guide to fatsCholesterol usually gets the gold for most demonized nutrient, and fats undoubtedly take the silver. It’s time to confront the misunderstandings around fats.

When I switched from a high-carb, low-fat diet and started to eat healthy fat as a nutrient, my health rapidly transformed. As important as fat is to your body, the fact remains that not all fats are created equal.

A few fats, including but not limited to trans fats, deserve every bit of disparagement they get and then some. But many types of fats are beneficial, and we’d like to put in a good word for them. Here, we’ll go through good fats, harmful fats, and how to eat more of the best kinds of fats. At the end of this article, I’ve included a video explaining how to get more healthy fats and why you would want to in the first place.

What are fats?

You may count your fat grams as part of your macro tracking, or you see them high up on your nutrition label. But what are fats, really?

Fats are compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms that exist in chains of varying lengths, shapes and orders. They’re one of the vital nutrients required by the body for both energy and the construction/maintenance of “structural” elements, such as cell membranes.

Saturated and Unsaturated Fats

It’s a common misconception that fats are categorized as either saturated or unsaturated. That’s not exactly how it works. All fats to some extent contain both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, they are generally categorized by levels of saturation.

Monounsaturated Fats

Just one type of monounsaturated fat - oleic acid

Biochemically speaking, these fatty acids sport a single double bond in their fatty acid chain. The more double bonds a fatty acid has, the more “fluid” it is. They are generally liquid at room temperature.

Monounsaturated fats are found in numerous oils, including avocado oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, sesame seed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil and peanut oil. Notice that we use the word “found” and not comprise. The fact is, these oils contain varying levels of monounsaturated fat. The rest is a mix of polyunsaturated and saturated. Olive oil, for example, contains about 75% monounsaturated fat, and canola 60%. By the way, these fats are also found in avocados and nuts. They’re granted approval (as much as any fat is in conventional wisdom) as a “healthy fat.”

Polyunsaturated Fats

Just one type of polyunsaturated fat - linoleic acid

Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond in their fatty acid chain. They tend to be liquid even when refrigerated. Their problem is they also tend to go rancid easily, particularly when heated. When we heat them (and we often do), they often become oxidized. We’ve let in the Trojan Horse at that point and opened ourselves up to all kinds of free radical damage – everywhere from cell membrane damage to wrinkles to arterial plaque build up.

Polyunsaturated fats are found in grain products, soybeans, peanuts and fish oil.

Essential Fatty Acids

First off, we call them essential because the body can’t produce them itself and must obtain them from food. We’re talking about omega-3 and omega-6.

Omega-6. I fully acknowledge it’s important, but most of us get enough of it that we don’t have to think about it. Omega-6 fatty acids, found in corn and other grains as well grain-fed livestock, play a crucial role in dermal integrity and renal function among other things. But if left unchecked, they trigger inflammation. Ratio matters, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

What keeps omege-6 in check? Omega-3s, of course. While omega-3s were ignored for decades, they’re finally garnering respect, but it’s still not enough in my opinion.

ALA

Omega-3s are found primarily in fish, algae, flax and nuts. You also find good portions of them in eggs from chickens that are fed fish or flax meal. And you’ve heard us go on and on about the three forms: ALA (think flax) as well as EPA and DHA (think fish oil). Omega-3s have several key functions, including:

  • Aiding circulation by naturally thinning the blood
  • Fighting systemic inflammation
  • Supporting brain function
  • Easing symptoms of depression, anxiety and even ADHD

Now back to the ratio matter. Estimates vary, but experts generally characterize Western diets as anywhere between 10-30 parts omega-6 to 1 part omega-3 (10-30:1). What ratio should we be getting? What did our primal ancestors likely eat? Close to 1:1, although many will try to tell you that 4:1 is good enough. Supplements can bridge the gap if you want to rein in your ratios.

The sky high ratio of typical Western diets sets us up for inflammation, high blood pressure, blood clots, depressed immune function and sub-optimal brain development and neurological function.

So, what about the other oils, like olive oil? The ratio for olive oil is 3:1, which isn’t great in and of itself. But there’s yet another wrinkle. Olive oil is 75% monounsaturated and 14% saturated, which means that only 11% of it has the polyunsaturated ratio to begin with. In these relatively small amounts, ratio isn’t as much of a concern, particularly when the oil contains so many other good compounds like polyphenols that fight inflammation damage caused, in part, by the problematic ratio. Corn oil, on the other hand, contains only about 25% monounsaturated fat (and 13% saturated). The ratio matters big time here.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats have been demonized for decades, largely due to the widely accepted lipid hypothesis that made a connection between lipid consumption and heart disease – and the advice that went along with it.

Myristic Acid

Saturated fats have all available carbon bonds paired with hydrogen atoms, which makes them highly stable. They don’t have the same tendency toward rancidity as polyunsaturated fats, even if heated. This is a good thing.

Saturated fats are an integral part of Primal living and are found in animal products and some oils, as part of a healthy diet, and I’ll say it again. Saturated fats serve critical roles in the human body. They make up 1/2 of cell membrane structure. They enhance calcium absorption and immune function. They aid in body’s synthesis of the essential fatty acids and provide a rich source of fat soluble vitamins.

Last but not least, they provide cholesterol. The human body makes its own, but it all balances out. Can I help that I’ve been won over by its many charms? Naturally occurring substances, natural body processes appeal to me – unlike our next categories.

Trans Fats

We’ve all heard the story by now. The unnatural chemical modification process that created trans fats made products more shelf stable but wreak havoc for those who ingest them. (Quick fact: the hydrogenation process changes the position of hydrogen atoms in the fatty acid chain.)

Maleic Acid Hydrogenation

The body doesn’t recognize the transformed fats. The trans fats are absorbed through cell membranes, where they initiate general disorder in cell metabolism. Trans fats have been associated with inflammation, associated atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity and immune system dysfunction.

Interesterified Fats

“What are these?” you ask. Good question. Insteresterified fats are a new-ish breed of chemically modified fats created to avoid the trans fat label. Like trans fats, these fats go through a kind of hydrogenation process along with the associated rearrangement of fat molecules and an enrichment with stearic acid. The point is the same as it was with the trans fat poison, er process: it makes the product more shelf stable.

So, this sounds all too familiar, no? Sound like splitting hairs? You got it. (Insert your own expletive.)

My suggestion: if hydrogenated is mentioned anywhere on the label, put it down and walk away.

How to Get More Healthy Fats

There are lots of ways to be smart about eating fat. The key is knowing what to look for. A few of my favorite fat sources include:

  • Avocados
  • Avocado oil
  • Salad dressing made with avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • High-quality lard and tallow from pastured animals
  •  Grass-fed meats
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut butter

Here’s a video explaining how to add more healthy fats to your day, plus why you would want to.

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The post The Definitive Guide to Fats appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Inflammation gets a bad rap in the alternative health world: “Inflammation causes heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disease! It’s at the root of depression.” These are all true—to some extent.

Name a disease, and inflammation is involved.

Crohn’s disease is inflammatory.

Major depression is inflammatory.

Heart disease is inflammatory.

Autoimmune diseases, which involve an inflammatory response directed at your own tissues, are inflammatory.

Arthritis is inflammatory.

Even obesity is inflammatory, with fat cells literally secreting inflammatory cytokines.

Yes, but the story is more complicated than that. Inflammation, after all, is a natural process developed through millions of years of evolution. It can’t be wholly negative. Just like our bodies didn’t evolve to manufacture cholesterol to give us heart disease, inflammation isn’t there to give us degenerative diseases.

So, Why Does Inflammation Happen?

When pain, injury, or illness hit, the first responder is the acute inflammatory response. In other words, it is brief, lasting several days or less. All sorts of things can cause an acute inflammatory response. Here are a few:

  • Trauma (punch, kick, golf ball to the head)
  • Infection by pathogens (bacterial, viral)
  • Burn (sun, fire, seat belt buckle on a summer day)
  • Chemical irritants
  • Frostbite
  • Stabbing/Cut/Laceration
  • Allergic reaction

Things happen pretty fast in an acute inflammatory response and involve several different players, including the vascular system (veins, arteries, capillaries and such), the immune system, and the cells local to the injury.

  1. First, something painful and unpleasant happens; choose one of the above injury options.
  2. Then, pattern recognition receptors (PRR) located at the injury site initiate the release of various inflammatory mediators, which in turn initiate vasodilation (or widening of the blood vessels). This allows increased blood flow to the injury site, which warms the site, turns it the familiar red, and carries plasma and leukocytes to the site of the injured tissue.
  3. The blood vessels become more permeable, thus allowing the plasma and leukocytes to flow through the vessel walls and into the injured tissue to do their work. Emigration of plasma into tissue also means fluid buildup, which means swelling.
  4. At the same time, the body releases an inflammatory mediator called bradykinin, which increases pain sensitivity at the site and discourages usage of the injured area. These sensations—heat, redness, swelling, pain, and a loss of function—are annoying and familiar, but they’re absolutely necessary for proper healing.

Why Is (Acute) Inflammation Essential?

