Mark's Daily Apple https://www.marksdailyapple.com Sat, 23 Oct 2021 19:08:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 115533949 One Pot Braised Pork and Root Vegetables and Butternut Squash https://www.marksdailyapple.com/one-pot-braised-pork-and-root-vegetables-and-butternut-squash/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/one-pot-braised-pork-and-root-vegetables-and-butternut-squash/#comments Sat, 23 Oct 2021 19:08:28 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=122246 Once fall hits, grocery stores and farmer's markets turn into a harvest festival, and we're always looking into new ways to use the gorgeous root vegetables and squashes that line the produce aisle. Here, we're making a one-pot braised pork roast with butternut squash and root vegetables that takes comfort food to the next level. Enjoy a hearty meal that warms your bones, then wrap up in a blanket and enjoy an evening of autumn bliss.

Here's how to make it.

One-pot Braised Pork with Root Vegetables
Ingredients

2 3/4 lb. bone-in pork butt or shoulder
1/4 cup spicy mustard
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2.5 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped sage
1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary
2 tsp. thyme leaves
4 cloves garlic (minced) plus 6-8 whole cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 apple
1 small onion
1/2 cup broth
4+ cups of your favorite root vegetables, cut into 1” cubes

Directions
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rub your pork with a tablespoon of avocado oil. In a small bowl, combine the spicy mustard, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, sage, rosemary, thyme, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Rub the mustard mixture all over the pork.

Make slits all over the pork with a knife and place the whole garlic cloves in the slits.

Pour ½ tablespoon of avocado oil in a round dutch oven or braising pan and place the pork in the center.

If the pork has a side with more fat on it, place that side facing up. Cut the apple and onion in quarters and place it around the pork.

Place the pork in the oven uncovered at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Take the dutch oven out of the oven and flip the pork over.

Add the chicken broth and cover the dutch oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Allow the pork to cook for around 2 hours, depending on the size and shape of the cut of meat. Ideally, use a meat thermometer and cook until the pork is around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the meat after an hour or so and remove any remaining apple and onion pieces that haven’t broken down. At this time you can add additional broth if you notice too much is evaporating.

Remove the pot from the oven and uncover it. Toss your chopped vegetables in the remaining avocado oil and sprinkle them with salt. Arrange them around the pork in your dutch oven and toss them gently in any of the juices in the pot.

Cover the pot and place it back in the oven for ~40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the pork has an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees. If the vegetables are tender but the pork is still not tender, you can remove the vegetables and place the pork back in the oven.

Slice or shred your pork and serve with the vegetables and pan juices.

The post One Pot Braised Pork and Root Vegetables and Butternut Squash appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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finished one pot braised pork with root vegetables recipe

Once fall hits, grocery stores and farmer’s markets turn into a harvest festival, and we’re always looking into new ways to use the gorgeous root vegetables and squashes that line the produce aisle. Here, we’re making a one-pot braised pork roast with butternut squash and root vegetables that takes comfort food to the next level. Enjoy a hearty meal that warms your bones, then wrap up in a blanket and enjoy an evening of autumn bliss.

Here’s how to make it.

One-pot Braised Pork with Root Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 lb. bone-in pork butt or shoulder
  • 1/4 cup spicy mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2.5 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped sage
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced) plus 6-8 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 apple
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup broth
  • 4+ cups of your favorite root vegetables, cut into 1” cubes

Directions

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rub your pork with a tablespoon of avocado oil. In a small bowl, combine the spicy mustard, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, sage, rosemary, thyme, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Rub the mustard mixture all over the pork.

Make slits all over the pork with a knife and place the whole garlic cloves in the slits.

pork with mustard rub before roasting for one pot braised pork and root vegetables recipe

Pour ½ tablespoon of avocado oil in a round dutch oven or braising pan and place the pork in the center.

If the pork has a side with more fat on it, place that side facing up. Cut the apple and onion in quarters and place it around the pork.

Place the pork in the oven uncovered at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Take the dutch oven out of the oven and flip the pork over.

roasted pork for braising before liquid addedAdd the chicken broth and cover the dutch oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Allow the pork to cook for around 2 hours, depending on the size and shape of the cut of meat. Ideally, use a meat thermometer and cook until the pork is around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the meat after an hour or so and remove any remaining apple and onion pieces that haven’t broken down. At this time you can add additional broth if you notice too much is evaporating.

Remove the pot from the oven and uncover it. Toss your chopped vegetables in the remaining avocado oil and sprinkle them with salt. Arrange them around the pork in your dutch oven and toss them gently in any of the juices in the pot.

seared pork with root vegetables added for braised pork recipe

Cover the pot and place it back in the oven for ~40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the pork has an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees. If the vegetables are tender but the pork is still not tender, you can remove the vegetables and place the pork back in the oven.

Slice or shred your pork and serve with the vegetables and pan juices.

finished one pot braised pork with root vegetables recipe

finished one pot braised pork with root vegetables recipe

finished and shredded one pot braised pork with root vegetables recipe

finished one pot braised pork with root vegetables recipe

Print
finished one pot braised pork with root vegetables recipe

One Pot Braised Pork and Root Vegetables and Butternut Squash


Description

Cozy, comforting braised pork shoulder slow-roasted with tender, sweet root vegetables.


Ingredients

2 3/4 lb. bone-in pork butt or shoulder

1/4 cup spicy mustard

2 Tbsp. dijon mustard

2.5 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. chopped sage

1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary

2 tsp. thyme leaves

4 cloves garlic (minced) plus 6-8 whole cloves

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 apple

1 small onion

1/2 cup broth

4+ cups of your favorite root vegetables, cut into 1” cubes


Instructions

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub your pork with a tablespoon of avocado oil. In a small bowl, combine the spicy mustard, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, sage, rosemary, thyme, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Rub the mustard mixture all over the pork.

Make slits all over the pork with a knife and place the whole garlic cloves in the slits. Pour ½ tablespoon of avocado oil in a round dutch oven or braising pan and place the pork in it. If the pork has a side with more fat on it, place that side facing up. Cut the apple and onion in quarters and place it around the pork. 

Place the pork in the oven uncovered at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Take the dutch oven out of the oven and flip the pork over. Add the chicken broth and cover the dutch oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Allow the pork to cook for around 2 hours, depending on the size and shape of the cut of meat. Ideally, use a meat thermometer and cook until the pork is around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the meat after an hour or so and remove any remaining apple and onion pieces that haven’t broken down. At this time you can add additional broth if you notice too much is evaporating.

Remove the pot from the oven and uncover it. Toss your chopped vegetables in the remaining avocado oil and sprinkle them with salt. Arrange them around the pork in your dutch oven and toss them gently in any of the juices in the pot.

Cover the pot and place it back in the oven for ~40 minutes minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the pork has an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees. If the vegetables are tender but the pork is still not tender, you can remove the vegetables and place the pork back in the oven.

Slice or shred your pork and serve with the vegetables and pan juices.

Notes

Use your favorite root vegetables for this dish. We used turnips, butternut squash and a few baby potatoes, but other options like carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, radishes and sweet potatoes can also be used. Cut them in 1” cubes. If the vegetables are soft prior to the pork being tender, you can remove the vegetables and set them aside.

Braise time will depend on the size and thickness of your cut of pork. Using a meat thermometer with a probe is the best way to ensure that your pork is cooking to the proper temperature.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 455
  • Sugar: 0
  • Fat: 30 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Protein: 38 g
  • Net Carbs: 5 g

Keywords: braised pork, how to braise pork, ways to use butternut squash, braised pork with root vegetables

The post One Pot Braised Pork and Root Vegetables and Butternut Squash appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 151 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-151/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-151/#comments Fri, 22 Oct 2021 20:15:46 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=122225 Research of the Week

Overfeeding carbohydrates reduces antioxidant status, more so in overweight people.

Eating more dairy reduces fractures and falls in the elderly.

Women and obese people may be more sensitive to disturbed neural responses after Splenda consumption.

Seems like a lot of things originated in the Eurasian steppes.

Time in nature is priceless.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts
Episode 3: The Link Between Female Health and Fasting with Dr. Mindy Pelz: Morgan talks to Dr. Mindy Pelz about a controversial topic: women and fasting.

Health Coach Radio: Alex Wisch wants you to realize that all that lies between your goal and you are the small steps.
Media, Schmedia
Vikings were in North America at least 1000 years ago.

At least they're admitting it.
Interesting Blog Posts
What's the most fattening food?

Men are at much greater risk from COVID than women.
Social Notes
Push-up progression.
Everything Else
Wait... now where have I heard of 4-HNE before? I wonder what food component increases it in the body...

The popularizer/"inventor"/"creator" of the "Flow State" has passed away.

Turns out that horses were domesticated while the mammoth was still walking around. Cool to think about.
Things I’m Up to and Interested In
The case for having your vaccine administered by registered nurses rather than volunteers in parking lots: In mouse models, IV injection of mRNA vaccine induces heart damage. This could explain a lot.

Well deserved: Beyond Meat slumps.

Cool video: Chat between Nina Teicholz, Amber O'Hearn, Richard Morris, and Cynthia Thurlow about fat, protein, fat loss and much more.

Interesting study: Mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19.

Key words: Meat tax "may be necessary."
Question I'm Asking
How are meat prices near you?
Recipe Corner

I strongly support the baking of fruit.
Thai laab, one of the greatest "salads" in the world.

Time Capsule
One year ago (Oct 16 – Oct 22)

The Definitive Guide to the Carnivore Diet— All about it.
Dear Mark: What's With the Bean Protocol? — Have you heard?

Comment of the Week
"Mark, I’ve been reading this site for 10 years now and do believe this is a treasure trove. However, the idea that any type of 'mandate' would ever be a good idea, let alone coincide with the general ideals of personal choice touted on this blog, is patently absurd. No matter if exercise is a good thing. Everyone has the right to self determination. If that means a 'sedentary life style' (due to any conceivable situation, such as working 3 jobs to pay the bills), then so be it. In a time when busy-bodies seek to micromanage those around them rather than remove the splinters from their own eyes, I’m dismayed to see that and 'exercise mandate' would even enter this blogs forum."

-I agree with you on mandates. I was just curious to see what other people thought.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 151 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

]]>
Research of the Week

Overfeeding carbohydrates reduces antioxidant status, more so in overweight people.

Eating more dairy reduces fractures and falls in the elderly.

Women and obese people may be more sensitive to disturbed neural responses after Splenda consumption.

Seems like a lot of things originated in the Eurasian steppes.

Time in nature is priceless.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts

Episode 3: The Link Between Female Health and Fasting with Dr. Mindy Pelz: Morgan talks to Dr. Mindy Pelz about a controversial topic: women and fasting.

