salt when they sense they need it and avoid salty foods when they don’t). I don’t think it’s worth stressing over every grain of Na, but use it as a general benchmark, and keep up your potassium levels to keep the full picture in balance.

Nuts

As regular readers know, I love my macadamias, and I do a small handful of nuts or nut butter equivalent a few times a week. They’re powerhouses of protein, fat and minerals, B-vitamins and the like. As I discussed in a post some weeks ago, some nuts do contain a fair amount of omega-6. Although I don’t think it’s reason to avoid nuts, it’s enough to suggest the concept of moderation and a mind to overall omega-6/omega-3 ratio. If you have no sensitivities to nuts and avoid chemically treated/high heat roasted or oiled nuts, I think you can generally base your intake on the omega-6 content of the specific nut variety you enjoy. For most nuts, a small handful a day is fine. However, if you have a penchant for pine nuts or walnuts – or if you’re eating more than a couple large fistfuls of most other nuts each day – you might want to scale back. Macadamias are by far the best because they have the highest saturated and mono-unsaturated fat content with relatively low O-6.

Eggs

Yesterday’s seasonality post discussed angles of “excess” and moderation. Yolks: we love you. Egg whites? They’re the rationale for taking a break once in a while. As I mentioned yesterday, Grok likely gorged when he got the chance, but it wasn’t an everyday opportunity. My suggested “ceiling” on eggs has less to do with amount and more to do with frequency. (Although I don’t think anyone should go so overboard that eggs becomes their sole protein source or edge out variety in their overall diet.) Since some folks develop sensitivities to eggs (again, the whites and their natural antimicrobial powers specifically) over time, I recommend taking regular breaks (and cutting back if sensitivities begin to appear). Skip certain days each week or take a longer “vacation” now and then – especially if you notice yourself not feeling quite the same after those crustless Primal quiches.

Fiber

Another common question. If you eat a well-balanced Primal diet, you should be getting more than enough fiber to leave you in good shape. Ample and various veggies and a reasonable intake of fruits will offer your body plenty of natural and healthful sources of fiber, and I don’t see any reason to restrict these. You certainly don’t need the fiber in grains, however, and I think commercial fiber supplementation is totally unnecessary and likely detrimental in the long run. Visit GutSense.org for more info.

Cardio

As with a lot of things, upper limits on cardio vary from person to person. Obviously, there are a number of factors in play here, including regularity (how many days/week), duration (how long per session) and intensity (% of maximum heart rate). It also depends on your current fitness and whether your goals include competing. As my book suggests, low/moderate level cardio is great for anyone. Although I think 3-5 hours a week can work for most folks, I don’t think there’s much need to hold back here. (More IS better to a point, but that doesn’t mean you have to be moving every second of the day either.) As for intense cardio, I have said it’s unnecessary on a regular basis, although it’s OK to do once in a while. As I discuss in the book, even a single 30-minute session of intense cardio was enough to throw off subjects’ immune function as well as raise whole body inflammation levels for three full days. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing a rigorous mountain trek every now and then (or a 10k race or whatever intense activity floats your boat), it’s not necessary to work this hard with any frequency to achieve all-around peak fitness. Do it as it serves your sense of fulfillment and adventure, but don’t force it just because CW tells you to run yourself ragged on the treadmill. Once every couple weeks is fine for longer (an hour+) intense sessions. For shorter bouts, I wouldn’t suggest more than twice a week. You’re better off working in an interval session, which leads me to…

Sprinting

I get the sprinting question now and then. How much is necessary? How much is too much? First off, I often do it once a week. If I’m really in the mood, I’ll do it twice (my Ultimate Frisbee game on Sunday involves a ton of sprinting, so I count that). Honestly I don’t think it’s necessary to do it more than that, and I wouldn’t recommend doing it more than twice a week. Primarily, your body wants to do its thing to recover sufficiently from the exertion. Just as significant, I think, is the unnecessary use of time. I’m all for shortcuts and efficiency. If sprinting more than twice a week doesn’t add much benefit beyond what 1-2 a week does, why waste the effort? Use the time for resistance training, some fun low level cardio/play or trying out new Primal recipes. Part of the PB’s beauty is its efficiency – using our time and efforts to give us the best return with less investment. Who’s really interested in high maintenance when there’s so much to do and so much fun to be had? Instead of “over-sweating” it, get out there and enjoy.

