Weekend Link Love – Edition 399

Weekend Link Love

Host Brad Kearns celebrated the 50th episode of the Primal Endurance Podcast by bringing video into the mix. More to come.

Elle Russ, author of the upcoming book, The Paleo Thyroid Solution, chats with Abel James.

Research of the Week

A third of all antibiotic prescriptions are totally unnecessary.

Medical error is the third biggest killer in the US.

Faster metabolic rates made our big brains possible.

Genes aren’t everything: active twins are leaner than their sedentary twins.

Biggest Loser contestants really, really struggle with weight maintenance.

Longer rest periods may be better for muscle protein synthesis.

In women with PCOS, grazing beats three meals.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts


Episode 118: Brad Kearns and Elle Russ: Hosts Brad Kearns and Elle Russ discuss a variety of topics, drawing on reader comments and questions. How does genetic makeup interact with carb metabolism? Is testosterone sensitive to the demands placed on the body? What are Elle’s tips for writers? Find out all that and more.

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

An ultimatum from the Dietary Guidelines chairwoman Barbara Millen got Nina Teicholz kicked off the National Food Policy Conference panel.

We’re losing our Neanderthal genes.

Southern California vegan restauranteurs turn out to be murderers who enslave animals on their farm and keep freezers full of cow flesh.

Media, Schmedia

The rise and fall of Theranos, the company that promised to track every biomarker worth tracking with a single drop of fingertip blood.

Dr. Aseem Malhotra thinks the benefits of statins have been greatly exaggerated. Another good piece from him: “When I go to my local curry restaurant, I always ask the waiter to make sure my chicken jalfrezi, spinach curry and lentil daal is cooked in ghee, not vegetable oil.”

The world (and many lucrative endorsements) of Dr. David Katz.

Everything Else

The vast difference between what foodies (say they) cook and what actual home cooks cook.

Beware the trash panda.

Walt Whitman would have fit in nicely around these parts.

Art in the fall.

Nature is brutal and beautiful.

Hershey’s entering the meat bar business.

More “human safaris,” this time in Peru.

Why butter’s back.

Adorable, delicious.

Ugly fruit is better for you.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 11 – May 17)

Comment of the Week

He is Vego! You are like buzzing of flies to him.

– Excellent comment. In case you don’t know what His Dudeness was referring to, watch this.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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36 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 399”

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  1. The Cafe Gratitude article came at a funny week for me. I think the couple in question are kind of blowhards who’ve wrapped themselves in whatever spiritual mumbo jumbo fits their goals at the moment. They seem pretty self serving for most part. However, the outrage from their vegan supporters is equally silly.

    I go into a comment battle with some vegans this week on YouTube in relationship to an anti paleo/primal TED talk.

    These are verbatim some of the comments form vegans

    1. Eating an egg is the equivalent to smoking 27 or so cigarettes?.

    2. The more meat you eat, the sicker you become. the human immune system see animal protein as an invader… rejection and rightly so, different (unfriendly) isotopes.

    3. Humans have no protein receptors on their tongues to taste meat, unlike carnivores.

    4.Science has proven that the digestive system can’t push meat out properly it also has been proven that it has caused cancer and heart failure and let’s not forget diabetes?.

    5. People aren’t all insulin at birth. Its caused by the fat, and when you eliminate the glucose you’re still insulin resistant you just eliminate the need for it. Of course there is correlation between insulin resistance and coronary artery disease, they are both caused by the fatty diet.

    6.The only reason carbs cause a problem is because they are eaten WITH loads of fat which coats the insulin receptors. These receptors help transit glucose from the blood to the cells they nourish. Without this successful transit the sugar remains in the blood so more insulin is pumped into the system. Remove the fat which we are not designed to eat and the body will work normally again.

    7. We need carbs so much because every cell in our body runs on simple sugars. Go vegan and high carb low fat and your diabetes will go away.

    8.Fatty diets CAUSE diabetes in the first place, not carbs. AND the fact that heart disease is what kills people, not diabetes.

