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

Dear Mark: Red Meat and Breast Cancer, Net Carbs, and Solutions for Excess, Unavoidable Sun

hotdogFor today’s Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First up, I discuss the latest study claiming that red meat will kill us all. Or maybe it’ll be killing roughly half of us all, seeing as how this paper concerns red meat and women’s breast cancer risk. Next, I give my position on the “net carbs” issue. Do we subtract fiber, leave it as is, or do something else entirely? And finally, I talk a lot about the importance of getting enough sunlight. But what happens when getting enough sun isn’t the problem? What can an outdoor worker do about too much sun?

Let’s go:

Hi Mark,

I would love to hear your take on the new study claiming that red meat raises women’s breast cancer risk. This has been all over the news without any dissuasion of other variables such as: it was a “recall” study where subjects were asked what they ate over the past 20 years, was there a category distinguishing McDonald’s cheeseburgers vs. grass fed filet, were the participants who remembered eating less red meat consistently active, how did the subjects obesity levels factor into the results, etc. It seems that this is a big leap to take in a study based on memory of what nurses ate. Thanks!

K. Hunter

Oh look, Walter Willett has authored another study condemning red meat. I’ll always respect and admire his voluminous mustache, but I don’t think much of this latest paper. You point out a lot of shortcomings in your question. Yes, it was a recall study. No, they didn’t distinguish between fast food burgers and pastured steak. They didn’t control for activity levels (which definitely affect the risk of getting breast cancer), though they did for obesity. The biggest thing that jumps out is that they didn’t separate unprocessed red meat from processed red meat. From the Methods section:

Total red meat items listed on the food frequency questionnaire included unprocessed red meat (beef, pork, or lamb as a sandwich, pork as a main dish, beef or lamb as a main dish, and hamburger) and processed red meat (hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meat such as sausage, salami, bologna).

That’s pretty unforgivable, and if you stopped reading now to go eat a beef shank, I wouldn’t blame you. Confounding processed and unprocessed red meat means that a nurse who brought in leftover osso buco would be lumped in with the  nurse who ate microwaved Oscar Mayer hot dogs for lunch everyday. Does anyone really think that hot dogs and braised veal have the same effect on breast cancer risk? Or even a similar effect? “Red meat” is not a monolith. It’s just a term we use to categorize foods that share a few characteristics. This makes discussing foods easier, but our discussions become less precise and any conclusions gleaned from them less meaningful. I don’t blame them, really. Breaking up “red meat” into grain-fed beef, grass-fed and grain-finished beef, grass-fed/finished beef, pastured pork, conventional pork, and so on would produce the most accurate results, but it would make research difficult to conduct.

Such categories may make research easier, but you’re not eating “red meat.” You’re eating from among the thousands of foods that qualify as red meat. And since this study didn’t even distinguish between the most basic sub-categories (processed red meat and unprocessed red meat), it’d be unwise to ascribe it any significance, let alone modify our diet based on its conclusions.

It’s not like this is a novel pursuit, a foray to an untapped reservoir of nutritional epidemiology. It’s old news. People have been looking for evidence that red meat increases the risk of breast cancer for years. By and large, they’ve come up empty. Even looking at the constituents of red meat for evidence of a link hasn’t gone anywhere. Heme iron, the type found abundantly in red meat, is not associated with breast cancer risk. Fried meat is sometimes associated with breast cancer, but other studies have found that a person’s intake of heterocyclic amines, the carcinogens that form when meat is cooked and seared under high heat, has no association (but omega-6 intake seems to be connected). Oh, and how about animal fat? No relationship with breast cancer risk.

Even if this paper was sound and relevant to a healthy Primal eater, we know that many nutrients found in red meat, like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Another one, carnitine, appears to be protective once a person has breast cancer. I’m not saying that eating steak will cure or prevent breast cancer. That’s not really supported by the evidence, though a few potential mechanisms (CLA, carnitine) look promising. I’m saying that the opposite statement – that red meat increases the risk of breast cancer – has even less support in the literature. It’s the same crazy situation where even though gouda is one of the best sources of vitamin K2, a heart-protective nutrient widely recognized by health experts, they tell heart disease patients to get their vitamin K2 from supplements, not gouda, because “full-fat cheese is bad for your heart.”

