Research of the Week
Listening to Mozart daily reduces seizure frequency.
A Mediterranean ketogenic diet makes changes to the cerebrospinal fluid profile indicative of a lower risk of cognitive decline.
A low-carb, high-fat diet works for people with type 2 diabetes. Again.
More omega-3s, more strength (in older adults).
Links between personality traits and where a person spends their time.
Hi folks, in this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin dives into your Primal Blueprint questions, helping you wrangle your dark chocolate addictions, navigate self-sabotage, and find workouts that don’t feel like a chore. Keep your questions coming in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group or in the comments section below. Cam asked: “I’ve done really well with the Primal Blueprint so far. I don’t mind changing my eating, but I can’t stand exercise. I know I need to do it, but what can I do to make working out less of a chore?” I hear you Cam. Most of my clients do great ditching grains, sugar, and industrial oils, but when it comes to working out, they have a harder time getting on board. What I’m hearing you say is that exercising feels like work. Let me ask you this though. Is it possible that there are certain types of exercises you could do that wouldn’t feel that way? No one says you have to do push-ups, pull-ups, planks, and squats — even though they’re considered essential movements of the Primal Blueprint. If you don’t like doing them, there are about a million other forms of exercise you can do. As I’m sure you know, one of the main PB pillars is play. By applying your fitness to real-life (and really fun) situations, you can help dissipate some of the negative effects of being chronically stressed out. Side note here, if traditional exercises make you feel stressed out, they kind of defeat the purpose. So, what would be some activities you’d consider play? Maybe you like to go bike riding with your kids. Or playing ultimate frisbee. Or tennis. Or making obstacle courses in the backyard? These are all forms of exercise — and you could actually be getting a solid dose of sprinting and lifting heavy without even realizing it. I’d also ask you to think about why exercising is important to you. Is it because it’s something you’re “supposed to do” per the PB playbook? Or is that you want to lower your risk of heart disease, drop weight, slow down muscle loss, or climb a flight of stairs without breathing hard? Having a reason why can help you reframe your situation. Sure, exercise might not be your favorite activity, but achieving your goal might end up being the best feeling in the world. Lisa asked: “I like that the Primal Blueprint’s 80/20 rule accommodates my cravings for dark chocolate, but I can’t seem to stop at a square or two. What gives?” There are lots of reasons your chocolate cravings feel out of control. I have a hunch about what it might be though. But let’s back up and have a quick talk about dark chocolate. While it certainly isn’t considered a health food, dark chocolate does have quite a few health benefits, including the ability to lower blood pressure, lower stress, and improve circulation. Remember, with the Primal Blueprint, we’re aiming for a … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: The Most Common Primal Blueprint Questions Answered”
Protein is an incredible essential macronutrient. Fat is plentiful, even when you’re lean, and there are only two absolutely essential fatty acids; the rest we can manufacture from other precursors if required. Carbs we can produce from protein, if we really must, or we can just switch over to ketones and fats for the bulk of the energy that would otherwise come from carbs. Protein cannot be made with the raw material available in our bodies. We have to eat foods containing the range of amino acids that we need.
In other words, protein is incredibly important—which is why today I’m writing a definitive guide on the subject. After today’s post, you’ll have a good handle on the role protein plays in the body, how much protein you need to be eating, which foods are highest in protein, and much more.