Health Coach Radio: Alex Wisch wants you to realize that all that lies between your goal and you are the small steps.

Media, Schmedia

Vikings were in North America at least 1000 years ago.

At least they’re admitting it.

Interesting Blog Posts

What’s the most fattening food?

Men are at much greater risk from COVID than women.

Social Notes

Push-up progression.

Everything Else

Wait… now where have I heard of 4-HNE before? I wonder what food component increases it in the body…

The popularizer/”inventor”/”creator” of the “Flow State” has passed away.

Turns out that horses were domesticated while the mammoth was still walking around. Cool to think about.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

The case for having your vaccine administered by registered nurses rather than volunteers in parking lots: In mouse models, IV injection of mRNA vaccine induces heart damage. This could explain a lot.

Well deserved: Beyond Meat slumps.

Cool video: Chat between Nina Teicholz, Amber O’Hearn, Richard Morris, and Cynthia Thurlow about fat, protein, fat loss and much more.

Interesting study: Mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19.

Key words: Meat tax “may be necessary.”

Question I’m Asking

How are meat prices near you?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Oct 16 – Oct 22)

Comment of the Week

“Mark, I’ve been reading this site for 10 years now and do believe this is a treasure trove. However, the idea that any type of ‘mandate’ would ever be a good idea, let alone coincide with the general ideals of personal choice touted on this blog, is patently absurd. No matter if exercise is a good thing. Everyone has the right to self determination. If that means a ‘sedentary life style’ (due to any conceivable situation, such as working 3 jobs to pay the bills), then so be it. In a time when busy-bodies seek to micromanage those around them rather than remove the splinters from their own eyes, I’m dismayed to see that and ‘exercise mandate’ would even enter this blogs forum.”

-I agree with you on mandates. I was just curious to see what other people thought.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 151 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

]]>
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Why You Care What Other People Think (and 5 Ways to Knock It Off) https://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-you-care-what-other-people-think-and-5-ways-to-knock-it-off/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-you-care-what-other-people-think-and-5-ways-to-knock-it-off/#comments Thu, 21 Oct 2021 20:19:33 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=122195 Let me start by saying that if you’ve mastered the art of not caring what people think, congratulations. It’s a skill most people work on their whole lives. And some don’t even realize they’re side-stepping their dreams or apologetically defending their primal lifestyle until someone points it out. Caring what other people think of us is normal. It’s a natural human response, kind of like salivating when you see a thick ribeye sizzling on the grill. We all want to be accepted (and not rejected) by our peers and loved ones, so of course we care what they think of us. However, there’s a big difference between caring and constantly worrying about being judged. When you worry that others are judging you for your actions and decisions, self-defeating thoughts begin to bubble up more and more. Thoughts like: I shouldn’t have said that… I hope they don’t mind… I think they’re upset with me… I hope it’s not a bother… I’m not sure I should do this…. Sound familiar? Honestly, I deal with this kind of thing all the time with my health coaching clients. They fear their friends won’t want to hang out with them if they’re not throwing back nachos and beer every Friday. They wonder how their family will respond when they bring their own paleo side dish to holiday gatherings. And they worry what others will think of them if they decide a soul-sucking job isn’t enough for them anymore and decide to follow their passion for something more meaningful. It’s Not Your Fault You Care So Much In a study at Boston’s Babson College, 62% of students said their self-worth was strongly tied to what others thought. That means 62 out of 100 people cared more about what other people thought of them, than what they thought about themselves. Worrying about not being accepted isn’t just psychological (although research shows that rejection triggers the same neural pathways that are activated when you experience physical pain), it’s biological. It’s in your DNA. The fear of rejection goes back to the hunter-gatherer days. If you were rejected from your tribe, you might not have the food, the warmth, or the protection needed to survive. Even though there aren’t the same dire consequences in the modern world, that worry can be extremely intrusive – especially if you’re currently stepping outside of your comfort zone or feel like you’ve done something to compromise your place in the world (i.e. losing a job, falling off the wagon, embarrassing yourself in public, or having a social mishap online). Most of us are guilty of worrying how others will perceive our failures and shortcomings. However, studies show that we overestimate how much, and how badly people judge us in these situations. Researchers in this study divided participants into four groups and asked them to imagine being involved in one of four social blunders. The first group imagined experiencing an intellectual failure in public, the second and third groups were described by others … Continue reading "Why You Care What Other People Think (and 5 Ways to Knock It Off)"

The post Why You Care What Other People Think (and 5 Ways to Knock It Off) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

]]>
woman sitting in a hallway upsetLet me start by saying that if you’ve mastered the art of not caring what people think, congratulations. It’s a skill most people work on their whole lives. And some don’t even realize they’re side-stepping their dreams or apologetically defending their primal lifestyle until someone points it out.

Caring what other people think of us is normal. It’s a natural human response, kind of like salivating when you see a thick ribeye sizzling on the grill. We all want to be accepted (and not rejected) by our peers and loved ones, so of course we care what they think of us.

However, there’s a big difference between caring and constantly worrying about being judged. When you worry that others are judging you for your actions and decisions, self-defeating thoughts begin to bubble up more and more. Thoughts like:

  • I shouldn’t have said that…
  • I hope they don’t mind…
  • I think they’re upset with me…
  • I hope it’s not a bother…
  • I’m not sure I should do this….

Sound familiar? Honestly, I deal with this kind of thing all the time with my health coaching clients. They fear their friends won’t want to hang out with them if they’re not throwing back nachos and beer every Friday. They wonder how their family will respond when they bring their own paleo side dish to holiday gatherings. And they worry what others will think of them if they decide a soul-sucking job isn’t enough for them anymore and decide to follow their passion for something more meaningful.

It’s Not Your Fault You Care So Much

In a study at Boston’s Babson College, 62% of students said their self-worth was strongly tied to what others thought.1 That means 62 out of 100 people cared more about what other people thought of them, than what they thought about themselves. Worrying about not being accepted isn’t just psychological (although research shows that rejection triggers the same neural pathways that are activated when you experience physical pain), it’s biological. It’s in your DNA.

The fear of rejection goes back to the hunter-gatherer days. If you were rejected from your tribe, you might not have the food, the warmth, or the protection needed to survive. Even though there aren’t the same dire consequences in the modern world, that worry can be extremely intrusive – especially if you’re currently stepping outside of your comfort zone or feel like you’ve done something to compromise your place in the world (i.e. losing a job, falling off the wagon, embarrassing yourself in public, or having a social mishap online).

Most of us are guilty of worrying how others will perceive our failures and shortcomings. However, studies show that we overestimate how much, and how badly people judge us in these situations.2 Researchers in this study divided participants into four groups and asked them to imagine being involved in one of four social blunders. The first group imagined experiencing an intellectual failure in public, the second and third groups were described by others in an embarrassing way, and the fourth group anticipated being judged more harshly than they actually were. Researchers found that when participants focused on their misfortunes and the feared consequences of their situations, they experience increased levels of social anxiety and became even more pessimistic regarding their expectations.

Basically, the more they thought about how bad it was, the worse they felt. But what’s really at the root of this experiment is the deeply uncomfortable feeling of shame.

What’s Shame Got to Do with It

Shame arises when you violate an expected standard or perceived moral code. It leads you to believe that you’re less worthy because you’ve made a mistake or done something you regret. And when it’s chronic, it can make you feel like you’re fundamentally flawed or “not enough.” All of which leaves you seeking external validation.

The problem is, no level of external validation can fill the void shame creates. Not only that, it puts you in a position to rely on other’s opinions of you, and keeps you doing whatever you can to keep positive reinforcement coming your way, avoiding conflict, negativity, and rejection at all costs.

5 Ways to Master the Art of Not Caring

If you feel like most of your actions and decisions are molded by how you think others will respond, it’s time to knock it off. This is my go-to plan for helping clients stop obsessing about what they assume people are thinking and start living life on their terms.

  1. Spend Time Alone
    In order to know what’s truly important to you, you have to get other people’s voices out of your head. Take time to reflect on your values, your goals, and what makes you happy. Write it down, journal it, start a meditation practice. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.
  2. Ask, “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”
    Armed with the knowledge that you can’t please everyone and that most people are busy worrying about themselves anyway, ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen next time you want to do, be, or say something that’s authentically you. Chances are no one’s going to call you out or think badly of you. And if they do, just know that it’s a reflection of them, not you.
  3. Let Go of Perfectionism
    When you shake the feeling that you’ve got to get things just right, you loosen the reins on judgement — from yourself and from what you believe others are thinking. Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes. It’s part of being human and can be a huge catalyst for growth.
  4. Develop Internal Validation?
    Allow yourself to feel what you feel, again, without judgement, or looking for someone to give you permission. Work on expressing yourself, having self-compassion, and treating yourself with kindness instead of criticism.
  5. Know Other People Have Baggage Too
    Even if you’re convinced others are thinking negative things about you, it’s likely due to their own issues. Often times, people project their own insecurities onto their friends, family members, or colleagues because they’re struggling to process their own baggage. Share some empathy for your fellow human.

Ready to Stop Worrying What People Think?

There’s a huge difference between caring about your actions and getting sidelined by how you perceive you’re being judged. Whether the feeling is keeping you from reaching your goals, following your dreams, or just being true to who you are, follow these five steps if you’re tired of making decisions based on your fear of what others are thinking:

  • Spend time alone
  • Ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
  • Let go of perfectionism
  • Develop internal validation
  • Know other people have baggage too

How about you? Do you care what other people think?