So yeah, this paper isn’t groundbreaking, and I don’t think it tells us anything about the effects of eating grass-fed lamb, but it’s still not a very good idea to eat a lot of fried, well-done, and/or processed meat. And make sure you exercise.

Hello

I picked up The Primal Blueprint about a year ago, and have been following it ever since. I am not overweight for the first time in my adult life, and feel incredible. I am still struggling to lose the last 10 or so pounds, and get my body fat into a healthier range. I am diligently staying within the 50-100g/day carb range, with a few days here and there of below 50, and seem to be stuck on this plateau. My question is, are you recommending to stay within 50-100g of total carbs, or factor in the fiber and go by net carbs? I have been going by total carbs, which means I’m netting around 40-60 carbs a day (around 60-90 total carbs). I’m not sure if this is my sweet spot, since I can’t seem to get this last bit of weight off, and would love your opinion!

Betsy

I don’t really do the “net carb” thing. That often leads to micromanagement, which is bad for some people. If you love to micromanage and thrive doing it, have at it.

I find it easier (and more helpful) to think of non-starchy vegetables as “free” than to subtract fiber from total carbohydrate, and it accomplishes similar things. Leafy greens? Broccoli? Bok choy? Summer squash? Zucchini? Cabbage? Eat as much as you want. The carbohydrates are negligible (you probably use more glucose digesting non-starchy vegetables than they contain) and they’re inherently self-limiting. No one is carbing up with a salad bowl full of a couple pounds of steamed kale before a race; it simply wouldn’t work. No one is carb-binging on spinach the way they might binge on roasted potatoes; spinach technically has carbs, but not really. No one is getting fat because they ate too much lettuce unless it’s drowning in dressing; you’d get sick of it before you could consume a significant enough amount of lettuce calories.

The carbs on the Primal Blueprint Carb Curve primarily refer to carbohydrates from starchy vegetables (winter squash, beets, etc), tubers, roots, and fruit.

What’s up, Mark? I just started a new job at a marina. It’s great – I’m outdoors for much of the day, I’m active and moving, and I’m doing something that I love which is working on boats.

Here’s my question: Since I am outdoors much of the day, I’m concerned about getting too much sun. I love getting some sunshine and I know the sun isn’t poisonous, but sometimes I’m out in it for 6 to 7 hours at a time (minus a few breaks here and there).

You usually recommend people head inside or get out of the sun when they feel like they’ve had enough, but that’s not always an option when I’m working. Since summer’s here now, and people are going to be on the lake or at the beach, I’m curious what you would recommend when getting out of the sun isn’t necessarily an option.

Should I use sunscreen? Another alternative? The main goal is just to keep from burning, right?

Thanks!

John

First off, the fact that you’re moving around all day helps. Rather than laying out and exposing a big uniform slab of flesh to direct sunlight for an extended, unbroken amount of time, your work on the boats has you bending, pulling, crawling, and contorting yourself and exposing different bits of skin to the sun. This is safer than direct protracted exposure. It’s known as “occupational sun exposure,” and it’s usually linked to less skin cancer than intermittent sun exposure.

Second, not burning is a good sign. It’s certainly better than burning, which definitely increases the risk of melanoma. And people with the innate (or cultivated through dietary and other lifestyle measures) ability to tan rather than burn are less likely to develop deadly skin cancer. Despite the conventional wisdom, a light base tan is not a definite indicator of irreparable skin damage. Assuming you go about attaining it the right way – through steady and measured, rather than intermittent sun exposure – it indicates good sun resistance.

However, six or seven hours is still a long time to be out in the sun and sunscreens may be a good bet. Some sunscreens work better (and are less toxic) than others. Zinc oxide – the white, goopy stuff that doesn’t really disappear after application – actually provides a physical, rather than chemical, barrier that protects against both UVA and UVB; most chemical barriers block only UVB, thus preventing the synthesis of vitamin D that helps protect your skin from the UVA. Some of the latest zinc oxide sunscreens are better at blending in, but they’re not perfect. You’ll still give off a faint white sheen (which is better than a burn). Focus on the areas of your body that receive the most direct sun, like your shoulders, neck, nose bridge, and clavicles. The Badger Balm line of zinc oxide sunscreens provides a physical barrier and manages to be somewhat inconspicuous.

