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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January 18 2019

Weekly Link Love—Edition 12

By Mark Sisson
47 Comments

Research of the Week

Maternal choline supplementation reduces the impact of Alzheimer’s disease across generations (in rodents).

Subtitles are better than dubbing for learning a new language.

Computers (and, though not named in the title, smartphones) can really mess up your neck and shoulders if you’re not careful.

Infant circumcision could increase the risk of sudden infant death.

If you’ve ever skipped breakfast, you’re probably already dead of diabetes.

Body paint: an alternative to DEET?

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 304: Dr. Dominic D’Agostino: Host Elle Russ chats with doctor and keto expert Dominic D’Agostino.

Episode 305: Dr. Anthony Gustin: Host Brad Kearns chats with Dr. Gustin, of Perfect Keto fame.

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.

Question From Readers

Hey, Mark, what do you think about the motives behind the new global diet guidelines? Are these guys really sincere or is it something else?

I’ve been discussing the oncoming war against meat for several months, and we’ve all seen it brewing for years. These EAT-Lancet dietary guidelines mark the first major offensive. Don’t expect this to slow down, or for the powers-that-be who want you to eat less meat and buy more plant products to give up. Meat isn’t very profitable. That’s what it comes down to. Not the climate. Not the “health risks.” Profit.

If I’m feeling extra suspicious, I might even consider that the lust of profit may be even deeper, and that they’re banking on an increase in the rate of chronic diseases related to diet—diseases that require ongoing prescriptions and lifelong medical care.

Media, Schmedia

The new evidence-based global dietary guidelines allow 7 grams (yes, GRAMS) of red meat each day. I’ve already blown through my yearly allowance in the past week.

Sunscreen: The new margarine?

Interesting Blog Posts

So, is grain fiber truly the staff upon which all life rests?

20 reasons (at least) why the new dietary guidelines are wrong.

Social Notes

Out for a paddle.

Everything Else

“Hey plebs, how about you guys limit yourselves to a slice of bacon every three days so I can fly around on my private jet guilt-free?”

Nomadic Mongolians were quite healthy.

The observation deck at the Tokyo fish market is now open to the public.

Nothing much going on, just a potential solar sail from an alien spacecraft.

Something to shoot for.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Podcast I enjoyed: Johann Hari on Tangentially Speaking discussing the real cause of addiction.

Image I found interesting: All the companies participating in the committee to push this low/no-meat global diet.

Sales figure I found illuminating: Self-improvement books related to mental health are now outselling diet and fitness self-improvement books.

Reddit comment you should read: In which the author compares the macronutrient ratios of the EAT-Lancet guidelines and the classic obesogenic rodent diet and finds them identical.

Article everyone needs to read: When things are going great, think about how they can go very wrong.

Question I’m Asking

Where do you see this “war on meat” leading? How far do you see it going?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jan 13 – Jan 19)

Comment of the Week

“Best cancer theory EVER. Exclamation point in the title got me intrigued, but they had me with the ribbons in fig. 4. You just can’t falsify that sh*t.

This is peak PubMed.”

– Indeed, DBW.

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47 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love—Edition 12”

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  1. WOW, thanks so much for all the links to this new EAT global diet. I am flabbergasted by the insults to humanity that this represents! I am so happy that I live in a remote corner of Canada where I can ignore this ‘hoopla’ and carry on supporting my local grass fed meat and egg producers, local farmers and grow as many berries and vegetables as my husband and I can consume in a year. And hunt for wild game and fish for wild salmon, not to mention harvesting wild oysters and clams!
    My definition of paradise!

  2. Hey Mark,
    I assume your referencing the article regarding a supposed link between skipping breakfast and increased risk of diabetes due to how absurd it is?
    Just checking, because otherwise my whole fasted morning routine from the last few years now seems that it could be my undoing.
    Cheers!

    1. I really wish Mark would comment on why he posted this article because it is the biggest bullshit I’ve ever read.

    2. Exactly! I reversed my T2 through IF and going grain-free. I wonder who sponsored this article ?

  3. “When things are going great, think about how they can go very wrong”. That’s seems on the surface to be so anti-Zen, but I get the point the author is making. 🙂

  4. Bill Lagakos from caloriesproper.com makes a pretty compelling case for breakfast, or early Time Restricted Feeding. I find the studies he gathered quite convincing.
    Isn’t it a leap of faith to disregard this kind of work?