The post Why You Care What Other People Think (and 5 Ways to Knock It Off) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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What’s All This Talk About Inflammation? https://www.marksdailyapple.com/inflammation/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/inflammation/#comments Thu, 21 Oct 2021 16:21:55 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/inflammation/ We talk a lot around here about inflammation, and some of you have raised good questions (and answers) regarding what we're really getting at. A continuing thanks for your comments and thoughtful responses. So, what do we mean by inflammation when we harp on the evils of sugars, grains, trans fats and other nutritional fiends? Ah, the many sides of swelling: abscesses, bulges, distensions, engorgements, boils, blisters, bunions, oh my! Do swollen ankles and puffy black shiners really have anything to do with the inflammation of arterial walls? Can flossing possibly help prevent heart disease? Let's explore. What is inflammation? Inflammation is your body's response to infection and injury. When your body triggers an inflammatory response, the immune system musters immune cells to the site of the injury or infection to isolate the area, remove harmful or damaged tissue, and begin the healing process. Behind the scenes, your body deploys your immune system. For an injury, you can experience any combination of redness, pain, swelling or heat. For an infection, you may experience some of the same things, at a larger scale. Fever is an inflammation response. Stuffy nose is swelling. Anyone who has ever, say, walked into a door knows that with injury comes inflammation (and a little humiliation). We might be horrified at the visual effects that ensue, but it's just the body's natural and essential response to defend itself from infection or trauma. In fact, the swelling initiates the healing process itself. Remember, the body doesn't care what you look like as long as it can regain your good health. Acute Inflammation vs. Chronic Inflammation Acute Inflammation Walking into that door is an example of "acute inflammation," a localized response characterized by compression of the surrounding nerves (ouch!) and collection of fluid in the area that helps bolster an immune response. The microscopic trainers are busy shouting orders, notifying the brain of wounded status, calling in the clotting response and going to work to reset things and get you taped up. They take care of business, you avoid all human contact for two weeks out of embarrassment, and you come out basically no worse for the wear. Acute inflammation circumstances tend to be pretty run of the mill: sprained ankles, cuts and scrapes, bumps on the head, etc. In certain cases, however, inflammation takes on much larger significance, such as in the case of the major trauma of a car accident, significant burns, major allergic reaction or a previously localized infection that spreads to other parts of the body. Major and/or multiple sites of trauma and infection initiate a larger, systemic response. In cases of severe trauma, the body elicits a massive inflammatory response. The immune system kicks into high gear, and white blood cells, among others, migrate to the injured areas. Receptors that sense the sweeping call to inflammatory action get in on the action. The blood supply to major organs, such as the lungs, is compromised. If left unchecked, organs failure can ensue. Chronic Inflammation … Continue reading "What’s All This Talk About Inflammation?"

The post What’s All This Talk About Inflammation? appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

]]>
man waking up holding head and stomach because of inflammationWe talk a lot around here about inflammation, and some of you have raised good questions (and answers) regarding what we’re really getting at. A continuing thanks for your comments and thoughtful responses.

So, what do we mean by inflammation when we harp on the evils of sugars, grains, trans fats and other nutritional fiends? Ah, the many sides of swelling: abscesses, bulges, distensions, engorgements, boils, blisters, bunions, oh my! Do swollen ankles and puffy black shiners really have anything to do with the inflammation of arterial walls? Can flossing possibly help prevent heart disease? Let’s explore.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s response to infection and injury. When your body triggers an inflammatory response, the immune system musters immune cells to the site of the injury or infection to isolate the area, remove harmful or damaged tissue, and begin the healing process.

Behind the scenes, your body deploys your immune system. For an injury, you can experience any combination of redness, pain, swelling or heat. For an infection, you may experience some of the same things, at a larger scale. Fever is an inflammation response. Stuffy nose is swelling.

Anyone who has ever, say, walked into a door knows that with injury comes inflammation (and a little humiliation). We might be horrified at the visual effects that ensue, but it’s just the body’s natural and essential response to defend itself from infection or trauma. In fact, the swelling initiates the healing process itself. Remember, the body doesn’t care what you look like as long as it can regain your good health.

Acute Inflammation vs. Chronic Inflammation

Acute Inflammation

Walking into that door is an example of “acute inflammation,” a localized response characterized by compression of the surrounding nerves (ouch!) and collection of fluid in the area that helps bolster an immune response. The microscopic trainers are busy shouting orders, notifying the brain of wounded status, calling in the clotting response and going to work to reset things and get you taped up. They take care of business, you avoid all human contact for two weeks out of embarrassment, and you come out basically no worse for the wear.

Acute inflammation circumstances tend to be pretty run of the mill: sprained ankles, cuts and scrapes, bumps on the head, etc. In certain cases, however, inflammation takes on much larger significance, such as in the case of the major trauma of a car accident, significant burns, major allergic reaction or a previously localized infection that spreads to other parts of the body. Major and/or multiple sites of trauma and infection initiate a larger, systemic response.

In cases of severe trauma, the body elicits a massive inflammatory response. The immune system kicks into high gear, and white blood cells, among others, migrate to the injured areas. Receptors that sense the sweeping call to inflammatory action get in on the action. The blood supply to major organs, such as the lungs, is compromised. If left unchecked, organs failure can ensue.

Chronic Inflammation

Ongoing health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune disorders can instigate what’s known as chronic, low-grade inflammation. This kind of inflammation doesn’t result in the immediate, sweeping response of trauma, but it keeps the body in a constant state of repair response. Immune cells (macrophages, monocytes, and lymphocytes) take charge, and a recurring, destructive process of tissue destruction and repair effort develops and continues until the source of the chronic inflammation is removed.

And there are serious consequences to this unchecked, ongoing inflammation. Neutrophils, one of the cells involved in inflammatory response, attack what they perceive as outside damage or invaders with the massive production of free radicals. They and other cells will keep pumping and spreading these free radicals throughout the body as long as they sense the inflammation. As you know by now, free radicals also destroy healthy cell walls and DNA, so there is collateral damage, too. The body’s general immune response (the ability to deal with daily exposure to bacteria, virus and fungus) is compromised because the system is kept busy tending to the incessant, active inflammation. Long-term effects of chronic inflammation can influence the development of many other conditions from Chrohn’s disease to cancer. And, of course, countless studies have connected chronic inflammation with the development of atherosclerosis (and, increasingly, insulin resistance). Remember we spoke recently about the devastation caused when arterial walls are inflamed and the body responds with a “cholesterol band-aid“? Yep, chronic systemic inflammation is a big factor there, too. Even to the extent that chronically inflamed gums3 might be a tangential cause of heart disease – and if not a cause, at the very least an accompanying symptom of systemic inflammation.

Frightening scenario, eh? The good news is that a CRP or C-reactive protein test can offer you and your doctor a better sense of your inflammation picture. Another test called hs-CRP may offer a detailed picture of inflammation as it relates to heart disease risk. If you get these tests, be sure to do so when you don’t have a recent injury or illness, since CRP can linger from the acute response, too.

Inflammation FAQs

How can you reduce inflammation?

You can reduce inflammation by going for walks, spending time in nature, eliminating seed oils high in omega-6 fats, eating more seafood or taking fish oil, losing excess body fat, exercising regularly, getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and eating plenty of protein.

What foods cause inflammation?

Whether a food is inflammatory depends on many factors, such as a person’s genetics, health status, exercise and sleep habits, gut health, and underlying baseline nutrient status. Foods that cause inflammation in almost everyone are refined grains, refined sugar, and refined seed and vegetable oils.

Other people may have issues with specific foods or food categories, like nightshades. It’s highly individual, though.

What causes inflammation?

Any insult or injury. Every cut, every bug bite, every scrape and scratch, every broken bone or sprained ankle causes inflammation. Every time you eat food you’re intolerant of or allergic to causes inflammation. If you breathe in pollen and you have seasonal allergies, that causes inflammation.

How to reduce inflammation in the body fast?

To reduce inflammation quickly, high dose fish oil can help. Turmeric with black pepper can reduce inflammation quickly as well. Black seed oil is another good option for reducing body inflammation fast.

Do tomatoes cause inflammation?

Some individuals are intolerant of nightshades, which include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. Common symptoms of nightshade or tomato intolerance include joint pain, stomach upset, nighttime tremors, and other reactions typical of allergy.

We’ll say what we’ll always say. (Systemic) inflammation sucks. Get rid of simple carbs. Eliminate stress. Get some exercise (but not too much). Embrace a Primal anti-inflammatory diet. Check ’em out in the archives, and share your comments.

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Keto and the Menstrual Cycle: Is There Reason To Worry? https://www.marksdailyapple.com/keto-period/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/keto-period/#comments Tue, 19 Oct 2021 16:23:18 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=84331 Every “keto for women” forum abounds with stories about menstrual cycles gone haywire in the first few months of keto. Common complaints include: Irregular menstrual cycles Breakthrough bleeding Sudden changes in menstrual cycle length, especially periods lasting much longer than normal Keto critics love to cite these stories as evidence that keto isn't good for women. After all, for premenopausal women, menstrual cycle activity acts as a barometer for overall health. Menstrual cycle disruptions are usually a sign that your body is under some kind of stress. Revive your keto goals or learn the basics of this popular diet without the guesswork or tedious macro-counting. GRAB YOUR SPOT   Keto can be stressful depending on your approach, or at least the body can perceive it as such. Premenopausal women’s bodies are especially sensitive to dietary changes. The reproductive system’s job is to ensure that a potential pregnancy would be safe for parent and fetus. Any signs that could portend food scarcity or nutrient deficiencies, and the body responds by turning down the dial on reproductive capacity. Keto diets require you to strictly limit or remove high-carb foods, including some nutrient-rich offerings like fruits, beets, and sweet potatoes. Keto dieters very often restrict calories as well, intentionally or not. Thus, it's reasonable to hypothesize that women might have a tougher time adapting to or sustaining a ketogenic diet. Maybe this so-called “keto period” phenomenon is a sign that (pre-menopausal) females shouldn’t be doing keto. Or maybe menstrual changes aren't a big deal in this context.  What does the science say? What is it about keto that affects the menstrual cycle? Can Keto Affect Your Period? Let me reassure you from the get-go that there is no evidence that keto diets cause any systematic or lasting harm to menstruating folks. Anecdotally, many people don’t experience any menstrual changes at all, while others find that PMS symptoms improve and their cycles become more regular as soon as they start keto. Even if you’re one of those people whose cycle becomes wonky (that’s the accepted scientific term, right?), chances are good that things will return to normal, or even improve, after a few months. Still, it’s natural to feel alarmed any time your bodily functions change unexpectedly. One statistic you’ll see floating around online is that “45 percent of females experience irregular menstrual cycles on keto.” This statistic comes from a single small study of adolescent girls using a therapeutic ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy. Six of the twenty girls experienced amenorrhea (loss of period) and three were diagnosed with delayed puberty. That sounds bad! Don't rush to judgment, though. It would be a mistake to conclude that nearly half of teenagers, much less females of all ages, are likely to experience keto-related menstrual problems based on this one study. The ketogenic diet used for epilepsy is different and much stricter than the typical (non-medical) keto diet most people follow. Moreover, epilepsy is frequently associated with menstrual dysfunction, regardless of diet. I’m unable to find … Continue reading "Keto and the Menstrual Cycle: Is There Reason To Worry?"

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woman checking her period calendar on her iphone to see if keto affects your period

Every “keto for women” forum abounds with stories about menstrual cycles gone haywire in the first few months of keto. Common complaints include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Sudden changes in menstrual cycle length, especially periods lasting much longer than normal

Keto critics love to cite these stories as evidence that keto isn’t good for women. After all, for premenopausal women, menstrual cycle activity acts as a barometer for overall health. Menstrual cycle disruptions are usually a sign that your body is under some kind of stress.