    9. Type 2 diabetes is a fat toxicity disease! Cutting out carbs is just addressing the symptoms, not the disease.

    Sadly, these are not outliers. These are are the standard talking points from every vegan book, vegan blog, vegan author, and vegan activist.

    The craziest part is when I snarkily said “Wow, that must be really hard on babies who live on breast milk exclusively. I mean, all those invading animal proteins with their unfriendly isotopes must make their little lives hell. It’s amazing anyone lives to adulthood!?”

    To which to poster responded “They do, but most are sick and diseased because of it.”

    Yes, breast milk harms babies.

    So I’ve stopped debating vegans.

    By the way, I’ve eaten at Cafe Gratitude a couple of times. Decent wholesome food, but the menu is painfully pretentious.

    1. I look at veganism as a religion. When you look at it that way, it makes sense why its biggest adherents are so dogmatic and resistant to new information.

    2. I think the most baffling one is #3. No protein receptors to taste meat? I guess all us meat eating humans are just imagining the flavors…

    3. Great comment, Clay.

      There’s a creepy vegan M.D. on Youtube, the last vid of his I saw he made the claim meat increases insulin more than carbs. And of course he sighted a study.

  2. The thousands of comments that follow the NYT article on the Biggest Loser are fascinating. The general confusion and rancor make me even more grateful I stumbled upon MDA.

    1. No joke. But the article itself was depressing. Normal leptin and metabolic levels before the weight loss. Then lose a bunch of weight and be left with no leptin to trigger fullness, an over abundance of hunger hormones and a permanently reduced metabolic rate. That is a nearly impossible deficit to overcome.

      I lost 27 pounds when I cleaned up my diet (177 to 150) at 5″10″, but even at my heaviest I was still considered thin. It came off pretty easy, but I was always lean pretty effortlessly. It took a good five yeas of sloppy eating to creep up from 165 to 177. When I cleaned up my diet and kept shedding until around 150, I was shocked.

      If you would had told me when I was 165 that I could drop to 150 pounds and keep all my muscle, strength and athletic performance I would had told you it was impossible.

      I still don’t know where I stored all that fat.

      Anyway, I started off with all the advantages so yeah, weight loss was easy. But I have no idea what it’s like for someone who was obese by age 5 and now weights 355 pounds at 30 years old, to get it under control.

      As the science rolls in I become more empathetic all the time.

      1. That… almost describes me. I was obese more like at 14, though, and definitely 350 at 30.

        I can tell you that at first, when you go Primal/Paleo, the weight falls away. But for me, at least, I’ve reached a great stall point. I have at least 50 lbs to lose and it’s rough. Still, just eating whole foods works wonders…

        1. Patience is so important. It took me six years of losing about twelve pounds per year when I went primal/paleo.

          Really unfortunate for the Biggest Loser people.

          I would love to tell them high-fat/low-carb is the way to go.

    2. Agreed. It’s not the fault at all of these dieters. I feel for them. The deck is stacked against them.

      I’ve failed to lose weight on even low carb, then Paleo then the Primal diet so I know what it’s like. Think I’ve finally figured out why and lost 2 inches on my waist in 2 weeks not even dieting – though still trying to eat as healthy as I can most days. For some of us Primal alone is not enough. We’ve got to undo the years of damage that all those past diets and bad food did to us first.

  3. The one thing that Theranos did here in AZ was push for legislation that allows consumers purchase any test a blood lab sells without consulting a physician. The law was passed at the right time for me. Instead of paying $$$ for tests my doctor wanted I was able to shop around and find a service that did it for $. My doctor didn’t care who did the testing.

