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

Mark's Daily Apple

20 Apr

Genius Fuel!

It’s a great time of year to enjoy fresh peas. We always keep plenty of bags of frozen peas around the Sisson household (well, the freezer, anyway). Peas make a quick, easy snack for the kids after sports’ practice or a long day at school that is far more nutritious than processed snack bars but won’t have anyone groaning about eating their vegetables.

Fresh peas are perfect right now, and they are an excellent way to get extra vitamins, fiber and protein into your meals.

A nutritional snapshot:

- One cup of peas contains a third of your daily requirement of fiber (though I personally recommend getting two or three times the 25-35 grams daily that the U. S. government recommends).

- Peas are famous for containing generous amounts of B vitamins, but they’re also rich in vitamin C (a third of your DV) and vitamin K (half your DV).

- Peas are rich in serotonin-boosting tryptophan.

Toss fresh peas into:

- Salads: peas work well with many fruits, avocados, and tomatoes.
- Stir fries: replace rice with peas for a fiber-rich, veggie-intense variation.
- Plain yogurt: add the peas, some chopped walnuts or almonds, and a little balsamic vinegar. (Top notch protein, fiber and fatty acids for quick energy and stress relief.)

peas

This is Ben’s Flickr Photo

19 Apr

El Buzz

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Catch the clickativity!

Grease the Brain

Another study confirms it: “good fats” (also known as essential fatty acids and Omega-3′s) help stave off Alzheimer’s disease. We recommend eating a “good fat” at every meal. Some favorites:

- wild fish

- olive oil (or another unsaturated vegetable oil such as walnut, avocado or flaxseed)

- nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and filberts

- DHA-enhanced dairy and eggs

- Avocados

What’s your favorite way to work good fats into your diet?

almonds

HRT Stops, Breast Cancer Drops

It’s all over the news: the drop-off in hormone replacement therapy use after 2003 has been linked to the subsequent reduction in breast cancer cases. This news actually came out months ago (Mark blogged about it in December), but many mainstream docs panned it as a case of jumping to conclusions. Which means that tonight, they shall dine on humble pie.

Have you had an experience – positive or negative – with HRT that you’d like to share with others? What do you think is the best natural approach for women who don’t want to take hormone replacements?

Guess Which Nation Is Deficient in Basic Vitamins?

That would be us, as in US…of A. That’s right – in the land of plenty, where food is so plentiful we make it into furniture*, significant percentages of Americans are missing basic nutrients fundamental to life. Scoot yourself on over to WebMD‘s helpful article detailing which additional nutrients many Americans are deficient in and which five simple switches can change this around.

Note: the article classifies three major missing vits – A, E, and C – as antioxidants. A is actually not an antioxidant, although this belief persists. All the same, you still need it.

Okay, one more note: the article recommends imbibing juice to get your vitamin C. We recommend whole fruit – this way, you get the added fiber, and you aren’t drinking pesticides. Yech.

And just one more note: remember that vegetables have plenty of fiber and far fewer calories than breads and pastas. Plus, veggies come packed with antioxidants and cancer-preventing compounds. Okay, we’re stopping with the notes. Seriously. Next item.

redbells

*By furniture, we mean bean bag chairs. (Something comedian Ted Alexandro has been taking issue with for several years now. Keep fighting the good fight, Ted.)

Cultural Oddity:

There is an actual product, produced by an actual grocery store chain, called Potted Meat Food. It’s for humans, we think. (Warning: this link is not for the faint of heart or sensitive viewers. But we found it so utterly bizarre that a store would actually sell this, we had to pass it on. If you think Spam is disturbing, well…)

Until tomorrow, Apples! The Bees are out.

19 Apr

1 Big Mac Is Worth 60 Pork Rinds

Morning, Apples! Our editor, Sara, pointed out a few great blog conversations going on in regards to fast food restaurants making – or rather, not making – nutrition information available (and subsequently gave herself an assignment!). We all had a lot of fun just now coming up with some not-so-pretty comparisons for this and future Sisson Spoofs. (I blogged about the problem with making nutritional information available in fast food restaurants here.)

After checking out today’s Spoof, I encourage you to join the blogosphere conversation by heading over to the Calorie Lab News and Brian’s Lose Weight With Me blogs. Speak up! I know you’ve got opinions!