Revive your keto goals or learn the basics of this popular diet without the guesswork or tedious macro-counting. GRAB YOUR SPOT  


Keto can be stressful depending on your approach, or at least the body can perceive it as such. Premenopausal women’s bodies are especially sensitive to dietary changes. The reproductive system’s job is to ensure that a potential pregnancy would be safe for parent and fetus. Any signs that could portend food scarcity or nutrient deficiencies, and the body responds by turning down the dial on reproductive capacity.4

Keto diets require you to strictly limit or remove high-carb foods, including some nutrient-rich offerings like fruits, beets, and sweet potatoes. Keto dieters very often restrict calories as well, intentionally or not. Thus, it’s reasonable to hypothesize that women might have a tougher time adapting to or sustaining a ketogenic diet. Maybe this so-called “keto period” phenomenon is a sign that (pre-menopausal) females shouldn’t be doing keto. Or maybe menstrual changes aren’t a big deal in this context. 

What does the science say? What is it about keto that affects the menstrual cycle?

Can Keto Affect Your Period?

Let me reassure you from the get-go that there is no evidence that keto diets cause any systematic or lasting harm to menstruating folks. Anecdotally, many people don’t experience any menstrual changes at all, while others find that PMS symptoms improve and their cycles become more regular as soon as they start keto. Even if you’re one of those people whose cycle becomes wonky (that’s the accepted scientific term, right?), chances are good that things will return to normal, or even improve, after a few months. Still, it’s natural to feel alarmed any time your bodily functions change unexpectedly.

One statistic you’ll see floating around online is that “45 percent of females experience irregular menstrual cycles on keto.” This statistic comes from a single small study of adolescent girls using a therapeutic ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy.5 Six of the twenty girls experienced amenorrhea (loss of period) and three were diagnosed with delayed puberty. That sounds bad! Don’t rush to judgment, though. It would be a mistake to conclude that nearly half of teenagers, much less females of all ages, are likely to experience keto-related menstrual problems based on this one study.

The ketogenic diet used for epilepsy is different and much stricter than the typical (non-medical) keto diet most people follow. Moreover, epilepsy is frequently associated with menstrual dysfunction, regardless of diet.6 I’m unable to find any studies documenting menstrual or reproductive issues in healthy females, or even in female mice for that matter, on keto diets. In fact, the (admittedly scant) research seems to point to the opposite—keto diets having positive effects on menstruation and reproductive health.

However, we do have abundant stories from people whose periods changed for the worse when they started a keto diet. The question is why.

What Is a Normal Menstrual Cycle?

Let’s briefly review what constitutes a healthy menstrual cycle, understanding that everybody’s normal will be a little different.7 A typical cycle lasts from 21 to 24 days on the short end to 31 to 35 days on the long end, with 28 days being the median. Day 1 is the first day of your period and begins the follicular phase, which lasts until ovulation. Just before ovulation, levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and estradiol (a form of estrogen) spike.

Next comes the luteal phase covering the approximately 14 days from ovulation to menses. LH, FSH, and estradiol drop, while progesterone rises. Estradiol bumps up again in the middle of the luteal phase. If a fertilized egg is not implanted, menstruation commences, and the whole cycle starts over again. All this is regulated by a complex communication network under the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, which is closely tied to the actions of the adrenal and thyroid glands.

It’s perfectly normal for blood glucose levels and body weight to fluctuate throughout the month as hormone levels change. Generally, blood glucose levels are lower at the beginning of the cycle and higher in the pre-menstrual period (the second half of the luteal phase). Insulin-dependent diabetics often find that they need to adjust their dose at different times of their cycles to keep their blood sugar in check. You may also get lower ketone readings at certain times of the month—usually coinciding with a period of (transient) weight gain and carbohydrate cravings.

Rest assured that these fluctuations reflect normal physiology and don’t mean that you’re doing something wrong. Most individuals experience these ups and downs every month but don’t notice them until they start measuring blood glucose and ketones. They’re mostly tied to the cyclical nature of estrogen and progesterone and aren’t anything to worry about. What’s potentially more worrisome is when you start a keto diet and all of a sudden your period is longer or shorter than normal, your cycle becomes irregular, or you skip a period altogether.

What Causes Menstrual Cycle Changes on Keto?

The many factors that affect sex hormones and the menstrual cycle include:

  • Other hormones, such as metabolic hormones
  • Gut health and microbiome
  • Metabolic health, e.g., insulin sensitivity)
  • Environmental toxins
  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Immune health
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Activity level and energy expenditure
  • Age

It’s no surprise, then, that menstrual changes and reproductive issues can be extremely difficult to pin down. Unfortunately, there’s almost no research into keto diets and their effects on the female reproductive system. There is, however, some evidence regarding carbohydrate restriction, which is a defining characteristic of keto, as well as other correlated factors like weight loss.

Does Carbohydrate Restriction Affect the Menstrual Cycle?

Based on the available evidence, the answer seems to be yes, and the effects are beneficial.

By definition, ketogenic diets restrict carbohydrate intake, usually below 50 grams per day. While no studies have focused on keto diets, a handful have examined the effects of low-carb-but-not-keto diets on markers of reproductive health among overweight women. A meta-analysis concluded that in four out of four studies, low-carb diets improved menstrual regularity and/or ovulation rates. Furthermore, out of six studies that measured reproductive hormones, five reported significant improvements.8

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the leading causes of female infertility and a frequent trigger of menstrual irregularity. People with PCOS have high rates of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Restricting carbohydrates decreases the insulin burden in one’s diet, so a lot of people are experimenting with keto to overcome their PCOS. Only one small study has so far directly tested the effectiveness of a ketogenic diet to treat PCOS, but the outcome was promising.9

Weight Loss and Period Changes

Many folks lose weight rapidly when first starting a keto diet. Weight loss can impact menstruation through a variety of pathways, one of which is by reducing the hormone leptin. Leptin’s main job is to communicate energy availability to the hypothalamus. High levels of leptin tell the hypothalamus that you have enough energy on board, so it’s safe to reproduce. Low leptin can disrupt the menstrual cycle and is linked to hypothalamic amenorrhea.10

Body fat loss can also affect estrogen levels since estrogen is both stored and produced in adipocytes (fat cells). While fat loss in the long term will decrease estrogen production, it is possible that rapid fat loss might temporarily raise estrogen levels and can also affect estrogen-progesterone balance. These transient changes in estrogen levels might underlie some of the menstrual irregularities people report.

Stress

Stress can impact the menstrual cycle in myriad ways.11 Cortisol acts on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, affecting hormone levels, sleep, immune function, and gut health, to name a few. Diets can be a source of stress, both on a physiological and psychological level. Keto has a reputation for being especially stressful because it is more restrictive than other low-carb diets, but you can mitigate diet-related stress by following the Keto Reset tips for women.

Thyroid Function

Thyroid dysregulation is another common cause of menstrual irregularities, and there remains a pervasive belief that keto is bad for thyroid health. Indeed, the thyroid is sensitive to nutrient deficiencies and caloric restriction, and thyroid hormones, especially T3, do frequently decline on keto. However, as Mark has discussed in a previous post, changes in T3 levels might not be a problem, especially in the absence of other problematic symptoms. Moreover, many practitioners now use keto as a cornerstone in their treatment of thyroid disorders. If you’re experiencing persistent menstrual issues, though, it’s always a good idea to ask your doctor to test your thyroid function.

What Should I Take From These Findings?

The first takeaway is there isn’t cause for alarm. If anything, studies suggest that low-carb diets improve some aspects of menstruation and reproductive health. Much more research is needed, but ketones themselves have important physiological properties, such as being directly anti-inflammatory, which might positively impact women’s reproductive health.12

Second, factors that potentially disrupt the menstrual cycle—namely weight loss and stress—aren’t unique to keto, they’re common to any diet. Furthermore, many people combine a ketogenic diet with calorie restriction and fasting, both of which can independently lead to weight loss, cause stress, and affect the menstrual cycle and reproductive health. That makes it incredibly difficult to conclude that keto per se causes “keto periods.”

That said, people do need to be cognizant of the signals they are sending their bodies when it comes to energy availability and stress. Women who come to the keto diet with a history of adrenal, thyroid, metabolic, and reproductive issues should be extra careful about how they approach keto. I encourage anyone who’s dealing with other health issues to work with a medical practitioner to tailor a keto diet to their unique needs.

But I’m Telling You, Keto Made My Period Go Haywire!

I believe you! Remember, though, changes do not necessarily equal dysfunction. It is normal to experience hormone fluctuations when you make a massive—or even a relatively small but profound—change to your diet. Sometimes those fluctuations are unpleasant or unwanted, such as a period that lasts 14 days or one that arrives a week early while you’re on vacation. However, that doesn’t make them bad from a health perspective. We need to respect that our bodies are dynamic systems. Changing an input will invariably change the output, and the system might need a few months to adapt to a new normal.

If your cycle becomes irregular but you’re otherwise feeling good, give it a few months to sort itself out. In the meantime, check to make sure you’re not short-changing yourself nutritionally or calorically. Scale back on fasting efforts, and consider shifting more toward a traditional Primal way of eating. If after a few months it’s still all over the place, talk to your doctor. Definitely do so immediately if you’re having other concerning symptoms.

At the end of the day, if keto isn’t working for you, stop. Keto gets a lot of hype, much of it deserved, but it doesn’t work for every body at every time. You can always try again later. It might be that your first attempt at keto didn’t work, but with a few adjustments and some self-experimentation, you can find a version of keto that works for you.

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Gluten-free Low-Carb Pumpkin Bread https://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-pumpkin-bread/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-pumpkin-bread/#comments Sat, 16 Oct 2021 16:00:36 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=75544 October means pumpkin...everything. Those who eating low-carb, however, may believe that most of those treats are off the menu. Not so. It's possible to enjoy a variety of traditional pumpkin recipes (including pumpkin pie and this pumpkin bread) while you keep your low-carb commitment. Made with the goodness of almond flour, eggs, and all the traditional spices, this pumpkin bread bakes up moist and flavorful. Pumpkin puree rather than pumpkin pie filling means you can sweeten to your own taste. And don't worry about sugar—this recipe doesn't have any. It uses a popular low-carb standby—Swerve—to add sweetness without the sugar content.

Servings: 10

Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
¾ cup organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
¼ cup Swerve
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*½ cup of optional mix-ins: chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place rack in center of the oven.

Grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan with butter or coconut oil and line with parchment paper so the paper overlaps the sides like handles. Grease the parchment paper lightly.

