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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My Beef with Beef

I can’t tell you how furious I am about what I feel is the meat industry’s blatant disregard for human health. While I’m no vegetarian, I saw this study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and let’s just say, I’m not buying the “Happy Cows” line.

The researchers looked at 90,000 women. That’s a huge study. They compared US and UK women, and here’s what they found:

Eating more than 1.5 servings of meat daily doubles a young woman’s risk of breast cancer. What concerns me is the type of cancer which had double the risk: hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. To me, that says something pretty sobering about the meat industry’s production habits.

Both the study, and the BBC News article that covered it, are cautious to merely “suggest” a link between eating red meat and increasing – doubling – the risk of breast cancer. It doesn’t take much to read between the lines here.

The reason I think this study is really important to highlight is not because I hope to bandy a statistic like “double the risk!” about. (Remember the Statistics Game: always consider context and relative risk or results.) It’s important because the women who ate high amounts of red meat had double the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. That is a big issue, namely, because the American meat industry uses growth hormone like it’s manna from Heaven. Growth hormone helps the animals get bigger, faster, which translates more profit – but I’m pretty skeptical about how this practice could possibly be in the interest of public health. I just wonder how these people sleep at night knowing their profits come at the expense of other human beings.

Personally, I believe it’s clear that human physiology supports being omnivorous. No culture anywhere at any time has done without some sort of animal flesh, whether it’s fish, beef or reindeer. So I’m not “anti-meat”. However, I am strongly opposed to the way meat is produced in this country: quickly, unethically, with little regard for the animals or the people eating the animals. That’s why I only buy meat that is free-range, local, organic and definitely hormone-free.

The researchers were careful not to draw any ultimate conclusions. I think we can probably begin to draw our own, with some additional critical considerations:

1) Processed meats generally contain a chemical known as heterocyclic acid, which has been shown to cause cancer;

2) Red meat, of course, contains iron, which can sometimes encourage the growth of some types of tumors (though this isn’t a significant concern, likely);

3) The standard line: “The biggest risk factors for breast cancer remain gender and increasing age.” This from specialist Maria Leadbeater, quoted in the BBC article. Fair enough.

[tags] breast cancer, beef, red meat, cancer, factory farming, growth hormone, omnivore, Maria Leadbeater, BBC, hormone receptor, heterocyclic acid, risk factors [/tags]

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What’s on Your Plate?

Tracking your macronutrient intake is a surefire way to lose weight. Unfortunately, the process of tabulating fat/protein/carb grams for everything you consume has, in the past, been so time-consuming and frustrating hardly anyone has the patience or time to be so diligent.

Lucky for us, the folks at The Daily Plate agree – which is why they have created a free website that simplifies this process! Register yourself at the Plate and search for the foods you eat on a day-to-day basis. Worried your eats won’t be on there? No need! The Daily Plate has over 100,000 food items from which to choose, and are adding more every day. Whether you’re eating generic foods like apples, or brand-specific items like Bird’s Eye Frozen Peas, you can be certain you’ll find it in their food database.

Once you have selected what you’ve eaten, The Daily Plate automatically does the math for you and lets you view the total amount of fat, protein, carbohydrates and calories you have munched so far.

The uses of The Daily Plate don’t stop there, though. In addition to keeping an online food journal, there are other features: a calorie counter, a fitness log, and a way to keep track of your water intake. You can even input your weight goals, as well as receive advice and guidelines on how to see those goals through. Start watching what you eat with this free online tool, and start seeing results. It’s comprehensive, fast, and you don’t have to have an I.T. department to figure out how to use it. Try it out for yourself today!


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The Fuming Fuji Says No to Donuts

The Fuming Fuji is outraged at the marketing of toxic food, especially when it’s aimed at the small fry. This week, the Fuming Fuji has decided to have a serious problem with donuts.

But, Fuming Fuji, you ask, isn’t a donut now and then an OK treat – it’s better than a candy bar, right?

The Fuming Fuji says no!

The claim: Donuts are a delicious, homespun pastry made from mostly flour and good feelings, so they’re not as bad as candy.