  4. I used to watch The Biggest Loser and was amazed at the size and successes of the contestants. Those were the days before I learned about Primal/Paleo principles. I’m rarely hungry eating real food now and don’t have any problem ignoring so-called “treats” and sticking with what I know will heal me instead of harm me. I’ve often wondered how different that show might have been if they had used Primal/Paleo methods instead. But then, it probably would have worked for everyone and there wouldn’t have been a show. The article talked about low calories, extreme exercise, deranged metabolism, and constant struggle; all the things that Primal/Paleo folks don’t seem to have to deal with very much, I know I don’t anymore. I’m sad that TBL wasn’t the solution for them, and even made their bodies worse. To know that there’s a better way than following the same ole’ repititious CW that obviously hasn’t worked gives me hope.

    1. I bet if Mark and the Worker Bees started their own weight loss/health gain show this Primal/Paleo thing would really go mainstream in no time!

      1. Great Idea! Let’s start with the people in the article. It seems to me, the BL show fails because they are using chronic cardio and calorie restriction to induce unhealthy rapid weight loss in life-long sugar addicts. What is sad to me is the underlying message of the program for the couch potatoes that watch it is, losing weight is extremely difficult and pointless. A network show is too political and may not fly without the budget of a major SAD food producer. However, a documentary that chronicles the course of a handful of these former semi-celebs on their transition to the Primal Blueprint would be a hit at Sundance. What are we waiting for?

  5. I’m always amused when vegan products imitate meat, aren’t you?

    1. I look at it the same way I look at “paleo” treats like cookies and bread made with almond flour and all the protein bars made out of dates.
      People will replace their normal junk food diets with paleo junk food at 3X the cost, and then decide paleo doesn’t work.

      1. Paleo treats really suck for people like me. I see a treat that qualifies as paleo, and I eat it in mass. I can’t help it. If it’s a combination that seems remotely similar to cookies or other sweet treats, or bread, I can’t for the life of me just have one. I just have to stay away from the stuff. Hell, I can’t even eat a banana without eating 3 or 4 or a whole bushel… Guess that’s what happens when you grow up drinking soda every day and eating cookies and candy all the time.

  6. I think the butter article still got a few things wrong (i.e. canola) and missed the point of healthy saturated fat completely: It’s a nutrient. It’s nourishing. It’s healing. We don’t store it for no reason, we need fat for our bodies to use. I’m so tired of the focus solely on cholesterol and heart disease statistics when articles like this talk about it. Grok would have eaten all he could get his hands on and been stronger and healthier for it. A small amount on a slice of toast, sheesh, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    1. Did you scroll down to the recommendations by the, ahem, experts? For the last one, I had to choose whether to grip my head and scream or chuckle. I chose to chuckle.

      Dr Sarah Jarvis GP and nutrition expert

      ”I haven’t eaten butter regularly for over 30 years – I studied food and human nutrition as part of my medical undergraduate degree at Cambridge and was won over by the science on a diet based on the Mediterranean diet, with more fruit, veg, unrefined carbohydrates and less saturated fat. If I need to, I substitute poly/mono-unsaturated spread.’’

      1. No, I hadn’t, thanks. O M G! What ‘quality’ vegetable oil is that Dr. talking about? CLUEless.

        1. That butter article is so messed up. Every sentence that declares that there is zero evidence that saturated fat increases cardiovascular disease or death from CAD is followed by one that warns that you need to watch your saturated fat intake because just because there is absolutely no link between the two it doesn’t mean you can just go eat saturated fat now.


          I’m convinced the entire medical establishment has transformed saturated fat from a science into a sin. It’s something to resist on the principle that experiencing pleasure in itself is morally wrong. Eating saturated fat is pleasurable, therefore it is sinful to indulge.

        2. It won’t let me reply to Clay’s comment below, for some reason, but: yes, exactly. This butter article is par for the recent course. “Butter is fine for you, it turns out, so go ahead and indulge in that half teaspoon of delicious, delicious butter.” Le sigh.

  7. Mark and blog readers —
    In regards to the biggest loser article… do we think this slowed metabolism could be reversed with proper weight training to gain metabolically active tissues?