Sift almond flour to break up lumps.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, Swerve, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Gently stir until batter is just combined. Fold in any mix-ins.

Scrape into prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top of the batter. Bake for 43–46 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool (for about 30 minutes). Lift the bread out using the parchment handles, peel off the paper, and slice.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 5 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, wrap bread tightly (aluminum foil works) and store in freezer for 3 months.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 137
Fat: 10.7 grams
Protein: 6.2 grams
Net Carbs: 2.2 grams (plus sugar alcohol from Swerve)

The post Gluten-free Low-Carb Pumpkin Bread appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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October means pumpkin…everything. Those who eating low-carb, however, may believe that most of those treats are off the menu. Not so. It’s possible to enjoy a variety of traditional pumpkin recipes (including pumpkin pie and this pumpkin bread) while you keep your low-carb commitment. Made with the goodness of almond flour, eggs, and all the traditional spices, this pumpkin bread bakes up moist and flavorful. Pumpkin puree rather than pumpkin pie filling means you can sweeten to your own taste. And don’t worry about sugar—this recipe doesn’t have any. It uses a popular low-carb standby—Swerve—to add sweetness without the sugar content.

Servings: 10

Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¼ cup Swerve
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *½ cup of optional mix-ins: chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place rack in center of the oven.

Grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan with butter or coconut oil and line with parchment paper so the paper overlaps the sides like handles. Grease the parchment paper lightly.

Sift almond flour to break up lumps.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, Swerve, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Gently stir until batter is just combined. Fold in any mix-ins.

Scrape into prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top of the batter. Bake for 43–46 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool (for about 30 minutes). Lift the bread out using the parchment handles, peel off the paper, and slice.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 5 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, wrap bread tightly (aluminum foil works) and store in freezer for 3 months.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 137
  • Fat: 10.7 grams
  • Protein: 6.2 grams
  • Net Carbs: 2.2 grams (plus sugar alcohol from Swerve)

Print

Gluten-free, Low-Carb Pumpkin Bread


  • Author: Mark's Daily Apple
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Gluten-free and low-carb version of the pumpkin spice bread you know and love!


Ingredients

1 ½ cups blanched almond flour

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda

2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

4 large eggs

¾ cup organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

¼ cup Swerve

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup of optional mix-ins: chopped pecans or walnuts


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place rack in center of the oven.

Grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan with butter or coconut oil and line with parchment paper so the paper overlaps the sides like handles. Grease the parchment paper lightly.

Sift almond flour to break up lumps.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, Swerve, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Gently stir until batter is just combined. Fold in any mix-ins.

Scrape into prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top of the batter. Bake for 43–46 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool (for about 30 minutes). Lift the bread out using the parchment handles, peel off the paper, and slice.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 5 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, wrap bread tightly (aluminum foil works) and store in freezer for 3 months.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 128
  • Fat: 10.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8.3
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 4.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.2 g
  • Protein: 6.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 74 mg
  • Net Carbs: 2.2 g

Keywords: gluten free pumpkin bread, low carb pumpkin bread, sugar-free pumpkin bread, low glycemic index pumpkin bread

The post Gluten-free Low-Carb Pumpkin Bread appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 150 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-150/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-150/#comments Fri, 15 Oct 2021 19:14:55 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=122126 Research of the Week

Higher free PUFA in the blood, lower cognitive function.

London's Black Cabbies have enlarged hippocampuses.

Low protein intakes make nighttime light exposure even more detrimental.

Essential oils show promise for improving mental health.

Those who laugh the most talking to a stranger enjoy the conversation least.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts
Episode 2: Personalize Your Diet with Microbiome Expert Dr. Tim Spector: Morgan talks to Dr. Tim Spector.

Health Coach Radio: Annie Schuessler thinks that perfectionism doesn't lead to excellence, but rather to waiting.

 
Media, Schmedia
I think we can all relate.

FDA putting the clamps on salt intake.
Interesting Blog Posts
Yes, this is true.

Average guy vs 100 mph fastball.
Social Notes
My absolute non-negotiable.

It's quite simple.
Everything Else
The mysterious Irish sweathouse.

Reminder that America is big.
Things I’m Up to and Interested In
This slipped under the radar: The COVID spike protein bears remarkable resemblance to the human protein hepcidin, which regulates iron metabolism.

Interesting changes coming: Health care workers are quitting in droves.

Common finding: "Finally, the rate of all-cause mortality had started to diverge in favor of placebo after 2 years of follow-up."

Interesting video: What is fat for?

Wait for it: My guess is this "cholesterol game-changer" will end up increasing mortality.
Question I'm Asking
Would you support a mandate for regular exercise?
Recipe Corner

Lemongrass pork skewers, Vietnam-style.
Squash is incredibly nutritious, and this acorn squash with yogurt tahini dressing is incredibly delicious.

Time Capsule
One year ago (Oct 9 – Oct 15)

Starting Solids: When Can Babies Eat Table Food?— When?
How to Eat More Organ Meat — How?

Comment of the Week
"I read “Sometimes a Great Notion” in the 70’s, promptly suspended college and worked in the woods for almost 2 years. Got a job with a small outfit in Happy Camp, CA and when they expanded, I worked with them hooking logs to the bottom of helicopters. The experience was transformational. The hard work ethic has kept me thriving all these years."

-Fiction can be powerful!

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 150 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

]]>
Research of the Week

Higher free PUFA in the blood, lower cognitive function.

London’s Black Cabbies have enlarged hippocampuses.

Low protein intakes make nighttime light exposure even more detrimental.

Essential oils show promise for improving mental health.

Those who laugh the most talking to a stranger enjoy the conversation least.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts

Episode 2: Personalize Your Diet with Microbiome Expert Dr. Tim Spector: Morgan talks to Dr. Tim Spector.

Health Coach Radio: Annie Schuessler thinks that perfectionism doesn’t lead to excellence, but rather to waiting.

 

Media, Schmedia

I think we can all relate.

FDA putting the clamps on salt intake.

Interesting Blog Posts

Yes, this is true.

Average guy vs 100 mph fastball.

Social Notes

My absolute non-negotiable.

It’s quite simple.

Everything Else

The mysterious Irish sweathouse.

Reminder that America is big.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

This slipped under the radar: The COVID spike protein bears remarkable resemblance to the human protein hepcidin, which regulates iron metabolism.

Interesting changes coming: Health care workers are quitting in droves.

Common finding: “Finally, the rate of all-cause mortality had started to diverge in favor of placebo after 2 years of follow-up.”

Interesting video: What is fat for?

Wait for it: My guess is this “cholesterol game-changer” will end up increasing mortality.

Question I’m Asking

Would you support a mandate for regular exercise?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Oct 9 – Oct 15)

Comment of the Week

“I read “Sometimes a Great Notion” in the 70’s, promptly suspended college and worked in the woods for almost 2 years. Got a job with a small outfit in Happy Camp, CA and when they expanded, I worked with them hooking logs to the bottom of helicopters. The experience was transformational. The hard work ethic has kept me thriving all these years.”

-Fiction can be powerful!

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 150 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Ask a Health Coach: Why Can’t I Sleep? https://www.marksdailyapple.com/ask-a-health-coach-why-cant-i-sleep/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/ask-a-health-coach-why-cant-i-sleep/#comments Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:23:24 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=122105 Hello folks! Seasoned health coach and Primal Health Coach Institute Curriculum Director, Erin Power is back to answer all your questions about sleep, from why you’re waking up in the middle of the night to the best natural ways to improve your sleep cycle. Got more questions? Post them over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group or down in the comments below.   Jordan asked: “I’ve been going to bed at 10 p.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. for a few weeks. For some reason, I’ve started waking at 3:15 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep. Any ideas on what’s causing it?” Almost half of all adults struggle with insomnia to some degree, so, if it’s any consolation, you’re in good company. That being said, it’s not ideal to feel like you’re dragging yourself around all day, coping with sugar-laden snacks or venti-sized cups of coffee. One of two nights of suboptimal sleep are manageable. But when it’s a nightly occurrence? It’s time to dig a little deeper. What Waking Up Early Really Means According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, waking up at a specific time of the night (or early morning in your case) is a sign that something is off in the body since, as TCM teaches, different hours are associated with different organs and emotional states. Even if you don’t follow that train of thought, paying attention to your body’s signals can be a huge wake-up call (no pun intended). It sounds like these 3 a.m. awakenings are a new thing, so start by looking at what’s changed recently. Are you: Under more stress at home or work? Taking a new prescription or supplement? Looking at a screen later at night? Eating too close to bedtime? Eating more carbs than normal…or fewer carbs? Consuming alcohol or caffeine later in the day? Anytime you’re doing something that’s working, then suddenly it’s not working, it’s usually because some other element has changed. I know, this isn't rocket science, but in health coaching we like to start with the obvious. I like to start with the lowest-hanging fruit, which in my experience, is quite often a change in stress levels. When you go to bed at night and life’s other distractions have quieted down, the brain shifts into repair mode, and one of the tendencies that's somewhat inherent to that is processing the worries of the day. While you might fall asleep with ease, your 3 a.m. jolt could be caused by an activation of your sympathetic nervous system. Maybe you feel your heart rate increase or your thoughts start racing. If this is the case with you, be aware of what might be causing your stress and take steps to alleviate it before your head hits the pillow.   When Blood Sugar is to Blame Another thing to look at is blood sugar balance, which is can also be a culprit for 3 a.m. wake ups. It’s well established that high carbohydrate intake has been shown to … Continue reading "Ask a Health Coach: Why Can’t I Sleep?"

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woman napping on the sofaHello folks! Seasoned health coach and Primal Health Coach Institute Curriculum Director, Erin Power is back to answer all your questions about sleep, from why you’re waking up in the middle of the night to the best natural ways to improve your sleep cycle. Got more questions? Post them over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group or down in the comments below.

 

Jordan asked:
“I’ve been going to bed at 10 p.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. for a few weeks. For some reason, I’ve started waking at 3:15 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep. Any ideas on what’s causing it?”

Almost half of all adults struggle with insomnia13 to some degree, so, if it’s any consolation, you’re in good company. That being said, it’s not ideal to feel like you’re dragging yourself around all day, coping with sugar-laden snacks or venti-sized cups of coffee.

One of two nights of suboptimal sleep are manageable. But when it’s a nightly occurrence? It’s time to dig a little deeper.

What Waking Up Early Really Means

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine,14 waking up at a specific time of the night (or early morning in your case) is a sign that something is off in the body since, as TCM teaches, different hours are associated with different organs and emotional states. Even if you don’t follow that train of thought, paying attention to your body’s signals can be a huge wake-up call (no pun intended).