    The only justification I see is the lack of “fat-adapted” subjects in the studies, that would obviously have trouble going a hole morning on an empty stomach, while metabolic flexibility would allow to pull this off.
    On the other hand, even pre-diabetic subjects thrived on early TRF…

    I’ve heard what the CW says about breakfast, I’ve read what this blog says about breakfast, I just wanted to share what’s been bugging me, and possibly get some insight that would disentangle the issue.

    1. I think Jason Fung has commented on breakfast in a way that matches my own life: Yes, it’s more efficient to eat breakfast and shrink your eating window from then until an early dinner, but I prefer to eat dinner with my family, so I go the more inefficient (but still effective) route.

      1. This can really depend on your goals, too. If you are generally metabolically healthy then insisting that your food window is early in the day is fiddling at the margins and may earn you a deserved reputation as kind of an unsociable tool. If you are really trying to lose fat and recover more metabolic flexibility then that would be a way more important strategy and worth figuring out how to get your family and social circle on board

  5. “After looking at a total of six studies involving over 96,000 people — 5,000 of whom had already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes…”
    I’d really love to take a look at the subjects of these 6 studies… I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that most, if not all, of the subjects when not fasting ate a high carb, high fiber, and/or high sugar diet. And why would you include people already diagnosed with T2 diabetes in a study exploring the relationship between skipping breakfast and diabetes? ? Kinda seems a bit biased…

  6. All forms of child genital cutting, both male and female, need to be banned, yes, along with all other forms of mutilation. And personally I’d be inclined to throw both parents and cutter into prison for murder if the child dies.

    However, I think you miss the point on religion. People become religious my a mixture of indoctrination and own choice, not from any single religious event. The real problem is that religious people put an indelible religious mark on a child who may grow up to belong to another religion, or to none. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that it was originally intended to prevent apostasy (if ancient Greek an Roman sports competitions are any guide, male nudity might have been more common in earlier times).

  7. I see Google is on the meat hater’s list. Interesting. Are the smart people really just mislead or are the maybe being just a little evil?

  8. Too many broad strokes are being painted against livestock agriculture in environmental circles. It’s not that simple. A well managed farm with livestock and people who know how to rotate pastures, let their pigs roam in their orchards, run chicken tractors over their fallow vegetable beds, etc is ecologically sound and doesn’t export important nutrients to manure lagoons at concentrated feed lots. It also has more land in pasture that isn’t being tilled. Tillage is a big contributor to a farm’s heavy greenhouse gas footprint. I’ll take a pound of pasture-raised beef or chicken over several pounds of grain as the much better deal both environmentally and nutritionally.

    A much better issue to address is the disparity in cost and availability between low-input, sustainably-raised food in general and the crapified industrial options. That’s the result of poor civic design and bad government policies that put too much separation between most people (at least here in the US) and the places where their food is grown or raised. A sustainable diet that anyone can eat has to be affordable and local. Just saying eat more grains and veg isn’t going to cut it.

    1. Not enough land and water for everyone to eat livestock. The prime issue is overpopulation and we don’t want to do anything about that.

      1. can you substantiate that claim?

        i’ve got some actual math that says otherwise (and simply the fact alone that not all of the earth used to be forests and therefore is not suitable for industrial mono-cropping as what was once grasslands and are suitable for pasture-raising feed animals): https://lachefnet.wordpress.com/2018/01/16/george-monbiot-once-again-tilting-at-the-wrong-windmill/

        okay, so if i play devil’s advocate and go with your demonization of beef: who is going to handle the wild boar infestation in the SW US, or the axis deer overgrowth in Hawaii? What about wild deer (where they’re so overgrown is has been discussed bringing back mountain lions in New Jersey (which will only be amazing for such heavily populated an area)? what about aquatic bi-valves, which can be grown much like vegetables? what about insects?

        https://lachefnet.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/what-the-health-a-vegan-film-review/

      2. Overpopulation is also complicated. That’s an energy, economics, and narrative problem and not one that can be solved by some people “doing something”. Any change in course regarding human population is a generational change unless one is of the genocidal frame of mind–even then not for long.

  9. The standard British National Health advice is so wrong – for eg., “base meals on starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta; have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks); choose unsaturated oils and spreads, eaten in small amounts.” Are they trying to kill us before we can collect the State Pension???

    1. Thank you Anna for posting this info. It truly brings out the absurdity of the situation where the international food industry controls the official (awfficial?) diet agenda.