Cover up. Get a wide-brimmed hat if your job allows it. Bucket hats, or fishermen’s hats, are designed to ward off sun and do a good job at it. Clothing is good, too. UV-protective clothing, or “sunware,” is designed to protect you from the sun. If you want protective clothing but would rather not wear a skin-tight rash guard, go to a hiking/camping/backpacking store. They’ll have UV-protective clothes that look like normal shirts, shorts, and pants. For regular clothing, color matters, with blue and red having the best UV-blocking capacity.

Make sure your diet is replete with nutrients that bolster your sun resistance. I’ve outlined eight of the main ones in this post. The biggest change I’ve seen has come from limiting omega-6 fatty acid intake (particularly from seed or vegetable oils; nuts and eggs and other whole food sources of PUFAs are more desirable and less problematic than the oils), eating more saturated fat to make up for it, and getting sufficient omega-3 from fish, shellfish, or fish oil supplements.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Maybe appropriate TIMING of the 50-100 carbs would net a greater result of fat loss? (after workouts, later in the day)

    Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • It might also be good to have an occasional higher carb day to help break plateaus. I think Mark mentioned this in an old article.

      Jacob wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • Completely agree with this one…made a huge difference for my friends and me

      Vince wrote on June 30th, 2014
  2. I call those sun-protective backpacking shirts “desert shirts”. Some companies make nylon that has a dry feeling to it. I find that comfortable. I don’t see any reason to get special UV clothing. Usually a light color works well enough to reflect enough sun away to keep you comfortable. If you don’t want to spend the money for something at a backpacking/outdoors store, a polyester/cotton man’s dress shirt from a thrift store also works great.

    Diane wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • Regarding UV clothing, I think it’s mostly designed to enrich the manufacturer’s bank account. I have never, ever known anyone who got sunburned through ordinary clothing. Obviously, if the item is made of some type of mesh that allows the sun to penetrate through to the skin, this wouldn’t hold true. Most street and sport clothes have a much tighter weave that sunlight can’t penetrate.

      Shary wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • “Desert shirts” is a good name and a hint for where to look for inspiration. Traditional mariner’s clothing would also be a good.

      BillC wrote on July 2nd, 2014
  3. I’ve also been curious about fiber and carbs and whether to pay attention to net carbs closely or not. I’m a person who can’t be hyper focused like that though without getting obsessive and miserable– I think the carb thing is definitely common sense, like kale carbs = good and I eat a ton of them but I do try to go easy on bananas.

    Florence wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • I’ve never been one to try calculating net carbs…seems like way too much of a hassle. I figure if I’m keeping the carbs low, and laying off the grains, starches, candies, I’m pretty well off.

      Jacob wrote on June 30th, 2014
      • Exactly. I see no reason to turn my meals into a math exercise. I guess some people are just more into keeping track of numbers and measurements than I am.

        Shary wrote on June 30th, 2014
        • Lol, totally agree. Eating healthy food should be about good choices and not nitpicking about everything.

          Curtis wrote on June 30th, 2014
  4. I really wish everyone would get that you need to take reported study results with a grain of salt. I’m glad you take the time to go over these points with many different studies, but unfortunately the people who really need to hear these things don’t come to your website!

    Also loved the advice on sun exposure, and the info on how nutrition relates to our bodies resistance to it as well.

    Michele wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • The people that need this imformation the most seem to have the old food pyramid ingrained in their minds and because they are in such bad shape they actively seek out info that will validate what they think they know. I work with quite a few obese people and their knowledge of nutrition is substantial. The problem is a what they know is just dated 70s and 80s stuff so they continue to take their diabetics medication, statins, etc.. and fill up a lot of other health blogs with their “knowledge”.

      victor wrote on June 30th, 2014
  5. Regarding plateaus, you may want to check out the book “Living Low Carb” by Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS. This is the book that pointed me to Mark’s Primal Blueprint (VERY highly rated by Bowden) There is a section on plateaus that I found interesting and helpful.

