If you look at your diet and worry that there's barely a green to be seen, this is the perfect opportunity to fit in more veggies. A good way to do this is to eat one serving at snacktime, like crunching on bell pepper strips or throwing a handful of spinach into a smoothie), and one at dinner, like these quick and easy side dishes. Aim for at least two servings per day. More is better. At least three servings can help you bust stress, Australian research notes.
To start, olive oil is very high in compounds called phenols, which are potent antioxidants capable of lowering inflammation and fighting free radical damage. Olive oil is mainly made up of monounsaturated fatty acids, the most important of which is called oleic acid. Oleic acid is known to be extremely heart-healthy in numerous ways, especially when compared to many other refined vegetable oils, trans-fats or hydrogenated fats.
Your individual fat adaptation period. Remember your body needs time to become fat-adapted and that time depends on your metabolism. For instance, if you’re coming off a Standard American Diet (SAD) and your adult body has never run on ketones before, your adaptation period might take a little longer. You’ll only experience the true weight loss effects of keto when your body is actually running on ketones.
Eat the right amount of protein. Too much protein can increase insulin levels and decrease ketone levels, while not consuming enough protein can cause you to burn muscle rather than fat. If you exercise, protein levels should be hovering around 0.8g – 1.0g protein per lean pound of body mass a day. This helps with muscle mass retention and growth. However, if you are not exercising – your protein intake doesn’t need to be as high. A protein intake of 0.6g – 0.8g of protein per lean pound of body mass is going to be fine for sedentary individuals.
Gut health is extremely important for anyone looking to lose weight and increase overall health[*][*]. It is not uncommon for those who shift to a ketogenic diet to have a change in the production of bacteria in their colon (although not necessarily a bad thing – just a change)[*]. To help support this change and increase the healthy bacteria in your gut, try consuming more fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi or kefir and/or supplement with a high-quality probiotic[*][*].
When examining the studies, the researchers noted that, on average, the participants in the VLCKD groups lost about 2 lbs. more of bodyweight compared to the low-fat diet groups.  This difference was statistically significant and described as “moderate”. The researchers also noted greater improvements in triglycerides, blood pressure, and HDL cholesterol in the VLCKD group compared to the low-fat diet group.
Our European neighbors have known for many centuries of the many benefits of olive oil — they use it inside the body and out! On the skin, they use it as an exfoliant mixed into a sugar scrub or as a moisturizer. But you don’t have to smear olive oil all over you; drinking it will provide known anti-aging compounds, like antioxidants and vitamin E.
Best ever support for intermittent fasting, kills cravings and boosts energy. After only a couple weeks I could nicely fit into a skirt I wore 20 years ago in high school. There are sometimes light headaches due to 200mg caffeine (I’m not used to drinking the equivalent in coffee) but when you move around it’s easy to forget. Overall, I’m truly happy with the results :)
It’s no secret that carbs—especially refined ones like sugary cereals, white bread and pasta, or sweet drinks—cause your blood sugar to spike and dip. So it makes sense that eating less of them can help keep things nice and even. For healthy people, this can translate to more steady energy, less brain fog, and fewer sugary cravings, Mancinelli explains.
Keto flu is a real thing. Cutting your carbs to the bone and going into a state of ketosis (where your body burns fat for energy) can bring on a cluster of uncomfortable symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. The side effects are the result of your body transitioning to using fat as its primary source of energy instead of carbs, explains Kristen Mancinelli, MS, RDN, author of The Ketogenic Diet. Once it adapts to the new fuel source (usually within a week or two), you’ll start to feel better.
When asked about the impact of importation of adulterated olive oils on her work, Flynn said that it was a “huge concern.” She realized that the ubiquity of poor-quality olive oils likely explains why she did not always get consistent results with her patients. She feels that “a people’s revolution” is needed to have an impact on the corruption issues in the olive oil world and aims to improve others’ knowledge and awareness of the adulteration problem by spreading the word.
MCTs have antiviral and antibacterial properties and there is some evidence that they may help balance gut bacteria and combat pathogenic bacteria. They also offer the digestive system a break because they are so easily utilized by the body. When used with a healthy diet and other ways to support gut bacteria, MCTs may help improve gut health over time. (Though regular coconut oil may be more effective for this, see below).
While some Mediterranean diets do include a good deal of carbohydrates — in the form of pasta or bread, for example — being active and otherwise consuming very low levels of sugar means that insulin resistance remains rare in these countries. The Mediterranean style of eating helps prevent peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels, which zaps energy and takes a toll on your mood. All of these various factors contribute to this diet’s diabetes prevention capabilities.
