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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Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

Mark’s Daily Apple is 100% sugar-free. Are you?

Big Breakthroughs

Beats biopsies!

Down Syndrome discovery!

Smooth Criminal

You may recall last week’s little exploration of refreshing beverages overflowing with so many calories, even Bactrian camels would be concerned. Hey, a small, fiber-rich protein shake is one thing. But these sherbet-and-sugar-water pajama parties masquerading as “healthy” fruit smoothies are just the latest health scam.

The fact that smoothie slurping has doubled is a good indicator that people want to be healthy. We dig that. Unfortunately, the typical smoothie is really just a glorified milkshake. Know the difference. And for the love of tempeh, remember to keep an eye on the seedlings! They love those sports drinks and smoothies, but no child needs that much sugar.

Yo, Moto!

Big Pharma likes to see only the most favorable results published? And this is news? All right, that’s it – we feel an award coming on…

Similar exposes have recently targeted the dairy industry (ooh, milk made me lose two whole pounds!), soft drink giants (soda is a good way to get type 2 diabetes, actually) and weight loss scams (hoodia, anyone?).

It’s kind of like the news out today that black soybeans are the new miracle food. Sure, beans can be healthy, but let’s not jump all over black soybean tortillas just yet. Focus on fresh, whole, and unprocessed foods, and you’ll be doing great – really!

Bottom line: always look for information on who funded the study before you buy into the product.

Flu Cliches Bug Us

Oops.

Feel guilty because you didn’t get a flu shot this year? A super-vaccine is in the works. (This is one of those things that sounds great initially. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt…)

We tend to support abstemious flu shottage unless you’ve got a weakened, tired or toddler immune system on your hands. If you can avoid yet another drug, you’re probably better off. You’re still stuck with words like abstemious, though.

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Hug It Out

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites News to click before you sneak out of the office for the weekend. Risky Business Funny, we remember it was only a year ago that the government was emphatically denying any mad cow problems in the U.S. Then, the Alberta beef contamination scare hit. (And about a million conspiracy theories.) Next, we witnessed a spate of food poisoning incidents in everything from spinach to peanut butter. Surely something is going on, because now this protocol is scheduled to begin. Dare we say…progress? Burger suppliers are in a twist because they don’t want inspectors dropping by unannounced – they like the current system of self-policing and occasional inspector wink-winks check-ins. Well, yeah, who wouldn’t? Strangely, even consumer advocacy groups are taking issue with this new risk-based protocol (they say it’s all happening too fast). We’re starting to think it’s not the cows who are mad. Trans-ferring Blame We’ve been bringing you news on trans fat for several months now, Apples, and here’s the latest from the fryer: NYC, Philly, and L.A., plus an entire state – Massachusetts – are working to ban trans fats. Fabulous. (Well, actually, Los Angeles is merely reminding everyone they never ate trans fat to begin with.) But we digress. (Flickr Photo) There’s a growing problem with the trans fat furor, and it highlights a problematic issue with Americans and our health efforts. We tend to gravitate to “super” foods, “miracle”nutrients and “perfect” new diets, rather than following a generally healthy diet of moderation. By the same token, we ridicule, ban and boycott newly-discovered unhealthy foods and ingredients with a level of collective loathing only outdone by our feelings about garden slugs. To wit: we’re now banning trans fats, but eating the same old garbage. It’s taken about three seconds for restaurants and food companies to create reasonable fat substitutes for trans fat. Notice, no one is getting rid of the French fries, potato chips and pastries; we’re just using a different fat. Trans fat may be going the way of skinny jeans, but the same old fattening, sugary junk is still lining shelves and spilling out of drive-through windows everywhere. “Trans fat-free chips” may sound great, because we know trans fat is bad, but that doesn’t make the chips any healthier to eat. Women and Depression Though recent studies have confirmed that just as many men suffer from depression as women (they’re just less likely to seek help), depression manifests in different ways depending on gender. One possibility: depressed women may self-medicate with alcohol more intensely than men. It’s difficult for scientists to pinpoint, because it’s a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg dilemma. Does depression cause alcoholism or does alcoholism cause depression? Or are they simply manifestations of a single root health issue? (Christy Thompson photo) A completely unscientific observation from Sara and Jen: it does appear that women’s television shows are featuring heavy drinking more frequently than ever. Sex in the City was well-known for its endless cocktails – hey, it made … Continue reading “Hug It Out”

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Smart Fuel

Olives

Did you know that this decadent little guy is actually one of the healthiest foods you can eat?

