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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Category: Sugar

Keto and Type 2 Diabetes

If you think of Type 2 diabetes as carbohydrate intolerance, the natural dietary response should be to restrict the offending dietary component. And when this occurs—when diabetic patients restrict carbs—their symptoms improve, often to a greater degree than diabetic patients on other diets. Keto restricts more carbs than even other low-carb diets, so on the face of things, keto seems great for diabetes. 

Let’s take a closer look.

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Primal Challenge Point: Stop Feeding the Sugar Cycle

It’s impossible to talk about using food as a drug without looking at the genuine neurological and hormonal impacts it has on the body. The fact is, certain foods affect us more like drugs than others.

With actual drug use, we’re not operating with innate satiation signaling. But with food, our bodies have a built-in system for telling us when to eat, how much to eat and when to stop.

In our paleolithic ancestors’ time, it worked great. Today, we’ve become our own saboteurs. We’ve known for years that sugary and processed foods (those that strategically combine sugar, salt and certain fats into a triple crown disaster) are intentionally designed to override our inherent satiation signals and hyper-trip our reward systems.

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Primal Knowledge Point: FODMAP

“Some people continue to suffer uncomfortable digestive problems despite omitting the foods they may be intolerant to. If there are no definite test results pointing at an allergy or intolerance, then you’ll most likely be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Scientists Peter Gibson and Susan Shepherd at Moash University in Australia researched the reasons behind the vicious cycle of bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and discomfort. They came upon some evidence proving that certain sugars could actually be the cause of many of these ailments: ‘Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols,’ thus founding the term FODMAP.

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Hair Loss: Looking beyond Genetics

Conventional wisdom teaches us to accept our fate when it comes to hair loss. “Runs in the family,” we’re often told—and sometimes it does (but that’s usually not the full story). “It’s just part of getting older,” people say, too—and there we again find only partial truth at best.

But the Primal path is one of thoughtful scrutiny, not blind acceptance. While most people would file hair loss under aesthetic concerns (ranging from neutral to negative depending on social norms and personal views), it’s not always that innocuous. Let’s look today the bigger picture behind hair loss and the situations in which it signifies a genuine health concern.

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Oral Health: What You Eat (and Don’t Eat) Counts

With conventional wisdom’s take on oral care, we’re left with a pretty superficial understanding of oral health. What if, for instance, cavities imply more than bad brushing habits? What if we changed the entire template from one focused on cosmetic and sensory criteria to an understanding founded on whole health principles? Answer: we’d be much closer to the truth.

Consider this. A recent study involving over 37,000 dental patients found that “patient-reported general health and risk factors were negatively associated with an overall composite oral health score,” with study authors noting their results supporting a “growing body of evidence linking oral and systemic health.” As for the particular health connections, you’d be surprised at the span of influence: cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, diabetes, even pregnancy issues.

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How to Augment and Support Your Natural Detox Capacities

Conventional wisdom has decreed that “detox” is a myth. They’re not even sure if toxins even exist, as far as I can tell. On the other side, you’ve got detox gurus prescribing cayenne-maple-lemon tea and glasses full of charcoal water as cures for essentially everything. Where’s the truth lie?

First, detoxification does exist. It’s an established concept, after all, with its very own spot in the dictionary. When we come into contact with toxins—compounds that pose a threat to our healthy homeostasis—we must remove or nullify them. That’s detoxification.

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