    Brenda wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • I’ve read this book and I agree, Living Low Carb can help on plateaus.

      John Finn wrote on June 30th, 2014
  6. Regarding the latest red meat nonsense, I always wonder what else these study participants were eating. Also, who is paying for the study and what is their motivation? I like red meat and eat it frequently. Apparently my body needs quite a bit as I tend to crave it if I don’t get enough. I never worried about eating eggs either, back when they were being demonized for supposedly causing high cholesterol. Again, you have to ask: what else were the study participants eating? Was it perhaps an overkill of grain products and sugar/sweeteners? Why are those things such a sacred cow? I think it’s reasonable to say that the object of all these studies shouldn’t be questioned nearly as much as the studies themselves.

    Shary wrote on June 30th, 2014
  7. I’ve never calculated net carbs. Net carbs has always seemed like a way to justify eating more carbs. I prefer to just know the general carb count on my favorite fruits and veggies keep a running total in my head as I go throughout the day.

    Stephen wrote on June 30th, 2014
  8. I worry about sun exposure myself as an endurance runner in Florida – great advice!

    Erica wrote on June 30th, 2014
  9. I’m convinced that Walter Willet is being payed off by the canola oil industry, he always recommends canola oil. Even Wikipedia knows canola oil, full of polyunsaturated fats is rancid garbage.

    Dan wrote on June 30th, 2014
  10. From a person of very Caucasian descent (Irish, English, Norwegian and Scottish)….let’s just say I burn easily. I have noticed that I burn much less often and if I do get pink it turns to tan very easily with no peeling now that I take a vitamin D, E and cod fish oil supplement. I am still careful and don’t stay out during peak sun times and all, but these supplements have definitely made a huge difference for me. And, my dermatologist told me he thinks that the “sun burn proof” clothing is a scam. Good ol’ breathable cotton is just fine.

    KariVery wrote on June 30th, 2014
  11. So what does that mean for us pale people? We’re doomed? Can’t make enough Vit D without exposing ourselves to the sun and incurring damage?

    Swan Ronson wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • I believe Mark mentioned in a previous article that Vit D actually protects the skin from sun damage (can anyone find the correct link or am I just going crazy?). I suggest taking a good Vit D supplement and see if that helps.

      Jacob wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Just try to get 10-15 minutes of “direct” exposure on sunny days, and you will be fine. If you work and can go out during your lunch hour, a quick stroll outside will serve, also. I am also very fair and the sun and I have never gotten along. I do supplement with D3 for other, pre-existing reasons. If you are worried, have your D levels checked and/or pop a supplement.

      k-del wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • Of course not. The human body is not inherently so flawed. I am, too, a very pale person, but I don’t burn because my diet prevents this from happening. Pre-paleo, I would burn very easily. Also, certain oils like coconut, olive and sesame have a certain amount of UV protection that can provide a little extra protection when applied to the skin. I believe I also read somewhere that moisturizer skin absorbs vitamin D better than dry skin (and burns less easily as well).

      Jessica wrote on July 1st, 2014
  12. Men can and DO get breast cancer, especially if they have a variant of the BRACA gene. It’s not as common, but any male who finds a lump anywhere near their nipple area or underarm should not wait to get it checked out. I think the death rate for men is higher, probably because they wait too long, and don’t have regular mammograms for earlier detection.

    My sun exposure is sadly intermittent, and my biggest issue right now is finding a sunscreen I can use when I’m going to be outdoors for a while. I’m sensitive to fragrances, and I absolutely hate the oily feel of commercial sunscreens. I feel like I’m slathering toxins all over myself and at this point would almost prefer to burn. I do use protective clothing when possible, but I’m not swimming in long johns. I’m not sure I would tolerate the thick zinc oxide stuff either.

    Any other ideas?

    Janknitz wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • As someone whose husband had breast cancer (no genetic basis, though), I heartily concur with your wise words. It’s disheartening to realize how many men don’t understand that they, too, can get breast cancer.

