Weekly Link Love — Edition 60

Research of the Week

Analysis of Stone Age chewing gum reveals the DNA of a hunter-gatherer woman from ancient Denmark; duck and hazelnut remnants from her last meal were also detected.

Once again, insulin resistance is linked to Alzheimer’s.

Going vegan for a month drops B12, iodine, zinc, and riboflavin status. Good luck with all that.

Living in space presents health quandaries for humans, like “reversed blood flow.”

Neanderthal guts carried many of the same species as we do.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 394: Dr. Erin Fall Haskell: Host Elle Russ sits down with Dr. Erin, creator and host of Good Morning LaLa Land.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 39: Laura and Erin chat with Haile Thomas, a health coach wise beyond her years.

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.

Media, Schmedia

Why your brain needs exercise, too (but not “brain exercises”).

Homo erectus survived far longer than we thought.

Interesting Blog Posts

How the US is changing.

Time will proceed, but your abilities don’t have to degenerate.

Social Notes

Not everything is negotiable.

Everything Else

Form check.

Bacon fat trends.

How growing demand for nuts is affecting our water supply.

Youngsters just don’t know.

This is your brain in Antarctica.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

I love to see it: Researchers exploring the merits of indigenous knowledge in Australia.

Blog post I found interesting: Cholesterol Fears, Fake News, Statins, and the Age Game: Who Plays?

I’d wear it while campaigning in Carthage: Roman crocodile-skin armor.

Story I enjoyed: How KFC made it in Japan.

Easy money: All you gotta do is meet Dave’s challenge.

Question I’m Asking

If we make it into space long term, what kind of side effects do you think we’ll see? Health, lifestyle, social, etc.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 14 – Dec 20)

Comment of the Week

“8. Don’t Throw In the Towel and Continue Overeating For the Foreseeable Future or ‘Until the New Year’

Awww, come on! That was my game plan. ?

– Hate to break it to ya, jenny.

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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40 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 60”

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  1. My back hurts just watching the Moscow bench press in Form section.

    Mark, all the best for the holidays and year ahead.

    The ancestral movement is growing in Canada, keep the good stuff coming our way!

  2. Second time Sisson’s linked to Fire In a Bottle, now. Can’t wait for his analysis.

  3. Thanks for all you do, Mark and keep on Grok’in in the New Year! As for me, I’m off to Wal-Marsh for some fresh ‘gator armor.

  4. Ever since Mark linked to Fire in a Bottle, I’ve been lost in the dietary cosmos. I’ve even started eating croissants for virtually every meal just to cover all my bases.

    1. I too have been fascinated by his findings! The croissant diet is definitely a topic I’d love Mark to dive into when he has time 🙂

  5. Hmmm … exercise that uses your brain. Perhaps a form of activity that requires you to do a series of mini-sprints over the course of one to two hours or more, going after a ball travelling from 40 to 120 MPH landing almost anywhere within an area of about 1000 square feet, with the possibility of returning it as a forehand OR backhand ground stroke, volley, drop shot, lob, overhead … hitting it using a slice, flat or top spin … at a speed and placement you want to achieve … and all these decisions must be made within less than a second for EACH exchange … endurance, speed, power, explosiveness, mobility, flexibility, finesse, skill, strategy is involved … boy that might stimulate some brain synapses! 10SNE1? 🙂

  6. “Bacon fat trends.”

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve felt like I was shouting in the wilderness, unheard. I’m so glad it’s not just me saying this.

    A couple of weeks ago, I found a new farmer in the local farmer’s market. We talked about hogs which is a common subject in NC. Neither of us knew whether it was actually illegal to feed organic hogs organic milk or eggs. But we both were sure you couldn’t feed them on chicken or any other flesh. We were also unclear on whether fish was illegal to feed to hogs or just very inconvenient to keep fresh before feeding. And this was an actual farmer!

    I have a lot of respect for all farmers and livestock farmers. I just think it’s not an intuitive system. There are a lot of shortcuts that are seen as the standard way to do things. These are not the best way, they are the fast and cheap way.

    Farmers really need to know exactly what they can do with their livestock. We have an opportunity with omivorous animals like chickens and pigs to create a low PUFA meat. I personally have never asked for leaner pork and I can’t recall anyone in the 1990s saying they wished bacon was leaner. Nobody was buying bacon for lean protein, then or now. That’s some business consultant’s pipe dream.

    1. Interesting observations. I’ve been thinking that maybe it’s time for the primal world to start shifting its focus away from macronutrient ratios and towards overall food quality. It seems like American food production is broken all the way down to the bottom and simply tweaking diets can only go so far.
      I’m more and more agreeing with the author over at Fire in a Bottle. In my observations, I can handle a little bit of high-quality bread or starch just fine. I can even stay within low carb parameters. I’d rather focus on getting my fat profiles right.

