Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 03 2015

Weekend Link Love – Edition 346

By Mark Sisson
31 Comments

It’s the deal of the year for Mark’s Daily Apple readers: Register to win a $500 shopping spree to Thrive Market, and claim a 2-month free membership, $10 off your first order, 4 Primal eBooks, a $10 coupon to PrimalBlueprint.com by May 6 (this Wednesday!). Learn all the details here.

Research of the Week

It’s official: HFCS raises heart disease risk, according to UC Davis.

According to the Environmental Working Group, women put an average of 168 chemicals on their body daily. It may be time for some updated FDA regulation.

New Primal Blueprint Podcast

Episode 65: Dean Dwyer: Brock Armstrong interviews Dean Dwyer from the Toronto studio. Dean is well known both as a speaker at Paleo f(x) and for his books, Make Shift Happen and The Willpower Solution. In episode 65, he talks about the essential emotional, psychological and behavioral tips that help maintain long-term weight loss. Learning how to reach your health goals is only half the battle: sustaining your gains is the other. If you’ve ever succumbed to yo-yo dieting or thwarted weight loss, then you won’t want to miss this episode.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Interesting Blog Posts

The best active desk designs for your body and mind.

Garden growing tips for every size garden.

Is your cabbage head done cooking? Test it with a cake tester!

Media, Schmedia

Looks like Bill Gates is reneging on his vision of a vegan future.

The U.S. government is lowering fluoride levels in our water because kiddoes are getting splotchy teeth.

May 9th is an unofficial new holiday—free-range parenting day. Will you be letting your kids walk home alone?

Everything Else

The FDA blows the whistle on the saturated fat content of Kind bars…but, is the nitpicking warranted?

An editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine busts the myth about exercise.

The United States is finally waking up to the not-so-secret truth about yogurt the rest of the world already knows.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 3 – May 10)

Comment of the Week

Look in the mirror. Do you like what you see? If so, throw out the scale.

– Two weeks in a row! Go, M!

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31 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 346”

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  1. more like ‘drinking sugery shit will kill you’ than consumption of HFCS (or Fructose) per se.

    Anyway, Another resarch that looking in things every one with a functional brain should already know. What a waste of money.

    1. I guess Mark overcame the “I’ll do it tomorrow” instinct. 🙂

  2. I wouldn’t trust the FDA for anything. Regulatory agencies inevitably get captured by the industries they are supposed to regulate. A great example would be the FDA’s letter to Kind about the use of the word “healthy,” the “+” sign and gasp, lacking a % for protein. Calls for more and updated FDA regulation will not improve anything, and will likely just increase the cost of business for the smaller produces that quite often produce the healthy and natural products we want in the non-main stream health realm. Be careful what you ask for.

    1. +1 That comes from the same FDA that does not recommend a daily limit for sugar on packaged foods.

    2. Well said, Keith. So many people reflexively assume on any issue that government needs to solve it, an attitude that ignores the fact that government largely caused many of these issues in the first place (in this case by bureaucratizing dietary research opinions with centralized funding in many areas).

      More government typically means less competition and less choice. Even if you got the “right” people in, it would only be a matter of time before the “wrong” people gained control and forced their disagreeable opinions on you (not to mention the fact that not everyone might agree with our opinions and shouldn’t be subject to them). No thanks on the FDA front. I’d sooner abolish it than try to reform it.

      1. You’d probably change your mind as soon as you suffered lead poisoning or ended up in the hospital due to ingesting a product laced with poison. Yes, we all know the FDA and USDA is flawed, but we used to live in a world without government oversight and it was a distopian nightmare filled with poisonous and tainted products, infected beef…it was not pretty.

        Businesses will cut ever corner possible, lie about what’s in their products, and falsify claims every time if given the opportunity.

        Without regulation, it’s a race to the bottom.

        1. Which is why a Chinese friend of mine refuses to eat food from China, and Australian baby formula is regulated to 4 cans per transaction because Chinese residents bulk buy and send back to China after babies died from unscrupulous and poorly regulated formula was laced with melamine to boost its protein content

        2. Clay’s statement is a perfect example of the government apologist a priori reasoning I mentioned above. Yes, bad things happened in the past. Media attention on those scandals, ensuing public outrage, class action lawsuit over damages/fraud, and competition with increased market capitalism have all taken care of those problems. Regulation and its proponents came after but were all too happy to take the credit for outcomes that were already in the works.