      PawPrint wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • Mix some the 100% zinc oxide stuff with coconut oil. I use about 1 part ZnO to 4-6 parts coconut oil. just enough to see some white reflection off the skin. Sometimes I add a little aloe vera gel to thin it out to make it easier to apply to a larger area. The coconut oil makes it somewhat water-resistant and ZnO has been used for skin ailments for centuries. It is as close to primal sunscreen as you can get. I think Grok kept out of the mid-day sun i.e. took a siesta. just like the animals he hunted.

      Jack Lea Mason wrote on July 2nd, 2014
  13. I’m just in the library for a little break from the sun and heat before I go buy some red meat: pork liver paté. I have an irresistible craving for it. It should be a nice change because recently I’ve been mostly eating sardines and though I like them a lot I eventually tend to get (usually just a little bit) sick or bored of them after a while and like to cycle with some other protein sources and eat more animal fat, plus I make sure I regularly eat liver anyways. I’m fairly lean right now so I think I can get away with gorging on more fat than necessary, and some sugar via moderate (seriously, moderate lately! imagine that, for a person of my appetites) alcohol consumption, particularly beer lately.
    I’m outside most of the time so I have to deal with lots of sun exposure. I’ve been burning a bit recently but not too bad. If I get just a minor burn I seem to recover fast. I get everything on the list of burn-protective foods. I have a farmer’s tan right now, which is fairly common for me because I don’t spend a whole lot of time with my shirt off. Also, I spent about a week recently almost entirely indoors staying with family (though left early because my brother started taking out his anger on me, something he did just about my whole life, and now that we’re both adults I’ve lost hope that he’s ever going to change so I cut off contact with him). Today I was at the beach for a bit trying to tan and to cool off. I sleep in a little ravine that tends to get hot and I get swarmed and have lost sleep from seemingly unlimited mosquitoes and my only protection from them is to cover up under a sheet and sometimes even wear jeans and a sweatshirt if there’s a lot of them because they can still bite exposed skin through the sheet, so lately I’ve often been sweating a lot at night and waking up feeling awful like I have heat stroke and am dehydrated. I like the ravine and the couch I sleep on there, which is comfortable and big enough to stretch out on, but I’m considering getting a tent (rain has been a problem/nuisance some nights too) and sleeping by the water instead where it’s cooler. However it would be a hassle to have to set up and take down the tent every day and lug it around along with my backpack and probably stash it somewhere most of the day because if I get one I’m not leaving it out in the open for anyone to mess with it or steal it. I know someone who I heard had his tent destroyed twice this year. I don’t know if it was just by someone who didn’t know him being stupid and deciding to cause problems for a stranger or if it was by someone who didn’t like him but now I feel like if I get one I should be extra cautious with it.
    This morning I woke up particularly feeling like crap, but got my government check and am not essentially bankrupt after a couple hurtin’ weeks, and all I wanted was some San Pellegrino sparkling mineral water. Took me like an hour to get it, because I went to one store, my usual source, where they were out of the glass bottles and only had plastic, then another where they were charging $4/L, but finally after suffering through an uphill bike ride (I need some recovery time from plenty of exercise lately) I got a bunch of it at almost the best price and four pints of cheap beer, drank my fill of both and relaxed at the beach for a bit and let a big fountain there by the water spray me and felt much better.

    Animanarchy wrote on June 30th, 2014
  14. Help in prevention of sunburns? Ingesting astaxanthin, beta-carotine and polypodium leucotomos extract will help you a lot.

    Markus I wrote on June 30th, 2014
  15. Walter Willett can kiss my entire basckside! I’ve got a stack of mammograms that say he’s DEAD WRONG about red meat and breast cancer.

    Wenchypoo wrote on June 30th, 2014
  16. I am amazed how much my diet affects my tendency to burn. I am fair skinned and growing up I ate lots of sugar and grains–and I always started burning within minutes during peak sun hours. Now I eat strict primal/paleo and never have sugar (health issues) and I can be in the midday sun for almost half an hour without burning. I actually tan without burning first for the first time ever!

