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

Mark's Daily Apple

13 Feb

Here Comes the Buzz

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Hey kids! Here’s the latest from the world of health:

1) I’m not sure, but I think I might want…

Is your heart hungry? This is a great little piece about food cravings that has lots of helpful encouragement. Don’t miss this Valentine for the body.

We don't know what this is, but we want to eat it.

2) Scrub your stomach clean the tasty way

Healthy fats have antioxidant properties that may provide an extra immunity kick against ulcers.

Destroying an ulcer near you.

3) We just really don’t give a fig, now that you mention it.

The FDA is now taking applications for executives with IQ’s above 45. They’re hoping this will help the mess they’ve made, but it’s too soon to tell. If you know of an available fire hydrant, pair of scissors or reasonably colorful goldfish you think might be a good fit for the job, you should definitely contact the FDA.

Lawmakers, journalists, speakers and Bees everywhere are in a big snit about all the egregious regulatory corruption and safety bungling from the FDA. On top of scandals, the Alli approval, and the recent news that a large percentage of FDA scientists are manipulated and threatened when they report undesirable findings, amazingly, the honchos don’t plan to change much anytime soon. Case in point: the FDA’s new leader is anything but fearless. Hey, we’re not expecting magic feats and a cape, but at least be honest in a press conference.

And Apples, lest ye forget:

The same great folks who approved Vioxx, Celebrex, Prempro, Alli and Ketek bring you Labelman, everyone’s favorite inflamed nubbin of nutrition. Loved by dogs everywhere.
The neighbor's cat is a better graphic designer.

13 Feb

Top 10 Health Scams

The Tuesday 10:

There are hundreds of scams for weight loss, health, disease cures, and fitness, but here are the current rotten stinkers:

10. Hoodia

The only kind that works must be eaten fresh. And it’s banned from export because it’s a protected flora. This weight-loss gimmick even comes with the #1 dead giveaway of scams everywhere: a heretofore undiscovered culture/tribe has finally, miraculously, revealed their secret, conveniently, to a white man who can’t wait to share this magical product with the world. Give me a break. That’s called a movie, not science. Here’s my expose.

9. Cellulite shoes

Again with the mysterious culture shrouded in lore. These don’t work – period. Though I do hear they help you fall and bruise your butt. Here’s a piece of my mind.

8. Cellulite creams

Sara frequently rants about this subject near and dear to many women’s hearts (or other parts). The best way to deal with cellulite – which isn’t curable no matter what the quacks like Mesunique claim – is to cut down on sugar, which stores itself in outer fat cells, and get some daily exercise. The more muscle and less fat you have, the smoother you look.

7. Colon cleansers

The colon is important, delicate, and needs to stay in top shape. That said, it does not have a brain, and your body does not store fecal matter for years on end just waiting to finally be emptied by some miracle cleansing product. What comes out is just buildup of a few days, and anything beyond that is, well, b.s. This myth was actually completely debunked by surgeons a century ago. I am in favor of probiotics, such as those sold by Natren (a great company) but extra fiber from psyllium or other “miracle” cleansers is totally unnecessary. So: hooray for fiber from fruits and vegetables.

6. Algae

Yes, this slimeball is abundant in protein. If you eat a truckload of it. Pay attention to serving size – often companies make claims about a product being extremely potent, but hope you’ll remain blissfully ignorant about how this potency relates to serving size. Supplementing with algae for aminos and other health benefits is about like relying on water for your vitamin and mineral needs. I like Perrier as much as the next guy, but I’ll stick with a multivitamin, thanks.

5. Male “enhancement” products

Guys, come on! Try enhancing intimacy and your skills instead.

4. Female “enhancement” products

Ladies, let it go. You don’t need these gimmicks – the folks selling them are just boobs (sorry). We men like you the way you are. If you still aren’t convinced, and don’t mind some PG-13 content, head on over to Bill Stieg’s blog at Men’s Health for the scoop on what we guys really think about the gals.

3. Bottled waters

Read my expose on mock waters. You cannot oxygenate or enhance water. You can’t penta it, hydro it, living cell it, or do anything else but drink it. Drink up, but don’t fall for the water hype.

2. Vegetable oils

Refined oils like canola, soybean and corn oil are free radical oil slicks that manage to get a bill of health from Uncle Sam. Lobbying gets the credit for that.

Avoid these oils like the plague, and go for healthy fats like organic butter, Smart Butter (rich in Omega-3’s), olive oil, avocado oil, or nut oils.

1. Alli (orlistat)

I’ve been ranting about Alli quite a bit. This ineffective, unproven, no-good OTC weight-loss pill offers nothing but side effects and oily spotting. Yes.

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13 Feb


Food manufacturers research, test, market and manipulate like you wouldn’t believe – it’s worse than the cheesiest of romantic comedies and more nauseating than Nick Cage’s Southern accent in Con Air (isn’t that a hair dryer, anyway?).

Just an update to the Fuji’s rant – and I am quoting Nestle here:

It’s difficult to find chocolate that is easy to eat while multitasking with both hands. Poppable formats like Mars M&Ms and Hershey’s Bites enable the consumer to eat while doing something else. The rod form [of Stixx] allows the consumers to hold onto the product in their mouth or fingers while multitasking with both hands. Multiple textures of crunchiness and the rod shape also allow ‘ritualized’ eating behavior (do I eat the top, the bottom, other sections or suck on it?). 

Do we need to have multitask-friendly food available? Is this a crisis I am unaware of? Make no mistake – food marketers aim to make you their little Pavlovian success story.

13 Feb

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Nestle Crunch Sticks

El Fritter

The Fuming Fuji is outraged at the marketing of toxic food, especially when it’s aimed at the small fry. This week, the Fuming Fuji has decided to have a serious problem with Nestle Crunch Sticks.

