Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Tag: monounsaturated fats

10 Reasons You Should Be Eating More Monounsaturated Fat

Amidst all the debate over how saturated fat and PUFAs differentially affect our health, we often forget about monounsaturated fats, or MUFAs. These are almost universally tolerated, if not loved. No one really maligns them. Vegans and carnivores alike consume them on a regular basis. You find ’em in nuts and seeds alongside PUFAs. You find them in animal fats alongside saturated fats. In most healthy diets, whether alternative (Primal, keto)  or conventional (Mediterranean, AHA), monounsaturated fats feature prominently. They can’t really be avoided. But they’re an afterthought in hard core nutrition geek circles. Probably because no one really attacks them. Probably because they’re uncontroversial.

Let’s change that. Today, I’m going to explain why, in explicit detail, you should be eating more monounsaturated fat—if you aren’t already.

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12 Surprising Things You Can Do With Avocado Oil

If it were up to me, I’d have a steady supply of perfect, ripe avocados on hand. They’d have no blemishes, no bruising, no weird soft spots, no stringy veins running through. Every avocado would be ripe and somehow manage to stand up to rough handling. They wouldn’t be watery or mushy—just creamy. Life would be good, and I’d probably retire and begin an all-avocado diet. But that’s not reality. Avocados are a crap shoot. They take forever to ripen. There’s usually something wrong. Half the time I have to cut out half the flesh just to approach edibility. And I say this living in the home state of the best avocados in the world.

Enter avocado oil. No, it’s not quite the same as a plump avocado. No, you can’t make guacamole out of it, although some disgusting heathen has probably tried using gums and thickeners. For that it falls short of a plump avocado. But because first-press avocado oil—the kind I makeretains most of the fat-soluble nutrients, antioxidants, carotenoids, and chlorophylls found in the fruit, just like extra virgin olive oil retains olive nutrients, first-press avocado oil provides the power of the avocado in a compact, reliable, convenient, pourable package.

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Dear Mark: Low-Fat Versus Low-Carb Study and Plain Ol’ Olive Oil

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions from readers. First, I field one of the dozens of emails I received concerning the latest low-carb versus low-fat study making the media rounds. The reports have ranged from declarations of low-carb dieting’s imminent death to more reasonable discussions of the actual paper. The Time article actually keeps things closer to the latter, which was nice. For the final question, I discuss the merits of regular old olive oil. Is extra virgin olive oil the only one worth entertaining?

Let’s go:

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What’s So Healthy About Avocado Oil?

It doesn’t take much digging to figure out that most of the oils we eat in this country are fantastically poor choices. There’s the heavy processing to consider as well as the GMO sourcing, the rancidity, and dramatic omega fatty acid imbalance to name a few unsavory points. Sure, we make different choices in our own kitchens, but sometimes we find ourselves wishing we could recreate a certain taste in a Primal version of an old favorite recipe or just find a better flavor in one of our new favorite Primal meals. As a result, even the most Primally devout among us are on the lookout for the healthiest choices with the right practical adaptability. (And, oh yeah, good taste…) In the interest of relishing our food while respecting our bodies, we hunt down lesser appreciated alternatives. Plus, there’s just something fun about undermining the status quo to support worthy culinary underdogs. One of the great “finds” of my Primal journey has undoubtedly been avocado oil – a little recognized healthy fat with big versatility.

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The Quest for a Healthy Primal Mayonnaise (plus a Limited-Time Sweepstakes)

In a few short months, my team and I will be unveiling a new product that I’m confident you’ll be very interested in consuming. No, it’s not a book. It’s not an ebook, either, nor is it a new certification program or supplement. It’s something you eat – something you literally consume with your mouth. It’s a food product for which people have been clamoring and combing the grocery aisles, both brick and mortar and virtual, in vain. It’s mayo.

We’ll be releasing a Primal mayonnaise using avocado oil as the base.

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Crispy and Creamy Avocado Fries

Avocado fries have that tempting combination of a crispy outer layer, creamy middle and addictive fried flavor. Made with nothing more than avocado, coconut, egg, salt and spices, it’s a pure and healthful snack or salad topping loaded with beneficial fatty acids.

Before you scarf down an entire plateful, keep in mind that a little bit of avocado goes a long way. The good news is that avocado fries are both rich and filling so a small portion is plenty satisfying. This simple recipe gives avocado fries a Southwest flair, adding cumin and chili powder to the mix. You could take this theme a little further by adding finely chopped cilantro to the coating and finishing them with a squirt of fresh lime.

One last thing: Don’t make this recipe unless you have a bottle of hot sauce in the fridge. It adds the extra kick that sends avocado fries over the top.

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Is It Primal? – Chia Seeds, Black Rice, Refined Avocado Oil, and Other Foods Scrutinized

The questionable foods just keep flowing in. As soon as I write a new “Is it Primal?” post, I’m inundated with new stuff to scrutinize. It’s like cutting the heads off the hydra (speaking of which, what are the nutritional qualities of hydra? talk about a sustainable animal food source). Luckily I like writing these posts, so they are probably here to stay. I hope you enjoy them. Well, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Today we’ll delve into the sordid inner world of the chia seed (of Chia Pet fame, yes), the dark underbelly of black rice, the hidden agendas of the refined avocado oil consortiums, the Communist North Korean plot to brainwash minds via sweet potato vermicelli consumption, and how strawberries might actually be trying to kill you (yeah, strawberries). Actually, we’ll just figure out if said foods are Primal or not.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Powdered Egg Alternatives and Heating Olive Oil

Say you’re a guy or gal that travels for business. With jerky, nuts and other Primal snacks in tow you hit the road resolved to do your best while away from home. You employ your best modern foraging skills at the airport, gas station and at your hotel breakfast buffet. Everything is fine and dandy until, wait, there’s something not quite right about these eggs. The consistency is a little… off. Could they be powdered eggs? Yes, yes, they could be. Does it matter? I’ll tell you what I think on this and the topic of safe cooking temperatures for olive oil in this week’s Dear Mark.

Let’s jump right in.

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How to Eat More Fat

The leaders of the dietary establishment either keeled over or started arming themselves with pitchforks as I wrote that title. (It’s a good day to enjoy the subversion, I think.) On a serious note, let me unpack this worthy question – one I tend to get often: how does one incorporate more fat into a day’s eating? This common inquiry usually comes from someone new to the Primal way of eating; someone that has just started ditching grains and sugars and is having a hard time replacing carbs with the fats they’ve always been told to avoid. And replace, at least in part, they must, or experience the inevitable crankiness and hunger (and possible failure) associated with not eating enough food.

Of all the things we do for our health, I think we all find this to be one of the more enjoyable efforts – at least once we get the hang of it. Go as clean as you can of course – pastured and organic or as close to it as you can obtain and afford. (It ensures better nutrition and fewer toxins.) But let’s not get caught up in details today. I’m ready to dig in. Are you?

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Dear Mark: Calcium Supplements, Goitrogenic Foods, High-MUFA Seed Oils, and Jogging

Today’s edition of “Dear Mark” covers a variety of topics. We’ve got calcium supplementation – does it make sense and is it safe? Then, I briefly discuss cruciferous vegetables, which are said to have negative effects on thyroid health. Some studies support this, but are they an issue for healthy people? I also look at seed oils high in monounsaturated fats (yes, they exist) and low in the much-maligned polyunsaturated fats, and I discuss their suitability in a Primal eating plan. And finally, a reader asks if jogging is ever okay and, if so, how to do it the right way.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the questions.

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