Eating the Mediterranean way might be a natural Parkinson’s disease treatment, a great way to preserve your memory, and a step in the right direction for naturally treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Cognitive disorders can occur when the brain isn’t getting a sufficient amount of dopamine, an important chemical necessary for proper body movements, mood regulation and thought processing.
Some people are firm believers in taking MCT oil daily just like a supplement, straight from the spoon or mixed into drinks. MCT oil has no taste or smell, so this is an option if you’re really looking to increase your intake quickly. But be careful — a little goes a long way. People should start off with half a teaspoon and work their way up to one tablespoon.
Once fat adapted, cut back on extra fat: One of the great joys of low-carb keto eating is adding back fat into our bodies after denying them fat for so long. But a keto diet is not carte blanche to gorge yourself on fat, the experts note. If you want to lose weight, you have to burn your own fat stores for energy, not consume all the energy you need by eating fat. So stop the bulletproof coffee and fat bombs for now.

My dad was diabetic even though he was a competitive cyclist and ate "healthy". I grew up in a Weight Watchers household where everything was sugar-free and fat-free. Back then, if you had diabetes, you switched your white bread, rice, and pasta to whole wheat and you were fine. My dad died of pancreatic cancer when I was 19 years old. They say there’s no cause for this cancer, but I think the stress from his diabetes on his pancreas had a lot to do with it.
The Mediterranean diet is a primarily plant-based eating plan that includes daily intake of whole grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans and other legumes, nuts, herbs, and spices. Other foods like animal proteins are eaten in smaller quantities, with the preferred animal protein being fish and seafood. Although the pyramid shape suggests the proportion of foods to eat (e.g., eat more fruits and vegetables and less dairy foods), it does not specify portion sizes or specific amounts. It is up to the individual to decide exactly how much food to eat at each meal, as this will vary by physical activity and body size. There are additional points that make this eating plan unique:
Olive oil is made by crushing then pressing olives. It has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. Extra-virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of ripe olives, and, according to the Ochef website, it has less than 1 percent acid and offers the richest flavor. Virgin olive oil also comes from the first pressing, but can contain as much as 4 percent acid and its taste is slightly less smooth. The labels “light,” and “extra light” you see on bottles of olive oil refer to the color and flavor, not to how many calories or how much fat they contain. All olive oils contain the same number of calories, so choose olive oil based on your taste preferences.
What’s next for Flynn? With teaching, research, clinical and non-profit work on her plate, she still feels that there is much left to learn about the application of a plant-based diet that includes high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Securing funding remains challenging, which Flynn attributes in large part due to the “dismal failure” of low-fat diet research. She also is confident in the potential of using “food as medicine” to improve risk factors for chronic diseases among low-income groups, which offers dual benefits of improving lives as well as decreasing health care costs. She is also curious about the freshness of olive oil vis-à-vis its provision of health benefits and whether there is a cutoff at which these benefits begin to decline.
We will then act out our ancestral programming by eating the most calorie dense foods (i.e., pizza, french fries, cookies, cakes, etc.) and eating much more of those foods then what our body needs to energize itself until the next meal. This results in a vicious cycle of overeating and weight gain with the subconscious intention to prepare us for famine — famine that never comes.
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.
Research supports the health benefits of a Mediterranean-style eating pattern that includes several different foods. It is the combination of these foods that appear protective against disease, as the benefit is not as strong when looking at single foods or nutrients included in the Mediterranean diet. [12] Therefore it is important to not simply add olive oil or nuts to one’s current diet but to adopt the plan in its entirety.
During my honeymoon to Greece I had the chance to visit the oldest-known olive oil tree in the world. Most olive trees can live more than 500 years, but this one is at least 2,000 years old! Given that Greeks consume 12.8 kilograms of olive oil per year — compared to four kilograms in North America — it got me thinking about the importance of these trees to their daily life. Greece’s increased consumption of this healthy fat shows why the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and lowered cancer risk for those who follow it.
Many versions of ketogenic diets exist, but all ban carb-rich foods. Some of these foods may be obvious: starches from both refined and whole grains like breads, cereals, pasta, rice, and cookies; potatoes, corn, and other starchy vegetables; and fruit juices. Some that may not be so obvious are beans, legumes, and most fruits. Most ketogenic plans allow foods high in saturated fat, such as fatty cuts of meat, processed meats, lard, and butter, as well as sources of unsaturated fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, plant oils, and oily fish. Depending on your source of information, ketogenic food lists may vary and even conflict.
A study in the Journal of Lipid Research conducted at the University of Kentucky clearly demonstrated in animals that a high-fat diet promoted the absorption from the gut of lipopolysaccharides (LPS), toxic substances that are part of bacterial cell membranes. That’s troubling because high levels of LPS trigger immune cells to increase inflammation. (7)
A study of 89 obese adults who were placed on a two-phase diet regimen (6 months of a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and 6 months of a reintroduction phase on a normal calorie Mediterranean diet) showed a significant mean 10% weight loss with no weight regain at one year. The ketogenic diet provided about 980 calories with 12% carbohydrate, 36% protein, and 52% fat, while the Mediterranean diet provided about 1800 calories with 58% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 27% fat. Eighty-eight percent of the participants were compliant with the entire regimen. [12] It is noted that the ketogenic diet used in this study was lower in fat and slightly higher in carbohydrate and protein than the average ketogenic diet that provides 70% or greater calories from fat and less than 20% protein.
Don’t eat too much protein — In addition to limiting your carb intake, you need to limit your protein intake as well. You should aim for about 20% of your calories to come from protein. If you eat more than that, your body will turn the excess protein into glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. Your body will then try to burn this glucose off instead of fat and will kick your body out of ketosis.
A ketogenic diet helps control blood sugar levels. It is excellent for managing type 2 diabetes, sometimes even leading to complete reversal of the disease. This has been proven in studies. It makes perfect sense since keto lowers blood-sugar levels, reduces the need of medications and reduces the potentially negative impact of high insulin levels.
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.

