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

Mark's Daily Apple

21 Jan

Dear Mark: Family Dinner

familydinnerDear Mark,

I come from a big family that loves food. It’s a cultural thing, in part, but it’s also just the way we’ve always celebrated together. In the last couple years, I’ve really gotten myself on track with healthier eating and working out, but I feel a lot of pressure when I’m with the family. I also worry about their health, especially my parents’.

As personal as a commitment to health is, there’s always a social dimension. Whether you’re more health conscious than your family and friends or simply have a noticeably different approach to healthy living, it’s common to find yourself in some uncomfortable situations and conversations.

Keep reading…

18 Jan

Fun With Fiber: The Real Scoop

252px Stomach colon rectum diagramsOne of our most cherished pleasures in life happens to be challenging conventional wisdom (CW). You never would’ve guessed, right? After all the talk of meat and fat this week, we’ve been feeling, well, rather off. We figured it was the perfect time to take on everyone’s favorite gristly subject: fiber.

CW says Americans need serious fiber in their diets. And by “fiber” CW often means bran buds, whole wheat, psyllium husks – you know, sticks and twigs roughage. We’re talking that 1980’s Saturday Night Live bit about Super Colon Blow cereal. Let’s just say that the more sensitive among us, in particular, want to broach the question: “Is this really the best way?”

Keep reading…

18 Jan

Where Have All the Studies Gone?

trashcanWith all the attention on Vytorin and Xetia’s unfortunate research results this week, the media is (for the moment anyway) hot on the trail of Big Pharma’s indiscretions. The latest dirt highlights the industry’s so-called “file drawer” treatment of negative drug research findings. The New England Journal of Medicine report focuses on the publication (or lack thereof) of antidepressant drug studies, but it’s clear these selective practices are commonplace.

Take a look:

Nearly a third of antidepressant drug studies are never published in the medical literature and nearly all happen to show that the drug being tested did not work, researchers reported on Wednesday. In some of the studies that are published, unfavorable results have been recast to make the medicine appear more effective than it really is, said the research team led by Erick Turner of the Oregon Health & Science University. Even if not deliberate, this can be bad news for patients, they wrote in their report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. ‘Selective publication can lead doctors to make inappropriate prescribing decisions that may not be in the best interest of their patients and, thus, the public health,’ they wrote.

via Yahoo News

Keep reading…

18 Jan

Extreme Exercise: How to Get a Great Workout without Leaving City Limits

parkourThink working out in a city has to mean sucking exhaust while you jog on the side of a busy street? Not with these fun, and at times, extreme-alternative workouts.

Parkour:
Remember the scene in “Casino Royale” where 007 himself scales a crane and frantically tries to catch what we initially assume is some kind of extreme gymnast? Turns out that villain was actually a parkour artist (or traceur as they are also referred to). Founded by a guy called David Belle, parkour is all about accessing the seemingly inaccessible, usually to escape or evade pursuers (or dapper English gentlemen depending on your situation). Unlike free runners (more on that later) traceurs try to clear objects – be it barrels, bars, bollards or other barriers – in the simplest and most efficient method possible. Incorporate parkour type moves into your own workout by heading to a “quieter” edge of the city and dodging, jumping or vaulting over barriers and other obstacles, swinging through railings and climbing up low brick walls (just don’t scare the neighbors!)

Keep reading…

17 Jan

Pass the Protein, Please!

meatWell, I’ll be —! This study on protein’s role in hunger management made our day. It’s an oldie but a goody.

The amount of a hunger-fighting hormone can be increased by eating a higher protein diet, researchers report in the September issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press. The hormone, known as peptide YY (PYY), was earlier found by the researchers to reduce food intake by a third in both normal-weight and obese people when given by injection. We’ve now found that increasing the protein content of the diet augments the body’s own PYY, helping to reduce hunger and aid weight loss,” said Medical Research Council clinician scientist Rachel Batterham of University College London, who led the new study.

Keep reading…

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