(Pál Csonka photo)

Olives are high in fat, but fortunately for us, it’s the good kind. Olives are fairly high in calories for a fruit, but you can certainly do a lot worse for snack fare (think cheese, honey-roasted nuts and processed deli meats). We love olives because they provide a rich, dense, satisfying texture and flavor – when cucumber slices just won’t do, put the cheddar down and reach for these chewy cholesterol-reducers instead.

Olives are great for your heart because they’re a “smart” fat, but they also contain high levels of antioxidant vitamin E, gut-busting fiber and important trace minerals like copper. If you want to strengthen your cardiovascular system, reach for olive tapenade instead of the cream cheese next time you’re at the grocery store.

We all know olive oil is a wonderfully healthy alternative to refined oils like canola, corn and soybean oil. Why not go right to the source? Get creative with your olives – throw them in salads, slice sour green olives right into your scrambled eggs, and bake them into your vegetable dishes.

Everything you could ever want to know about olives.

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Scientists Perplexed, Issue ‘Impossible Calorie’ Award

The Mark’s Daily Apple scientific panel welcomes you to the monthly Impossible Calorie Award. This month:

The Shake Down

We all know milkshakes are unhealthy, but fortunately, there are plenty of healthy alternatives, right?

Wrong. Apples and seedlings, we present the findings:

Starbucks

No one thinks a Frappucino is healthy (we hope). But plenty of unsuspecting folks would assume – understandably – that an iced coffee does far less damage than a milkshake.

Item: Starbucks Strawberries & Creme Frappucino (16 oz.)
Calories: 570

Sugar: 83 grams (“golden diabetes award” coming soon!)

McDonald’s

By comparison, a triple-thick strawberry shake from the golden arches…

Calories: 560

Sugar: 84 grams

…oh.

In other words, don’t fool yourself – decadent coffee drinks are just milkshakes with culture.

Enter the tie-breaker. What’s cool, sweet, hits the spot, and is really healthy, all at once? Why, fruit smoothies!

Jamba Juice

Chains like Jamba and Robeks have made a fortune selling people on the idea that their jumbo sherbet and juice blends are the epitome of healthy slurping.

Although you can add in healthy “boosts” like protein powder, vitamin blends and wheat grass shots, these drinks are the ultimate scam. Not only are these shakes generally nothing more than an ice cream and fruit juice fructose-fest, they provide enough calories to feed a small country. Fruit juice is fruit with the fiber removed, and what’s left is sugar.

An “original” strawberry smoothie can set you back as many as 500 calories – and if you upgrade to the “Power” size in the name of good health, you’ll suck down a diabetes epidemic of your own with over 600 calories and 140 grams of sugar. Apples, we have a winner!

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Piping Hot Health

Worker Bees Daily Bites

Better than apple pie.

Litigious Nuts

The peanut butter controversy continues with a major lawsuit against ConAgra. Say what you will about litigation getting excessive – we have to admit, we don’t feel sorry for ConAgra and other big food manufacturers. Clean up the mess, avoid the problems! Is that too much to ask?

Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones

But not nearly as well as GlaxoSmithKline. Thanks, guys. Way to show some love to the ladies.

Not Even the Pope Can Make This Healthy

A rather ridiculous request from the Colonel. Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (kick the) bucket makes us all question the meaning of life, but evidently it can get worse.

Web it out:

A Drug for Everyone!

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Healthy Tastes Great!

Fennel-Roasted Vegetables

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