Allow me to explain why the four primary symptoms of acute inflammation are necessary, despite being unpleasant:

  1. Increased blood flow warms the injury and turns it red, which can be irritating and unsightly, but it also carries the guys—leukocytes—that will be cleaning up the injury site, mopping up pathogens, and overseeing the inflammatory process.
  2. Swollen body parts don’t fit into gloves, are really sensitive, and don’t work as well as their slim counterparts, but a swollen finger is a finger that’s full of a plasma and leukocyte slurry and therefore on the road to recovery.
  3. Pain hurts, but if an injury doesn’t hurt and it’s serious, you’ll keep damaging it because you won’t know not to use it.
  4. Loss of function prevents you from using what could be one of your favorite body parts, but you don’t want to make it worse be re-injuring it. Besides, it’s only temporary.

What About Chronic Inflammation?

These symptoms both indicate and enable inflammation (and, thus, healing), but what’s the deal with inflammation being linked with all those chronic illnesses—like obesity, heart disease, and depression? How does something normal and helpful go haywire and become implicated in some of the most crushing, tragic diseases of our time?

When inflammation becomes chronic and systemic, when it ceases to be an acute response, when it becomes a constant low-level feature of your physiology that’s always on and always engaged, the big problems arise.

The inflammatory response is supposed to be short and to the point. And because a big part of inflammation is breaking the tissue down, targeting damaged tissue and invading pathogens, before building it back up, the inflammatory response has the potential to damage the body. That’s why it’s normally a tightly regulated system: because we don’t want it getting out of hand and targeting healthy tissue. But if it’s on all the time—if chronic inflammation sets in—regulation becomes a lot harder.

Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation

A perfect example of the acute inflammation versus chronic inflammation dichotomy is exercise.

A single hard workout raises inflammation. It’s a stressor, a damaging event imposed upon your body. See for yourself.

A hard run spikes C-reactive protein for up to two days.

During exercise, skeletal muscle releases the inflammatory cytokine IL-6, a marker of damage.

Volleyball practice elicits spikes in IL-6 in both male and female elite volleyball players.

Acute exercise spiked CRP in cardiovascular disease patients (but a four-month exercise program lowered it).

This table of inflammatory responses to strenuous endurance events shows some massive spikes in CRP, some up to 20-fold the baseline value.

Yet, study after study (epidemiological and clinical alike) shows that extended exercise programs generally reduce markers of inflammation (like C-reactive protein) over the long-term:

  • In elderly Japanese women, a 12-week resistance training program reduced circulating levels of inflammatory markers compared to baseline; reductions in CRP were associated with increases in muscle thickness.
  • American adults who engaged in frequent physical activity tended to have lower CRPs than adults who were more sedentary.
  • In type 2 diabetics, (key term coming up) long-term high intensity resistance and aerobic training reduced inflammatory markers over the course of a year (independent of changes in body weight, meaning activity was the key factor).
  • Endurance combined with resistance training reduced CRP in young, healthy women better than endurance training alone.
  • In obese, post-menopausal women, a basic moderate cardio program lowered CRP without really affecting body weight either way over the course of a year.

There are many more out there, but the general gist is that regular exercise tends to lower markers of systemic inflammation while acute exercise increases markers of acute inflammation. And sometimes what’s acute can become chronic. How do we make sense of this? How do we avoid making those acute spikes a chronic, constant thing?

Identifying Chronic Inflammation: Objective Markers

First, we need to be able to identify chronic inflammation. What symptoms and biomarkers can we use to track our inflammation levels?

CRP, or C-Reactive Protein

CRP is a protein that binds with dead and dying cells and bacteria in order to clear them from the body. It can always be found (and measured) in the bloodstream, but levels spike when inflammation is at hand. During acute inflammation caused by infection, for example, CRP can spike by up to 50,000-fold. CRP spikes due to acute inflammation peak at around 48 hours and declines pretty quickly thereafter (post acute-phase inflammation CRP has a half life of 18 hours). Thus, if the incident causing the inflammation is resolved, CRP goes back to normal within a few days. If it persists, the infection/trauma/etc. probably persists as well.

Highly sensitive to many different kinds of stressors, CRP rises in response to essentially anything that causes inflammation. This makes it valuable for determining that inflammation is occurring, but it makes it difficult to determine why that inflammation is occurring—because it could be almost anything. But if you’re looking for confirmation that you are chronically, systemically inflamed, an elevated CRP (in absence of any acute infections, injuries, burns, or stressors) is a useful barometer.

“Normal” CRP levels are supposedly 10 mg/L. Absent infection or acute stressors, however, ideal CRP levels are well under 1 mg/L. You want to stay well below 1; you don’t want “normal.” Between 10-40 mg/L (and perhaps even 1-9 mg/L, too) indicates systemic inflammation (or pregnancy), while anything above that is associated with real acute stuff. Note that exercise can elevate CRP, so don’t get tested if you’ve worked out in the last couple days.

IL-6, or Interleukin-6

T cells (type of white blood cell that plays a huge role in the immune response) and macrophages (cells that engulf and digest—also known as phagocytosing—stray tissue and pathogens) both secrete IL-6 as part of the inflammatory response, so elevated IL-6 can indicate systemic inflammation.

Tissue Omega-3 Content

This is a direct measurement of the omega-3 content of your bodily tissue. It’s not widely available, but it is very useful. Remember that anti-inflammatory eicosanoids draw upon the omega-3 fats in your tissues and that inflammatory eicosanoids draw upon the omega-6 fats. People having a higher proportion of omega-6 fats will thus produce more inflammatory eicosanoids. Now, we absolutely need both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids for proper inflammatory responses, but people with high omega-6 tissue levels make way too many inflammatory eicosanoids. Studies indicate that people with the highest omega-3 tissue levels suffer fewer inflammatory diseases (like coronary heart disease).

Research (highlighted and explicated here by Chris Kresser) suggests that omega-3 tissue concentrations of around 60% are ideal, which is a level commonly seen in Japan—the seemingly paradoxical land of high blood pressure, heavy smoking, and low coronary heart disease rates.

Omega-3 Index

This measures the EPA and DHA, the two important omega-3 fatty acids, as a percentage of total fatty acids present in your red blood cells. It doesn’t correlate exactly to tissue amounts, but it’s pretty good and a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease risk. The omega-3 index doesn’t measure omega-6 content, but those with a low omega-3 index are probably sporting excessive omega-6 in their red blood cells.

Anything above 8% corresponds to a “low risk,” but levels of 12-15% are ideal and roughly correspond to the 60% tissue content mentioned by Chris’ article. Four percent and below is higher risk and can be viewed as a proxy for increased inflammation (or at least the risk of harmful systemic inflammation developing from normal inflammation).

Heart Rate Variability

I’ve written extensively on HRV in the past. Long story short, high HRV predicts lower levels of inflammation.

Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Score

There’s the systemic inflammatory response syndrome, which is incredibly serious and has four criteria. If you have two or more of them at once, congratulations: you qualify—and should probably see a health professional immediately. This isn’t relevant for low-grade systemic inflammation, like the kind associated with obesity or autoimmune disease.

  • Body temperature less than 96.8 F (36 C) or greater than 100.4 F (38 C).
  • Heart rate above 90 beats per minute.
  • High respiratory rate, 20 breaths per minute or higher.
  • White blood cell count fewer than 4000 cells/mm³ or greater than 12,000 cells/mm³.

Of these objective markers to test, I’d lean toward CRP, HRV, and one of the omega-3 tests. CRP is pretty comprehensive, HRV is a two-fer (inflammation and general stress/recovery), and, while omega-3 tissue or blood cell content doesn’t necessarily indicate the existence of systemic inflammation in your body, it does indicate the severity of the inflammatory response you can expect your body to have. Taken together, these tests will give you an idea of where you stand.

Identifying Inflammation: Subjective Markers

There are also subjective markers. They may be harmless artifacts, but they may indicate that something systemic is going on.

Flare-up of Autoimmune Conditions You Haven’t Heard From In Ages

Sore joints, dry, patchy, and/or red skin, and anything else that indicates a flare-up. For me, this is usually mild arthritis.

Water Retention

Acute inflammation is often characterized by swelling at the site of injury. The same effect seems to occur in states of systemic inflammation, although they aren’t localized, but rather generalized.

Stress Load

If you feel stressed, you’re probably inflamed. I’m talking about the kind that has you rubbing your temples, face palming, sighing every couple minutes, and pinching the space between your eyes very, very hard.

Persistent But Unexplained Nasal Congestion

Could be allergies, sure, but I’ve always noticed that when I’m under a lot of stress and generally in an inflamed state, my nose gets clogged. Certain foods will trigger this, too, and I think it can all be linked to a persistent but subtle state of inflammation.

Overtraining

If you fit the bill for the eight signs of overtraining listed in this post, you’re probably inflamed.

Ultimately, though? It comes down to the simple question you must ask yourself: How do you feel?