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.
A: You’ll find a detailed menu earlier in this article (also, recipes from Everyday Health!), but generally, you’ll want to make plants and whole grains the stars of your plate. If you look at a Mediterranean diet food pyramid, sweets are up top (indicating they should make up only a small part of your diet), followed by meat and dairy, and then fish. Last are fruit, veggies, and whole grains (suggesting they can be eaten liberally). Also, enjoying food with friends and family is a tenet of the eating approach, so make your meals a social affair!

A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials following overweight and obese participants for 1-2 years on either low-fat diets or very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets found that the ketogenic diet produced a small but significantly greater reduction in weight, triglycerides, and blood pressure, and a greater increase in HDL and LDL cholesterol compared with the low-fat diet at one year. [10] The authors acknowledged the small weight loss difference between the two diets of about 2 pounds, and that compliance to the ketogenic diet declined over time, which may have explained the more significant difference at one year but not at two years (the authors did not provide additional data on this).


It's generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments. The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods. The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control. By following the Mediterranean Diet, you could also keep that weight off while avoiding chronic disease.
The Mediterranean diet is most famous for its benefit to heart health, decreasing the risk of heart disease by, in part, lowering levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and reducing mortality from cardiovascular conditions. It’s also been credited with a lower likelihood of certain cancers, like breast cancer, as well as conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. (1)