  10. Oatmeal and whole grain toast to avoid type 2 diabetes — sorry, but I think I will continue to skip breakfast——

  11. Our family has been practicing a ‘DARK NIGHT’ every Sunday evening since the winter solstice. Our seven year old loves it the most. It’s been a weekly highlight because of how it changes our evening family activities. We eat an earlier dinner and light all the candles, gather together in one room and play board games and read to each other. It it a practice in mindfulness when you walk out of the room to go tot he bathroom and need to take a candle lantern with you. It makes you in tune to the early sunset in these winter months, and makes you grateful fro so much more. It’s a wonderful addition to our family’s ‘primal’ lifestyle. Highly recommend to all! Thanks Mark for suggesting it in your blog this week! We wish everyone did it 🙂

  12. I’ve gotten a refund of hundreds of euros from my energy company, just by turning down the heat, heating just the living room and bathroom and putting on some warm clothing. Winters can get pretty chilly here in the Netherlands, but I’m toasty and not suffering one bit. And I do eat my meat and eggs, yum!

  13. The Sunday email was perfect timing as I’ve been doing less electronics and have gotten into board games recently. I stumbled upon Pandemic and bought on impulse and now I’m gravitating towards the more complex games such as Robinson Crusoe and Spirit Island. You can even play these solo so no excuse that nobody is around to play. Enjoy your upcoming weeks!

  14. Love the idea to go dark in the evenings!
    Regarding the EAT-Lancet diet, no thanks. I don’t do well eating things like beans, legumes, and soy as protein. I’ll continue to eat meat even if it means I have to take up hunting and fishing again.

  15. Our family does a lot of off-grid camping so we experience a lot of dark nights 🙂 One thing I noticed with a headlamp that has the red lamp, it doesn’t attract near as many insects!

  16. Insects as a nutrition source – already popular in certain cultures – may be a solution to a potential global food shortage. I’m guessing our ancestors munched on them, too.

  17. The article on the study finding “enormous protective effects from eating more fibre found in wholegrain bread, cereals, pasta, nuts and pulses … significantly cuts risk of heart disease and premature death.” (https://foodmed.net/2019/01/fibre-wholegrain-heart-disease-death/)

    That article also notes that it “turns out to be that 1% of people will benefit over a lifetime from an increased, high-fibre intake of 30g a day. In other words, 99% will not benefit…If the authors were honest, they should have told the public that if they changed their diet by eating 30g of fibre a day for life, 1 in 100 people would achieve some marginal benefit.”

    I guess the other 99% should have skipped breakfast.

  18. Well, technically, skipping breakfast will result in death if you think about it.

    1. LOL Chris true … yes … eventually one must break their fast if they want to continue in this plane of existance.

  19. Love it Mark! And yes to these basic human concepts. Really enjoying these Sunday newsletters by the way. Small doses of reminders on a scheduled setting!!!

  20. Could you please confine your politics to other sites? This is a health and nutrition site, and a welcome respite from political fights.

    Thank you in advance for understanding.

    1. Duncan , I see why you get bored by this – this type of stuff gets rehashed everywhere these days. However, the topic was broached (in the original article) because of the health implications of the cutting, and that kind of leads to a discussion about both the health effects on the child (which is itself a contested topic), and about the conflict between the child’s right to health and the parents’ rights to their child’s genitals.

      In a lot of ways, it’s like discussing the EAT/Lancet study (which I really don’t want to hear about ever again because people have been talking about it nonstop), which is also merely a political statement/advertisement. However, it can have real health consequences and that’s why you’ll find people on health sites discussing it.

  21. The not eating breakfast issue may not be the real issue. The question for me is are you eating lightly throughout the day then eating 1/2 or 3/4 of you intake at night. This situation may lead to more inflammation and higher risk for diabetes etc. I know it may not increase weight to eat more at night, but it may interfere with the body’s nighttime repair mode. Many may skip breakfast and not eat most of their intake at night. My guess is most may skip breakfast because they are not hungry from eating the night before. Mark, didn’t you write an article about night eating and how to reset? Peace from n.c.

  22. As soon as it starts getting gloomy (we live in a 17th century farmhouse in deepest, darkest Wales!) about 4pm at the moment, I light candles all over the house and light the fire in the sitting room. I pretend we’re at a little bistro and set the table accordingly, open the red wine and wait for my husband to come home. The first time I did it, he somewhat spoilt the mood by exclaiming, “ Have we had a power cut?!” It is lovely, though.

  23. Thanks for all the good information. I wish you would write about the amount of land wasted by industrial agriculture. Surely meat could be raised sustainably on land used for what I call “trash crops”. The number of acres devoted to tobacco, commodity corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and sugar cane must be enormous. I wish I had the time to do the research and add it all up.

  24. We need to reduce CO2…-20 here. I can’t understand how it continues to snow and get cold every year.

    .8 degrees of warming since 1800…yawn