I mean, this seems like an obvious marker, but a lot of people ignore it in pursuit of numbers. If you feel run down, lethargic, unhappy, your workouts are suffering, you struggle to get out of bed, you’re putting on a little extra weight around the waist, sex isn’t as interesting, etc., etc., etc., you may be suffering from some manner of systemic, low-grade inflammation. Conversely, if you’re full of energy, generally pleased and/or content with life, killing it in the gym, bounding out of bedlean as ever or on your way there, and your sex drive is powerful and age appropriate (or inappropriate), you’re probably not suffering from chronic inflammation.

Causes of Chronic Inflammation

We need to determine why inflammation is “on” all the time—and then take the steps to counter it. I’m going to fire off a few things that both induce inflammation and tend toward prevalence in developed countries. You let me know if anything sounds familiar to you.

  • Toxic dietsHigh-sugarhigh-processed carb, high-industrial fat, high-glutenhigh-CAFO meat, low-nutrient food is a pretty accurate descriptor of the modern Western diet.
  • Insufficient omega-3 intakeOmega-3 fats form the precursors for anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, which are an integral part of the inflammatory response. Poor omega-3 status means insufficient production of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids and a lopsided inflammatory response to normal stimuli.
  • Excessive omega-6 intake: Omega-6 fats form the precursors for inflammatory eicosanoids, which are an integral part of the inflammatory response. High omega-6 status (especially when combined with poor omega-3 status) means excessive production of inflammatory eicosanoids and a lopsided inflammatory response to normal stimuli. The more omega-6 you eat, the more omega-3 you crowd out for anti-inflammatory eicasonoid formation.
  • Lack of sleepPoor sleep is linked to elevated inflammatory markers. Poor sleep is a chronic problem in developed nations. Either we go to bed too late, wake up too early, or we use too many electronics late at night and disrupt the quality of what little sleep we get. Or all three at once.
  • Lack of movement: People lead sedentary lives, by and large, and a lack of activity is strongly linked to systemic, low-grade inflammation. People don’t have to walk to get places, they take escalators and elevators, they sit for hours on end, and they don’t have time for regular exercise.
  • Poor recovery: Other people move too much, with too little rest and recovery. When I ran 100+ miles a week, I certainly wasn’t sedentary, but I was chronically inflamed. Overtraining is a form of chronic inflammation.
  • Chronic stress: Modern life is stressful. Bills, work, commuting, politics, exercise that you hate – it all adds up and it doesn’t seem to let up or go away. And if it becomes too much for you to handle (I know it’s too much for me at times), your body will have a physiological, inflammatory response to emotional stress.
  • Lack of down time: When you’re always on the computer, always checking your email/Facebook/smartphone, you are always “on.” You may think you’re relaxing because your body is stationary, but you’re not relaxing.
  • Lack of nature time: We spend too much time contained in cubicles, cars, trains, and cities, away from trees, leaves, and soft earth. In a way, nature is home for us. Going home certainly has its measured benefits.
  • Poor gut health: The gut houses the bulk of the human immune system. When it’s unhealthy, so is your inflammatory regulation. A healthy gut is also selectively permeable, allowing beneficial compounds passage into the body and keeping toxins out. An unhealthy gut often becomes leaky, allowing toxins into the body to stimulate an immune, inflammatory response.
  • Poor acute stressor/chronic stress ratio: We respond far better to acute stressors than repeated, sustained stress – even if the latter is of a lower intensity.

See what I mean? Since we’re set up for acute stressors requiring an acute inflammatory response, all this other low-level, evolutionarily-discordant, superficially mild stuff set against a backdrop of misaligned fatty acid ratios and impaired gut health throws us off and sets us up for a lifetime of chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is a complex physiological process that can go wrong in a lot of ways. But luckily, sticking to the tried and true dietary and lifestyle measures will get you most of the way toward preventing inflammation from becoming chronic and untamed.

If you have any further questions about inflammation, fire away down below! Thanks for reading.

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References:

Eliakim A, Portal S, Zadik Z, et al. The effect of a volleyball practice on anabolic hormones and inflammatory markers in elite male and female adolescent players. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(5):1553-9.

Lara fernandes J, Serrano CV, Toledo F, et al. Acute and chronic effects of exercise on inflammatory markers and B-type natriuretic peptide in patients with coronary artery disease. Clin Res Cardiol. 2011;100(1):77-84.

Ford ES. Does exercise reduce inflammation? Physical activity and C-reactive protein among U.S. adults. Epidemiology. 2002;13(5):561-8.

Balducci S, Zanuso S, Nicolucci A, et al. Anti-inflammatory effect of exercise training in subjects with type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome is dependent on exercise modalities and independent of weight loss. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010;20(8):608-17.

Daray LA, Henagan TM, Zanovec M, et al. Endurance and resistance training lowers C-reactive protein in young, healthy females. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011;36(5):660-70.

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I’ve always been an avocado fan—and, by extension, an avocado oil proponent. I enjoy the buttery flavor and cooking versatility. I love avocado oil—but…it’s not exclusive.

Anyone who knows me well has seen how much I enjoy Mediterranean food, and for that extra virgin olive oil can’t be beat. It’s been on my list for a while now—create the olive oil I want to eat with every Mediterranean meal. I took my time sampling and choosing for sure, but I couldn’t be happier with the result.

And I hope you’ll enjoy it, too. Bright, peppery, and nuanced, Primal Kitchen® Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a blend of Spanish and Tunisian olives—perfect for dressings, dipping, and light cooking.

I love using it in recipes where I can really taste and savor it—from fish to lamb to a tomato and cucumber salad and more. I’ve said before that the flavor of a good extra virgin olive oil is nuanced enough to elevate the simplest dishes, and that’s what I’m happy to offer—with the same careful dedication to quality I ensure with all Primal Kitchen products: Whole30 Approved®, Certified Paleo, Keto Certified, Certified Organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified, so you know you’re getting the best. 

Now For the Giveaway…

How do you use extra virgin olive oil in your Primal and keto cooking? Tell me in the comment section—OR—suggest a future recipe or topic for the blog.

Be sure to comment by midnight PDT Friday (11/1/19) to be eligible. (U.S. only for this one, I’m afraid.) I’ll choose 3 random commenters to receive a bottle of Primal Kitchen Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Thanks for stopping in. I’ve got a feature coming up. ‘Til then, have a great day, everybody.

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For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering questions from last week’s olive oil post. First, is there a way to identify real olive oil and distinguish it from fraudulent olive oil? Second, should EVOO be used when grilling food? Third, how can we know if our canned seafood is packed in real, actual olive oil and not some industrial seed swill? Fourth, is algae oil worth eating? And fifth, what about just eating whole olives? Finally, why not just eat beef fat, which is also relatively high in MUFA?

Let’s go:

I’ve read that some “olive oil” has canola or other oils mixed in, fraudulently. Is that still an issue, and is there any way to be sure (reliable brands or sources) that what you are buying is pure and authentic?

It’s still an issue.

It all started after a raid by Italian police discovered that many olive oil producers were adding chlorophyll to sunflower and soybean oil and passing it off as EVOO. Later, UC Davis conducted a study on popular brands of imported EVOO, finding that about 70% were adulterated with seed oils. Other studies have found similar results.

Find a brand you trust. Research a maker, whether it’s a local market or a specialty brand you find at the store.

There’s this master list of olive oils certified by the North American Olive Oil Association for quality and authenticity. Many are commonly available in grocery stores.

I like it drizzled over cottage cheese for lunch or brunch, topped with cracked pepper, yum!

Finally someone agrees! This is indeed the best way to consume cottage cheese, for those who don’t know. Use at least a teaspoon of pepper, as much as you can handle.

I typically use an EVOO spray on meats before searing on the grill. Could this be harmful with the flame on high?

I wouldn’t recommend EVOO for high heat or direct flame. Personally, I use an oil made for high heat cooking in that kind of situation.

Mark,
How can one be assured that they’re packed in genuine EVOO? Is there some source/website that lists those that have been tested and verified? Call me a skeptic. If I’m Crown Prince, King Oscar, Starkist, or whoever, I’m buying massive quantities of olive oil for my fish packing operation. And the cheaper price gets my business. I’m not sending samples off to a lab to test if it’s authentic EVOO.

Good question. I can’t attest to any particular brand. It’s possible some adulterated oil could slip in, and I was unable to find any mention of it in the online literature.

If you’re concerned, drain the oil. Even if a half gram of omega-6 PUFA were to slip by, the actual fish in the can is rich enough in omega-3s that I wouldn’t worry.

For what it’s worth, I doubt something like Wild Planet sardines (what I generally buy) uses fake olive oil. Unless I’m including it specifically for a recipe, I usually pour the oil into a bowl for my dog to eat, since it’s good for her, too. (You can imagine how much she enjoys it….)  Her fur shows the benefit as well.

Terrific info, thank you!
Can you do the same breakdown and analysis of algae oil? Please. I’m using ‘thrive’ brand. Thanks!

Algae oil is a good source of long chain omega-3s and has been shown to improve omega-3:omega-6 ratio in people and animals, a strong indication it “works.” Algae represents the “source” of DHA for most of the seafood we eat, in fact. Great way for vegans and vegetarians to get them.