Cancer — While we can’t say that being obese or overweight causes cancer, consistent evidence indicates that higher levels of body fat are associated with increased risks for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer, and endometrial cancer. In fact, overweight women are two to four times more likely to develop endometrial cancer (a type of cancer that begins in the uterus).
Add in intermittent fasting: Once you are fat-adapted, hunger pangs diminish and it is easy to go for longer periods without eating. Many people naturally stop eating breakfast — they just aren’t hungry when they wake up. The number one rule of low-carb eating is “eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.” So if you are not hungry try fasting for 16 hours, and then eating just lunch and dinner in an 8-hour window, called a 16:8 fast. Or try eating dinner one night, than fasting until dinner the next night, doing a 24-hours fast.
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It is no secret that Southern Europeans who eat a more Mediterranean Diet, consisting of vegetables, fruits, lots of fish and plenty of olive oil, have a higher life expectancy with fewer diseases. An average, Italians and Spaniards consume about 13 liters of olive oil per person per year. While the entire diet does play a big role in how healthy people are, it seems the use of extra virgin olive oil is the major contributing factor to longevity and health.
At the end of the twelve months, 60 participants (about 82%) in the low-fat group and 59 participants (about 79%) in the low-carbohydrate group successfully completed the trial. The decrease in body weight was substantially greater in the low-carbohydrate diet group which lost four times as much weight as the low-fat group (1.1 kg vs. 4.4 kg). [18]

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There is not one “standard” ketogenic diet with a specific ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat). The ketogenic diet typically reduces total carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams a day—less than the amount found in a medium plain bagel—and can be as low as 20 grams a day. Generally, popular ketogenic resources suggest an average of 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein. For a 2000-calorie diet, this translates to about 165 grams fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, and 75 grams protein. The protein amount on the ketogenic diet is kept moderate in comparison with other low-carb high-protein diets, because eating too much protein can prevent ketosis. The amino acids in protein can be converted to glucose, so a ketogenic diet specifies enough protein to preserve lean body mass including muscle, but that will still cause ketosis.
There is a lot of talk these days about the ketogenic diet—and for good reason. Developed in the 1920s as a way to cure epilepsy, the low-carb/high-fat diet is now being embraced for many of its other health benefits — weight loss being a primary one. If you search online, you’re bound to stumble across spectacular before-and-after photos of people who have lost a substantial amount of weight, seemingly overnight, thanks to the keto diet.
Hi, I started last month and lost 16 pounds then went a week and no loss, thought ok fine then I gained 3 pounds and nothing I did wrong, no cheating at all and I go to the gym 5 days a week – nothing hardcore but I go. Is it normal for that to happen? Getting frustrated especially when I see all these people loosing all this weight and doing fabulous. I am on a lot of support groups on F/B and I am amazed but not sure what I am doing wrong. I know I cannot drink oil or butter in my coffee – but I have started to use coconut oil more and heavy cream too.
I lost 7lbs in the first 2 weeks of Keto, I do one aerobic type class a week and 4-5 HIIT classes. I have recently purchased the Ketostix and according to that i’m not in a ketogenic state. I have decided to throw myself back into this week regardless and I’m consciously writing down everything that I’m eating and keeping the net carbs to less than 20g’s a day. I’d be interested to know how many calories and protein you are consuming a day and what should my minimum fat intake be? A day for me at the min looks something like this
A 2018 study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry found evidence that healthy dietary choices, those in line with eating the Mediterranean diet, can help reduce the risk for depression. (12) Researchers involved in the study investigated the mental-health effects of adherence to a range of diets — including the Mediterranean diet, the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (DASH diet), and the Dietary Inflammatory Index. They found that the risk of depression was reduced the most when people followed a traditional Mediterranean diet and overall ate a variety of anti-inflammatory foods.
Several human studies have also poked holes in olive oil’s heart–health claims. When researchers from the University of Crete recently compared residents of Crete who had heart disease with residents free of the disease, they found that the residents with heart disease ate a diet with “significantly higher daily intakes” of monounsaturated fats (principally from olive oil) as well as higher fat intake overall. (3)
Olive oil does not burn fat. It has no chemical properties that will magically dissolve the calories in that tiramisu you had for dessert. Taking a spoonful of olive oil before a meal, as some fad diets suggest, simply acts as a laxative, which plays to the mistaken belief that the faster food moves through you, the fewer calories your body will absorb. It simply doesn’t work that way. Losing weight means taking in fewer calories than you burn, no matter how many of them come from olive oil.
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