Starting in Italy thousands of years ago and spreading to Greece, Spain and other areas around the Mediterranean, this diet is now successful all over the world for promoting health and longevity. While it’s always existed, even before books and studies were dedicated to it, the diet really began to take hold around the world in the 1990s, when a Harvard University doctor showcased it as a diet useful for improving heart health, losing weight and clearing up other health issues.
Over the past 50 years, what we think of as Mediterranean fare has changed. Many of us picture huge, three-hour feasts with multiple courses of pizza, lasagna, racks of lamb, long loaves of white bread, and endless bottles of wine. But the true Mediterranean Diet is based on the region’s traditional fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, olive oil, and dairy—with perhaps a glass or two of red wine. That’s how the inhabitants of Crete, Greece, and southern Italy ate circa 1960, when their rates of chronic disease were among the lowest in the world and their life expectancy among the highest, despite having only limited medical services.And the real Mediterranean diet is about more than just eating fresh, wholesome food. Daily physical activity and sharing meals with others are vital elements of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Together, they can have a profound effect on your mood and mental health and help you foster a deep appreciation for the pleasures of eating healthy and delicious foods.
There's a lot of confusion around the best cooking oils that you should use for your health. The supermarket shelves are stuffed with a huge variety of different kind of oils and within those too there different types. You have virgin oils, extra-virgin oils, cold-pressed oils and even blended oils! The word extra-virgin refers to 'fine grade' oil. There are different varieties of olive oil that are set apart not by the type of olive that is used, but the process used to extract the oil. Extra virgin olive oil is obtained by crushing olives and extracting the fresh juice. It is unrefined and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra-virgin olive oil is made, it retains the true flavour of olives, and has a lower level of oleic acid than the other varieties. It has a higher concentration of natural vitamins and minerals found in olives. According to Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Dutta, "Extra virgin olive oil is the first oil that comes out of cold pressing the olives. It has been subjected to zero processing, and has no additives which makes it bright green in colour and has a strong olive flavor. It also contains only 1% of Oleic Acid and is able to retain all its antioxidants. Regular olive oil, on the other hand, is commercially produced and processed just like any other oil. It contains at least 3-4% of Oleic Acid."Ms. Ritika Sammadar, Consultant Nutritionist at Max Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, agrees, “Extra Virgin Oil is the clearest form of oil and is extremely healthy as it is rich in Vitamin B. There is no heat applied during its extraction nor are are any chemicals used in the process, thus the oil is pure and unrefined. The oil usually has a pungent smell because it is crude and pure.”
The participants had an age range of 22 to 75 years with an average age of 46.8 years. They had a BMI range of 30 to 45 kg/m2. About 88% of the participants were female and 51% were of African origin; thus, it was considerably more diverse than the prior study. They were also free of cardiovascular and renal complications including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney disease as well as significant weight-loss in the past six months.

The keto diet is notorious for delivering a quick initial slim down. That’s because carbs hold on to more water than protein or fat, says Becky Kerkenbush, RD, a clinical dietitian at Watertown Regional Medical Center. So when you stop eating them, all that extra H2O gets released through urination. As a result, the scale might read a few pounds lower, and you may look a bit leaner.


