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: omega 3s

Anxiety: Are Nutritional Deficiencies a Common Cause?

As big-brained hominids, humans have the unique ability to think about the future. The very fact that we can perceive and plan for the time ahead has allowed us to conquer the earth, but it comes with a downside: anxiety. If extreme rumination on past events characterizes depression, worrying about imagined future scenarios describes anxiety.

This inherent capacity and human tendency to think ahead must be reined in and controlled. One way we can do that is make sure we’re getting enough of the nutrients that studies indicate may play an etiological role in anxiety.

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5 Obscure Nutrients: Why We Need Them and How Grok Got Them

Everyone reading this knows about the macronutrients. You’re all eating enough protein, fat, carbs, and the various sub-categories, like fiber, omega-3s, MUFAs, SFAs, linoleic acid, and so on. You know the major micronutrients, like magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12, and most of the minor (but still vital) ones, like plant polyphenols, iodine, and vitamin K2. Today I’ll be talking about the truly obscure nutrients. The ones health food hipsters were super into like, five years ago (“I’m taking beta-1,3-glucan, you probably haven’t heard of it, there’s only one group at Hokkaido University doing any research, you can only get it off the DarkNet using bitcoins”). The ones Grok was super into like, 50,000 years ago.

What are they, what do they do for us, and, if they’re so great, how did Grok obtain them?

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How to Buy (and Appreciate) Eggs

Time and again I find myself on the topic of eggs. I’m a fan really. In fact, I had them for breakfast just this morning (as most mornings).

They’re one of nature’s true superfoods after all—pre-packaged and ready to enjoy however you see fit. The healthy fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals contained within simply can’t be ignored, regardless of all those misguided cholesterol-haters out there.

Back in 2008, I provided a brief look into deconstructing egg carton labelling. That simple guide to egg purchasing has gotten a fair amount of attention and shares over the years, so I’m revisiting the subject to update and elaborate where it makes sense. I don’t see eggs ever losing their place in paleo/Primal eating, and I know others share my enthusiasm.

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Sardine Butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano Sesame Crisps

Sardine Butter. Does the combination of these two words have you salivating or grimacing? Canned sardines are a delicious, nutritious fish, but they aren’t everyone’s favorite. The flavor can be a little, well, fishy. But there are a lot of omega-3s and other nutrients packed into those small, oily little fish, so finding a way to love ‘em is a worthwhile endeavor.

Butter, on the other hand…who doesn’t love butter? Mashing butter and canned sardines together with lemon and cayenne makes a simple but stunning spread. Sardine butter has a more assertive, less delicate flavor than anchovy butter. But sardine butter is much less “fishy” than sardines straight out of the can (if that’s a plus for your taste buds).

In recipes like this, with so few ingredients, quality matters. Use your favorite salted butter, hopefully one that’s pastured or cultured. Grab a few cans of sardines from the grocery store, taste-testing to find you favorite. Boneless sardines give the butter a smoother texture, but if you don’t mind a little crunchiness (and want the calcium) then go ahead and use bone-in. Whether they’re smoked or un-smoked, packed in water or olive oil, is your choice.

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Dear Mark: Red Blood Cell Fatty Acid Content and Obese Paleo Figurines

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a pair questions that, well, question some of the fundamental principles of Primal living and eating. First up concerns a study seeming to show that linoleic acid (from seed oils) is a healthier, less inflammatory choice than olive oil or fish oil. Could it be true? Find out below. Then, I discuss the existence of obese female figurines from the paleolithic as evidence of obesity in actual paleo populations. Does a doll with a belly mean the Primal way of eating, living, and moving needs to be reworked?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Fish Oil Study, 1500 Calories, Breaking a Plateau, and Bulletproof Coffee vs IF

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions. First up is from Milad, who wonders about the recent research seeming to show that fish has little to no effect on heart disease. Is it right? Are we wasting money and enduring fish burps for nothing? Next, how low is too low? If a person’s eating 1500 calories and feeling completely satisfied, should he preemptively increase calories before bad things start happening? After that, I give a couple tips for breaking through a weight loss plateau. And last, how does Bulletproof coffee “fasting” compare with actual intermittent fasting? Is it a better alternative?

Let’s go:

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Why the Omega-3/Omega-6 Ratio May Not Matter After All

When it comes to omega-6 fats, the quick and dirty soundbite resonating throughout the ancestral health community has been “omega-6 fats are inflammatory, omega-3s are anti-inflammatory.” Years ago, I wrote a post saying essentially the same thing – that an excessive intake of omega-6s and inadequate intake of omega-3s predispose us to an exaggerated inflammatory response. This sounds right. And the huge discrepancy between the estimated ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats in ancestral human diets – 1:3, 1:2, or even 1:1 – and the ratio in modern diets – ranging from 1:25 to 1:10 – just looks pathological. Then, bringing up the rear, you’ve got Bill Lands’ work showing that human populations with low levels of omega-3s and higher levels of omega-6s in their tissues are at greater risk for many diseases like heart disease. It all seems clear cut, no?

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We Don’t Know What Constitutes a True Paleo Diet

Critics often lambast the Primal Blueprint and other ancestral/paleo ways of eating for what they see as fatal flaws:

First, that we don’t know what our ancestors were truly eating.

Second, that there wasn’t just one paleo diet.

Third, that even if we could know exactly what our ancestors were eating, it doesn’t mean those foods were the ideal foods; they were trying to eat whatever was available, not whatever was most nutritious or synergistic with their genome.

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Dear Mark: Salmon and Mercury, Fruit and Sugar, plus Seniors Gaining Muscle

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’ll be covering three topics. First, salmon and mercury. We’re often told to watch out for mercury in wild fish, but the story is actually more complicated than that. Learn how to tell if wild fish is safe to eat and whether wild salmon should be limited. Next, I discuss the differences between fruit sugar and sugar, or, rather, fruit and sugar. Can fruit be a part of a healthy Primal way of eating despite the sugar content? And finally, I give a few tips to an older woman who’s interested in gaining muscle and strength. I go over exercise, protein intake, as well as the ulterior benefits of resistance training.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Calorie Intake While Nursing, Tom Hanks and Type 2 Diabetes, and DHA Bad for Adults?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three question roundup. First, I hear from a nursing, weight-lifting, child-chasing mother of four who’s concerned about the amount of food she’s craving – even though she’s already at her pre-baby weight. I (hopefully) allay her concerns in my response. Next, I discuss the ridiculous nature of the conventional dietary advice we give to type 2 diabetics, as well as how there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. I also issue a formal invitation to Tom Hanks, who’s just been diagnosed with the disease. Finally, I explore whether or not DHA truly is bad for adults. Should we only give it to our kids after all?

Let’s go:

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