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

Mark's Daily Apple

15 Feb

GMO Foods: Super Solution or Franken Future?

Close your eyes and think about genetically modified crops. Now what do you see? Green fields of lush, pest-resistant, hardy crops? A ghoulish cast hovering above insidious kodachrome orbs they call GM tomatoes? Hordes of protestors in t-shirts and Converse sneakers? Hungry children being fed? A Pandora’s Box?

Applaud or curse, the U.S. allows the planting of GM crops, while many countries do not. It also doesn’t mandate labeling of genetically modified food, as do Europe and many other countries. These circumstances have, experts agree, allowed food made with genetically engineered ingredients to be included in approximately 70% of food in typical grocery stores.

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15 Feb

Law Would Prohibit Restaurants from Serving Obese Patrons

Last week, the Mississippi legislature introduced a controversial bill that would have prohibited eateries from serving food to “any person who is obese based on criteria prescribed by the state health department.”

Under the bill, which was struck down before even making it to the House, the responsibility of denying larger customers would have fallen squarely on the shoulders of restaurant wait staff, with the state health department charged with monitoring compliance and revoking permits to those eateries that failed to comply.

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14 Feb

Mature Muscle?

A few weeks ago we tackled the importance of lean muscle mass in aging and its typical correlation with organ reserve. Conventional wisdom tells us that muscle is easiest to develop when you are young, that we tend to lose muscle as we age, and that it becomes more difficult to put on muscle as we grow older. We thought we’d investigate and give you a clearer picture of what the research has to say.

Just to review, we’re talking skeletal muscle here, which includes two types of fibers. Type I fibers are associated with endurance training, while type II fibers are associated with weight training. It’s true that adults do tend to lose muscle mass during typical aging (typical being the operative word here), and it’s the type II fibers that are depleted. Type I fibers are generally preserved. But the type II fibers, research is finding, play a crucial role in regulating the body’s metabolism. These guys help direct the activities of tissues in other systems of the body. Given their influential roles, maintaining type II fibers (i.e. muscle mass) as we age can reduce the risk for diabetes and obesity.

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14 Feb

Healthy Tastes Great!

We’ve scoured the net looking for the best beet recipes and then cooked them up and taste-tested them ourselves. These are our favorites. Let us know how you like them!

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14 Feb

Smart Fuel: Beets

Haven’t been eating your beets? Don’t beat yourself up (see what we did there), because technically they’re out of season right now. But with spring fast approaching, perhaps it’s time to dig deeper and examine what these little purple monsters have to offer!

Hailing from South Africa, the beet – which is a relative of Swiss chard and a member of the Chenopodiaceae family – was initially cast off in Northern Europe as nothing more than animal chow. However, in the 16th century, Romans began eating the green leaves of the root vegetables and by the 19th century, they had become less picky and began eating the whole darn thing! In doing so, it was discovered that beets were an excellent source of natural sugar – so much so that Napoleon declared them Poland’s primary source of sugar after the British put the squeeze on other sugar sources during the war!

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