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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Month: March 2008

1 Meal vs. 3 Meals

Two collaborative studies (1,2) from the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute on Aging offer a look at the physiological effects of 3 meals versus 1 meal a day in two crossover groups. The volunteers participated in both diet plans for two eight weeks periods.
The first study analysis showed that consuming a one-meal-per-day diet, rather than a traditional three-meal-per-day diet, is feasible for a short duration. It showed that when the volunteers were ‘one-mealers,’ they had significant increases in total cholesterol, LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and in blood pressure, compared to when they were ‘three-mealers.’ The changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors occurred despite the fact that the one-mealers saw slight decreases in their weight and fat mass in comparison to when they were three-mealers…

Further analysis of the study group showed that when the volunteers were one-mealers, they had higher morning fasting blood sugar levels, higher and more sustained elevations in blood sugar concentrations, and a delayed response to the body’s insulin, compared to when they were ‘three-mealers.’
via USDA ARS

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The Salt/Blood Pressure Debate

In response to last week’s canned soup post, reader Dave offered this comment: “I’d just like to point out that just as many Apple readers believe in literature that debunks the lipid hypothesis, there’s a camp that says there is minimal effect on blood pressure from salt. There are two sides to many stories!”

We couldn’t agree more that nutritional (or general health) debates are rarely so simple as they’re made out to be. As long-time readers have probably noticed, we’ll mention salt recommendations now and then and generally try to keep our recipe suggestions fairly low in salt. We do tend to follow general salt recommendations. Blood pressure issue aside, high salt intake (as we mentioned last week) has been associated with osteoporosis, asthma, kidney disease and stomach cancer.

But what about the salt and blood pressure issue? Does it really hold water (pun intended)? We’d say it has enough bearing to figure into our choices, and for some people, research suggests, it’s crucially significant.

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Smart Fuel: Shiitake Mushrooms

Once relegated to the Asian foods section of grocery stores, shiitake mushrooms have emerged a prominent contender in the produce aisle, promising to add a little extra oomph – and even some medicinal benefits – to vegetable socks, soups and noodle dishes.

Although this fungi is an excellent source of selenium and a good source of iron, protein, dietary fiber and vitamin C, shiitake mushrooms are much more revered for their combination of antioxidants and other compounds, so much so that they have been used in Asian medicine for the past 6,000 years!

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Eat This Today, Feel Better Tomorrow: Installment III

What can we say? We love good food, and we appreciate that you do too. The post has been popular, and we appreciate your comments and requests.

As we mentioned last week, we’ve been working on incorporating more seasonal fare into the menu as reader Sonagi requested. Shopping seasonally is, of course, not only good for the environment but good for the nation’s farmers and your wallet. Spring is finally beginning to peep through (even for your folks in the Upper Midwest—poor souls), and the stores are gradually picking up early spring produce and herbs. We thought it was the perfect time for incorporate some of spring’s best. Interested in learning more about seasonal fare? Check out the CUESA website.

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Yoga Good for Beating Symptoms of Breast Cancer

A study presented Saturday at the International Association of Yoga Therapists Symposium for Yoga Therapy Research in Los Angeles suggests that yoga may ease menopause symptoms in breast cancer survivors.

Breast cancer survivors suffer more severe menopause symptoms than other women, largely because the drugs used to prevent cancer recurrence can exacerbate the symptoms of menopause (hello hot flashes!) Furthermore, women with breast cancer are very much limited in their treatment options for menopause symptoms because traditional aides, such as hormone replacement therapy, may increase their risk of future recurrence.

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Mystery Meat: Imitation Crab

While it is often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, when it comes to imitation crab meat, that’s actually far from the case! But to understand why imitation crab is not the way to go, we must first understand exactly what it is…

To create imitation crab meat, manufacturers typically start with a base of Alaska Pollock (also known as Walleye Pollock, Whiting or Snow Cod). This fish is chosen primarily because it has a mild flavor that allows it to easily take on the flavor and texture of traditional crab meat, but also because it is readily available and is cheap to buy and process. To create the crab meat, manufacturers skin and de-bone the fish, mince it and then leach it of water to create a thick paste known as surimi. But we all know a fish paste isn’t going to cut it, so manufacturers add some combination of starch – usually wheat or tapioca – to stiffen up the mixture, sugars to preserve the surimi for storage and freezing, and egg whites to again stabilize the mixture and add gloss and shine. Vegetable oil can also be added to improve the texture of the mix.

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