    Leila wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • Same here Leila, just came in from doing yard work after an hour in the sun. Never burn and I’ve always burned in the past.

      victor wrote on June 30th, 2014
      • Me too!! I swear it’s the pastured meat. Once my family switched to it we rarely burn and we are in the pool at least 3 to 4 times per week. Someone should do a study on that!!!

        Pdawg wrote on June 30th, 2014
  17. Being about as pale-skinned as they come I’ve noticed that I do not burn like I used to now that I eat primally and supplement with vitamin D, fclo, and k2. I don’t get cavities anymore either.

    Getting grains out of your life, flossing, and taking the tri-fecta of k2, fclo, and vitamin D would save people so much money in health and dental bills.

    C L Deards wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • What is ‘fclo’? Been thinking about adding vitamin k to my regimen for those benefits…

      Leila wrote on June 30th, 2014
      • fclo = fermented cod liver oil perhaps? just a guess, but that would make sense with the K2 and the Vit. D ——

        PrimalGrandma wrote on June 30th, 2014
        • That is correct. I take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil from Green Pastures.

          Sometimes I’ll take a break from fclo and just take a combination of Super Vitamin K2, vitamin A extracted from cod liver, and vitamin D.

          My teeth are much happier now. Of course, my wife would say that going primal and supplementing are minor compared to the fact that I completely gave up Dr. Pepper upon going Primal.

          C L Deards wrote on July 1st, 2014
  18. I am way too lazy on counting anything nutrient related, be it carbs, protein, fat, or whatever else. I tend to eat vegetables when I want them, limiting the starchy vegetables, and doing whatever “feels” good in regards to eating veggies throughout my day.

    I liked the reminder about UVA vs UVB and the fact some sunscreens hamper your body’s ability to produce Vitamin D if they block only the UVB while letting the UVA negatively impact you. I tend to take 15-minute walks once or twice each day during work hours because I am so frequently enclosed in an office. I’ll take off the shirt and stroll the local neighborhoods and look at the natural world around me. This usually even boosts my mood; for the chemical reactions that occur and the simple fact I feel that I am doing something good for my bod and for my health. It never hurts to have that base tan for sex-appeal too! ;)

    Thanks for these subject reviews, Mark!

    Kevin Grokman wrote on June 30th, 2014
  19. Working on my Protea farm, I spend long hours in the sun especially during summer as the days are so much longer here in Tasmania than in winter.
    As I also spend time outside all during the year, I think my face, neck and lower arms are used to the sun.

    However, as we move towards more exposure to the sun during spring and expose more skin, I tend to use a low grade sunscreen to the parts of my body which hasn’t been exposed to the sun during winter. I only need to use sunscreen for about a week and a good base colour has been laid on my skin and for the rest of the summer I don’t use sunscreen at all.
    Bear in mind that I am moving around all the time and also spend some time inside the packing shed sorting the flowers.

    I read through the article about the eight foods to protect against sunburn, so I will be mindful of them.

    On a last note I am blessed with Scandinavian skin which seems to tan in a naturally way, if I can put it that way.

    Tassie wrote on June 30th, 2014
  20. It is rare that I disagree with Mark, but I have long disagreed on his dichotomy of red meat good, processed meat bad.

    First, “processed” is a vague term. Just about anything we do before the food hits our mouth (and after, for that matter) is processing food. So just what’s the culprit in “processed food”?

    If I take lean grass fed beef, add some spices and salt, and dry it, I have beef jerky, a processed food.

    If I take grass fed beef, add some organically raised lard (ok, the pig is raised organically, not the lard, but you get the point), spices and salt, grind with ice, and steam – I have a hot dog. Processed, but basically no different in nutrients/anti-nutrients than a hamburger made from the same ingredients.

    Ditto bologna, except I may put in some tongue, heart, other organs, during the meat grinding.

    Good quality hot dogs, sausages, bologna, salamiis, etc., have the same ingredients in them that we all agree are good to eat. They are just pre-cooked or preserved in some manner.

    With the caveat below, we should be condemning meat products because of the quality of the ingredients, not the shape of the final product.