Don’t use it for cooking. Omega-3 fats are very fragile in the presence of heat, unless protected by the

To what extent do you get the same benefits from just eating olives? I’m usually more inclined to do that… wondering if there’s any research on the health benefits?

Yep, olives are great. Love them. There isn’t really any research into olive consumption, and you’d have to get about two dozen olives to get a tablespoon worth of EVOO, but they’re bound to be good for you. Just account for the sodium intake.

Every time I see these claims about EVVO, I think:
1. EVOO is rich in MUFAs; so is BEEF FAT.
2. BEEF FAT is rich in SFAs; so is EVOO.
3. EVOO is rich in polyphenols. Does polyphenols show some improvement in healthspan and longevity in humans in a prospective study?
4. EVOO is a liquid fat. There are some studies showing that liquid fats increases intestinal permeability.
OBS.: yes, I´m doing carnivore.

1. Agreed. Beef fat is rich in MUFAs, just like EVOO.

2. Beef fat is rich in SFA, but it’s a particular type of SFA (stearic acid) that turns into MUFA in the body. EVOO isn’t really rich in SFA, though it’s rich in the MUFA that stearic acid becomes.

3. Plant phytonutrients actually do have consistent inverse associations with mortality in humans. More phytonutrients, longer lifespan. However, this isn’t measuring cause and effect. It’s very possible that people who eat more polyphenols also do other types of healthy behaviors, like exercise regularly and avoid smoking, that definitely improve longevity.

4. If anything, MUFAs (the primary fat in liquid EVOO) along with omega-3s are protective against intestinal permeability. And let’s not forget that less intestinal permeability isn’t necessarily a good thing. Increased intestinal permeability can be physiological, or it can be pathogenic.

I get the carnivore thing. I’m not against it. Beef fat is great, too. But the evidence in favor of EVOO is quite robust. Definitely robust enough for my taste.

Thanks for reading, writing, and asking, everyone. Take care and be sure to comment down below if you have any more questions!

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References:

Kim Y, Je Y. Flavonoid intake and mortality from cardiovascular disease and all causes: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2017;20:68-77.

Cândido FG, Valente FX, Grze?kowiak ?M, Moreira APB, Rocha DMUP, Alfenas RCG. Impact of dietary fat on gut microbiota and low-grade systemic inflammation: mechanisms and clinical implications on obesity. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2018;69(2):125-143.

The post Dear Mark: Olive Oil Followup appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Olive oil is the great uniter of the dietary tribes. While your Ray Peatians might grumble at the 10% PUFA content and hardcore carnivores will balk at its vegetal origins, the vast majority of dietary camps—vegans, vegetarians, paleo, Primal, keto, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, etc.—consider olive oil to be a healthy fat. I have it on good authority that Walter Willet oils his mustache with Croatian olive oil, Dean Ornish conditions his hair with Cretan olive oil, and Peter Attia keeps a bathtub full of Damascan olive oil behind a secret panel in his library that only unlocks if you complete a tabata session on his Peloton. I even saw Shawn Baker sneaking sips from a flask with green oily fingerprints when we recently hung out. Everyone likes olive oil. There are almost no exceptions.

This is about where I usually step in to make a contrarian claim about the super-popular food, citing some arcane study or pointing out an evolutionary argument against it.

Not with olive oil. As much as I love my avocado oil, I see no reason to question the legitimacy of extra virgin olive oil as a valid member of your diet. Personally, I include both. Here’s why….

Healthy Components of Olive Oil

Its MUFA content. Monounsaturated fats are pretty much universally lauded. Almost as resistant to oxidation as saturated fats, they raise HDL and lower LDL. Cellular membranes and mitochondria with a lot of monounsaturated fat function better than ones with more polyunsaturated fats. They’re the rock of the fatty acid world.

Its polyphenol content. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are the plant nutrients that act as antioxidants in the plant—protecting it from predators and oxidative stress and heat and light. They act as minor toxins in us, provoking an adaptive hormetic response that makes us stronger, fitter, and healthier. Polyphenols get mixed reviews from different dietary camps. Carnivores often call them outright toxins with no benefit. Conventional skeptics usually miss the whole “hormesis” thing altogether and assume proponents think polyphenols are antioxidants that directly block oxidative stress in us. My nuanced take is that polyphenols can be pretty useful, but that there’s likely a U-shaped relationship: Too little is suboptimal, and too much is too much, just like with exercise, sun exposure, and any other type of adaptive stress we experience.

Its prominent role in classic Mediterranean cuisine. Olive oil has been eaten (and used in cosmetics, to cleanse gladiator champions, etc.) in the Mediterranean (including areas of Africa, Europe, and Asia) for thousands of years. It’s got a good track record of human use.

Those are all good theoretical reasons to use olive oil. What do human studies say?

Research Supporting Olive Oil Consumption

  1. Overweight women ate one of two breakfasts for a year. The first was supplemented with soybean oil. The second was supplemented with extra virgin olive oil. Both breakfasts were identical save for the fat source. At the end of one year, those who ate the EVOO breakfast had higher HDL, lower inflammatory markers, better blood pressure, and lower body weight.
  2. Type 2 diabetics with bad blood lipids either took a statin or EVOO. The statin was slightly better at reducing LDL and increasing HDL, but not by much, and the EVOO didn’t impair any physiological pathways or cause any undesired second order effects. I’d take the EVOO every time.
  3. Among a Mediterranean population, high EVOO consumption was linked to a reduced risk of fractures and osteoporosis. High consumption of regular olive oil was not.
  4. Extra virgin olive oil, but not corn oil, reduces postprandial oxidative stress.
  5. Women who ate high-polyphenol EVOO every day for 8 weeks enjoyed reduced oxidative damage to their DNA.
  6. Dietary EVOO reduced the number of oxidized LDL and increased HDL in proportion to the phenolic content of the oil; the more phenolics, the greater the effect. Tested LDL was also more resistant to oxidation after being removed from subjects and exposed to oxidative stress. Similar effects were found in a more recent study, in which men were given either EVOO with high phenolic content or refined olive oil with zero phenolics present. Men consuming high phenolic EVOO had less oxidized LDL and more phenolics present in LDL, indicating that olive phenolics reach serum LDL and exert antioxidant effects in real live actual humans.

Tips For Incorporating Olive Oil

There aren’t many foods you can’t make better by topping off with a little olive oil. The flavor of a good olive oil is nuanced enough to elevate the simplest dishes, and that’s what I enjoy about it.Think everything from marinated nuts and olives to a light dinner of Cacio e Pepe zoodles.

Cream of garlic (or cream of anything) soup? Better with a drizzle of olive oil before serving. Savory Labneh yogurt? Also better “finished” with olive oil. And don’t forget olive oil sauces. I just shared one of my favorites this week: pesto. It’s a totally modular sauce you can make with your favorite oil, nuts and herbs, but extra virgin olive oil remains the traditional choice.

And salads? Like extra virgin avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil is good with anything you throw together, this Turkish Salad being one great example. Sardine Nicoise Salad is another. Speaking of canned fish, choosing those packed in genuine extra virgin olive oil can be a flavorful option. No need to discard the oil here, especially if you incorporate the oil into the dish itself like this Olive Oil Packed Tuna and Seared Tomatoes recipe does.

Okay, so drizzling extra virgin olive oil across your dinner salad is healthy, but isn’t olive oil sensitive to heat? Aren’t you supposed to avoid cooking with it? Actually, no. Extra virgin olive oil is resistant to low and medium heat.

Despite being heated at 180 ºC (356 ºF) for 36 hours, two varieties of extra virgin olive oil exhibited strong resistance to oxidative damage and retained most of their “minor [phenolic] compounds.” Another study added olive phenols to vegetable oil, then heated it. Adding the olive phenols made the vegetable oil more resistant to oxidation and preserved the vitamin E content, offering more protection than even a synthetic antioxidant designed to do the job.

It’s not just that nothing bad really happens when you cook with EVOO. It’s also that uniquely good things happen when you cook with it.

When you cook sofrito, that Spanish staple of sauteed onions, garlic, peppers, and tomato that forms the basis of many recipes, with olive oil, it gets healthier. Cooking sofrito using olive oil has been shown to protect and enhance the polyphenols found in the various vegetables increase the bioavailability of the polyphenols. The same thing happens to other vegetables cooked in olive oil. Tomato lycopene content, too, is enhanced after cooking with olive oil.

Now, how do I use olive oil?

How I Use Olive Oil

I’ll occasionally take a teaspoon straight up, if it’s good stuff (and I only have good stuff). I really relish that peppery bite you get in the back of your throat—that’s the polyphenol burn.

I drizzle it on cooked lamb—often marinated in nothing but the same olive oil—and follow with flaky salt. Lamb stands up well to more complex marinades, but it’s also great grilled plain and drizzled with good EVOO and salt. Nothing else.

Tomato and cucumber salad. Tomato, cucumber, EVOO, balsamic vinegar, salt. Nothing fancy.