It sounds like these 3 a.m. awakenings are a new thing, so start by looking at what’s changed recently.
Are you:

  • Under more stress at home or work?
  • Taking a new prescription or supplement?
  • Looking at a screen later at night?
  • Eating too close to bedtime?
  • Eating more carbs than normal…or fewer carbs?
  • Consuming alcohol or caffeine later in the day?

Anytime you’re doing something that’s working, then suddenly it’s not working, it’s usually because some other element has changed. I know, this isn’t rocket science, but in health coaching we like to start with the obvious. I like to start with the lowest-hanging fruit, which in my experience, is quite often a change in stress levels.

When you go to bed at night and life’s other distractions have quieted down, the brain shifts into repair mode, and one of the tendencies that’s somewhat inherent to that is processing the worries of the day. While you might fall asleep with ease, your 3 a.m. jolt could be caused by an activation of your sympathetic nervous system. Maybe you feel your heart rate increase or your thoughts start racing. If this is the case with you, be aware of what might be causing your stress and take steps to alleviate it before your head hits the pillow.

 

When Blood Sugar is to Blame

Another thing to look at is blood sugar balance, which is can also be a culprit for 3 a.m. wake ups. It’s well established that high carbohydrate intake has been shown to increase the number of times a person wakes at night and reduces the amount of deep sleep.15 If you’re used to using carbs as fuel and eating every few hours, blood sugar can drop during the night because your body isn’t getting the constant glucose drip it’s receiving during the day. It’s just one of the reasons I’m a huge advocate for getting off the Standard American Diet and snacking rollercoaster.

High carb isn’t always to blame though. One study showed that a lower carbohydrate diet could also impact sleep due to low levels of serotonin and melatonin.16 Researchers found that diets that were less than 50% carbs were linked to difficulty staying asleep — especially in men. There’s also proof that some people who ate low carb are more prone to experiencing sleep apnea.17

Take an honest look and get clear on what’s changed in the past week or so. If you’re under more stress, eating more carbs, or starting a diet like keto, get curious about what you can do to keep sleeping through the wee hours.

 

Tim asked:
“I’m lacking energy and am generally tired most of the day. According to my Fitbit, my sleep quantity is good, but my sleep quality is poor. I eat primal 95% of the time, though I’m not really trying to eat low carb. I supplement with magnesium, fermented cod liver oil, fermented skate liver oil, kelp, and probiotics. I do drink two large cups of butter blended coffee in the morning that’s half decaf, and I’m not getting much sunlight exposure these days, except for a dog walk at lunch. Other than ditching the coffee, any suggestions on how to improve my deep and REM sleep?”

First of all, Mark has shared sleep tips and written about how to crush some quality sleep quite often, and he’s always my go-to guy for information. But one of the things that jumps out at me from your question is that you acknowledge that you aren’t getting much sunlight exposure these days.

Sunlight exposure throughout the day is essential for syncing up our circadian rhythm, which has an important impact on sleep quality. This is one of the concepts I most love teaching my health coaching clients, because the notion that we need to engage with the sun at various times of the day is just so… natural. And, remember: we are nature.

Specifically, spending a few moments looking at early day sunlight helps encourage the onset of serotonin, the wakefulness hormone. Catching the mid-day rays during your lunchtime dog walk is great: it tells your body that the day is about half over. Finally, getting some exposure to the amber light of sunset tells the body to pack serotonin away and start thinking about churning out some melatonin — the sleep hormone.

Adding a morning walk and an after-dinner walk — just 15 minutes or so — is a simple way to spend just enough time in morning and evening sunlight, respectively, so you can get your sleep-wake hormones purring like a kitten.

And here are some more good ideas:

  1. Wear Blue Blockers
    Artificial light from computers, tablets, and phone screens messes with your circadian rhythm, so if you need to finish work late at night or can’t stop scrolling social media, put on a pair of blue light blocking glasses to help reduce the impact on your sleep cycle.
  2. Get Black-Out Blinds
    Even a small amount of light can disrupt your sleep. Black-out blinds are a great solution for the summer months, but can also be a huge help year-round. If new window coverings aren’t in the cards, get yourself a sleep mask.
  3. Turn Down the Thermostat
    Your body temperature always rises at night, so keep your room cool (between 60-67?F / 15.6-19.4?C) to prevent overheating. Or get yourself a ChiliPAD. You won’t be sorry. I absolutely love mine.
  4. Skip the Drink
    You might be tempted to wind down with a fine glass of Rioja, but alcohol late at night can interrupt your REM cycle too, leaving you feeling drained and groggy the next day. Alcohol can also cause you to snore more. Something to keep in mind if you care about the person sleeping next to you.
  5. Keep your Phone Away
    In addition to emitting low levels of blue light, the temptation to respond to emails, check your Instagram feed, or make late-night purchases can be hard to resist when your phone is sitting right there on the bedside table. Instead, put it out of arm’s reach, preferably in the next room.

 

Ali asked:
“What are the best sleep supplements that don’t include magnesium or melatonin?”

Ask most people what they use for a natural sleep aid, and chances are you’ll be overwhelmed by folks singing the praises of magnesium and melatonin. And for good reason as they relax nerves and muscles, and help adjust your circadian rhythm, respectively.

As a health coach, it’s not in my practice to recommend specific supplements (although Mark has a great article about a few of them here), but if you ask me, there are even better sleep aid solutions that don’t require popping a pill.

Natural Sleep Remedies That Aren’t Supplements

If you’re open to the idea that you shouldn’t have to take something to get your body and mind to unwind, try deep breathing and meditation – two of my favorite relaxation techniques.

Most of us have the habit of taking quick or shallow breaths. Or worse, completely holding our breath for periods of time. When you’re getting ready for bed tonight, spend a few minutes taking slow, deep breaths, in and out from your belly. This naturally causes you to relax, which reduces the stress hormones that block melatonin (and prevent you from getting a solid night of shut eye).

Doing a body scan can also help. This is type of mindful meditation combines breathwork with consciously relaxing your muscles. When you’re ready to give it a go, lie down in a quiet, comfortable place, starting at your head and working down to your toes. Notice any areas of tension you’re feeling, then direct your breath to that spot. Research backs it up too, saying that doing a 20-minute body scan before bed can help you sleep longer and wake up less frequently during the night.18

What’s your go-to for a better night’s sleep? Tell me in the comments below.

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Is Soy Bad For You? https://www.marksdailyapple.com/soy-scrutiny/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/soy-scrutiny/#comments Wed, 13 Oct 2021 16:05:31 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/soy-scrutiny/ The Primal Blueprint classically recommends against legume consumption, but that stance has softened. Legumes aren't bad in and of themselves. Many people have intolerance issues with them, and unresolved gut barrier leakiness or FODMAP intolerances can make legumes a painful, often cacaphonous indulgence. But the category of legume itself is not a simple thing. Some legumes are better than others. Some people will tolerate one legume but not another. So where does soy fit in? Is Soy Bad for You? Well, there are a lot of foods that fall under "soy." There's soybean oil, soy protein, soy milk. There's natto, tempeh, soy sauce. There's the whole young soybean steamed. There's the dried soybean cooked like a common bean.  Anyway, let's get on with things and analyze all the soy products available. Soybean Oil Soybean oil might be the single biggest impediment to human health in the modern world. Over the past century, our consumption of soybean oil has skyrocketed and the proportion of linoleic acid in human body fat has also risen. Seeing as how the absolute amount of body fat has increased as well, we're looking at a huge rise in absolute amounts of linoleic acid in the human body. Body fat isn't inert. It's a legitimate endocrine hormone, and the type of fat you store on your body can determine your hormonal output and metabolic health. This rise in soybean oil-induced linoleic-rich body fat has paralleled the increases in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and all the other degenerative maladies of modernity you see walking around in everyday life. Soybean oil isn't "meant" to be consumed because it wouldn't even exist as a product without industrial extraction methods. You can't press a soybean and get extra virgin soybean oil. You need solvents and industrial-scale equipment to make soybean oil. This alone is a good indicator that we should not be eating it. And then there are the studies that confirm we shouldn't: Soybean oil has low oxidative stability—heat damages it rather quickly and easily. Soybean oil-based infant formulas are among the worst, producing poor metabolic and growth outcomes. Soybean oil combined with dietary cholesterol damages the liver. Lard combined with dietary cholesterol does not. The stuff is awful. Avoid.   Soy Protein Soy protein powder has long been the go-to for plant-based lifters who want to increase their protein intake but can't eat more animal protein to make it happen. If that's your only option, fine: it's better than not eating any extra protein. But if have no qualms about whey protein and you're only choosing soy protein because it's "healthier" or "better for the environment," you're making a big mistake. Compared to whey and other animal proteins, soy protein is simply not as effective at stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Post-workout skim milk beats soy protein drink for muscle protein synthesis. Skim milk leads to better lean mass gains than soy protein. Young men drinking whey protein after lifting weights make more gains than young men drinking soy protein … Continue reading "Is Soy Bad For You?"

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shelled soybeans in a dish is soy bad for youThe Primal Blueprint classically recommends against legume consumption, but that stance has softened. Legumes aren’t bad in and of themselves. Many people have intolerance issues with them, and unresolved gut barrier leakiness or FODMAP intolerances can make legumes a painful, often cacaphonous indulgence. But the category of legume itself is not a simple thing. Some legumes are better than others. Some people will tolerate one legume but not another. So where does soy fit in?

Is Soy Bad for You?

Well, there are a lot of foods that fall under “soy.” There’s soybean oil, soy protein, soy milk. There’s natto, tempeh, soy sauce. There’s the whole young soybean steamed. There’s the dried soybean cooked like a common bean.  Anyway, let’s get on with things and analyze all the soy products available.

Soybean Oil

Soybean oil might be the single biggest impediment to human health in the modern world. Over the past century, our consumption of soybean oil has skyrocketed and the proportion of linoleic acid in human body fat has also risen. Seeing as how the absolute amount of body fat has increased as well, we’re looking at a huge rise in absolute amounts of linoleic acid in the human body. Body fat isn’t inert. It’s a legitimate endocrine hormone, and the type of fat you store on your body can determine your hormonal output and metabolic health.

This rise in soybean oil-induced linoleic-rich body fat has paralleled the increases in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and all the other degenerative maladies of modernity you see walking around in everyday life.