Have a great week everybody. Thanks for reading and for all the fantastic comments last time. I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts on this round.

TAGS:  coffee, nuts/seeds

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104 Comments on "How Much is Too Much? – Round 2"

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SNMNY
SNMNY
6 years 5 months ago

Really enjoyed the last one of these aswell. When it comes to nuts, I don’t know how anyone just eats a handful! Once I start i don’t stop till the bag is gone 😛

Indiscreet
Indiscreet
6 years 5 months ago

Brazil nuts are my crack. I can polish off a pretty substantial bag if I’m not careful. Worse than that, I really like them with raisins. I have to limit myself to once a week.

kevin
kevin
6 years 5 months ago

Same love brazils and macadamias…and even some cashews… i just dont digest them well so i cut out a lot of them. PLus i tend to over do nuts and fruit. I try to not buy them…but eat them for free at the store when samples or out or from the bulk dept. Otherwise i try to stick to veges and meat.

ScottMGS
ScottMGS
5 years 5 months ago

Put me down for a nutaholic, too. Can’t keep ’em in the house!

Mejda
Mejda
5 years 5 months ago

I try to limit myself to a handful of raw nuts each day. On the eggs however, I disagree. I eat about 6 raw organic eggs each and every day and have for a couple of years now. I also eat fish. I have no problems with the raw eggs and I’m 64 years old.

Kishore
Kishore
6 years 5 months ago

Mark, do you recommend switching meat sources? Two of my fav meats are Bison and Elk. Would eating them on a regular basis cause allergies?

fireandstone
6 years 5 months ago

“If you eat a well-balanced Primal diet, you should be getting more than enough fiber to leave you in good shape.”

I eat an essentially fiber free diet, and I have to say that I’m left in pretty good shape on that account. I don’t think any amount of fiber is technically necessary to accomplish natural human digestion, though I don’t see how it would hurt so I’m not against the idea of fiber in general. Along with these lists of maximums, it would be cool also to see a list of minimums. 🙂

Peggy
Peggy
6 years 5 months ago

I love my coffee in the morning – it’s more of a flavour thing I think. Mine is always half-caff with milk & a little sweet. I also have problem with stopping at a handful of nuts! It’s so easy when the bag is in the desk drawer, tempting me. I’ve never been big on salt, but I love it on radishes and cooked cabbage.

Kev
Kev
6 years 5 months ago

I love Eggs for breakfast usually 2 large pastured eggs and I could eat them every day, but I agree with Mark, taking a day or two off and having something else helps eliminate boredom and decreases the chances of sensitivity. I also think eating different foods with eggs helps, Bacon, Ham, Strawberries, and even a handful of nuts provides variety and seems to limit sensitivity.

CoconutSmuggler
CoconutSmuggler
6 years 5 months ago

When I originally read that Mark has a big cup of coffee with cream and a hint of sugar every morning, I rejoiced. I could probably live without it, but I don’t want to find out.

e.
e.
6 years 5 months ago

Re: coffee… I read recently that it can cause an insulin response and was thinking of cutting it out since I thought insulin was a fat storer and I am not keen on that. I didn’t notice whether 1 measly cup caused an insulin surge, but was wondering if anyone else had thoughts about coffe and insulin?

SK1
SK1
6 years 5 months ago

I don’t know that there’s any truth to that, e. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Having been a Type 1 diabetic for 16 years, my morning coffee (probably about 12 oz) with cream does not affect my blood sugar levels at all, so I cannot possibly imagine it producing a negative affect in someone with a regularly functioning pancreas.

Henry
Henry
6 years 5 months ago

Mark – how about Ketosis? I know you talk about the benefits of it for weight loss and that you don’t recommend the “unnecessary deprivation of plant foods”. So how much Ketosis is too much? I started cycling my carbs in twice a week (150-250 grams) and I feel better then I did when I was steady under 50 grams/day…

fireandstone
6 years 5 months ago

Keto- is the predominant metabolic state over gluco- for many, if not most, hunter-gatherers and would have been nearly constant for Euro-Grok outside of periods of relatively short and isolated fruit blooms. The metabolic mode you are most healthy operating within is probably ancestry dependent to a degree, but keto adaptation is common to us all.