          Some businesses lie and cheat, and then they bite the big one due to all the aforementioned non-regulatory processes. Unless of course they have cozied up to the regulators (the “revolving door” we hear about time and again), as Keith mentioned, in which case they get away scott free with lying and cheating.

          Regulation is always reactionary and certainly hasn’t prevented ingredient lists a mile long, with partially hydrogenated this and high-fructose that in abundance. What it does consistently and reliably is make the cost of doing business too prohibitive for small competitors who can’t afford 150 lawyers to come the 20,000 pages of federal, state, and local code that apply to them like the behemoths can. So the result of this regulatory orgy that you silly people insist is a good thing is that we get huge corporations that dominate the marketplace (and cheat wherever they can buy enough protection/influence), less innovation, less competition, higher prices, and higher taxes to boot.

          I know most people can’t stomach the fact that big government is in bed with big business, to the impediment of progress in every way, but refusal to admit does not make it untrue. Go on being true believers. When these regulatory apes screw you or someone you care about, you’ll understand.

  3. Even before going Paleo I never liked the dense, heavy texture produced by the traditional mixture of ground beef and rice in stuffed peppers or stuffed cabbage. I’ve always used peeled, diced eggplant instead of the rice. It isn’t necessary to saute the eggplant first. Just combine with the hamburger and other ingredients. Top with a combination of tomato sauce and wine (or stock) prior to baking. Delicious! (Bear in mind that eggplant is considered a nightshade to which some people might be sensitive.)

    1. And honestly, it’s NUTS! how can you reduce the saturated fat content of NUTS?

      1. I suppose you could cheat and start making “snack size” bars–that’s what everyone else would do, and has done. Keep the recipe the same, but cut down the size of the bar.

    2. Easy solution – I just don’t eat “bars” – can’t find them like that in nature, so I don’t eat ’em.

      1. I have to say, the Kind bars were pretty handy on a 15-hour flight LA-Sydney followed immediately by a 6-hour Sydney-Perth flight I recently did…! One can only IF for so long… 😉

  4. Yesterday I trained with heavy weights and spent the remainder of the day gardening. Today I woke up and did a bit of running, pull-ups and dips at a preserve in Long Island. I exchanged nods and pleasant glances with strangers while I bathed in the sunlight and let the bird song wash over me. Today the family and I are going to an “Eco fest” sponsored by my county executive that is being held at botanical garden near my home. We will spend the day under a lush canopy of trees, learning about the environment and visually imbibing all of the nascent flower and fauna that spring delivers. All of this is subsidized by proper nutrition.

    The reason I wrote this was not boast or gloat but to say that my lifestyle changes led me to this point. I used to eat what I wanted (based on The SAD) and lifted heavy weights completely ignoring things like sunlight, sleep,stress management and my relationship with nature. The article posted that highlights the need for proper diet and lifestyle in lieu of using exercise to counter the effects of shoveling “garbage” food down your throat is a refreshing read. Minor dietary adjustments have opened so many new possibilities for me and my family. I swim more, hike more, and I think much more clearly . Nutrition was the beginning to all of this. I hope everyone reads that article and passes it along to friends and family.

  5. Kind bars are very high in sugar. The better ones are their “Strong & Kind bars”. I love the Roasted Jalapeno and Thai Sweet Chile bars. 6 grams of sugar and 10g of protein and some yummy saturated fat!

  6. I think this active desk craze is a pipe dream fueled by young art school grads with more ambitions than practical sense. For most of us that do serious work, standing up at a laptop isn’t going to cut it. Maybe they are fine to tap out a blog post or talking on the phone, but serious designers, architects, scientists, accountants – just about anyone who has to sit still and seriously concentrate for hours at a time – will suffer a significant loss in productivity.

    The concept is also flawed as it assumes standing is better than sitting, which is not really true. Walking is better than sitting, but standing at a desk, with your hips and knees locked, which we all know will happen the majority of the time, is no better. Then add in the neck strain while looking down at you stuff and you’ve recreated all the worst ergonomic habits of the past, but just in a standing position.

    The MC Escher-esk open office concept in the link is particularly bad. An ergonomic nightmare. Their workman’s comp insurance company would pull those out right away.

    Open offices are bad all around. Tech companies are moving back to single offices because it turns out, hey engineers don’t want to socialize and can’t get anything done with constant interruptions and noise.

    Go figure.

    1. I looked at the Escher maze and was like, how the hell are you supposed to get any work done in that abomination?

      And yeah, a standing desk where the computer screen winds up approximately level with the user’s solar plexus isn’t going to do your neck any favors.