    Caveat: the only meaningful difference between “processed” and “unprocessed” meats that I’m aware of is the question of preservatives, specifically sodium nitrites/nitrates. And I think the jury may still be out on that one. I’ve see articles both pro- and con, and I’m not sure what to think. And smoking might fit into this category as well.

    If I am missing something about what “processed” means, other than a bias toward whole meats, rather than pre-ground/pre-spiced/pre-cooked meats, I’d love someone to point it out. As a fan of “pre-chewed” meats (as my brother calls them), I’d like to know why I shouldn’t be eating them, as long as they are made from high quality ingredients.

    John wrote on June 30th, 2014
    • I think you’re right, but I would also suggest that virtually all processed meat that “regular folks” are eating are not the high quality product that you’re describing. Also I too have concerns about smoked meat.

      Chris wrote on July 1st, 2014
    • I just wanted to add that as someone who recently converted to minimalist sandals. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your feet if you happen to not wear closed shoes. Feet are always in the worst angle for getting sunburns. Also, you should get a sunscreen that you can put on your lips too (gentle remainder that we shouldn’t put on our skin anything that you would not eat). Sunburned lips are very painful.

      Coco wrote on July 1st, 2014
  21. I have had rosacea in the past (although it’s gone now mostly) and so I use a sunscreen when I will be outside for a while and it’s sunny. I only use it on my face, as it seems the most sensitive to sun. The one I use is Clinique City Block. It is non-toxic. It is a bit pricey but a little goes a long way.

    shannon wrote on June 30th, 2014
  22. For those who do need more sun protection than merely clothes, Sunguard can be washed in. Seems safer than putting chemicals on skin.

    Harry Mossman wrote on June 30th, 2014
  23. Here’s something I’d like clarified for me: I’m mostly paleo for a good 2 years now and I’ll never go back. But I’m pale and I’ve spent most of my life coating all visible skin with high spf lotion; last year I switched to zinc oxide (if you apply and wait a bit, it does seep into your skin). And I do this because I want to look as young as I feel.

    The age spots have started on my hands and arms and I’ve tried: 10 minutes of sun makes them darker. (I get them zapped off with a laser, but it’s not perfect and takes multiple treatments) I’m also worried about wrinkles. I happen to look at good 10-15 years younger than I am because I really don’t have any (which is pretty crazy lucky, considering I am now….gulp…50) and I’m pretty sure that’s because I avoided sun most of my life.

    I do take D supplements. I can’t get over the fear of leathery, wrinkled skin. Is my thinking wrong?

    Dymphna wrote on July 1st, 2014
  24. Hey everyone! I had a question…

    Mark says that he find’s “it easier to think of non-starchy vegetables as ‘free’… ” and goes on to say that “the carbs on the Primal Blueprint Carb Curve primarily refer to carbohydrates from starchy vegetables, tubers, roots, and fruit.”

    My question is… What about nuts and avocados? Are they considered “free” like the non-starchy vegetables? Or do you count them towards your daily carb intake?

    hollyofspades wrote on July 1st, 2014
  25. I have fair skin, light hair and freckles; I burn easily. One hour in the sun without protection means I get a burn. That was pre-change my dietary habits and toxic topical habits. Coconut oil is fabulous. Ingesting it makes my skin more resistant to burns, and now I use it as my only sunscreen. I am tanning for the first time, and I can be in the sun for about two hours before I feel the need to reapply coconut oil. As an added benefit, if I use it on my scalp, my psoriasis itch nearly disappears.

    Coconut Oil: applied topically and ingested helps with overexposure.

    If you get a sunburn a great way to take care of it: Apply Apple cider vinegar (or white distilled), let it air dry. Then apply coconut oil to keep area moisturized.

    If you have an aloe plant or are lucky enough to find aloe at the store with nothing added, use a double broiler (or ‘make’ your own) to melt and mix together coconut oil and aloe together and apply that instead. Use often until burn has gone.

    I love reading the posts as well as the comments. I probably learn just as much from the comments as I do the posts. Thanks to all who make MDA fantastic!

    ~KR

    Krimson Rose wrote on July 3rd, 2014

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