V
V
6 years 5 months ago

Why would you say most hunter gatherers were in ketosis? Remember we did not evolve in Europe but in Africa where the seasons are wet and dry (not summer/winter/…). During those wet and dry periods in Africa humans would have had enough fruits/roots/tubers to stay out of ketosis.

fireandstone
6 years 5 months ago

Because access to fatty meats are less punctuated than fruits and vegetation, so even though equatorial hominins had greater access to non-animal sources of nutrition, they still spent the majority the time in ketosis when taken as an average over days, months and years. Even someone that theoretically eats a diet of 100% carbs will still spend part of the day in keto (during sleep, and between meals that occur at intervals longer than a few hours).

V
V
6 years 5 months ago

Henry is obviously not talking about ketosis during sleep. Neither am I. I don’t see any support for your claims that most HG would be in ketosis as their “predominant” metabolic state (I am talking during day time, not while sleeping).

fireandstone
6 years 5 months ago

Ketosis isn’t something that needs to be done with intent. Your body slips in and out of ketosis regularly without your input. Our African ancestors would need to eat metabolically significant levels of carbohydrates regularly throughout the day in order to not predominantly (> 50% of the time) be in a state of ketosis. I don’t think the archaeological record or common sense supports the notion that they were ingesting significant carbs every two to three hours. If they weren’t, then yes, they spend a predominant amount of time in keto.

Peggy
Peggy
6 years 5 months ago

How about IFs? I’m not talking about a meal here & there, but more along the lines of “I’m not eating on this day & that day” every week?

einstein
einstein
4 years 2 months ago

one 24 hr fast a week is optimal. two are too much. from my own experience.

brian
brian
6 years 5 months ago

More great summary information. Thanks Mark!

Kevin
Kevin
6 years 5 months ago

Love these lists you did…. simple, punchy reads!

On a side note: I’m not really a coffee guy at all, but as a kid, my dad always called coffee with cream & sugar “Sissy Coffee”. :^)

Daniel Merk
6 years 5 months ago

Please keep going to work everyday. This wisdom is everlasting.

Todd
6 years 5 months ago
Great posts. I am really enjoying these posts with the upper limits on various things. Good to know about the nuts. I love my nuts but I have been able to maximize my intake to 1 serving a day or less. I loved this line… “Macadamias are by far the best because they have the highest saturated and mono-unsaturated fat content with relatively low O-6.” Macadamias are my favorite nut!! Hoooooray! I think it is time to celebrate. I had 6 macadamias about 2 hours ago to tie me over before this big ass salad I am eating with 2… Read more »
John
John
6 years 5 months ago

Ha! Todd loves his nuts.

“I love my nuts”

Todd
6 years 5 months ago

Hahahaha! Good laugh for the day! Thanks for that 🙂

The odd shaped ones are excellent too 😉 Lol

Walnuts, pecans…

mike
mike
6 years 5 months ago

Exactly how many do you have???!

Brian
Brian
6 years 5 months ago

Hey. I’m with Todd. I love my nuts too. Only thing better is when they’re buttered 🙂

Ben
Ben
6 years 5 months ago

lol! nuts…..

Magouch
Magouch
6 years 5 months ago

Boys…. Here’s a joke my hubby likes to tell:

Q: Why do dogs lick their “nuts”?

A: Because they CAN!!!

Ben
Ben
6 years 5 months ago

Niiiiiiice….ha…balls jokes…..this thread has achieved a new low.

Welcome to Mark’s Daily Apple!

MalPaz
6 years 5 months ago

i tried those hotdogs the grassfed?? thay taste persay just like hotdogsbut the belly trouble and saltiness of them was a turn off i threw the rest in the freezer…
mac nuts raw are my abolute FAVORITE!!

Todd
6 years 5 months ago

You really did not like those grass fed hot dogs? Are you sure you bought the right kind?

Applegate farms, the great uncured organic grass fed hot dog.. I think is the name…

I LOVE them. I add them to my big ass salads 🙂

Susan
Susan
6 years 5 months ago

What about tea? I’m not a coffee drinker because the caffeine buzzes me around the room but I do drink tea, and tea does have caffeine.

Ben
Ben
6 years 5 months ago

I think it’s prob a similar comparison. You may just have to research the amount of caffeine in the teas you drink. I do know that black teas carry more caffeine than green, or white.

Todd
6 years 5 months ago

I personally drink one mug of green tea every morning. Green tea is very low in caffeine, yet it has the most antioxidants out of any other tea!

I drink my green tea straight up – nothing added to it. It wasn’t the best for the first few days, but you easily get used to it.

