There’s a lot of questions about health out there. Here’s my best effort to condense many of the common ones into quick, usable answers. Don’t be surprised if many of them start with “it depends” (since that’s the best general answer) but I’ll follow with a simple answer for those seeking basic info. If you want more detail keep your eye out for the imbedded links sprinkled about. I’ve tried to organize them under the general Bare 5 Pillars or Hot Topics but many of these crossover so you might have to dig a little bit to find what you’re looking for. Or you can check out the But What About… page in the main menu for several other FAQs type info.
Hot Topics: Cholesterol, Paleo, Keto, Supplements, Gluten, Science, Microbiome/Gut, What The Health/Forks Over Knives/etc.
Fasting: is it good?
That depends. I think most people should skip meals on a pretty regular basis (once a week) and do a longer fast of 18-24 hours every couple weeks. There’s no real “right” way to do it- if you look at the dozens of different styles they all work for some people but not for others. If you can’t skip a meal, there’s a problem. Here’s a bit more.
Breakfast: What should I eat?
Whatever you like that doesn’t leave you hungry before your next meal. This is highly personal but usually the better you eat on your first meal the better the rest of you day goes. For many that means easy on the carbs and sugar and a decent amount of protein but that’s not universal. For more >> Is Breakfast That Important?
Coffee: good or bad?
Good for most people who use it mildly and without a ton of sugar. Bad for people who use it to mask not sleeping enough and in the form of frappaucinos. I’ve used Bare 5 Coffee for a while. For more >> Coffee
Do calories matter?
Yes and no. Ultimately the energy you actually take in versus the energy you actually expend matters but things like hormones, exercise, rest, stress and genes play a huge role in how accurately we can estimate calorie burn vs. intake. For more on calories >>
Gluten: Is it good or bad?
Most people I’ve interacted with feel better when limiting or eliminating wheat and other similar grains. Whether it’s from the actual gluten avoidance (or carb/FODMAP) or from limiting all the processed foods that contain wheat, it seems to help. For more >>
How often should I workout?
However often you like, as long as you feel good, make progress and don’t get hurt. You should move every day but when it comes to working out/exercise the answer is more personal and has a lot of variation. Most people find that 3-4 “workouts” are the sweet spot. For more on working out >>
Should I get a standup desk?
It depends. If it helps you be more mindful of your posture and movement throughout the day, yes. If it means you’re just standing still all day, no. For more on standup desks >>
How much should I sleep?
Usually it’s between 7-9 hours. Very few can really live well off less than 6-7 for too long without consequences and very few need more than 9 on a regular basis if nothing is wrong. If you need to sleep 10 hours a night all year long then something is wrong. If you think you can get by on 5 hour a night, something will go wrong. For more on sleep >>
Barefoot: Good or bad?
Almost always good. Maybe a problem if you go too quickly and intensely from shod to barefoot but if you take your time and allow your feet time to adapt to working then most people feel tremendously better being barefoot more often, particularly when outside. For more on barefoot >>
Is fun worth it?
Yes. Whenever you can have fun, do it.
Is cholesterol a problem?
Not really. It is substance vital to life and prosperity that is involved with the heart disease process but is more a reflection of the body’s adaptation to life, not the cause of disease. It’s one of the biggest topics on this blog over the years and I’ve written a ton about it so for much more on cholesterol >>
What Is The Paleo/Primal/Ancestral Lifestyle?
This depends on who you ask in the Paleo/Primal/Ancestral world. Personally, I like to use information, clues, logic and intuition gathered from ancestral humans and modern day hunter gatherer lifestyles to guide my thought processes in the modern world. PPA lifestyles are not based on imitation or mimicry. We can use them as a guide of what we should probably be doing and then assimilate that into modern life to the extent that we choose.
Why Eat Paleo?
Well, because it makes you feel, look and perform better and it is the best approach I’ve seen in getting us back to the basic human condition. Here’s a good post from FitBomb about why to eat paleo.
What’s the Keto Diet?
It’s a diet geared toward getting the body to burn fat as a primary energy source. For more on keto >>
Fish oil – so so reviews and a lot to figure out here. For more on fish oil >>
Wheat is a problem?
Are probiotics good?
Eh. For some people yes, but we still have a ton of work to be done in this realm. For more on the gut and microbiome >>
Is What the Health right?
Yes and no.
Much more coming soon…