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

Mark's Daily Apple

18 Dec

Rotten Apple Award

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This month’s Rotten Apple Award goes to Mesunique, a quack product being marketed as a cellulite and weight-loss cream. “Testimonials” claim fat loss of up to 20 pounds in just a month. The product is all over the infomercial network right now, and despite a truly amateur website (see below), the makers of Mesunique have managed to convince more than a few poor souls that a simple cream is the answer to all one’s body woes.

We’re here to call them on the quackery. For one thing, the website is rife with errors and nonsensical terminology and phrases. According to the site, mesotherapy is used in France by the “rich and famous” with fabulous results. Of course, Mesunique is not even mesotherapy (which itself is not a legitimately recognized treatment in any peer-reviewed journal anywhere).

Additionally, nowhere on the site can one find any information about ingredients, safety and testing, or research. There is also no disclaimer. In fact, there’s really no information at all; the product simply touts 8 glowing testimonials of “real people” who swear that life would have never been the same without this incredible cellulite cream. The product is popular despite the quack claims and lack of scientific support, simply because of the emotional promise it gives. Don’t fall for such quackery, dear Apples! (We know you wouldn’t.)

Unfortunately, there just isn’t a magic cure for weight loss. It takes sensible eating, exercise, and time. Cellulite is caused by a lack of fitness and genetics, as well – the good news being that, with exercise, you can maximize what you’ve got.

We’re watching you, Mesunique.

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18 Dec

Corn Is Not a Vegetable

Check out a recent post in the Diet & Nutrition section by junior apple Annie B. She writes to tell us about a recent adventure to Boston Market, where she overheard two well-meaning ladies order the “healthy vegetable plate” of mashed potatoes, corn, and mac ‘n cheese. Hmm.

We’re a little concerned about that meal being thought of by anyone as a “vegetable” plate. Potatoes, maybe. But macaroni and cheese is definitely not a vegetable. It’s fat (processed cheese) and refined starch (white pasta). But we’re most upset about corn.

Friends, corn is not a vegetable. It’s not. We are perplexed as to when corn entered the American dietary lexicon as a veggie, because it’s a grain – and a really unhealthy grain at that. Corn is the most sugary, starchy, empty grain there is. You’re better off with white rice – seriously. (Not that we recommend eating a lot of white rice, because brown rice is higher in fiber and protein.)

In fact, we hate corn. Now, we’re not talking about the occasional corn on the cob at the family BBQ. That’s probably not going to hurt anyone. But corn should not make up the veggie section of your meal plate, because it’s a high-glycemic sugarfest. In sum: corn is not a vegetable, and it’s a worthless grain.

And yet, miraculously, it forms the basis of the American diet.

The most maddening thing about all of this is that corn is the #1 ingredient in just about every processed food and fried food. How, you ask? Well, we have a lot of excess corn sitting around every year (mostly because the government still subsidizes corn farmers). What to do? A few decades ago, people figured out that turning corn into oil was really cheap and profitable. Never mind that corn oil is terrible for you when used in cooking: trans fat city, and no Omega-3′s! Yet corn oil, and its trans-fat twin, hydrogenated corn oil, are in everything. Take a look at just about any food in the middle aisles of your grocery store. Yep, corn oil. If it doesn’t have corn oil, it will have corn syrup. Sometimes both.

Even worse is the corn sweetener situation. High fructose corn syrup is really, really cheap, which is great for food manufacturers. And it’s sweeter than sugar. What food manufacturer is going to say no to that? They won’t – not unless you tell them enough is enough.

HFCS goes into soda, sports drinks, kids’ snacks, candy, and breakfast cereals, to name just a few items. The HFCS lobby has a really, um…colorful brown website (we can’t think of anything nice to say about it) that makes a big deal about how nutritious corn syrup is and how it’s the backbone of the American Diet. Seriously, is that something you want to be bragging about? With diabetes now a runaway epidemic, and corn syrup registering off the charts on the old insulin-response meter?

Maybe the HFCS lobby lives in an alternate America where a diet high in pizza, Lucky Charms, pop tarts and Pepsi has produced legions of energetic, happy, lean, muscular individuals. You can check out their “fact” site right now. Clickativity.

Waves of grain…

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18 Dec

A Monday Moment

The Roman philosopher and emperor, Marcus Aurelius, taught a helpful little idea that Markus Sisson (sorry) wants to pass along to all of you.

While Latin is fun and all, here is the paraphrase:

People exist for each other. Then either improve them, or put up with them.

Either change, or let go. Doing the same thing won’t get you anywhere but where you are!

Enjoy your Monday!

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18 Dec

Holiday Health Challenge!

This one should be easy for all of you: before the holidays really hit full speed this weekend, do yourself a healthy favor. No junk food this week. Nada, zip, zero, [all right, insert “nothing” synonym of choice here]. We know you’re all healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Salads don’t stand a chance around you. Wait, why is this one even a challenge? Mark?

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15 Dec

Welcome!

The beta play is done. The Worker Bees are ready. And the fun is just beginning! Welcome to the official launch of Mark Sisson’s Daily Apple! Hang on tight for a healthy 2007.

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