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

Mark's Daily Apple

22 Oct

How Our Eyes Deceive Our Appetites

Your Gut Is All in Your Head (Sort of)

One of this year’s Ig Nobel awards goes to a researcher who has gotten to the bottom, if you will, of insatiable appetites. (The Ig Nobel awards go to science that is entertaining or odd, though typically the research is still of value.) Brian Wansik, a nutrition professor and the author of “Mindless Eating”, won the award for his explorations into the murky world of soup. Though diet guides often recommend starting a meal with a light soup to help reduce overall calorie consumption while still feeling sated, Dr. Wansik has found that this is not always the case. As it turns out, size matters: it all comes down to the dish in which the soup is served.

Dr. Wansik found that people who were given a secret “bottomless bowl” ate 75% more soup than those eating from standard bowls. Our appetites are dependent upon visual cues, such as how much food is left in the dish, rather than on how full we actually feel.

Keep reading…

19 Oct

Whose Food Pyramid Is It Anyway?

We’ve done quite a bit of ranting and issued endless criticisms of the FDA and the food pyramid. There, I said it. We did it here, and here, and talked about what you should be eating here. I’ve even offered up my own food pyramid (for carbs).

But whose food pyramid is it, anyway?

Though I regularly rail against the government’s grain-based, dairy-laden, sugar-rich recommendations, I have to wonder if anybody’s really following it anyway. Does the food pyramid make a hill of beans in the nutrition wars? We know the standard American diet is high in grain, dairy and sugar, but is this because those things are on the pyramid refrigerator magnet? Seems the other way around to me: Big Agra has an express interest in promoting cheap, unhealthy foods such as cereal and bread, and the government is simply the acquiescent mouthpiece. Marketing and advertising overwhelm the average American; the food pyramid merely reinforces the barrage.

Keep reading…

19 Oct

3 More Budget Friendly Healthy Food Tips

Eating fresh, whole, nutritious fare without breaking the bank can be done. We’ve posted tips before, and at your request, here are 3 more great tricks for adding value to your diet without adding dollars to your grocery tab.

1. Cut meat protein with vegetable protein.

Mark is anti-grain and doesn’t espouse eating much in the way of starch. However, you can cut recipes calling for pricey grass-fed beef or free-range chicken with legumes that cost mere pennies per bag. This is a great way to make your meals – and dollars – stretch further without adding in very many carbs. Especially great, high-protein beans include lentils and black soy beans.

Keep reading…

18 Oct

Healthy Tastes Great!

Spinach-Artichoke Steak Pinwheels

Mmmm... Grass Fed...

Cut out the bit about bread crumbs and use grass-fed beef for this enticing entree.

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18 Oct

Around This Joint, We Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural bodily response to stress, infection, or injury. However, prolonged inflammation caused by a self-destructive lifestyle is a harmful response that affects your musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal function, cardiovascular system, vision, and hormone balance. It’s crucial to control inflammation (there are medications, of course) but it’s even smarter to prevent inflammation. You can do this through daily exercise, stress management, and avoidance of smoking and drinking. But there are many foods that help control inflammation, too. (Chicken nuggets – or rings – do not.) These foods are known as vegetables. Yes – vegetables can help your inflammation just like drugs can. But don’t tell anyone.

Keep reading…

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