      1. I agree. I”m thinking that if the low fat mob could get such a big change in farming that they produced pigs that literally can’t produce their own saturated fat, then there’s hope, because a big change happened before. Except I doubt the big producers care much. They’re riding the wave of medical (mis-)information that says saturated fat is bad and causes heart attacks and strokes.

        So they’re pushing their product as good for human health. Except that theory (that sf causes hd) is wrong, so they’re working against good health. I don’t really blame them for creating the low fat breed. But we were mistaken and in this case we can see how the house of cards supports itself.

        The large pork producers now rely on the false message that saturated fat causes heart disease. They have to maintain the myth because their business now relies on it. In such a situation, scientists can say all day that the evidence is only circumstantial and it’s association not causation. It won’t matter because the large pork producers need the false narrative to justify their “monocrop” of low fat bred pigs. The feed manufacturers are similarly entrenched in this production system.

        But in the 1990s, the feed producers for pig farms were breweries and cheese manufacturers. How did they manage to lose their position? Because the reverse would have to happen to at least go back to the old way. If not find an even better way to grow hogs.

        It would be better to have a food system that allows lots more varieties of foods available to everyone across the country. Let production match demand. In the current system, I simply can’t even buy what I want at the ordinary grocery store. And I have to go to Whole Foods if I’m out of pork from the local farm, to get Canadian pork. Which is still probably fed soy, but organic soy.

        That also explains why we can’t produce organic pork in the US, I don’t think we have any serious amount of organic soy in production. And even farmers have forgotten that it used to be skim milk (or whey from cheese making) and barley (probably spent barley from breweries) that was the traditional food for pigs. Incidentally they could still call it “vegetarian feed” with the traditional diet.

        I’m getting closer to understanding how the world got so messed up, I”m not much closer to understanding how to fix it though. Other than calling for more variety and choice. But why? Why would I as a hypothetical pork producer want to produce multiple breeds of pigs now? And feed them a more traditional diet? Market forces drive me to use the cheapest feed. Brands no longer equal quality.

        Except Primal Kitchen, of course Shameless kissing up. 😉

        As far as fixing the market forces, I keep getting back to changing the subsidy system to one that drives healthier food production choices. There’s actually been some positive movement in that direction, but it’s not exactly a planned system that follows a clear vision: https://grist.org/food/our-crazy-farm-subsidies-explained/

  7. Reading the Bacon Fat link leads me back to a nagging problem – finding reasonably priced sources of low Omega-6 animal protein. I know Mark has addressed this before, but perhaps it’s time for an update or a QnA?

  8. New Year’s resolution: finally stop your constant vegan shaming. It’s annoying as hell

  9. I like the idea of the ganache but can you be more specific of how many ozs of chocolate. Also, do you use the entire amount in a cup of coffee or split it. Thanks for all your tips.

  10. Re: Ganache for coffee
    “1/2 bar darkest chocolate” – how big is that bar?

  11. Concerning the stearic acid in coffee drink,85+% cocoa butter can be bitter as heck. Adding a touch of seasalt may help with that,ya think? I use that trick when I make my coffee,smooths it right out. Worth a try?
    Love reading your blog and Sunday emails. Merry Christmas ,Happy New Year and thanks for all you do!

    1. I used half a 75g bar of Alter Eco Superdark 90% Crisp Mint yesterday with 2 TBS of heavy cream from pasture raised cows + a pinch of salt and added my Brazil Coffee to it…was delish and definitely a wonderful switch up from my usual MCT + Collagen Coffee. I didn’t feel particularly “FULl” but perhaps bc I was coming off an 18hr fast and after a 1 hour walk outside. (46yo female)

  12. Re stearic acid: I’m caffeine intolerant so will experiment with the cacao butter directly in shakes or baked goods. Ruminating on whether this could, in part, explain cravings for dark cacao and its satiating effect. Going to look into this more. Thank you for another thought provoking post!

  13. Re: this week’s “Sunday with Sisson” … you had me at “dark chocolate” Mark!


    1. Wheeler, my staff says you’re in our system and are receiving emails. There’s no Weekly Link Love email per se – just a Sunday With Sisson that links to the WLL for folks to comment. Hope that clears it up. Best — M

  15. Hi Mark, thanks for linking to Fire In A Bottle again, Brad has some really intriguing ideas about fats. I dropped a lot of weight by going completely dairy-free but when I experimented with buttered starch (rice n’ ‘taters) after reading about Brad’s success, some of it came back; don’t know if it was the starch or the butter. So for now I’m going to try cooking exclusively with beef tallow and putting some cocoa butter wafers/chocolate bars in my coffee to see what happens. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say about your stearic acid adventures in the coming year. Best of luck.

