Experiment with “real” whole grains that are still in their “whole” form and haven’t been refined. Quinoa cooks up in just 20 minutes, making it a great side dish for weeknight meals. Barley is full of fiber and it’s filling: pair it with mushrooms for a steamy, satisfying soup. A hot bowl of oatmeal is perfect for breakfast on a cold winter morning. Even popcorn is a whole grain—just keep it healthy by eating air-popped corn and forgo the butter (try a drizzle of olive oil instead). Supplement your intake with other whole-grain products, like whole-wheat bread and pasta. Look for the term “whole” or “whole grain” on the food package and in the ingredient list—it should be listed as the first ingredient. But if you still find it too hard to make the switch from your old refined favorites, phase in a whole grain by using whole-grain blends of pastas and rice or mixing whole grains half-and-half with a refined one (like half whole-wheat pasta and half white).
Interestingly, a few years ago the American Heart Association lowered the recommended intake of saturated fat to no more than 7% of total calories eaten each day. Olive oil is 14% saturated fat. (The average American consumes a diet with about 14% saturated fat.) So if you’re using a lot of olive oil on your food, it’d be hard to have a diet that’s less than 14% saturated fat, which means your arteries are being subjected to double the saturated-fat-limit that the AHA recommends.
Extremely quick weight loss is possible, but it’s rarely healthy and almost never permanent. The Weight-Control Information Network website warns that losing more than 3 pounds per week is too fast. Losing weight quickly by following a fad diet may get you into that wedding dress, but the extra pounds will most likely be waiting for you when the honeymoon’s over. Thus, you can go on a fad olive oil diet, or you can incorporate heart-healthy olive oil into a nutritious diet and drop five pounds that are much more likely to stay gone. Consult your doctor before beginning any new diet.
It’s confusing because coconut oil marketers imply that lauric acid is the same as monolaurin, an extremely potent antimicrobial that is derived from lauric acid. (They are not the same…I used monolaurin when I had candida years ago, and depending on your gut bacteria, you may create monolaurin in your gut when you eat affordable coconut oil.) Given how common and cheap this stuff is, it’s no wonder that companies are tempted to sell it as a true MCT. Two years ago, I looked into making a more affordable MCT oil containing lauric acid. I’d have made a killing selling what is basically coconut oil as something special, but it simply doesn’t work, and it’s not truthful marketing. #notgonnahappen
The ketogenic diet is a diet based on the consumption of predominately fat, giving less emphasis to the other two macronutrients, particularly carbohydrates. While ratios vary depending on the individual and their goals, consumption typically consists of only five to ten percent carbohydrates, fifteen to thirty percent protein and the remainder of the diet is made up of fat.
In 2017, Drs. Kevin Hall and Juen Guo published a meta-analysis of controlled feeding studies that compared diets of equal calorie and protein content with variations in carbohydrate and fat content. By designing the study in this way, the researchers could finally find out whether restricting carbs or limiting calories is more important when it comes to weight loss.
Flynn had always had an interest in dietary guidelines and how various diet patterns impact weight and disease risk. She was especially intrigued after having read the Seven Countries Study in the mid-1980s that demonstrated notable cardiovascular benefits from what is now widely known as the Mediterranean Diet, in which individuals consume considerable amounts of healthy fats, especially olive oil. Flynn had also spent time analyzing the literature behind dietary guidelines and recommendations and was “astounded” by the lack of evidence supporting the health claims made by proponents of low-fat diets. She went on to co-author a book, Low-Fat Lies (Lifeline Press, 1999), drawing on the scientific evidence revealing the numerous problems with extremely low-fat diets and demonstrating the positive effects of a more Mediterranean-style eating pattern.
According to the US FDA, having two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease, due to its monounsaturated fat content. Some of the antioxidants present in extra virgin olive oil like oleocanthal and oleuropein are known for their anti-inflammatory action and help in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol which can be a risk factor for heart disease.
The second reason is arguably more important: Vegies taste better with olive oil, so people are likely to eat more. “My rule of thumb is one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to one cup of veg,” Flynn says, adding that sautéing them or roasting are tasty options, plus these methods maintain much of their nutrient value. “Eating veg like this fills you up and stops you being hungry.” An added bonus, she says, is fibre from the veg also improves bowel regularity.