The catch: Donuts are an empty, machine-made free-radical fest made from sugar and fat, so they are actually the worst food on the planet.

The comeback: But Fuming Fuji, they’re bread! How can they be so bad?

The conclusion: Donuts are a mixture of equal parts sugar (bleached) and fat (usually lard). Then, they are fried. In fat.

The catchphrase: If you eat donuts you are nuts.

Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji.

[tags] donuts, lard, trans fat, sugar, refined flour, junk food, snacks, unhealthy foods, worst foods [/tags]

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The Buckler Brief


Bilberry Extract

WHAT IT IS: Did you know? The bilberry is just the European relative of the blueberry. Bilberries are now grown in the United States. Scientists happened upon the bilberry’s health properties accidentally, when American fighter pilots found their vision improved after eating bilberries in Europe during WWII.

As it turns out, the little fruits contain beneficial flavonoid pigments called anthocyanins. These flavonoids are among nature’s most potent antioxidants, capable of fighting free radicals uniquely.

Bilberries are especially helpful for the eyes and arteries. The extract offers potential protection from diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, hemorrhoids, varicose and spider veins, cataracts, macular degeneration and other common vision and cardiovascular problems.

STUDIES SHOW: Capillary damage is involved in the onset of many diseases because of its relationship to inflammation. People suffering from glaucoma and cataracts – the latter being an especially big problem for Americans – can benefit from bilberry extract. Bilberry extract, in recent studies, appears to help reduce lesions associated with eye problems.

Additionally, current research is examining whether bilberries can also help collagen tissues rebuild and repair, which would mean that bilberry extract can offer benefits for circulation. The research so far is very promising. Research has shown that bilberry extract is one of the best therapies for venous disorders – inflammatory problems involving hemorrhoids.

WHY WE LIKE IT: Bilberry extract can help to strengthen the veins and capillaries, minimize bruises, clots and inflammation. The extract can also promote better vision and overall eye health, especially for diabetics, seniors and those who are obese. Bilberries have also been shown to help ease and prevent painful hemorrhoids.

Bilberry extract is very safe, even for pregnant women. Many doctors now prescribe bilberry extract as a safe, effective therapy for pregnant women who struggle with varicose veins, inflammation and hemorrhoids.

Bilberry Information

[tags] bilberries, blueberries, antioxidants, anthocynanins, varicose veins treatment, hemorrhoids treatment, cardiovascular health [/tags]

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Scientists Perplexed: Issue ‘Impossible Calorie’ Award

Far be it from us to know how this is possible. Even scientists are scratching their heads like lice on mice. This time, it’s good old BK bringing you an impossibly-high-calorie meal. It would be funny, except it’s real. Tell them to knock it off! They’ll listen.

This is the “meatnormous” morning catastrophe BK is calling their Enormous Omelet Sandwich. Weighing in at 730 calories without sauce or sides, you’ll get 6 strips of bacon, two eggs, two slices of “cheese”, a giant refined bun, and a sausage patty the size of an ottoman. Comes complete with 410 calories of fat and enough sodium to keep the Titanic afloat.

[tags] fast food, breakfast, Enormous Omelet Sandwich, Burger King, high calorie meals, bacon, sausage, egg, carbs [/tags]

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Weekly Health Challenge

Let’s get some core strength going on. Nothing makes your back feel stronger than a hard midsection. Stomach exercises boost confidence and improve posture. I like to remind people that taking care of your stomach does more than strengthen muscle tissue, too – a little abdominal work also stimulates the critical organs behind those muscles.

A good round of crunches is good for your skin, circulation, nerves, stress level, digestion and muscles. Three days this week, commit to 5, 10 or 15 minutes of abdominal work – crunches, sit-ups, side crunches, twists, supine lifts, leg raises, Captain’s Chairs – basically, whatever gets you working away at your middle. Adjust the time to your fitness level, and feel free to ask for pointers.

[tags] abs, stomach exercises, core, abdominal muscles [/tags]

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