If you can afford it then go for Matcha Green Tea. This is by far the best for you. Loaded with antioxidants. Right now, I am cheap with my green tea. About $3 for 40 bags, ha!

Seth
Seth
6 years 5 months ago

Some sources place Yerba Mate above Green Tea in antioxidant power. I enjoy both, but Mate is my drink of choice. Check it out. http://guayaki.com/mate/130/What-is-Yerba-Mate%3F.html

Oh, and I have always preferred my coffee, tea, and mate as they are.

To me coffee brewed from good freshly roasted and ground beans needs no additives.

Tim
Tim
5 years 5 months ago
I’ve looked at different charts on caffeine content for coffee, tea, pop etc. and coffee normally contains about 100mg a cup, black tea is around 40 to 50mg a cup a cup, green tea is around 30mg a cup. Caffeine content with tea increases the longer you leave the bag in or if you squish it with a spoon and it would also be higher in matcha green tea than regular green tea because you ingest the leaves. Cold water absorbs less caffeine (and everything else) from the tea than hot water and apparently when using hot water most of… Read more »
Janet
6 years 5 months ago

I definitely think that you should have nuts in moderation as they are snacks that you can easily overdo. Like anything, it’s about finding your personal upper limit that works for you.

epistemocrat
6 years 5 months ago

Personally, when I am competing athletically (tennis, soccer, basketball, golf), I find that interval sprints lasting no more than 10 minutes for the entire sprint workout about two times per week keeps my metabolic conditioning great for performance and feeling well at the same time.

Coffee, raw dairy, eggs, sprinting, cardio, et al. show the fun and interesting nutritional and exercise bricolage experiments that we can all engage safely to learn more about our own bodies. That’s what the Primal Blueprint has empowered me to do so nicely.

Cheers,

Brent

Sarah
6 years 5 months ago

I’m surprised that you didn’t speak at all about the difference between table salt and sea salt. I’m guessing that the upper limit is quite different, depending on which of those you’re consuming…

I don’t bother restricting my intake of sea salt in my food (and can’t imagine I eat too much, because I don’t have much taste for super salty food, and don’t eat many salty snacks). I’d definitely feel wary though if I was using normal table salt (ick) for everything.

Tim
Tim
5 years 5 months ago

I’ve read that quite a bit of normal table salt is fluoridated… as is a lot of the water used for store-bought drinks and food with added water.

Ben
Ben
6 years 5 months ago

Do walnuts and pine nuts have a high omega 6 content??

Todd
6 years 5 months ago
Yes! But, the RATIO is what is important right? Go to nutritiondata.com. Type in any nut, click on the appropriate one and scroll down to the bottom. They provide the Omega 3 and omega 6 content… For example… I will enter walnuts. I clicked on this: Nuts, walnuts, english [Includes USDA commodity food A259, A257] ***Be sure to pick the right serving size. I always to 28 g (1 oz) for nuts. It says… Total Omega-3 fatty acids = 2542mg Total Omega-6 fatty acids = 10666mg So, the ratio of 1:4 is actually one of the best for nuts. But,… Read more »
Todd
6 years 5 months ago

Wo!!

Pine nuts are absurd!!!!

Total Omega-3 fatty acids = 31.4 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids = 9410 mg

Thoughts, anyone?!?!?!?!?

This is according to nutritiondata of course…

Chris
Chris
6 years 5 months ago

I quickly realized that there’s just no way around the O-6 content in nuts, So i recently decided to ditch them altogether, forcing me to rely on healthy sat fats(and once and for all let go of my subconscious belief in the lipid hypothesis)
I don’t miss them much,especially when reading about O-6 dangers…

Todd
6 years 5 months ago

0-6 dangers?????????

Yes, a 10:1 or 20:1 ratio in favor of 0-6 is terrible. But, a balanced ratio… that is great!

I am getting slightly confused. Don’t we just want an even balance as much as possible?

