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: smart fuel

Dear Mark: Saturated Fat Jet Lag, Collagenous Amino Acids, and Different Cutting Diets

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. The first concerns a recent study seeming to show that saturated fat disrupts our circadian rhythms, especially saturated fat at the wrong time of day. Should we—yet again—trade butter for soybean oil? Second, how necessary are the amino acids found in collagen? Aren’t they found all over the place, not just in collagen? And finally, I answer a couple questions about cutting diets (those traditionally low-fat, low-carb, high-protein diets) and if they can be adapted to a primal way of eating.

Let’s go:

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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: A Few Collagen Questions

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering some questions from the comment board of last week’s collagen post. You guys came up with some really interesting, useful ones that deserve closer examination. First, I explore whether—and how—increasing one’s collagen intake could conceivably worsen a person’s lipid profile. There’s actually a possibility, believe it or not. Next, I give a recommendation for optimal gelatin intake in terms of grams per day. After that, I tell a reader how to know if his store-bought broth is truly gelatinous (and offer an alternative source), discuss the worthiness of octopus and squid as collagen sources, and give a non-bovine gelatin recommendation to a beef-sensitive reader.

Let’s go:

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10 Reasons to Eat More Collagen

For years, the bodybuilding, protein-gorging community has maligned collagen for its inessentiality and lack of input into the muscle-protein synthesis process. From their perspective, it sort of makes sense. Why bother with “low quality” protein like gelatin/collagen when you can pound the whey, eat the meat, and focus on other sources of the essential amino acids directly involved in building muscle?

Except the research is showing that these “nonessential” proteins are actually pretty darn useful.

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Dear Mark: Bone Broth Edition

With bone broth bars popping up in cities, broth-based cookbooks appearing on Amazon, and grass-fed bone broth now available for order online, hot bone water is experiencing a renaissance. And not just among Primal devotees. Dr. Oz is recommending it as a coffee replacement and Kobe Bryant uses it to support his aging body. The renewed popularity has brought an endless string of questions from readers, and today I’m going to answer some of them. Is bone broth truly a miracle food? Yes, but maybe not for the reason you suspect. Should you make deer bone broth? Yes, with a caveat. Does adding vinegar to your water really increase the mineral content of your broth? Probably not as much as you think. Do beef brisket bones work? Yes. And finally, what are the best parts from each animal for making broth? I give a slightly more detailed answer than “All of them.”

Let’s go:

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6 Hidden Superfoods You Probably Already Have in Your Pantry

I generally don’t subscribe to the idea of superfoods. While I’ll try your obscure Amazonian berry that spent a fortnight fermenting in a capybara’s colon, I won’t join your pyramid scheme to help sell it. I may very well add a teaspoon of gelatinized maca root to my smoothie, but I won’t claim it’s responsible for my great health. These foods are perfectly nutritious, contain impressive levels of some unique phytonutrients, and often have robust clinical support as inclusions in healthy diets. But c’mon: who’s regularly eating goji berries for $15 a pound? They’re not even that great.

I’m far more interested in the regular “superfoods.” The normal foods that we don’t necessarily consider super. The ones that are just there but have incredible health benefits just the same.

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10 Primal Foods You Aren’t Eating Enough Of

For the most part, your diet seems pretty solid. You’re eating eggs on a regular basis. You’ve got, like, six ways to make really good cauliflower. That subtle humming reverberating through the house is just your chest freezer full of half a grass-fed cow. Leafy green vegetables are staples, sweet potatoes appear post-workout, and you’re first in line to buy fresh wild salmon when in season (plus extra for the chest freezer). All your bases are covered, right? Maybe not. From all the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve spotted a few consistent blind spots in the diets of the Primal community. In today’s article, I will reveal the 10 Primal foods you probably need to eat more often. After each entry, I’ll tell you the easiest (and tastiest) way I’ve found to integrate said food into your diet; no excuses.

Let’s get to it:

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Smart Fuel: Mushrooms

Neither plant nor animal, the mushroom usually gets lumped in with the former but genetically it’s closer to the latter. In fact, mushrooms and people are members of the same biological superkingdom, Opisthokonta, which excludes plants; we shared a common ancestor with fungus about 600 million years ago. But while mushrooms are an odd genre of organism, that’s nothing compared to what lies beneath and supports them. The mushroom is just the fruiting body of the underground network of fungal threads known as the mycelium.

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4 Foods That Have Surprising Medicinal Benefits

“Let food be thy medicine,” said some old Roman guy, I think. Whoever he was, he was right. Food is the foundation for preventive medicine. It’s the first thing we examine when figuring out a health issue, and successful changes to what we eat usually have the most profound effect on our health. If we don’t eat well, we won’t be healthy – simple as that.

But what if food literally was medicine? What if certain foods had specific, established pharmacological effects that rivaled certain pharmaceuticals?

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What to Look for When Choosing a High-Quality Dark Chocolate

This is a guest article from the chocolatiers of Santa Barbara Chocolate. Santa Barbara Chocolate is the supplier of my favorite chocolate, and they’ve been a more than welcome sponsor of PrimalCon since the very beginning, donating boxes of dark chocolate coins for guests to enjoy. PrimalCon attendees can attest, their chocolate is top notch.

As a big fan of really dark chocolate myself – as I know many of you are – I’ve reported on the health benefits of dark chocolate, and explored whether all chocolate is created equal. Still, with all the various labels and terms thrown about these days, choosing a high-quality dark chocolate can be a little confusing. What separates bad from good from best? So I decided to go straight to the source and get expert advice from professional chocolatiers…

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