  8. The lower leptin amount years later is the scary part of that Biggest Loser article.

  9. Having read only the PCOS article abstract and not the actual study I’m guessing the isocaloric meals and snacks were a carbfest. Most of us with PCOS are severely insulin resistant. If you are eating tons of carbs the blood sugar bounces like a little ball. Eating every two hours or so is the only way to survive. Otoh, on a low carb version of primal, I can go a good long time without eating. Insulin levels are much improved.

  10. I was amused by the Hershey story. I live minutes from “Chocolatetown, USA,” and I’ve seen how the quality of their chocolate has gone down over the years. I enjoy jerkey every now and then, but I won’t be trying their meat bars!

  11. On the post about the elderly couple getting threats from the activist communities for eating meat…. I have to wonder where all the hostility comes from.

    I don’t want to lump the whole vegan community together, the actions of the *likely* small (but obnoxiously loud) percent don’t represent the whole…. But, all the aggression and hostility to work terrorist tactics against people who are eating as nature intended doesn’t make sense to me. I have to wonder how much of it is mob mentality, and how much of it is diet.

    I feel terrible if I eat a diet full of grains, pastas, fruits and veggies, without getting meat and all the vitamins and minerals they contain…. It’s got to be doing weird things to the body’s chemistry to be eating that way exclusively. I have to wonder if that contributes to the aggression.

  12. The Biggest Loser article was very timely. I’ve eaten low carb for 8 years (less than 30g per day) to keep my T2 diabetic blood sugar under control without medication (successfully). Originally I lost weight, but even on 1200 calories a day I was eventually gaining it back. My maintenance level is 800 calories a day. The money I save on groceries is used on supplements, there’s no way to get everything your body needs on 800 calories a day. I tried adding fat to get my metabolism going, but after a couple of months the extra fat calories started working against me as well. The article helped me because now that I know what I’m dealing with, I’ll stop trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong and just concentrate on getting the most nutrients I can out of what my body can handle. I’ve been on low carb so long, I never get hungry, so that’s a plus.

    1. Have you tried weight training? It increases your metabolism and creates more metabolically active tissue. It can also improve hormone balance, etc, and puts your body in growth and repair cycles, rather than degenerative ones. Get someone to train you on lifting properly because you want to ease into it carefully with correct technique. Anyone of any age, male or female, can start weight training.

  13. From the Biggest Loser/NYT article:

    ““We eat about 900,000 to a million calories a year, and burn them all except those annoying 3,000 to 5,000 calories that result in an average annual weight gain of about one to two pounds,” he said. “These very small differences between intake and output average out to only about 10 to 20 calories per day — less than one Starburst candy — but the cumulative consequences over time can be devastating.””

    So, every normal-weight middle-age or older person has managed their energy balance to within 20 calories, every day, for decades? Sorry, I’m calling BS.

  14. Hi Mark,

    I’m hoping you’ll dissect that NYT article when you get a chance. I’ve been looking for your take on the research.

  15. The “Biggest Loser” thing –

    “Mr. Cahill started weighing and measuring his food again and stepped up his exercise. He got back down to 235 to 240 pounds. But his weight edged up again, to 275, then 295.

    His slow metabolism is part of the problem, and so are his food cravings. He opens a bag of chips, thinking he will have just a few. “I’d eat five bites. Then I’d black out and eat the whole bag of chips and say, ‘What did I do?’”

    If I blacked out every time I had a sip of vodka, and woke up to an empty bottle, y’know what? I’d probably stop buying vodka.

    Especially because those 5 bites of the damned things aren’t essential to life or anything.

    How many of these people treated it like a diet and went back to eating the way they always did right afterwards, staying with the energy-dense hyper-palatable foods like chips (crisps)?

    I’d love to know what the proportions of F/C/P are in their diets, and whether changing them would have favourable effects on their leptin levels, I suspect they try to maintain on a low-fat diet in most cases, combined with out-of-control bingeing on veg-oil laden “treats,” since that’s what passes for “healthy” to most people.