Today we welcome guest author Dr. Ronesh Sinha, internal medicine physician and expert on insulin resistance and corporate wellness, author of The South Asian Health Solution. He is a top rated speaker for companies like Google, Oracle, Cisco and more. Check out his media page for lectures, interviews and articles from Dr. Sinha. Most of us have been sheltering-in-place for a few months now, and we have evolved into an unprecedented state of fear and hyper-vigilance in this pandemic. After a long period of being cooped up, we are now gradually released into the wild, which introduces us to a whole new level of anxiety. Public health recommendations appear to be flip-flopping regularly, and we are learning on the fly as the situation evolves. In today’s post, I’d like to share some thoughts on how we can regain some control of our lives. Rather than duck and cover for several more months, we can face this beast head-on. I don’t mean being careless and reckless and not following social distancing and hygiene protocols. Instead, we can adopt a mindset that we will do what is necessary to minimize our risk of a severe COVID-19 outcome. I titled this post “Training for the COVID-19” to help you reframe this pandemic in your mind, and view it like a warrior approaches an enemy on the battlefield or an athlete faces an opponent in a competition. Stay on track no matter where you are! Instantly download your Primal and Keto Guide to Dining Out Cognitive Reframing Coronavirus: From Fear to Readiness Cognitive reframing isn’t just some touchy-feely behavioral technique. Viewing the world through a more positive lens has a beneficial impact on your immune system, which is potentially relevant to COVID-19. One study shows that participants who were cognitive reappraisers, identified by a 10-item Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, and then exposed to an experimental cold virus (rhinovirus not coronavirus) had reduced nasal cytokine release compared to individuals who were emotional suppressors. As you’ll learn in a moment, excessive cytokine release is a crucial mechanism by which COVID-19 imparts significant lung and tissue damage. As with rhinovirus, the nose is a primary portal through which coronavirus accesses our body. So as you read this post and continue to keep getting bombarded by pandemic news media, remember the lens through which you view this content. Your external world has a direct impact on how your immune system might respond to an infection like COVID-19. Let’s start by summarizing COVID-19’s basic operating system for you. Fear of the unknown is one of the single most significant stressors to our nervous system. I want you to read this with the attitude that “I will acquire the knowledge I need to understand this virus and defend myself and my loved ones against its effects.” Rather than, “Oh my God, the extra fat around my waistline will be the death of me.” One way I view our pandemic and its relationship to our individual health is by splitting it into external … Continue reading “Training for “The COVID-19””
Magnesium is an essential mineral that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. You’d be hard pressed to find any activity in the body that doesn’t use magnesium in some way. It has literally hundreds of functions. Cellular energy production, protein synthesis, DNA and RNA synthesis, and cell signaling—which controls the secretion of certain hormones, among other things—all depend on magnesium. It plays an important role in ion channels that allow nerves to fire, potassium and sodium to cross cellular membranes, and muscles to contract. Production of ATP, the energy currency of the body, depends on magnesium. Your heart beats rhythmically thanks to magnesium. Not surprisingly, then, magnesium deficiencies seem to factor into a wide range of health issues. Let me tell you about some of the biggies. Health Issues Related to Magnesium Before getting into the details, I want to draw your attention to a few challenges with the research literature. One, which I’ll return to later, is that magnesium levels in the body are tough to measure. Second, lots of studies try to link dietary magnesium intake to specific health outcomes. Foods that contain magnesium, like leafy greens and fish, also contain a host of other vitamins and minerals, fiber, sometimes amino acids. This makes it hard to isolate the effects of any single nutrient. The way magnesium intake is measured, usually with the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) or food diaries, is also fraught with error. I don’t put too much stock in studies that correlate dietary intake with any specific health outcome. Correlation doesn’t prove causation anyway, as you know. I’ll mention them here to give you a complete picture of what researchers are working with. Ideally, though, I like to see randomized controlled trials. Instantly download your Primal and Keto Guide to Eating Out Magnesium and Inflammation It’s increasingly clear that inflammation is at the heart of many, if not most, chronic disease states. Studies have shown that people who consume less than half the recommended daily allowance of magnesium have higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation. Magnesium intake negatively correlated with CRP in two large observational studies, the Women’s Health Initiative Study and the NHANES Study . These observations are supported by experimental studies which, according to a 2018 meta-analysis. confirm that magnesium supplementation lowers CRP levels The Link Between Heart Health and Magnesium There are many well-documented metabolic pathways through which magnesium can affect heart health. Magnesium may reduce heart disease risk by reducing arterial stiffness, improving endothelial function, and/or lowering chronic inflammation. It also inhibits platelet aggregation, which is itself a risk factor for heart disease. Several large prospective studies have correlated higher magnesium intake or higher magnesium levels in the blood with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Magnesium deficiency is considered a risk factor for cardiac arrhythmia and hypertension (high blood pressure). A recent review of the available evidence concluded that while it’s fair to say that magnesium intake is important for cardiovascular health overall, more randomized … Continue reading “The Complete Magnesium Manual”
When describing someone that has successfully made the transition to a Primal or Keto way of eating I often refer to them as “fat-adapted” or as “fat-burning beasts”. But what exactly does it mean to be fat-adapted? How can you tell if you’re fat-adapted or still a sugar-burner?
As I’ve mentioned before, fat-adaptation is the normal, preferred metabolic state of the human animal. It’s nothing special. It’s just how we’re meant to fuel ourselves. That’s actually why we have all this fat on our bodies – turns out it’s a pretty reliable source of energy.
Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of becoming fat adapted, or keto adapted, and why it works with your biology.