  16. SwS: Luckily I do love cocoa butter straight up. I used to scheme how to get it into massage oil because I’d leave the massage table smelling vaguely like chocolate. I make a vitamin D lotion for my skin (since I can go for days not coherent enough to go outside when I’m sick), and it includes cocoa butter. Thank you for mentioning the croissant diet because I hadn’t thought that the type of fat I was having may be the key.

    When I wasn’t losing weight during the time I was strict keto, I went to see Dr. Westman (who practices in my town) and he was as perplexed as I. I think he thought I was faking or criticizing keto. It worked great for migraines and I’d never unfairly criticize it. But I still wasn’t losing weight.

    I think I still have that little voice saying “eat your flax seeds, they have Omega 3” and I may need to quiet that voice at leas temporarily, to bring my body back into balance. There’s no predicting this. My genetics are very odd. But I appreciate the idea.

  17. RE Sunday with Sisson – what is the stearic acid content of chocolate Primal Fuel and chocolate Collagen Fuel? I use the latter in chocolate coffee

  18. SWS:…. sadly for me, I’m allergic to chocolate… actually it’s the cocoa that’s the culprit…. sigh….

  19. I have been adding cocoa butter chunks to my coffee for years, to kill my craving for chocolate. Just drop a chunk into your hot coffee. Tastes great and the cocoa butter makes your lips feel and taste great. I am sure it would be even better with cream!

  20. Just had bloodwork done and my cholesterol went from 200 to 240 on Keto. I’m going to try more Mediterranean keto instead of saturated fat heavy keto. The dark chocolate sounds good in the coffee instead of butter but is that saturated fat as well?

  21. I am intrigued by your Sunday With Sisson note about stearic acid. Do you consume the entire 1/2 a bar of dark chocolate a day? How much do your bars weigh?

    My dark chocolate of choice, Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar weighs 40 grams and contains 20 grams of carbs (12 net). Half a bar a day represents almost 1/3 of my keto carb limit.

  22. In regards to cacao and stearic acid…I have long been adding about a tablespoon of 100% cacao along with another tablespoon of coconut oil/ghee combo in my morning coffee. I’ve been doing this simply because I love chocolate! I also add a bunch into my homemade mudslide (sans carbs, of course!) Love that too. Indeed is satiating. I’m hoping to get the stearic acid benefit as well, since you told me. Can this be obtained from the powder? Love your site, books, and everything you stand for Mark!

  23. Your recipe for stearic acid sounds delicious, and I agree cocoa butter on its own can be a bit much, but if you are looking for another way to get it, here’s what I’ve been doing for fat bombs. 1/2 cup each cocoa butter and coconut oil (you could do all cocoa butter), 1 cup nut butter (mine is walnuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, ginger, cinnamon), 1 tbsp sweetener (I’ve been using glycine). Melt the oils with the glycine. Pour in the nut butter, stirring. Pour into molds (stir the mix after every few mold shapes.) and refridgerate. I’m sure cocoa powder in there would be awesome, too.

  24. I was wondering how one would adapt marks coffee chocolate cream recipe for 150 pound woman

  25. Mark you had me at Croissant Doet. Now I get to add chocolate ganache coffee,

  26. physical activities that use the brain: mountain biking, sailing (especially competitive, but not only), skiing/snowboarding I’ve long thought about the brain involvement as an added bonus to these sports, and that they are whole body. Probably any team sport (ie soccer, laccrose, hockey, basketball, rugby) that has you constantly moving and strategizing fits the bill, too. It’s kind of a no-brainer that when you take part of the activity out and isolate it (as in using a treadmill), you are going to lose a lot of its benefit. Just like eating only steak and not the rest of the animal. But we humans always want the quick fix.

  27. Physical activity that uses the brain: dancing, especially at social gatherings… if you haven’t been to a Greek event yet, just ask any Mediterranean culture for that matter.

  28. Love your post. Added straight cocoa powder no cream or sweetener to my tea. I do a CLEAN daily fast – which seems to really help with no hunger for daily IF… like the idea of adding the dark cocoa – for more nutrients without any additive. Since I’m used to no sweetener, the cocoa does not bother me, like trying this. Thanks for sharing! (7 months of daily intermittent fasting, 55 yo female, feel great and SO easy…)

  29. Wow great idea making chocolate ganache for coffee!! I can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

  30. Fascinating to see hard evidence of Grok’s diet (duck and hazelnuts) and that going vegan drops nutrient status so rapidly!

    1. Eliminate all added sugars, grain flours, and keep your carb count within reason;, then you won’t have to play games with how you make your coffee hoping for some minuscule t2d protection.

  31. For those iinterested in stearic acid, this research is much more readble than the Croissant Guy.


    Summary of research results
    dramatically reduced visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Our data also indicated that total body fat was reduced by 25% compared to the low fat diet group when standardized to total body weight –

  32. I don’t drink coffee. What do suggest to do in place of it?