If you haven’t noticed, I like to use good EVOO where I can taste it.

I love preparing fish with olive oil. There’s even evidence that olive oil and fish fat have a synergistic effect on blood lipids and oxidative stress, combining to exert greater benefits than either fat alone or through simple addition.

To sum up…

Olive oil is great for eating cold and dressing salads. This really brings out the flavors and preserves the polyphenols.

But olive oil is great for many cooking methods, too. Olive oil is resistant to heat damage in low and medium heat applications like slow roasting, baking and light sauteing, thanks to the stability of the fatty acids and antioxidant capacity of the polyphenols. It preserves and even enhances nutrient content of vegetables when used to cook.

Olive oil has been around for millennia, and it will continue to stick around. I happen to love Mediterranean food, so you’ll always find it in my kitchen.

In fact, when researchers tried to justify replacing EVOO with canola oil as the primary fat in the Mediterranean diet, they couldn’t do it. Wanted to, but couldn’t. Can you imagine? You’re on your honeymoon, traveling through Tuscany. You stop at a rustic vineyard. The proprietor, Giancarlo, wants to show you his prized homegrown oil, just pressed. He brings in a cask of the finest canola oil; you can still smell the hexane residues.

No thanks.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Do you like olive oil? How do you use it? What’s your favorite way to consume it?

Take care.

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References:

Galvão cândido F, Xavier valente F, Da silva LE, Gonçalves leão coelho O, Gouveia peluzio MDC, Gonçalves alfenas RC. Consumption of extra virgin olive oil improves body composition and blood pressure in women with excess body fat: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Eur J Nutr. 2018;57(7):2445-2455.

Khan TM, Iqbal S, Rashid MA. Comparison Of Lipid Lowering Effect Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil And Atorvastatin In Dyslipidaemia In Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2017;29(1):83-86.

García-gavilán JF, Bulló M, Canudas S, et al. Extra virgin olive oil consumption reduces the risk of osteoporotic fractures in the PREDIMED trial. Clin Nutr. 2018;37(1):329-335.

Carnevale R, Pignatelli P, Nocella C, et al. Extra virgin olive oil blunt post-prandial oxidative stress via NOX2 down-regulation. Atherosclerosis. 2014;235(2):649-58.

Salvini S, Sera F, Caruso D, et al. Daily consumption of a high-phenol extra-virgin olive oil reduces oxidative DNA damage in postmenopausal women. Br J Nutr. 2006;95(4):742-51.

Marrugat J, Covas MI, Fitó M, et al. Effects of differing phenolic content in dietary olive oils on lipids and LDL oxidation–a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Nutr. 2004;43(3):140-7.

De la torre-carbot K, Chávez-servín JL, Jaúregui O, et al. Elevated circulating LDL phenol levels in men who consumed virgin rather than refined olive oil are associated with less oxidation of plasma LDL. J Nutr. 2010;140(3):501-8.

Allouche Y, Jiménez A, Gaforio JJ, Uceda M, Beltrán G. How heating affects extra virgin olive oil quality indexes and chemical composition. J Agric Food Chem. 2007;55(23):9646-54.

Casal S, Malheiro R, Sendas A, Oliveira BP, Pereira JA. Olive oil stability under deep-frying conditions. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010;48(10):2972-9.

Fullana A, Carbonell-barrachina AA, Sidhu S. Comparison of volatile aldehydes present in the cooking fumes of extra virgin olive, olive, and canola oils. J Agric Food Chem. 2004;52(16):5207-14.

Esposto S, Taticchi A, Di maio I, et al. Effect of an olive phenolic extract on the quality of vegetable oils during frying. Food Chem. 2015;176:184-92.

Rinaldi de alvarenga JF, Quifer-rada P, Westrin V, Hurtado-barroso S, Torrado-prat X, Lamuela-raventós RM. Mediterranean Sofrito Home-Cooking Technique Enhances Polyphenol Content In Tomato Sauce. J Sci Food Agric. 2019;

Rinaldi de alvarenga JF, Quifer-rada P, Francetto juliano F, et al. Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Cook Vegetables Enhances Polyphenol and Carotenoid Extractability: A Study Applying the Technique. Molecules. 2019;24(8)

Ramírez-anaya Jdel P, Samaniego-sánchez C, Castañeda-saucedo MC, Villalón-mir M, De la serrana HL. Phenols and the antioxidant capacity of Mediterranean vegetables prepared with extra virgin olive oil using different domestic cooking techniques. Food Chem. 2015;188:430-8.

Vallverdú-queralt A, Regueiro J, De alvarenga JF, Torrado X, Lamuela-raventos RM. Carotenoid profile of tomato sauces: effect of cooking time and content of extra virgin olive oil. Int J Mol Sci. 2015;16(5):9588-99.

Hoffman R, Gerber M. Can rapeseed oil replace olive oil as part of a Mediterranean-style diet?. Br J Nutr. 2014;112(11):1882-95.

The post Primal Guide to Olive Oil: Why and When to Use It appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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As I’ve written before, although most people’s lipid numbers improve across the board, some people get interesting cholesterol responses to Primal ketogenic diets. LDL skyrockets, even LDL particle number. The jury’s out on whether or not they indicate negative health concerns or if keto dieters are a special breed that hasn’t received enough study. (There may be a few genetic profiles, such as APOE4 carriers, that react differently to certain dietary inputs.) Either way some people just want their cholesterol numbers to look good in a conventional way. These days, whenever I run into someone in the real world with these or similar concerns, I tell them to try “Mediterranean keto.”

What is that, anyway?

The Mediterranean diet can mean a lot of different things depending on who you ask. On one side, you have the folks who make the ridiculous claim that the Mediterranean diet consisted of pasta, low-fat dairy, beans, green veggies, seed oils with a “drizzle or two” of extra virgin olive oil for good measure, a handfuls of nuts, and a single filet of sardine once every three days. They avoided salt and red meat and full-fat cheese, somehow ignoring the vast body of salt water on their shores and the large population of sheep and goats roaming the land. I guess that livestock is only there to keep the weeds down.

On the other side, you have the people claiming that the true Mediterranean diet consisted of fatty lamb, hard cheeses, fish filets dripping with oil, skins of homemade red wine, cured meats, endless olives, vegetables at will, and the occasional legume bathing in mutton juices and a tiny piece of bread crust submerged in extra virgin olive oil.

This is probably closer to the truth, but both are a bit hyperbolic.

It also depends on where you’re looking. The Mediterranean is a big sea. Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Crete, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and even France are all technically Mediterranean countries. Are their diets identical? No. Are there common threads running through their respective cuisines? Yes.

  • Olive oil
  • Fish
  • Wine (excepting Muslim dietary practices)
  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Grains and legumes (Yes, they do eat beans and pasta and bread, although perhaps not in the quantities the grain-addicted would prefer)

And that’s not even mentioning all the various social, spiritual, and lifestyle components of the Mediterranean way of life. The sun, the walking, the hills, the family connections, the religious leanings. Today’s label is all about the diet.

The Mediterranean keto diet emphasizes olive oil, fish, cheese, meat, low-carb vegetables, and red wine. In other words, it takes all the keto-compliant foods readily available to denizens of the Mediterranean and constructs a nutrient-dense diet out of them.

And you know what? It seems to work really well.

In one of the most impressive studies, people with severe obesity and metabolic syndrome tried a Mediterranean keto diet for 12 weeks. That’s three months.

Here’s what the diet consisted of:

  • No calorie counting
  • Unlimited protein
  • Lots of fish. At least (and often more than) four days a week, subjects ate over a kilogram of fish each day, mostly sardines, trout, mackerel, and salmon. On the other days, they got their protein from shellfish, meat, fowl, eggs, and cheese.
  • Lots of omega-3s. Subjects were getting over 15 grams of omega-3s on their fish days and supplementing with 9 grams of salmon oil on their non-fish days.
  • At least 200-400 mL of red wine a day, 100-200 mL at lunch and dinner. That’s up to over half a bottle.
  • At least 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of olive oil a day, 10 mL per meal.
  • Maximum two portions of salad and one portion of low-carb vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, etc) per day.
  • A comprehensive vitamin and mineral supplement covering all the basics.

What happened to these subjects after 12 weeks on this Mediterranean keto diet regimen?

On average:

  • They lost 30+ pounds.
  • Their BMIs dropped from almost 37 to 31.5, from the middle of class 2 obesity to the bottom of class 1 obesity.
  • They lost 16 centimeters, or 6 inches, from their waist.
  • Fasting blood sugar dropped from 118 (pre-diabetic) to 91 (ideal).
  • Triglycerides dropped from 224 to 109.
  • HDL increased from 44 to 58.
  • They went from prehypertensive to normotensive.
  • Their liver enzymes and liver fat reduced and in some cases completely resolved.
  • All 22 subjects started the study with metabolic syndrome and ended it without metabolic syndrome.

That last bit is pretty interesting. Note that the majority of the participants were still obese (BMI over 30) by the end of the study, yet every single one had cured their metabolic syndrome. Sure, they lost weight, and the trend was fantastic and heading down, but they weren’t there yet. Something about the diet itself was incredibly powerful.