The issue at hand: nutritional information inclusion on fast food restaurant menus. I suggest the following visual comparison format so the patrons of America might get a more accurate picture of what they’re about to consume. When everything in the restaurant is high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium, what good does publishing the numbers do? Because if you knew that…

A Big Mac sandwich (540 Calories, 29 grams of fat)

bigmac

(Jim Frazier Photo)

Was really like 60 deep fried pork rinds…

porkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrindsporkrinds

…then you might think twice.

(Click here for McDonald’s nutrition information.)

Remember when I blogged about KFC’s kick-the-bucket in a previous Spoof? You’ll be glad the Bees are such blog surfin’ fanatics, because this post from Jeff Kay at the Diet Blog is a can’t-miss. Scoot!

Next week’s comparison: What are you really getting when you bite into those avocado egg rolls from the Cheesecake Factory?

18 Apr

Wednesday Webbin’

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

All the news, none of the trans fat! There’s plenty of controversy brewing in health today, and we’d love to hear your viewpoints!

Angst or Antidepressants?

A study from JAMA reports that antidepressants are perfectly safe for teens – something that will no doubt fire ongoing controversy, in light of the FDA’s own warnings about antidepressants for teens. Many countries ban antidepressant prescriptions for children due to significant health and safety concerns. What’s interesting is that antidepressants do appear to help teens deal with anxiety, but when it comes to depression, there’s no statistical significance over placebos.

“In the studies involving depression, 61 percent of patients improved while on antidepressants. But 50 percent of depressed patients taking dummy pills also improved.” – Boston.com

Dicey subject. What are your thoughts, Apples?

pills 1

This is Emagic’s Flickr Photo

Spice Up Your Efforts Against Diabetes

Cinnamon may be good for those with both types of diabetes! Here’s the clickativity.
cinnamon

This is Bitzi’s Flickr Photo

The FDA Debate Continues

We make no secret of our disappointment with the FDA as an institution ostensibly created to protect public health. From hiring, firing and publishing practices that look like a Pharma pajama party, to misguided approvals processes, to this latest news, we think our tax dollars deserve better. Don’t miss the click – it’s a worthy read, Apples.

See you tomorrow!

18 Apr

Aaron’s Additions

Am I getting the most out of Mark’s Daily Apple? This is a question you should be asking yourself if your experience has been limited to reading our daily posts. Mark’s Daily Apple offers so much more! Check out these helpful hints on how to take advantage of all we have to offer.

Many premium benefits only go to Mark’s Daily Apple members, so if you haven’t signed up yet be sure to do so ASAP! What are you waiting for? Simply click on ‘Login’ at the top of the page and follow the prompts to become a member. If you still have questions on how to become a member check out this link for further information.

Commenting on Posts:

Add your two cents, or get into a full-on, heated philosophical debate over any of our daily entries by posting a comment. Leaving a reply allows you to voice your opinion and connect with other readers. We are all about giving the little guy a voice. Here is your chance!

There are two easy ways to post a comment. Sign in using your username and password. Once this is done simply click on the ‘Comments’ link at the bottom of any post. You will be directed to our blog forum that contains all of our blog entries and their corresponding comments. At the bottom of the page you will find a dialog box you can use to post replies. Alternatively, click on ‘Forum’ at the top of the home page and then ‘Blog Forum’. From here you can find the blog entry to which you would like to leave a comment.

Once you’ve posted a comment check back regularly to see what other readers have to say about it. You may be (pleasantly or otherwise) surprised by the response!

Using an RSS Feeder:

As Google puts it, an RSS feeder is “like an inbox for your favorite sites”. An RSS (don’t worry about what RSS means – it’s unimportant geek-speak) feeder pulls content from each of your favorite blogs and puts them into a convenient and easy to view format. If you don’t already have an RSS feeder you can get one here or here. Add Mark’s Daily Apple to your feeder and receive our latest posts automatically. You won’t even have to type in our web address to get the latest in health and nutrition news!

I will be retiring Aaron’s Additions until a new round of healthy tools and quality blogs pop up. (In the last year alone 28,000 health blogs were created, but only a very small percentage had any staying power!) Instead I will be focusing on bringing you Aaron’s Awards – congratulating the food industry for their latest obesity-inducing shenanigans.

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