Soybean oil isn’t “meant” to be consumed because it wouldn’t even exist as a product without industrial extraction methods. You can’t press a soybean and get extra virgin soybean oil. You need solvents and industrial-scale equipment to make soybean oil. This alone is a good indicator that we should not be eating it. And then there are the studies that confirm we shouldn’t:

Soybean oil has low oxidative stability—heat damages it rather quickly and easily.19

Soybean oil-based infant formulas are among the worst, producing poor metabolic and growth outcomes.20

Soybean oil combined with dietary cholesterol damages the liver. Lard combined with dietary cholesterol does not.21

The stuff is awful. Avoid.

 

Soy Protein

Soy protein powder has long been the go-to for plant-based lifters who want to increase their protein intake but can’t eat more animal protein to make it happen. If that’s your only option, fine: it’s better than not eating any extra protein. But if have no qualms about whey protein and you’re only choosing soy protein because it’s “healthier” or “better for the environment,” you’re making a big mistake.

  • Compared to whey and other animal proteins, soy protein is simply not as effective at stimulating muscle protein synthesis.22
  • Post-workout skim milk beats soy protein drink for muscle protein synthesis.23
  • Skim milk leads to better lean mass gains than soy protein.24
  • Young men drinking whey protein after lifting weights make more gains than young men drinking soy protein after lifting weights.25
  • In dialysis patients looking to reduce lean mass loss, whey works better than soy.26

One study in college aged men found that while milk protein enhanced hypertrophy in type 2 fast twitch fibers, soy protein enhanced hypertrophy in type 1 fibers. If you want to get “jacked,” type 2 fibers are what you want to grow.27

Whey is simply whey better than soy protein.

Soy Milk

Believe it or not, of all the popular non-dairy milks out there, soy milk contains the most nutrients and is probably the closest to cow milk. It’s high in protein. It contains a nice balanced selection of minerals. A review comparing soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, and rice milk to cow milk found that soy milk was the closest—mostly because it actually featured measurable nutrients.

A cup of soy milk

  • 74 calories
  • 3.6 g carbs; 2 g fiber
  • 4 g fat
  • 8 g protein
  • All the usual additions, like calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, riboflavin, and vitamin A
  • 10% magnesium
  • 15% manganese
  • 6% folate
  • 6% potassium
  • 19% copper
  • 10% selenium

Looks good on paper and is certainly better than the other alternatives, which are pretty much just nut water. However, people who regularly drink soy milk tend to end up with micronutrient deficiencies possibly due to the phytic acid levels inhibiting mineral absorption.28 Another possibility is that the soy milk is causing leaky gut, which inhibits nutrient absorption. Kids who drink cow milk are less likely to have atopic eczema, while soy milk drinkers have no such protection (and may even have increased risk). The protein in soy milk can help people build muscle, but milk proteins work better and also provide other benefits to the immune system. Soy is also notorious for harmful farming practices and requires copious amounts of chemical sprays, which are harmful to the consumer and to the environment.

Fresh Soybeans (edamame)

Edamame are young soy beans, still in the pods. They are not eaten raw, but they don’t require a lot of cooking. A light steam (or run through the microwave, as sushi restaurants do) will sufficiently tenderize the little beans. These aren’t hardy, difficult-to-digest dried beans. They’re more like green peas or green beans, which I previously gave the stamp of approval.

The fatty acids in edamame are mostly monounsaturated (which we like), whereas soybean oil, as mentioned earlier, is mostly polyunsaturated linoleic acid (which we usually want to reduce).

Edamame actually have drastically lower levels of phytoestrogens than mature soybeans. One study found that the phytoestrogen content of edamame samples ranged from 0.02% to 0.12%, while mature soybean samples ranged from 0.16% to 0.25%.29 The gulf widens when you consider that edamame are a snack, eaten sparingly, while mature soybeans are usually converted into tofu, soymilk, and other products that people consume in large amounts.

I couldn’t find solid data on phytic acid levels in edamame, but that could be an indication of researchers’ utter lack of concern for the levels of phytic acid in edamame. I’d imagine that the phytic acid situation is much like the phytic acid situation in other young legumes like green peas and green beans: not very dire.

While I wouldn’t make it a regular part of my diet, edamame appears to be relatively benign as an occasional snack. Just don’t eat bucketfuls, don’t make it baby’s first food, and don’t get into edamame pancakes or some silliness like that.

Natto

Even though natto is soybeans, a legume with significant levels of phytoestrogens, phytic acid, and trypsin inhibitors, with a gross, slimy texture that may be outdone only by its interesting taste, it’s not what you think. By most accounts, people following a Primal lifestyle shouldn’t have anything to do with it. If you asked me ten years ago, I may have said that. But natto is a special kind of soy. It’s fermented using a particular strain of bacterium called Bacillus subtilis natto. When steamed soybeans are inoculated with b. subtilis, they are transformed from a basic legume with few redeeming qualities into a powerful supplemental food imbued with high levels of vitamin K2, a nutrient important in bone mineralization, cancer prevention, and protection from heart disease. The fermentation also makes it more digestible and reduces the phytic acid content.

Natto is great. Eat it. If you don’t like the taste, try eating it with soy sauce/tamari, black garlic, smoked oysters, sardines, a raw egg yolk, and maybe a little rice (or cauliflower rice).

Soy Sauce

Real soy sauce is naturally brewed/fermented. Look out for the acid-hydrolyzed soy protein sauce masquerading as real soy sauce.

I’ve gotten in trouble for this before, so I’ll make it clear this time: if you are celiac or have a sensitivity to gluten, choose tamari-style soy sauce (and make sure it says “gluten-free,” as some types of tamari just use less wheat than normal soy sauce). For the rest of us, I don’t think a few dabs of soy sauce will hurt. I’m normally quite sensitive to large doses of gluten—I can get away with a crust or two of bread with butter and that’s it—and regular soy sauce doesn’t bother me. But, again, if you have a negative response to soy sauce, use gluten-free tamari instead. Some research even shows that celiac patients can tolerate real fermented soy sauce, even the stuff that contains wheat.

A review found that soy sauce improves digestion by increasing gastric juice secretion (good, since we typically have it with food), inhibits microbial growth, contains an anti-hypertensive component, displays anti-cancer qualities, and has “shoyuflavones” with anti-inflammatory effects.30 Soy sauce also contains polysaccharides that may increase iron absorption and reduce the symptoms of hay fever.3132 Real, fermented soy sauce has an antioxidant profile easily outclassing red wine, with one study finding that a single meal containing soy sauce reduced oxidative stress, lowered diastolic blood pressure, and inhibited lipid peroxidation in adults.

Soy sauce is good.

Soy Lecithin

Soy lecithin is simply the byproduct of soy oil extraction. It’s not hydrogenated soybean oil, folks allergic to soy can eat it without ill effect, and lecithin actually contains choline and phospholipids that can be quite beneficial for liver health.33 Don’t go out of your way to eat soy lecithin for any health benefits (egg yolks and liver are far better sources of choline), but don’t pass on some excellent dark chocolate simply because “soy” appears on the package.

For what it’s worth, high dose soy lecithin has been shown to increase vigor and improve blood pressure in post-menopausal women.34

Soy lecithin isn’t anything to worry about.

What about some of the health effects of soy consumption?

Soy and Cancer

We’re talking mostly about breast cancer here. The culprit in question is the group of soy isoflavones, plant hormones that mimics estrogen in the body. Some research has shown that isolated isoflavones, a.k.a. phytoestrogens, contribute to the growth of tumors in the breast, endometrium and uterus.

It essentially comes back to the whole foods question. The research has focused on the isolated isoflavones, particularly genistein, the most active of the soy isoflavones that activates cellular estrogen receptors, including those in breast tumors. Noted experts in the field have cautioned that research with isolated soy compounds does not necessarily carry over well to the effect of the whole food, even minimally processed soy flour. In other words, soy is healthier than the sum of its parts. Other studies have shown that the mix of phytoestrogens in soy, when taken together in whole soy foods, protect estrogen receptors and may partly shield them from the estrogen we take in with meat and dairy consumption (yup, bovine hormones even in organic). They can also possibly reduce the impact of the unequivocally insidious “xenoestrogens” found in chemical pollutants.

Add to this picture the analysis of cultural diet and disease trends. Though Japanese women regularly eat significant portions of soy (in forms like tempeh, edamame, miso and tofu), they have only 1/5 of the breast cancer rate that Western women have. There are other differences, of course, but the fact remains that soy consumption doesn’t seem to be increasing the rate of breast cancer.

Soy and Thyroid Function

Researchers are in general agreement that people with previously diagnosed hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) should not take soy supplements or make soy a large part of their diet. The isoflavones in soy inhibit thyroid peroxidase, which produces the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, which can make a bad situation worse for those with diagnosed hypothyroidism or can inhibit thyroid function in an otherwise healthy person.

In countries that do consume a lot of soy, they also tend to consume a lot of seaweed, which is rich in iodine and can counter the inhibitory effects on thyroid function. If you’re going to consume soybeans, make sure you consume seaweed or get plenty of iodine from other sources like shellfish and seafood.

Soy and Mineral Absorption

Soybeans are high in phytic acid, which is known to block the body’s absorption of minerals such as calcium, zinc magnesium and iron, just like grain-based diets have been shown to do. Fermentation is known to substantially reduce phytate levels, which is why you often hear that fermented soy forms are preferable—and it’s why most cultures who consumed soy as a staple food did so by fermenting it.

Soy and Testosterone

Although some recent reviews claim to have found “no effect,” one study found that 14 days of soy protein feeding was enough to suppress testosterone levels in young men.35

And every case study I’ve ever run on the subject, by which I mean listening in on what people in line at the cafe are ordering and comparing their physiques, men who order soy milk lattes tend to have skinny fat bodies and burgeoning breasts.

What’s the Bottom Line on Soy?

Whole and fermented soy forms are clearly preferable. Personally, I wouldn’t bother with anything else. There are far better alternatives to most soy products:

Real milk beats soy milk.

Whey protein beats soy protein.

Avocado oil, olive oil, and animal fats beat soybean oil.

However, soy sauce/tamari is tough to replace. Luckily, it’s pretty inoffensive and may even be good for you.

Natto is impossible to replace. Best source of vitamin K2 on the planet.

Soy lecithin really helps smooth out high quality dark chocolate and is pretty benign.

I think there is something to the benefits of whole fermented soy, not as a staple but as a condiment or supplemental food, especially when combined with seaweed or another source of iodine. Nonetheless, you should all avoid soybean oil, soy protein, and any isolated concentrated “extract” of soy. And if you have any issues with testosterone, or you want to build yours to great heights, take it easy on the soy.

Kids shouldn’t eat large amounts of soy beyond some edamame at the sushi bar or some natto in their lunch plate.

Babies shouldn’t eat soy at all, especially not in formula form.