The only limitation? It was a pilot study, not a randomized controlled trial pitting the Mediterranean keto diet against a control diet in real time. But considering that these people were coming off control diets—which clearly weren’t working for them—and onto the Mediterranean keto diet, it has more real-world power than you might think. You can bet the participants weren’t complaining about a lack of placebo control.

I’m not saying this is the best incarnation of all the potential Mediterranean keto diets out there. But if you’re having mixed metabolic results from the keto diet and looking for a ketogenic option with more monounsaturated fat and omega-3s, it’s the one that has some clinical research behind it. It’s one that doesn’t possess any glaring red flags.

This is also a form of ketogenic dieting that most people will view as “healthy.” It can be hard to get people to accept that putting real cream in their coffee and steak on their plates is good for them, even if they’re approaching death’s door eating what they’ve always eaten. It’s not so hard to get people on board with a diet of olive oil, fish, red wine, and salad. That’s no small feature.

In the end, the ketogenic Mediterranean diet appears to be an effective way to treat metabolic syndrome without scaring people away. For that reason, it might be a good option to try if you’re having issues with cardiovascular markers, blood sugar, hypertension, body fat, or any of the components that make up the metabolic syndrome.

What do you think of the Mediterranean keto diet? Think you could stick to it?

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References:

Pérez-guisado J, Muñoz-serrano A. A pilot study of the Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: an effective therapy for the metabolic syndrome. J Med Food. 2011;14(7-8):681-7.

Pérez-guisado J, Muñoz-serrano A. The effect of the Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a pilot study. J Med Food. 2011;14(7-8):677-80.

The post What is Mediterranean Keto? appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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(This post is an update to an earlier post version.)

A Big-Ass Salad, as you know, is a perfect main meal of the day. However, with a little creativity there’s no limit to how (or when) you can enjoy your favorite combination of vegetables, greens and more. While Primal Kitchen® now offers a literal rainbow of 11 ready-made dressings and marinades that are all natural, whole-food, and fully Primal choices (including vegan and Whole30®-approved options), there’s always room for DIY creativity to fit your favorite salad varieties. Check out these 10 Primal-worthy ideas—and share your own in the comment section. Enjoy!

1. Raspberry Vinaigrette

This salad dressing is a summer classic. It’s tasty and refreshing—especially when paired with a salad of mixed baby greens, feta cheese and toasted walnuts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen (defrosted) raspberries
  • 1/3 cup of Primal Kitchen® Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • 1/2 packet of stevia or monkfruit (or equivalent of other natural, low-carb sweetener)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Method:

Finely chop mint leaves or shred in food processor. Set aside.

Puree fresh or defrosted raspberries in food processor until smooth. Pour into a mason jar or other container with a tight lid.

Mix raspberry puree with extra virgin avocado oil and white wine. Add sea salt, black pepper, sweetener and shredded mint leaves. Close the jar or container tightly, and shake to combine.

Serve immediately over salad and enjoy!

2. Citrus Vinaigrette

Liven up a regular salad with this crisp and refreshing summer-inspired salad dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Again, in a large mason jar or container with a tight lid, combine the orange juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and lemon juice. Drizzle in the avocado oil while whisking vigorously with fork. Once mixed, add the walnuts and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Dill Vinaigrette

This salad dressing is so tasty, you’ll want to double the recipe so that you can have it again when dinner time rolls around!

Ingredients:

Method:
In a blender or food processor (low setting), combine the oil, vinegar, dill weed, onion powder, garlic powder, and dry mustard. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

4. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Although this makes a great, simple salad dressing, it’s equally delicious as a marinade for meat or drizzle on steamed vegetables.

Ingredients:

Method:
In a mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all the ingredients. Shake until all ingredients are combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

5. Basil Vinaigrette

Delicious year round, this salad is especially tasty when paired with an Italian-themed salad laden with fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes.

Ingredients:

Method:
In a bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, wine or vinegar, basil, and garlic. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

6. Parsley Dressing

Try this flavorful dressing on a salad of mixed greens or other mild-flavored salad combination.

Ingredients:

Method:
In a bowl, combine the avocado oil, lemon juice and onion powder. Once combined, add in the chopped parsley, mix thoroughly with a whisk and serve.

7. Lemon Caesar Dressing

Try this citrus-infused spin on the popular salad dressing option.

Ingredients:

Method:
In a bowl, whisk all ingredients except oil and sour cream. Once combined, slowly add oil, whisking constantly until smooth (if you stop, the dressing could break). Once combined, whisk in sour cream until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

8. Asian Dressing

Add a taste of the orient (without the added sugar) with this tangy Asian-inspired dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 3 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp Asian mustard (should be easily found in the ethnic food aisle of your local grocery store)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 medium garlic cloves, minced

Method:
In a bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, sesame seeds, mustard, sugar, salt, and garlic. Once combined, slowly whisk in sesame oil.

9. Ginger-Asian Dressing

A second spin on the Asian dressing theme, this dressing is delicious on salads as well as steamed or grilled veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, fresh, peeled and finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp hot mustard
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger root, grated

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

10. French Style Dressing

Looking for a way to get the kids to eat their greens? This tasty recipe is sure to wow them.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp unsalted tomato paste
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp fresh minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Method:
In a large mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all ingredients, shake it up and serve.

Thanks for stopping in today, everyone. Which dressing looks like something you’d try? Any DIY recipes you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you on the comment board. Have a great end to the week.

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The post 10 Delicious DIY Salad Dressings appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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People go keto for many different reasons. Some want to get better at burning fat so they have a clean, reliable source of steady energy at all times. Some people are treating a neurodegenerative disease, or trying to prevent one from occurring in the first place. Others just want to lose body fat, take advantage of the cognitive effects of ketosis, or stop seizures. Those are all common reasons to go keto. Another reason people go keto is for the benefits to physical performance.

Keto increases energy efficiency. You can do more in the aerobic (fat-burning) zone than a sugar-burner.

Keto spares glycogen. The more fat you’re able to utilize, the more glycogen you preserve for truly intense efforts.

Keto builds new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the power plants of our cells. More mitochondria means a larger engine.

That said, the performance benefits take a few weeks to manifest. During this time, a common side effect of the keto transition is reduced performance in the gym. People report feeling sluggish, slow, weak, and flabby in the days and weeks leading up to their adaptation. It’s understandable (and somewhat expected) why this can happen:

Fat provides tons of energy at a slow rate—but you’re not great at accessing it yet.

Glucose is more scarce but provides energy rapidly—and you just took it out of your diet.

Is there anything you can do to improve your performance in the gym during the transition?

Preserving Performance During the Keto Transition

Increase Fat Content

This goes without saying. Of course you’ll be eating more fat on a ketogenic diet. Right? What I mean is you should increase fat even more than you think for the first week. This has the effect of increasing AMPK activity, which hastens the creation of fat-burning mitochondria, upregulates fat metabolism, and speeds up your ability to utilize ketone bodies.

Increase Intake of Specific Fats

Certain fatty acids seem to increase AMPK more than others. The most potent ones I’ve found are:

Include some mac nuts, EVOO, and wild fatty fish (or quality fish oil) on a regular basis.

Take Your Electrolytes

Electrolytes are already essential when transitioning toward a ketogenic diet. Since they regulate muscle contractions, heart function, intracellular fluid balance, and nerve impulses, they’re even more important when you’re exercising,  Try 4.5 grams sodium (about 2 teaspoons of fine salt or a little under 3 teaspoons of kosher salt), 300-400 mg magnesium, and 1-2 grams of potassium each day on top of your normal food. Going keto really flushes out water weight, and tons of electrolytes leave with it.

Stick To Weights and Walking

The big problem with physical performance during the keto transition is that you’re not great at burning fat, you’re still reliant on glucose to fuel your training, and you don’t have much glucose coming in. For the transition window, this makes high intensity, high volume training a bad idea.

Running a race-pace 10k is going to be hard. Participating in the CrossFit Games is a bad idea. You haven’t yet built the machinery necessary to make those work, nor do you have the glucose necessary to tide you over. You know what will work? Weights and walking.

Walking is totally aerobic, using almost no glycogen of note. Weight training can be glycogen-dependent, but doesn’t have to be if you keep weights high and volume low. Think low (2-6 reps) volume weight training. Whatever you do, the key is to make sure your training is low-stress.

Stick to weights and walking and you’ll hasten keto-adaptation, not harm it. Then you can resume some of your normal activities.

Take Creatine

Creatine boosts muscle content of phosphocreatine, which we can use to generate large amounts of ATP in a short period of time for quick bursts of speed or strength. This doesn’t dip into glycogen or fat. It’s ATP-PC, or ATP-phosphocreatine. If you’re going to sprint or lift heavy stuff, you’ll definitely want extra creatine in your muscles.

No need to “pre-load” creatine. Just take 5 grams a day and be sure to drink plenty of water and get plenty of electrolytes (which you’ll already be doing on keto).

