Category: Fats

Dear Mark: PUFA/SFA Swap, Ticks and Meat Allergy, HIIT for Older Men

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m doing three quick topics. First, what are we to make of the studies in which replacing saturated fat and trans-fat with omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fat seems to reduce heart disease? Second, although red meat is nutrient dense and generally a more interesting option than plain chicken breast, some people have legit red meat allergies (tick-induced or otherwise). What do I think about that and the tick situation in general? And third, is HIIT an effective (and safe) option for middle-aged men?

Let’s go:

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The Definitive Guide to Metabolic Flexibility

Metabolic flexibility is the capacity to match fuel oxidation to fuel availability—or switch between burning carbs and burning fat. Someone with great metabolic flexibility can burn carbs when they eat them. They can burn fat when they eat it (or when they don’t eat at all). They can switch between carbohydrate metabolism and fat metabolism with relative ease. All those people who can “eat whatever they want” most likely have excellent metabolic flexibility. So, why does it really matter, and how does it happen? Let’s get into the weeds today.

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Dear Mark: Is Coconut Oil Pure Poison?

It appears that we’re well into “outrageous media frenzy over terrible or misleading claims by nutrition scientists” season….

Last week I covered the “low-carb” and mortality study, and for this week’s edition of Dear Mark I’m covering the (latest) coconut oil controversy. A Harvard professor recently launched a dramatic harangue against coconut oil, calling it “pure poison.” Is it true this time? Are we indeed killing ourselves?

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Tips For Cycling Between Primal and Keto

Consistency is key in everything we do.

Training in the gym: The most optimal workout imaginable won’t do a thing if you only get around to it once every two weeks.

Sleep: A solid 8 hours of shut eye every night beats 10 hours one night, 6 the next.

Learning a new skill: Practice for an hour each day and you’ll become a master. Spend twelve hours one time and never again, and you’ll remain a beginner.

The same is true for nutrition. A consistent, reliable way of eating—especially with a diet like keto, where extended consistency actually builds new fat-burning mitochondria and establishes habits—tends to produce the best results.

But what if you wanted to be a little less consistent? What if you wanted to cycle between Primal and keto? Is such a thing even possible?

Yes. Just make sure you do it right—and for the right reasons.

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Dear Mark: Does Low-Carb Shorten Lifespan?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a single, significant question. It concerns the latest “anti-low-carb” study claiming that we’re all killing ourselves by not eating bread. A reader wonders if the study is legit and if we should be worried about eating fewer carbs than “normal” people.

I don’t think we should be concerned, and I’ll explain why in detail. Let’s take a look and break it down.

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Dear Mark: Choline Supplementing, Too Many Almonds, Keto and Insulin Resistance, and How to Drink

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m responding to four reader comments. First up, if a person can’t eat eggs, doesn’t like liver, but really wants choline, can they just supplement? Second, are a couple handfuls of almonds too much omega-6 for the average person? What if they eat fish? Third, a new study claims to show that keto dieting tanks hepatic insulin sensitivity. What should we make of it? Are we giving ourselves type 2 diabetes by going keto? And fourth, I highlight a great approach to drinking alcohol (and living in general) from one of our readers.

Let’s go:

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