    2. yeah, the whole standing desk thing never made sense to me – I think you will get more benefit putting a reminder to get up and walk around every half hour – its a bit like people want a magic diet where you can be healthy and not have to do any substantial exercise – there is just no such thing “no stairway to heaven”. You can obsess about every little part of your diet, or, just do some proper exercise – as long as your diet is “in the ballpark”, your body will take care of the rest, if you aren’t exercising and moving, your pushing the proverbial Sh.t up hill so to speak.

    3. I agree to some extent with the “open office is bad” assertion, but as I type this reply I’m standing at my hybrid stand/sit desk, currently standing. If I raise the desk sufficiently my neck and hands are comfortable; more so than if I were chopping veggies in the kitchen. My workplace provides mats and footstools for protecting the lower back, which works pretty well, and when I get tired, I just lower the desk and sit down again.
      Noise-canceling headphones work quite well to block out the noise around me so I can focus on programming.

      On the whole I’ve found the standing desk to be better for me, especially since I returned from maternity leave a couple of months ago and found I physically couldn’t sit still for long periods of time after 9 months of running around after 2 young children.

    4. Not at all–it’s good to have different postures available. I’m an architect and (since the “craze” gave me the idea) stand for most emails and typed work, sit for most sketching, and sit and stand equally for meetings. I feel a lot better than when I would sit more–seems like an obvious good thing to do now in retrospect.

    5. I’m an engineer, I use a standing desk at work. I agree, the benefits of standing all day rather than sitting are small. But….

      People around me are starting to get standing desks as well. Regardless of if it’s actually that much better, think of it like the “tie a string around your finger to remember to take out the trash”. The standing desks serve as a reminder that we are being conscious about our health. It is inevitable that small changes like this will fuel future changes as well.

      Also, maybe the problem isn’t that standing desks are a poor solution for engineers and accountants. Maybe there is an inherent problem with our jobs requiring us to be at our desks 8-10 hours a day in the first place?

      Small changes….. 🙂

  7. Do you notice the editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has been taken down due to “expressions of concern”? Unbelievable

    1. I posted another, very similar article containing the same content (and with the same quotes) a while back on my clinic FB page. It created a bit of discussion there…and now, when I go back to find the post, it’s completely missing (even from the private Activity Log). Disturbing.

      On my clinic page, a number of people “liked” that post…but one person reacted with a strong stream about how “fat shaming” was wrong (and inferring that the article, in suggesting that people suffering from obesity might want to lose weight, was supporting “fat shaming”–which it of course was not). To her, I explained that yes, “fat shaming” is wrong–but the article wasn’t about that.

      It was about expanding people’s awareness of how their choices–both in relation to food and exercise–affect their bodies and their health. Such awareness of choice is empowering, not demeaning. How sad that some people would rather stay in a comfortable, unhealthy status quo than truly see what is happening and truly claim their places of choice.

  8. Fascinated to see on our Australian SBS channel, the program, “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor”, with Michael Mosley. In it, doctors reporting on changed attitudes and new medical research into sunlight exposure, saturated fat, trans-fats and the preparation of high-carb foods like pasta in order to increase resistant starch and reduce insulin production.

    We have two “leading experts” disagreeing one whether saturated fat is dangerous or not, with the presenter having the final word that – while in medical school he was taught that saturated fat was the Devil – he is now up afraid to eat butter and drink milk. (Just beware of the calories).

  9. Thanks for the link to the cosmetics and chemicals article. As an aging female, I am constantly saddened to see so many of my peers succumbing to social pressure and pouring chemicals on their heads on a regular basis to avoid having gray hair. I know “it’s a matter of personal choice”, and people say “it just makes me feel better” but I still think it’s worth exploring that thought to its logical conclusion. WHY does it make you feel better, or more beautiful? What’s not beautiful about gray hair? What’s not beautiful about YOU, the way you are right in this very moment, at whatever age you are and whatever you happen to look like?
    * rant over *

    1. Lol…my oldest sister recently tried to badger me (in her adorable way) to stop having my hair colored its original color. Don’t even remember how it came up, but it’s not as if I asked her opinion. 🙂

      I prefer the current contrast between my hair and skin color…plus gray is not my favorite color (though in the right context, it’s beautiful.) Some people look terrific with white or silver hair, like my hubby.

      In general, if one is not asked to give an opinion it is pretty rude to suggest someone change their appearance to YOUR preference.