Sprint Carefully

If you’re going to sprint on keto, keep a few tips in mind.

Short sprints—3-5 seconds.

Plenty of rest—as much as you need to go as hard and fast as the last one. This gives you the chance to replenish some of your phosphocreatine.

This won’t fully replenish your ATP-PC stores. You won’t be able to go as hard, or do as many reps as you’d like in subsequent sprints. But if you absolutely must sprint, this the way to do it without relying on glucose. Look for the sensation of diminished power. That’s when you’re hitting the PC wall and will start dipping into glucose. Avoid that sensation. Stop short of it.

Don’t freak out if you “dip into glucose,” though. Yeah, dipping into glucose constantly will inhibit keto-adaptation in the early stages, but once or twice won’t make a big difference. Just don’t make glucose-intensive work a habit.

Get Primal Endurance

Brad Kearns and I wrote Primal Endurance because endurance athletes needed a better, safer, healthier way to do the thing they love-hated. I know, because that was us. We both got out of serious endurance athletics because it was harming more than helping us. But that doesn’t mean we stopped missing it. Once an endurance athlete, always an endurance athlete. You can’t shake the bug.

Primal Endurance shows you how to build a powerful, long-lasting aerobic base using primarily stored body fat. It’s the perfect complement to a keto lifestyle, especially if you want to optimize your athletic performance and make your physical activity support rather than inhibit keto-adaptation.

Understand the Purpose of Training

Lifting in the gym isn’t a competition. You’re not being paid. The whole point of lifting weights, running sprints, and doing low level aerobic activity is to get better at doing those things. It’s not about “winning” every workout. That’s what training is—accepting paltry results with the assurance that you’re getting better. Think about it.

When you add 50 pounds to the bar, it’s harder. The bar moves more slowly. You can’t do as many reps. From your brain’s perspective, you’re suddenly “weaker.” Yet, it’s the best way to get stronger in the long run.

When you try a new sport or physical activity, you’re no good. You’re a beginner. People you’re sure you could trounce in your preferred activities are destroying you. This doesn’t mean you should give up. It means you have to get better. And if you stick with it, you will get better.

When you train on your newly keto diet, think of it like you’re increasing weight, upping the intensity, or learning a new sport. You’re not weaker. You’re not getting worse. The training is getting harder. The pain is increasing. And, although it might not feel like it right now, you’re going to be better off in the long run.

Once you’re fully fat-adapted and able to utilize fats, ketones, and glycogen, you’re going to be an unstoppable force.

Okay, that’s short term. What about long term?

How To Enhance Performance Long-Term With Keto

Carb Cycle When Necessary

Once you’ve been keto for at least a month, don’t be afraid to cycle in carbs to support your intense training. If you’ve depleted muscle glycogen with an intense training session, you’ve created a glycogen debt and any carbs you eat in the hours following that workout will go to repleting that glycogen. Best of all, intense training upregulates insulin-independent glycogen uptake immediately post-workout. That means if you do it right, you don’t even need to increase insulin to shove those glucose molecules into your muscles.

Carb Cycle the Right Way

Many people do carb cycling on keto completely wrong. They spend two days binging on bear claws and gummy bears then wonder why they’ve gained weight and lost progress. A few tips:

You probably need fewer carbs than you think. A little snack of 20-40 grams of carbs right after a really intense workout can make all the difference in the world without knocking you out of ketosis, provided you’ve accumulated enough of a glycogen debt.

Choose the right carbs. A sweet potato the night before to top off glycogen stores, a cooked-and-cooled white potato (diced and quickly seared until crispy in a pan is my favorite way to eat these), or UCAN Superstarch (whose slow absorption has minimal impact on insulin and thus ketones) are all good choices.

Do it for the right reasons. Don’t carb cycle because you miss French fries. Carb cycle because you’ve depleted glycogen.

And hell, briefly exiting ketosis isn’t the end of the world. Most people doing keto aren’t doing it as a life or death intervention. They just want to look, feel, and perform better. Don’t let keto become an ideology. It is a tool for your pleasure.

Chase Results, Not Ketones

In my experience, the people who focus on results rather than ketone readings do best.

Heck, if you spend half your time stressing about your ketone levels, the resultant cortisol will probably trigger gluconeogenesis and inhibit keto-adaptation by introducing a flood of new glucose into your body.

Are you leaning out? Thinking more clearly? Skipping the afternoon nap and breakroom donuts without even thinking about it? Lifting more? Running easier? Lab tests improving?

Then you’re good. That’s what matters.

Besides, the point of keto-adaptation is fat-adaptation—the ability of your muscles to utilize free fatty acids. That’s the real power of going keto, because once the fat-burning machinery is established and your muscles can use fats directly, you have more leeway to eat protein and cycle carbs.

Those are the tips I’ve found to be most useful for people acclimating to exercise on a keto diet. What’s worked for you?

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The post Exercising While Keto: 11 Tips for the Transition (and Long-Term) appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering several questions from readers about my own personal routines and interests as well as a Primal take on beginning fitness. First, what’s my sleep hygiene routine? Do I even have one, and how has it changed over the years? Second, how do I make sure I’m staying on track in life? What’s the “one marker to rule them all”? Third, are there any good supplements or interventions for DOMS—delayed onset muscle soreness—due to training? Fourth, what are two places I’d love to live, and live Primally? Fifth, how should a totally inexperienced person who’s just lost a bunch of weight through eating alone get started with exercise? And sixth, how do I handle myself in eating situations where I have no direct control over the quality of ingredients (oils, etc) used?

Let’s go:

Question for you – what does your nighttime sleep hygiene “routine” look like? I am experimenting with the best ways to wind down and prepare my body and mind to fall asleep, and am curious to learn more about your regimen or any tips you have.

Thanks!

Be sure to check out the upcoming post on sleep I’ve got in the works. It will help answer your questions.

But I’ll talk a bit about my personal routine. My ultimate goal is to wind down from the work day—clearing my head of current and future concerns and stressors so that I can focus on the here and now, spend time with family, and turn off for the night. That’s not to say I’m not thinking about work or business at all. I’m just not doing so actively. In fact, it’s when I’ve cleared my head of the day-to-day stuff that new ideas hit me. I’ll jot ’em down if they seem to have legs and move on.

Up until a few years ago, my “wind down” routine involved a couple glasses of wine with dinner. It did the trick, sure, but there were side effects. I started waking up around 3-4 AM every morning. And my gut health really took a hit, with my old IBS symptoms returning. Those weren’t acceptable to me.

I limit the wine at night more carefully now. I’ve also switched to dry farmed natural wine from Dry Farm Wines—lower alcohol content, zero added preservatives, minimal sugar, more ancient fermentation methods—and I don’t have the same negative effects. But even then, I don’t use wine to relax before bed.

I’ll turn electronics off; the blue light they emit kills melatonin and makes your circadian rhythm think it’s daytime. If I’m on top of my game, I’ll light a bunch of candles around the house and forego artificial lights altogether. If I have to attend to some business or write an email or anything, I’ll wear blue light-blocking goggles and make sure f.lux is activated on the computer and the phone is on night mode, both of which reduce blue light.

I’ll spend quality time with my wife, be present in the moment, talk quietly about our day, laugh about something or other. I won’t be scouring social media trying to find something out in the world to feel angry or powerless over.

If it’s been a particularly trying day (or week), I’ll take some Adaptogenic Calm to take the edge off the cortisol.

My routine is mostly about avoiding or eliminating the supranormal stimuli that occupy our brains, suppress our natural melatonin, and make getting to sleep at a reasonable time impossible. It’s very basic and very effective.

If you could only choose one way of measuring/tracking your performance (in life generally, across the board) for the rest of your life, what would you select eg how you feel when you wake up, or your ability to play ultimate frisbee intensely for 60 minutes, or how your posture looks in the mirror etc?

LDL cholesterol.

Just kidding.

I’d ask myself “Do I feel excited about my day, my week, my month, and my year?” If the answer is “yes” to all, I’m in a good place and everything else is working to support that.

I would be interested to learn about the best ways to combat muscle soreness following tough workouts. Sometimes I feel like my progress is slowed because I’m too sore to workout again. Any special recommendations?

The main thing is to just weather the storm. Soreness is unavoidable, especially if you’re really pushing yourself.

Massage can help. If you don’t have access to someone who’ll massage you, self treatment with a foam roller or lacrosse ball can be effective.

Compression garments may help with muscle stiffness.

Taurine helps. Eat beef hearts or take supplements.

L-citrulline helps. Eat watermelon or take supplements.

I’d love to hear about your ultimate primal food destinations. Where you’d love to go for certain wild delicacies, bluff oysters in NZ etc… & your top three areas in the world to live primally.

Fun idea. I’ll do two fantasy scenarios. Maybe more later when I can think of them.