But, Fuming Fuji, you say, Nestle wants to make snacking more convenient and “keep consumers interested” with more crunchy sound and texture. Also, Fuji, it is Nestle Crunch Stixx.

The Fuming Fuji says no!

The claim: Crunch Bar has to satisfy baby boomers and kids as well as compete with new high-end chocolates. By making candy bars more convenient, consumers can continue to buy enjoy Crunch.

The catch: By making candy bars more convenient? Is a candy bar really so difficult? This new Stixx product is even worse for you than the original and uses more packaging. The Fuji wants to know why Nestle hates both people and the planet!

The comeback: But Nestle wants to increase the brand’s “premiumness” for maximum enjoyment! This is about quality and choice.

The conclusion: Enough about Nestle’s needs! What about the Fuji’s needs? The Fuji needs to never again see such hateful snacks. What is so difficult about a bar that you now need four smaller bars? The Fuji wonders if the BK Chicken Fries people are behind this.

The Fuji speaks the truth: Nestle wants to increase profits because dark, healthier chocolates are now in the market and eating into their ugly vegetable-oil-filled wannabe chocolate. What Nestle should be worried about is buying a dictionary, because premiumness and stixx are not even words.

The catchphrase: Do not buy products that teach children bad spelling!

Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji. Or something.

They can't even spell.

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12 Feb

Web It Out

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

We’re going to preface today’s mix with a quick mention of the hot headlines. Yes, in the UK, Viagra is going OTC for Valentine’s Day. Yes, once again, Spain has a problem with skinny models (eat some paella, already). And yes, HPV vaccines for children are still causing a big ruckus.

Now that we got that out of the way, there were also some really important discoveries reported today, and they’re not even boring. They’re just not about Kate Moss. They’re about you!

Here’s the best of it, because you probably won’t see it on the news tonight:

1) Yes, but what causes diabetes?

Huge news: scientists have identified four genes which predispose people to developing type-2 diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus, also known as the scourge of modern society, also known as unnecessary in the majority of cases).

Mark believes adamantly in fighting diabetes through lifestyle choices. So many cases of diabetes can be prevented or mitigated with healthier choices – it’s truly a tragedy that this epidemic is striking so many (particularly children) because exercise and healthier eating habits, among other factors, can undo much of the current problem. Most cases of diabetes (about 3/4) are not type 1, but type 2. Though type 2 can’t always be prevented, diabetics who take appropriate healthy measures almost always see their symptoms relieved – even eliminated.

(There’s also a tragic socioeconomic dimension to diabetes – the lack of access to quality food, good medical care and education all contribute. We’d like to see a charity that helps educate disadvantaged families about inexpensive healthy food options and preventive health measures and provides solutions. Do you know of one?)

What this study reveals is not that there is a genetic cause for type 2 – rather, with 70% accuracy, scientists can determine who is likely to develop type 2. This has huge implications for preventive treatment. How great would it be to take a test that determines if you happen to be at a higher risk for diabetes? If so, people could take proactive lifestyle measures to avoid the disease. Read about it.

There's a much better way.

2) Drool, no extra charge

Those Mediterranean homeys just don’t stop. First, it’s olive oil. Then it’s wine. Next it’s antioxidants. Then fish. Now, scientists think the naps are why Italians, Greeks and other Southern European nations have lower rates of heart disease. If companies can’t or won’t provide health care and daycare, we’re not sure if you should hold out hope for nap time, but it sounds pretty healthy!

because no one thinks napping bees are cute

3) The power of intention

Everyone’s in a big hot fuss over The Secret these days. Bend your mind a little further: here’s some fascinating brain news, just out today, about the power of intention. Muy interesante!

Yes, but is it PH balanced?

4) We are really, really fat

74% of Americans are overweight. This creates huge (yeah, yeah) economic and social burdens. Not to mention it makes us live in sheer misery. Who feels sexy, has energy or wants to enjoy activities (or can, for that matter) when one’s very body is an encumbrance? The emotional, mental and social tolls are staggering. Just let it sink in for a minute.

– Ever felt embarrassed in a bathing suit?

– Felt pressure to look a certain way?

– Had a hard time running up a flight of stairs?

– Needed medication to address health problems that are a result of excess weight?

– Wished you had more sexual stamina and drive?

– Felt drained, tired and stressed?

– Suffered from anxiety, insomnia, restless legs, sleep apnea?

– Felt bad about yourself?

These are all problems that have a solution. Truly, they do. Isn’t that great news? Best of all, the solutions are free. They are easy to learn about and implement. You’ve probably heard the opposite – but it doesn’t take trainers, money, gyms and expensive food to be healthy and maintain a good weight. Those things are nice, and they help, but they aren’t necessary. An overhaul is great, but just four or five consistently-applied changes can radically change your health.

We want people to be healthy and happy. We don’t want to be in the top 10 fat countries, which we are. Who is fatter? Well, hardly anyone, but Kuwait and Samoa are slightly bigger. Slightly. We’re Americans, dammit! We have money, optimism, and we invented the internet (sorry, Al), which is loaded with health help. Plus, we have great teeth. Why are we so unhealthy and overweight? That doesn’t sound like something America should be leading in, does it?

You can’t change everyone, but you do have the power to change your own health. If you’re someone who needs to and wants to, we hope you’ll take heart and begin the steps necessary to do it. Have faith! There is a whole world of support online – free. Stick around. Learn. Act. Make the first click.

“Soon we’ll be away from here, step on the gas and wipe that tear away. One sweet dream came true today.” – The Beatles

From one choice a new life is born.

Follow that dream!

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple

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