The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate in...
Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions and sharing a quick, but awesome story from a reader. First, are French press, Turkish, and other unfiltered boiled coffee preparations unhealthy due to the presence of coffee oils in the finished product? They may raise LDL, which gets the conventional health experts hot and bothered, but there are other effects, too. Second, high-oleic sunflower oil was given the go-ahead in a previous post. What’s the story with mid-oleic sunflower oil? Third, with the recent study indicating that peanut/tree nut eaters enjoy improved mortality from all causes, should we take peanuts and most importantly peanut butter off the “no-go” list? And finally, a long term keto success story briefly mentioned in last week’s post writes in.
Let’s go:Read More
If you’re someone who can’t resist licking cookie dough from the beaters (maybe, you even like cookie dough better than cookies) then here’s a discovery you should know about: macadamia nuts, when blended until smooth but not quite all the way into macadamia butter, taste deliciously close to cookie dough.
Macadamia “dough” has a soft, gooey texture and naturally sweet, buttery flavor that’s the perfect base for raw desserts. It can be rolled and shaped and then flavored with anything that satisfies your sweet tooth. In this recipe, orange zest and dark chocolate are a festive combination, appropriate for the holidays or any time of year.Read More
In today’s edition of Dear Mark, I cover three questions from readers. First is from Richard, who’s taking his father back to the old country – Italy, to be exact – for a two week vacation to visit the place of his birth where he’ll be immersed in pasta, sweets, and liquor and completely at the mercy of his hosts. What should he do? Second, what’s the deal with pili nuts? Are they worth including in a Primal way of eating? And finally, a reader is worried about nutrient deficiencies when fasting. There’s really nothing to worry about as long as you’re reasonable about your fasting habits, and I explain why below.
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It’s been awhile since we’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? I had thought I’d exhausted the pool of foods and supplements for the “Is It Primal?” series, and that I’d be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Well, I was wrong. The questions about specific items have been pouring in unabated, and today it’s time to cover the next round of questionable foods. First up are nut milks, a perennial favorite of the dairy-free paleo world. Then I cover the widely used root with purported aphrodisiac qualities, maca, followed by stinky, smelly, grimy, pungent fermented tofu. There’s that word – “fermented” – that always makes us stop and reconsider a food. After that, I explore the suitability of azomite, a garden soil amendment and livestock feed supplement that some humans use as a mineral supplement. Last up are glass noodles made from mung bean starch.Read More
A couple months ago, we explored many of the ways our gut bacteria affect us, focusing on the lesser known effects like anti-nutrient nullification, vitamin manufacture, and neurotransmitter production. Today, we’re going to discuss all of the ways (that we know) we can affect our gut bacteria. It turns out that the food we eat, the amount of sun we get, whether we eat organic or not, the supplements we take, and even the kind of nuts or chocolate we decide to eat – just to name a few factors – can change the composition and function of our gut microbiota for the good or for the bad. We may still have a lot to learn about this gut stuff, but the bulk of the evidence says that we do have the power (and responsibility if you care to be healthy) to affect the health of our gut microbiota.
Here are 16 things to do, eat, avoid, and/or heed:Read More
For today’s Dear Mark, I’ve got a three-parter. First I discuss the suitability and proper dosage of grass fed beef liver for babies and toddlers. It’s definitely a good choice, but you do have to keep a few parameters in mind to do it right and do it safely. Next, I discuss flax seed. Is it a good choice? Does it have health benefits beyond the meager conversion of alpha-linolenic acid into longer-chain omega-3s? Finally, I explore what happens when you eat medium chain triglycerides – the fats most prevalent in coconut oil – with fruit or other carb sources. Good, neutral, or certain death?
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Is it a Primal Energy Bar or the perfect Primal dessert? Call them what you will, these delicious little morsels deliver a healthy dose of fat and protein and satisfy an urge for something sweet. Frozen Coconut Macadamia Bars are incredibly easy to make and have an deliciously decadent flavor and texture.
Macadamia nuts and coconut oil add a naturally sweet taste. Coconut flakes and chia seeds add a crunchiness that contrasts perfectly with the otherwise smooth and creamy texture of the bars. That’s it for ingredients. Just pop the bars in the freezer and 30 minutes later they’re done. Keeping the bars frozen is essential; if left out too long they’ll start to melt. The cold texture is partly what makes them so delicious, almost like a Primal ice cream bar.Read More
We’re finally back in the swing of things. Back to the regular programming. It’s good to shake things up now and then, but there’s really nothing quite like getting back into your normal groove. Last week, I published a Dear Mark on a Tuesday, and it honestly sort of threw me off for the rest of the week. Creature of habit, what can I say.
Speaking of shaking things up, the first of today’s two questions concerns shaking things up with a total binge day – a cheat day wherein you eat all the stuff you haven’t been eating for months, or even years. When that happens, what do you do? How do you prepare? How do you handle the aftermath? I’ll give my advice in the response. And then I talk about “raw” almonds, or almonds that have actually been pasteurized but still get called “raw.” I include a little almond history (all completely true and verifiable by primary sources, of course) as well as my take on “raw” almonds.
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The questionable foods just keep flowing in. As soon as I write a new “Is it Primal?” post, I’m inundated with new stuff to scrutinize. It’s like cutting the heads off the hydra (speaking of which, what are the nutritional qualities of hydra? talk about a sustainable animal food source). Luckily I like writing these posts, so they are probably here to stay. I hope you enjoy them. Well, let’s get on with it, shall we?
Today we’ll delve into the sordid inner world of the chia seed (of Chia Pet fame, yes), the dark underbelly of black rice, the hidden agendas of the refined avocado oil consortiums, the Communist North Korean plot to brainwash minds via sweet potato vermicelli consumption, and how strawberries might actually be trying to kill you (yeah, strawberries). Actually, we’ll just figure out if said foods are Primal or not.
Let’s go:Read More
Man, you guys really love your peanut butter.
I get at least one email a week from a devoted reader of the blog who just can’t shake the desire (that feels like a need) to eat peanut butter on a regular basis. They’re on board with everything else. They’ve ditched grains and vegetable oils. They’re walking more and getting better sleep. They’re getting sun and eating more vegetables than ever before. They’ve switched to grass-fed beef (sometimes liver, too!) and wild-caught fish. They’ve even happily dumped all the other legumes, except for that persistent, palatable peanut. The more dedicated among them may be soaking, sprouting, roasting, and grinding their own peanuts into peanut butter, but they’re still eating peanut butter – a “forbidden” food on the Primal eating plan.
I’m talking questions like this:Read More