Hawaii, Big Island or Kauai (can’t pick): Swimming/paddling every day, spearfishing, keeping centipede-fed chickens and goats and grass-fed cows for eggs and milk and meat, grinding my own coconut butter, hiking through jungles and valleys, across lava beds. In the mornings, Carrie does yoga and I do pullups and KB swings. There’s nothing quite like the tropics. I think maybe a long lost ancestor of mine washed ashore in some South Pacific island, ingratiated himself among the locals, then married and sired several children, one of whom caught a merchant ship back to northern Europe.

Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey, southern Italy): We walk down the slope through gnarled olive tree grove to our small boat, sail out onto cobalt sea, drink unpronounceable local wine, nibble hard sheep cheese, and grill the pair of fish (and unexpected octopus!) I just caught on charcoal grill. Afterwards go for a swim, diving down to wrecks of Bronze Age warships; coming up to lay on the deck just in time for midday UVB-rich sun.

What are suggested ways for overweight and/or “out-of-shape” people to start an exercise regimen (after they have dialed in their diet)?

Start walking every day. Half hour minimum, hour ideal. Take your walks in as interesting a location as you can find. Nature trails are better than treadmills. Dense city streets are better than empty suburban sidewalks. Do that for three weeks.

Lift something heavy twice a week. Your own bodyweight may suffice. Weights are great, too. The Primal Blueprint Fitness program is very simple and very effective, especially if you’ve never done any exercise before. Start there.

That’s it.

Hi Mark,

I would like to know how you handle eating in social situations, restaurants, personal residences, weddings, etc.

Do you ask a lot of questions (like what kind of oil was used) or totally avoid anything suspect as politely as you can, or just not worry about it?

I vet all my friends for cooking oil preference, so there’s no danger there. Anyone who uses an oil containing over 20% omega-6 PUFA get the boot from the Sisson circle.

(Kidding.)

If I’m at a restaurant, I don’t make much of a fuss. If it’s a breakfast joint, I’ll request that they cook everything (scrambles, omelets, etc) in butter because every breakfast joint has butter on hand. I’ll ask what kind of oil’s “in the dressing” because that info is readily available.

If it’s Indian, I’ll request that they cook with “real ghee” or “desi ghee” (as opposed to “ghee” made from vegetable oil). I did have a Thai place I loved where they kept a jar of coconut oil around for our orders. It may seem like an awkward request, but most places just want to please their customers.

I have no qualms about traveling with and busting out my own Primal Kitchen® products, though.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week. I’d love to hear any of your responses to these questions, too.

saladdressings_640x80

The post Dear Mark: Bedtime Routine, One Marker, DOMS, Primal Fantasy Lives, Basic Exercise, and Outside Eating Situations appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering several questions from readers about my own personal routines and interests as well as a Primal take on beginning fitness. First, what’s my sleep hygiene routine? Do I even have one, and how has it changed over the years? Second, how do I make sure I’m staying on track in life? What’s the “one marker to rule them all”? Third, are there any good supplements or interventions for DOMS—delayed onset muscle soreness—due to training? Fourth, what are two places I’d love to live, and live Primally? Fifth, how should a totally inexperienced person who’s just lost a bunch of weight through eating alone get started with exercise? And sixth, how do I handle myself in eating situations where I have no direct control over the quality of ingredients (oils, etc) used?

Let’s go:

Question for you – what does your nighttime sleep hygiene “routine” look like? I am experimenting with the best ways to wind down and prepare my body and mind to fall asleep, and am curious to learn more about your regimen or any tips you have.

Thanks!

Be sure to check out the upcoming post on sleep I’ve got in the works. It will help answer your questions.

But I’ll talk a bit about my personal routine. My ultimate goal is to wind down from the work day—clearing my head of current and future concerns and stressors so that I can focus on the here and now, spend time with family, and turn off for the night. That’s not to say I’m not thinking about work or business at all. I’m just not doing so actively. In fact, it’s when I’ve cleared my head of the day-to-day stuff that new ideas hit me. I’ll jot ’em down if they seem to have legs and move on.

Up until a few years ago, my “wind down” routine involved a couple glasses of wine with dinner. It did the trick, sure, but there were side effects. I started waking up around 3-4 AM every morning. And my gut health really took a hit, with my old IBS symptoms returning. Those weren’t acceptable to me.

I limit the wine at night more carefully now. I’ve also switched to dry farmed natural wine from Dry Farm Wines—lower alcohol content, zero added preservatives, minimal sugar, more ancient fermentation methods—and I don’t have the same negative effects. But even then, I don’t use wine to relax before bed.

I’ll turn electronics off; the blue light they emit kills melatonin and makes your circadian rhythm think it’s daytime. If I’m on top of my game, I’ll light a bunch of candles around the house and forego artificial lights altogether. If I have to attend to some business or write an email or anything, I’ll wear blue light-blocking goggles and make sure f.lux is activated on the computer and the phone is on night mode, both of which reduce blue light.

I’ll spend quality time with my wife, be present in the moment, talk quietly about our day, laugh about something or other. I won’t be scouring social media trying to find something out in the world to feel angry or powerless over.

If it’s been a particularly trying day (or week), I’ll take some Adaptogenic Calm to take the edge off the cortisol.

My routine is mostly about avoiding or eliminating the supranormal stimuli that occupy our brains, suppress our natural melatonin, and make getting to sleep at a reasonable time impossible. It’s very basic and very effective.

If you could only choose one way of measuring/tracking your performance (in life generally, across the board) for the rest of your life, what would you select eg how you feel when you wake up, or your ability to play ultimate frisbee intensely for 60 minutes, or how your posture looks in the mirror etc?

LDL cholesterol.

Just kidding.

I’d ask myself “Do I feel excited about my day, my week, my month, and my year?” If the answer is “yes” to all, I’m in a good place and everything else is working to support that.

I would be interested to learn about the best ways to combat muscle soreness following tough workouts. Sometimes I feel like my progress is slowed because I’m too sore to workout again. Any special recommendations?

The main thing is to just weather the storm. Soreness is unavoidable, especially if you’re really pushing yourself.

Massage can help. If you don’t have access to someone who’ll massage you, self treatment with a foam roller or lacrosse ball can be effective.

Compression garments may help with muscle stiffness.

Taurine helps. Eat beef hearts or take supplements.

L-citrulline helps. Eat watermelon or take supplements.

I’d love to hear about your ultimate primal food destinations. Where you’d love to go for certain wild delicacies, bluff oysters in NZ etc… & your top three areas in the world to live primally.

Fun idea. I’ll do two fantasy scenarios. Maybe more later when I can think of them.

Hawaii, Big Island or Kauai (can’t pick): Swimming/paddling every day, spearfishing, keeping centipede-fed chickens and goats and grass-fed cows for eggs and milk and meat, grinding my own coconut butter, hiking through jungles and valleys, across lava beds. In the mornings, Carrie does yoga and I do pullups and KB swings. There’s nothing quite like the tropics. I think maybe a long lost ancestor of mine washed ashore in some South Pacific island, ingratiated himself among the locals, then married and sired several children, one of whom caught a merchant ship back to northern Europe.

Mediterranean (Greece, Turkey, southern Italy): We walk down the slope through gnarled olive tree grove to our small boat, sail out onto cobalt sea, drink unpronounceable local wine, nibble hard sheep cheese, and grill the pair of fish (and unexpected octopus!) I just caught on charcoal grill. Afterwards go for a swim, diving down to wrecks of Bronze Age warships; coming up to lay on the deck just in time for midday UVB-rich sun.

What are suggested ways for overweight and/or “out-of-shape” people to start an exercise regimen (after they have dialed in their diet)?

Start walking every day. Half hour minimum, hour ideal. Take your walks in as interesting a location as you can find. Nature trails are better than treadmills. Dense city streets are better than empty suburban sidewalks. Do that for three weeks.

Lift something heavy twice a week. Your own bodyweight may suffice. Weights are great, too. The Primal Blueprint Fitness program is very simple and very effective, especially if you’ve never done any exercise before. Start there.

That’s it.

Hi Mark,

I would like to know how you handle eating in social situations, restaurants, personal residences, weddings, etc.

Do you ask a lot of questions (like what kind of oil was used) or totally avoid anything suspect as politely as you can, or just not worry about it?

I vet all my friends for cooking oil preference, so there’s no danger there. Anyone who uses an oil containing over 20% omega-6 PUFA get the boot from the Sisson circle.

(Kidding.)

If I’m at a restaurant, I don’t make much of a fuss. If it’s a breakfast joint, I’ll request that they cook everything (scrambles, omelets, etc) in butter because every breakfast joint has butter on hand. I’ll ask what kind of oil’s “in the dressing” because that info is readily available.

If it’s Indian, I’ll request that they cook with “real ghee” or “desi ghee” (as opposed to “ghee” made from vegetable oil). I did have a Thai place I loved where they kept a jar of coconut oil around for our orders. It may seem like an awkward request, but most places just want to please their customers.

I have no qualms about traveling with and busting out my own Primal Kitchen® products, though.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week. I’d love to hear any of your responses to these questions, too.

saladdressings_640x80

The post Dear Mark: Bedtime Routine, One Marker, DOMS, Primal Fantasy Lives, Basic Exercise, and Outside Eating Situtations appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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