Ben
Ben
6 years 5 months ago

Right, Todd. A balance is ideal, but O-6 is EVERYWHERE. So, if you don’t have access to grassfed hotdogs, then ditching nuts would probably be wise 😉

Jesse Bastide
6 years 5 months ago
Great post! Love the emphasis on variation and moderation. An interesting aspect wrt cardio is that, once you learn to listen to your body, you pretty much know when to back off. My weakness is a love of cycling and running, but I find that most of the time it’s at a ‘fun’ and conversational pace, while the faster (LT and above) stuff only happens a couple times a week and usually when I meet up with friends. The resulting fatigue is a pretty good reminder not to do it that way every day, but it is fun to drop… Read more »
Karl MacPhee
6 years 5 months ago
I use the Chia Nutra seeds on my Big Salads, smoothies and yogurt. Haven’t tried the drink but the seeds are an easy way to get more Omega 3 in a variety of foods. Loved Born to Run – one of my favorite books! There’s nothing wrong with a ride or run (especially if it is on trails) here and there but when people get addicted to having to run each day for the same time that’s a problem. I had a house guest for 6 weeks and she hit the treadmill for minimum 1 hour 7 days a week… Read more »
Samantha Moore
Samantha Moore
6 years 5 months ago

Mark- I want you to know what a wonderful and amazing effect you are having on me and the people in my life- my husband, my son, my sister, my nephew, myself- all of us are totally changing our diets, our mindsets, our way of eating- right down to our sense of joy, health, and our very sense of life. Thank you so much for your wonderful, positive work and influence.

Joshua76
Joshua76
6 years 5 months ago

I love eggs but may be over doing it. I have a friend that has over 80 chickens. He keeps me supplied in free range eggs and I eat six at a time, sometimes twice a day! I love them sunny side up and a little runny but guess I may need to cut back 🙁

Dave from Hawaii
6 years 5 months ago
I was gonna make the same point, Sarah. Naturally derived salt is a far cry from the typical, highly processed table salt usually heated to a very high temperature, than mixed with additives to prevent clumping and ensuring salt shakers won’t get clogged. Aside from that, being that a Primal diet is so heavily reliant on meat, worrying about salt would be ludicrous. Salt makes ALL meat taste better! Invest in a high quality salt grinder and buy natural sea salt and use it as liberally as you like in your cooking. I’ve been doing it for years, and I… Read more »
Lillian
Lillian
6 years 5 months ago

Where do you get your salt grinders? I’ve gone through the ones from walmart and target but the sea salt I use ends up clumping because it doesn’t have the additives! Now I just use it straight from the jar…

But it’s a little bit of a problem when I want to add it to eggs or something since they’re so big 🙁

DianeThePurple
DianeThePurple
6 years 5 months ago
We got some cute little ones at Crate & Barrel that seem to be holding up OK. I imagine Macy’s or a similar department store might be a good source. (Most of our kitchen stuff came from stores in the UK, so I haven’t really shopped US stores to know what’s available.) Just be sure that the salt grinder and the pepper grinder are labeled as separate items and you should be OK. Pepper needs metal to grind it effectively, and as others have said, salt will corrode metal. If they know enough to make them different, chances are they’re… Read more »
Tom
Tom
6 years 5 months ago

Some sea salt is packaged wet. I had the same problem until I started drying the salt in a pan before putting it in the grinder. No more clumping.

Mike
Mike
6 years 5 months ago

I just use Kosher coarse salt. It’s big enough to grip and sprinkly easily, while small enough to disolve. We tried using a grinder, the dust trail it left every where was a buzz-kill for my wife and I.

Magouch
Magouch
6 years 5 months ago
WRT Fiber: I’m reminded of that book “Alive” that chronicled the ~70 day ordeal endured by members of a South American rugby team when their plane crashed in the Andes. In order to stay alive they started eating flesh from the bodies of the dead. Each day, one person was in charge of melting fat for comsumption in order to assist with elimination. Also, our pediatrician, an old-fashioned soul who did some volunteer work in India and treated many cases of dysentery, was a firm believer in giving children as much butter or animal fat as possible. She said that… Read more »
Macha
Macha
6 years 5 months ago

Of course, if you go waaaay to the other end an ingest far too much fat, the results are not pretty. Phrases such as “oily spotting” come to mind. 🙁 Just more evidence that moderation is the key!

Magouch
Magouch
6 years 5 months ago

“Oily Spotting”… Now that’s something I hadn’t thought of! But I guess you’d have to really be overdoing it.

Austin Jahner
Austin Jahner
6 years 5 months ago
Great article Mark. I have a few contrary points to add about caffeine. I personally do not believe it to be nearly as innocuous as you do, and here’s why. First off, the 300 mg quantity is given as the quantity that a full grown male should be able to detoxify in a 24-hour period. Women, children, and smaller men cannot detoxify anywhere near that amount, and so it builds up in the body. Furthermore, any caffeine above the 300 mg will accumulate in the bodies of a most men as well. A venti cup of brewed coffee at Starbucks… Read more »
Lucas
Lucas
4 years 2 months ago

Ohhh no, Coffee can’t be bad, tell me I’m having a bad dream……please.