Of course, the most famous use for MCT oil is Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof® Coffee recipe. This fat-packed coffee uses a mixture of grass-fed butter and MCT oil for a brain and energy boost. I accomplish similar results by adding coconut oil to my healthy coffee recipe, but have tried the MCT version and can vouch for its energy-boosting and brain-focus inducing properties. (Note: There are two Bulletproof® brand MCT oils: XCT Oil (C8+C10)and Brain Octane oil (Pure C8), which do contain palm but are sustainably sourced and use a super-clean steam distillation process of extraction).
We now know that ideally MCT oils like coconut oil should actually be consumed every day. Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in things like coconut oil or grass-fed beef, are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too.
I so admire all the hard work you put into this article. I learned so much ! And you look healthy and great ! This article was really thorough and includes everything someone like me needs to know about keto. I’ve slogged through the last 1 1/2 to 2 years on a so-so low carb diet, never really committing. I have more energy now but I know I could have more. Yes, I lost some weight–about 25 to 30 pounds over the course of the last two years, but I need to lose way more. Just in the last week or so I’ve started seriously considering keto and trying to learn more about it. Your article was a godsend…thank you !! You’ve given me just that boost I needed ! Thanks so much !!
Informed-Choice is an adulteration monitoring program through LGC that conducts monthly blind batch testing of registered products at the retail level and posts updated results on their website. The Informed-Choice logo indicates that these products have been tested for, and certified to be free of, banned substances through the Informed-Choice certification program.
"Growing up, I was always sick to my stomach and doctors couldn’t see anything wrong. After going keto, all those symptoms went away, until I have a cheat meal. For the first year, I didn’t have any cheats. Now, 95 percent of the time it’s keto, but if we go on vacation or have an anniversary, I’ll have a cheat meal. I usually don’t feel good after cheating and I remember why I don't like to do it."
Hallberg and colleagues are currently in the midst of a study in which ten overweight mostly menopausal women, who have been doing low carb keto eating but whose weight loss has stalled prematurely, will spend about five days in a monitored environment. During this time the women’s food and activity will be observed and recorded and their metabolism analyzed. While studies like this have been done before, this is the first time the focus has been on women who have stalled in their weight loss on a low carb and high fat diet, Hallberg says. “Most of the other studies found it was overconsumption leading to the problem. We want to see what is happening for these women.”
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil has many benefits when used properly. You may not want to cook with it at high temperatures, though. While it appears to be more stable than other vegetable oils, all oils break down and lose their nutrients and flavor when cooked on high heat. Plus, the oxidation that happens during cooking may actually create compounds that attack healthy tissues in the body. For cooking at extremely high temperatures, it may be advisable to use a more stable fat that’s a shorter chain fatty acid, like coconut oil or avocado oil.
Now that Flynn’s diet has demonstrated acceptance and encouraging results among several different populations, she feels that its potential is even greater than she had first fathomed. The financial accessibility of a plant-based olive oil diet is one of its most significant features, since it is often assumed that such an eating pattern will inherently be pricier than a more traditional standard American diet. Flynn remarks, “When someone says that olive oil is expensive, I point out that they are comparing olive oil pricing to vegetable oil, which I do not think is a fair comparison.” She goes on to note that since animal products often comprise the lion’s share of one’s food budget, purchasing less meat while adding more olive oil typically results in a decrease in overall food costs. This point is especially important for Flynn’s current work with food pantry clients and her future plans to bring the diet to low-income populations to improve their risk factors for chronic diseases.
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin levels become very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy. This may help keep you alert and focused.
From this foundation, Flynn’s plant-based olive oil (PBOO) diet was born. She determined its components based on validated research examining food and chronic diseases. The cornerstone foods of the diet are extra virgin olive oil, vegetables (with particular emphasis on those with deep color and those from the cruciferous family), and starches/grains (ideally those that are whole), with minimal animal protein. Flynn was initially curious as to whether or not her diet would aid in weight loss. She hypothesized that as long as calories were controlled (~1500 calories per day for women, ~1800-2000 calorie per day for men), having healthy fats at every meal, in the form of nuts at breakfast and extra virgin olive oil at lunch and dinner, along with vegetable-heavy lunches and dinners, would help individuals feel more satiated and help them lose weight. Overall, those who follow her diet eat four to five servings of fat daily, most of which is extra virgin olive oil.
Wow! You look great. I am in. Always worked out, always ate what I thought was cleanly. 2 years ago I began eating primally and was in awesome shape but let the stresses of the wine biz add it back on. A piece of bread (or 3!!!) here and there, etc. In just two days, I’ve lost 3 lbs. I work out 4 days a week (2 day split x 2, all free weights) and HIIT 2 x a week (usually one day on its own and then on chest/back/tri day). No fears of bulking up (I’m female).