Above all else, soy isn’t necessary to be healthy, and a lot of it will probably lower your quality of life and general vigor. There may be genetic factors at work here, too, where populations with a long history of soy consumption can benefit more than people whose ancestry does not record much soy exposure. And even there, those people weren’t eating soy protein isolate and soybean oil.

What do you think of soy, folks? Do you eat it at all? If so, in what forms?

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How to Eat Enough Protein https://www.marksdailyapple.com/protein-amounts-in-food/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/protein-amounts-in-food/#comments Tue, 12 Oct 2021 16:43:42 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/protein-amounts-in-food/ As I discussed in a recent post, my diet has been trending toward a higher protein intake than in years past. Rarely do I consume less than 100 grams of protein. Most days I'm considerably higher even eating only two meals. Those meals center around protein first and foremost with vegetables playing more of a supportive role. After so many years of following a Primal diet, I feel wholly confident in my ability to eat intuitively. I trust my body to guide my food decisions from meal to meal, day to day, and week to week, so I don't bother with tracking macros (the exact amounts of protein, carbs, and fat I eat each day). However, knowledge is power. You should have a sense of your protein and carb intake at least, even you're getting even if you ballpark it. Most folks don't have a clue what they're eating, though. Sure, they might read nutrition labels at the supermarket, but how many people know what 100-150 grams of protein look like in terms of actual food? Do you know how much protein is in a single chicken breast? How about a six-ounce steak? Three eggs, handful of nuts, or even vegetables? How to Measure Protein Intake Protein is measured by the gram weight of the protein itself, not the total volume of food you eat. This is a common point of confusion for people who are new to tracking their food. As you'll see, four ounces of steak is different protein-wise than four ounces of chicken breast or salmon. To determine how much protein a given food contains, you'll need an app like Cronometer (my current favorite) plus a food scale for precision. Measure all meat raw and make sure to select the correct entry (raw versus cooked) in your tracking app. Even if you don't want to weigh and measure all your food, consider tracking just your protein intake for a few days. See what you're averaging. In my experience, almost everyone is eating less than they think, especially if they practice intermittent fasting. Once you have a decent sense of what it takes to hit your daily protein goal, it's up to you whether you want to continue to track or not. I'll save you some time and provide protein data for a bunch of common foods below. All values came from Cronometer. You'll notice right away that this list includes both animal- and plant-based sources of protein, including things like legumes and soy products that aren't strictly Primal. Don't take this to mean that I think animal and plant sources of protein are equivalent. There's no question that animal-based proteins are superior in terms of bioavailability and amino acid profiles. However, our Primal community includes individuals who self-identify as plant-based, vegetarian, or even vegan. I want them to eat enough protein, too, from the best possible sources. I've thoroughly covered the question of plant-based diets vis a vis Primal Blueprint recommendations in the past. Scroll to the end of … Continue reading "How to Eat Enough Protein"

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sliced rare steak next to assorted vegetables showing a meal with enough proteinAs I discussed in a recent post, my diet has been trending toward a higher protein intake than in years past. Rarely do I consume less than 100 grams of protein. Most days I’m considerably higher even eating only two meals. Those meals center around protein first and foremost with vegetables playing more of a supportive role.

After so many years of following a Primal diet, I feel wholly confident in my ability to eat intuitively. I trust my body to guide my food decisions from meal to meal, day to day, and week to week, so I don’t bother with tracking macros (the exact amounts of protein, carbs, and fat I eat each day). However, knowledge is power. You should have a sense of your protein and carb intake at least, even you’re getting even if you ballpark it.

Most folks don’t have a clue what they’re eating, though. Sure, they might read nutrition labels at the supermarket, but how many people know what 100-150 grams of protein look like in terms of actual food? Do you know how much protein is in a single chicken breast? How about a six-ounce steak? Three eggs, handful of nuts, or even vegetables?

How to Measure Protein Intake

Protein is measured by the gram weight of the protein itself, not the total volume of food you eat. This is a common point of confusion for people who are new to tracking their food. As you’ll see, four ounces of steak is different protein-wise than four ounces of chicken breast or salmon. To determine how much protein a given food contains, you’ll need an app like Cronometer (my current favorite) plus a food scale for precision. Measure all meat raw and make sure to select the correct entry (raw versus cooked) in your tracking app.

Even if you don’t want to weigh and measure all your food, consider tracking just your protein intake for a few days. See what you’re averaging. In my experience, almost everyone is eating less than they think, especially if they practice intermittent fasting. Once you have a decent sense of what it takes to hit your daily protein goal, it’s up to you whether you want to continue to track or not.

I’ll save you some time and provide protein data for a bunch of common foods below. All values came from Cronometer. You’ll notice right away that this list includes both animal- and plant-based sources of protein, including things like legumes and soy products that aren’t strictly Primal. Don’t take this to mean that I think animal and plant sources of protein are equivalent. There’s no question that animal-based proteins are superior in terms of bioavailability and amino acid profiles. However, our Primal community includes individuals who self-identify as plant-based, vegetarian, or even vegan. I want them to eat enough protein, too, from the best possible sources. I’ve thoroughly covered the question of plant-based diets vis a vis Primal Blueprint recommendations in the past. Scroll to the end of the post for further reading on the topic.

 

How Much Protein Is in Meat?

Values provided for raw meat by weight.

Ground beef, 85% lean (4 oz.): 21 grams

Ground turkey, 93% lean (4 oz.): 21 grams

Chicken breast, boneless (4 oz.): 26 grams

Chicken thighs, boneless (4 oz.): 23 grams

Turkey breast (4 oz.): 26 grams

Porkchop (4 oz.): 25 grams

Pork shoulder (4 oz.): 21 grams

Steak, New York strip (4 oz.): 25 grams

Steak, ribeye (4 oz.): 22 grams

Ham (4 oz.): 23 grams

Venison (4 oz.): 24 grams

Beef liver (4 oz.): 23 grams

Beef heart (4 oz.): 21 grams

Beef tongue (4 oz.): 20 grams

Protein in Seafood

Tuna, fresh (4 oz.): 28 grams

Salmon (4 oz.): 25 grams

Pollock (4 oz.): 22 grams

Trout (4 oz.): 23 grams

Oysters (4 oz.): 11 grams

Shrimp (4 oz.): 15 grams

Canned tuna (1 5-oz. can): 36 grams

Canned sardines (1 4.4-oz. can): 17 grams

Protein in Common Dairy Products

Cottage cheese, full-fat, plain (1 cup): 23 grams

Cottage cheese, fat-free, plain (1 cup): 22 grams

Greek yogurt, full-fat, plain (1 cup): 22 grams

Greek yogurt, fat-free, plain (1 cup): 25 grams

Whole milk (1 cup): 8 grams

Skim milk (1 cup): 8 grams

Heavy whipping cream (2 Tbsp.): 1 gram

Cheddar cheese (1 oz.): 7 grams

Swiss cheese (1 oz.): 8 grams

Cream cheese, full-fat (1 oz.): 2 grams

Are Eggs High in Protein?

Chicken egg (1 large): 6 grams

Duck egg (1): 9 grams

Quail egg (1): 1 gram

Plant-based Protein: Legumes and Soy

Tofu, firm (4 oz.): 14 grams

Tempeh (4 oz.): 23 grams

Natto (4 oz.): 22 grams

Lentils (1/2 cup cooked): 9 grams

Split peas (1/2 cup cooked): 8 grams

Black beans (1/2 cup cooked): 8 grams

Kidney beans (1/2 cup cooked): 8 grams

Pinto beans (1/2 cup cooked): 8 grams

Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans (1/2 cup cooked): 7 grams

Green peas (1/2 cup): 4 grams

Nuts and Seeds

Peanut Butter (2 Tbsp.): 7 grams

Almond Butter (2 Tbsp.): 7 grams

Almonds (1 oz.): 6 grams

Cashews (1 oz.): 5 grams

Macadamias (1 oz.): 2 grams

Walnuts (1 oz.): 4 grams

Chia seeds (1 oz.): 5 grams

Flax seeds (1 oz.): 5 grams

Hemp seeds (1 oz.): 9 grams

Pumpkin seeds (1 oz.): 9 grams

Sesame Seeds (1 oz.): 6 grams

Sunflower seeds (1 oz.): 6 grams

Fruits and Vegetables with the Most Protein 

Spirulina powder (2 Tbsp.): 12 grams

Brussels sprouts (1 cup): 4 grams

Broccoli florets (1 cup): 3 grams

Asparagus (4 large spears): 2 grams

Green beans (1 cup): 2 grams

Spinach, raw (1 cup): 1 gram

White potatoes (1 medium): 4 grams

Sweet potatoes (1 medium): 2 grams

Blackberries (1 cup): 2 grams

Guava (1 fruit): 1-2 grams

Gluten-free Ancient Grains, Pseudograins, Grasses

Teff (1/2 cup cooked): 5 grams

Amaranth (1/2 cup cooked): 5 grams

Quinoa (1/2 cup cooked): 4 grams

Wild rice (1/2 cup cooked): 3 grams

This is obviously not a complete list of every protein-containing you might eat. Protein powders, especially whey protein, are convenient and usually highly bioavailable sources of essential amino acids. I didn’t include them here because protein content varies by brand, but you can usually expect 20-30 grams per serving. I also avoided the bevy of fake meat alternatives. In part that’s because they also vary widely in protein offerings, but more to the point, many of them contain objectionable ingredients such that I can’t in good conscience list them here.

Finally, let me put in a plug for looking seriously at insects as an option. Unless you grew up in a culture that values insects as a food staple, you’re probably shaking your head right now, but insects win big points both for sustainability and nutrition!

Check out our recipe collection for tons of fantastic ideas for protein-centered meals.

Further Reading

Protein FAQ

How much protein do I need?

A good rule of thumb is to aim for a minimum of 0.7 to 1 gram per pound of lean body mass for overall health. For building muscle, research suggests 0.8 g/lb (1.6 g/kg) of body weight is a good target.

How much protein is too much?

There’s not really an upper limit, though at some point you start to get diminishing returns. The myth that you shouldn’t consume more 30 grams of protein at a time because that’s all your body can assimilate is just that – a myth.

Is protein powder good for you?

While I generally recommend opting for whole foods first, protein powders can provide convenient options for meal replacements or snacks. Whey protein is the most bioavailable. Even though it is derived from dairy, many people who are lactose intolerant tolerate whey protein powders.

Best vegan protein sources?

It’s extremely difficult to be both vegan and Primal. Most vegan-friendly foods that contain non-negligible protein are borderline Primal at best. That said, legumes, nuts, and seeds of all kinds, plus teff, quinoa, amaranth, and vegan protein powders will be your best bets.

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