Jill
Jill
6 years 5 months ago

If you are pregnant or nursing watch the Green Tea. It “sucks” folic acid out of you when you need it most.

Ray
Ray
6 years 5 months ago

In regards to sodium, specifically table salt.
Natural unrefined sea salt has numerous minerals that are nonexistent in refined salt.
The whole salt with all it’s minerals likely has buffering properties and may explain why some cultures do better with higher sodium intakes.

Just a thought.

Ray

Bushrat
Bushrat
6 years 5 months ago

I’ve often heard that lack of salt causes cramps. Is this true?

Ben
Ben
6 years 5 months ago

Dehydration causes cramps; Salt retains water. So, when there is a lot of salt in your system, you will retain water and it may not get to some muscles.

Nikki
6 years 5 months ago

Thanks for this Mark, very useful! How much cheese would you suggest as the maximum? I love my cheese but I am aiming for fat loss at the moment, so it would be helpful to know what people with fat loss in mind should avoid, eat more of and what the upper and lower limits of these foods should be to maximise healthy fat loss.

Magouch
Magouch
6 years 5 months ago
WRT to Coffee/Caffeine, some historians believe that it was the catalyst for the “Enlightenment”. Prior to the existence of cafes, intellectuals were convening in pubs, drinking ale. But once the cafe culture took root, they gathered at coffee houses. Coffee, being a stimulant, likely helped a more active thought and exchange of ideas. So, yes. Although it is definitely not “primal”, I will continue to drink my daily cuppa in honor of those who changed the world for the better. Plus I really like it, and any “lifestyle” that requires me to avoid it is eventually going to be a… Read more »
Tim
Tim
5 years 5 months ago
I’ve noticed that caffeine makes me feel more creative and generally stimulates my mind and aids with mental focus. In high school I did most of my best work (mainly writing assignments) when wired on caffeine (and simulataneously stoned) and a couple times I took caffeine pills or drank energy drinks before tests and exams, which I believed helped me stay on task. Unless I consume a huge amount of caffeine basically to the point where I’m Parkinson’s jittery, it also generally makes me better at videogames and makes them more fun to play. It’s definitely possible to overdo it… Read more »
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[…] How much is to much? […]

tommy
tommy
6 years 5 months ago

Austin,

That was a great read on caffeine. I’d like to read more on your side of the story so if you have any links to studies/research please post them.

Thank you,

Alex
Alex
6 years 5 months ago

Let personal experience be your guide on these matters. If consuming a certain amount of a certain thing makes you feel sub optimal, then you’re consuming too much. If not, then you’re fine. I drink my 4-5 cups of coffee a day, and have perfectly stable energy levels. Others may not be able to, of course, but I feel sorry for them.

Mike
Mike
6 years 5 months ago

I drink about the same, but I make sure to give it up for several days once or twice a month to make sure I’m not reliant on it. The fact is, caffine doesn’t do much to me at all. Only if I drink past 5pm do I EVER see any effect on my sleep and relaxation.

Allison
Allison
6 years 5 months ago
wow, thats some serious java man! I can totally do consume coffee like that as well but as for me I differ a bit. First couple days I’m fine but it is a slow process of throwing off my circadian rhythms. By the end of the week, I’m like WTF! Counting the sheep until the sunrises. No good. But I do think it’s personal. A doc told me once it’s a bladder irritant, I def pee a bunch, gets things “moving” in the morning proving it’s powerful stimulant capabilities. I am always on the line with coffee, once I quit… Read more »
Alex
Alex
6 years 5 months ago

Well coffee is my primary passion in life, so I couldn’t stand giving it up. For me, it isn’t about the caffeine, but rather the flavor profiles. I could go on about the different ways in which different coffees can be savored, but I’ll spare everyone that. Suffice it to say, I work in coffee, and think of it it like a sommelier does wine. Each cup I drink is fresh ground, and prepared using the pour-over method. The whole experience is rather cathartic for me, in fact; not nerve inducing.

Peggy
Peggy
6 years 5 months ago

mmmmmmm, coffee… Alex can pour-over a cup for me anytime!

chris
chris
6 years 5 months ago

Mark, on p125 of your book you write, “…[nuts] are filling and nutritious and may be consumed liberally in place of high-carbohydrate snacks.” This seems to go against what you write in this blog post about nuts. Can you clarify?

jay
jay
6 years 5 months ago
I admit to having a horse in the race, that is, I am a coffee drinker (3-4 cups a day) who is addicted. I did quit once for 3 months and went back, I just plain missed my morning coffee. Some of the articles I have read regarding coffee being good for you are not all sponsored by the coffee industry. Here is something I saw at Life Extension: >> Wake up and smell the coffee A forthcoming article in the British Journal of Nutrition, published online on December 6, 2007, reported the finding of Finnish researchers that an increased… Read more »
jay
jay
6 years 5 months ago
For those of you who seem very concerned about your Omega-3/Omega-6 ratio, LEF has a test now for that: http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/ItemLCOMEGA/Omega-Score-Cardiovascular-Risk-more.html I am a member of LEF but not on the board or in any other way affiliated, this is merely a public service announcement for those who might want to know exactly where they are at with their blood fats. I get detailed bloodwork annually, that way, I know exactly where I am at with blood sugar, cholesterol, C-Reactive Protein, PSA, Homocysteine, testosterone, DHEA, etc. Without it, I would be just shooting in the dark when eating nutritionally & supplementing.… Read more »
Ben
Ben
6 years 5 months ago
I love my eggs and I am in the situation that they are the only source of protein readily available to me(I am in college and eat in a vegetarian co-op for financial reasons). So most weeks I can only get meat 2 maybe 3 times a week! Plus being a college student and an active crossfitter I eat a good amount and end up going through probably about 60 eggs a week give or take. Do you think I will be able to lose body fat and gain lean muscle eating this way? The way I justify it to… Read more »
madeline
madeline
6 years 5 months ago

I like to drink a little coffee in the morning w a teaspoon of raw honey & fill the rest of the cup w whole milk.

Werner Kujnisch
Werner Kujnisch
6 years 5 months ago

I eat 4 raw organic eggs every morning, maybe drink is a better word. And no coffee for me. I can drink a whole pot before bedtime and still sleep like a baby. I have more energy without drinking coffee and I turned 63 today.

Lee - kettlebellwitch
Lee - kettlebellwitch
6 years 5 months ago
Austin, Thanks for the excellent post on caffeine! It’s insidious. You don’t know that it’s doing all those things to you. I used to drink a pot or more a day of coffee when I owned a bar. I did cut down from that when I no longer worked long strange hours. I’ve been off caffeine for years now. I drink only decaffeinated coffee and tea. (Get the good quality decaf.) Even half a cup of regular coffee will put me over the edge and actually make me feel sick. I don’t ever want my body to “get used to”… Read more »
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6 years 5 months ago

[…] How much is too much? – round 2 […]

Bushrat
Bushrat
6 years 5 months ago

@ Magouch:

Funnily enough, Socrates, Plato and the ancient Greeks shaped thousands of years of Western thought with alcohol rather than coffee.

To be more serious I’ve heard the enlightenment was the result of the rediscovery of the ancient Greek philosophers in Europe.

Sam
Sam
6 years 5 months ago
My Mom & Grandma always put a few grains of rice inthe salt shaker to keep it from clumping. When I switched to sea, black & Himalayan salts I just put a few grains of uncooked rice in my salt shaker with them & they never clump. I haven’t been able to find a salt grinder yet that works well – I have 3 broken ones in the cupboard (full of salt rocks). BTW – I have three salts because I couldnt’ decide which salt was better & they were almost the same cost per pound so I bought one… Read more »
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[…] HERE and HERE for some tips on when to stop with coffee, fiber, sodium, bacon, butter, eggs, and more.  Plus, […]

Werner Kujnisch
Werner Kujnisch
6 years 5 months ago

For the past 30 years, I used to run and sometimes every day of the week. But then I developed knee problems. Then I started to walk and my knees are OK now. Then I learned how to race walk. I can go faster then when I used to jog. I only race walk about once or twice a week, but I really enjoy being able to walk faster than I can run.

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[…] Hur mycket är För Mycket? Rond 2 – Mark’s Daily Apple […]

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[…] Blueprint, and the force behind MDA) answer for me.  Check out his post about nuts, and this post about how much is too much.  That should get you started, as well as link youto other things if you have further […]

Usman
6 years 4 months ago

my parents eat wayy too much salt!

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[…] Mark’s Daily Apple […]

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