Indeed, the people most likely to live 100 robust years and beyond, the citizens of Okinawa, Japan, don’t even use olive oil. They do eat a lot of fiber–rich, straight–from–the–earth foods, (14) as do other communities with high percentages of centenarians, such as the Seventh Day Adventists of Loma Linda, California; and the people of Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Sardinia, Italy. (15)
Judy Ridgway is an acclaimed food writer and international expert on olive oil. She was the first non-Italian judge to sit on the judging panel of the prestigious Leone d'Oro international awards for olive oil. She travels frequently to the producing regions meeting the growers and tasting the oils along the way. She is also in regular contact with specialist cooking schools, university agricultural departments and research institutes. Previous books featuring olive oil include two editions of Judy Ridgway's Best Olive Oil Buys Round the World and The Olive Oil Companion. She also has extensive experience of national TV and radio.
So if you are experiencing a weight-loss stall, our experts recommend you look at how much fat you are consuming and see where you might cut back without harming the tastiness or quality of your food or your feeling of fullness, and without bringing back the cravings and blood sugar swings. Don’t starve yourself, but be mindful of excess fat for now. Samantha decided to cut out her bulletproof coffee for now.
Type 2 diabetes is a long-term metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin. Insulin resistance is when the body is no longer able to secrete insulin naturally in response to blood sugar increases, and hence blood sugar remains high. This is typically a dysfunction with the insulin receptors, and with changes in diet, including lower levels of sugar and carbohydrates, it can be controlled or reversed.
As a gut health doctor, this is my biggest pet peeve about keto diets: They sometimes overemphasize foods high in dietary fat like meat and full-fat dairy at the expense of gut-supporting plant foods. Knock your gut flora out of balance and you're almost sure to hit a plateau since gut health affects weight loss. Even on the strictest keto diet, you can incorporate fermented and cultured foods including sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir.
The Mediterranean diet is easy to find in the grocery store, contains nutrients that are known to enhance longevity and has other health benefits that are backed by peer-reviewed, scientific studies. Broccoli makes the list because it's one of nature's most nutrient-dense foods, with only 30 calories per cup. That means you get a ton of hunger-curbing fiber and polyphenols -- antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals in your body -- with each serving.
Most fundamentally, olive oil, like all oils and fats, are a concentrated source of calories. With over 4,000 calories per pound, olive oil is far more calorie dense than even pure refined sugar, which has 1,725 calories per pound. Because of its extremely high calorie density, adding olive oil to any food or meal will dramatically increase its calorie density.
Τhe number one concern I get when I present or suggest using plenty of olive oil in the recipes I post here, is worrying about the calories and fat. Too much fat and you will gain weight, right? Well, no not exactly. As I have explained, when you have one of the many vegetable based Greek dishes which are made with vegetables and olive oil, the percentage of fat will be somewhat high because the calories from the vegetables is so low, but overall the calories balance out. As Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou, M.D., Ph.D., top Mediterranean diet researcher and one of the developers of the Oldways Mediterranean Pyramid, has said “Certainly olive oil has many calories, but a diet can be followed that can include oil while staying within normal limits calorie wise”.
Cunnane, S. C., Courchesne-Loyer, A., St-Pierre, V., Vandenberghe, C., Pierotti, T., Fortier, M., … & Castellano, C.-A. (2016, March). Can ketones compensate for deteriorating brain glucose uptake during aging? Implications for the risk and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1367, 12–20. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.12999/full

The findings below have been limited to research specific to the ketogenic diet: the studies listed contain about 70-80% fat, 10-20% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrate. Diets otherwise termed “low carbohydrate” may not include these specific ratios, allowing higher amounts of protein or carbohydrate. Therefore only diets that specified the terms “ketogenic” or “keto,” or followed the macronutrient ratios listed above were included in this list below. In addition, though extensive research exists on the use of the ketogenic diet for other medical conditions, only studies that examined ketogenic diets specific to obesity or overweight were included in this list. (This paragraph was added to provide additional clarity on 5.7.18.)
• Other research suggests MCTs help with weight loss by reducing your appetite. As reported by Mental Health Daily:12 "Some scientists speculate that MCT acts on various hormones such as: cholecystokinin, gastric inhibitory peptide, pancreatic polypeptide, peptide YY and neurotensin. The precise mechanism of action of MCTs remains unknown, but it is known to induce satiety and reduced appetite compared to [LCTs]."
I weigh approx. 200 lbs 5’10” tall woman. I would have 3 eggs and 1 tbls butter for breakfast, than for lunch a shake: spinach, flax seeds, chia seeds, 1 tbls coconut oil, avocado, lemon. Snack: a keto bar http://www.ketobars.com/ and dinner: some green veggies with a salmon or steak. I use myfitnesspal for calorie counting and set my daily calorie goals at 1200, with 85% fat, 10% protein and 5% carbs. Out of that I would have 81g of fat, 36g protein and 22g carbs. Does that look like a good plan for keto diet? I would appreciate your help on this. Thank you in advance!

Spinach is a great source of iron, which is a key component in red blood cells that fuel our muscles with oxygen for energy. But researchers in Sweden identified another way in which these greens might keep you charged: Compounds found in spinach actually increase the efficiency of our mitochondria, the energy-producing factories inside our cells. That means eating a cup of cooked spinach a day may give you more lasting power on the elliptical machine (or in your daily sprint to catch the bus).


I just came across your blog on the keto diet. I have tried everything under the sun. I’m getting at a menopausal stage and no matter how healthy I eat, and exercise I continue to gain. Have you had good success with people like me? Do you really think this will work for me? I understand when women enter this stage it’s near impossible to lose weight. And for all my attempts it seems to be true. Lol!

In addition, the history of the Mediterranean diet includes a love for and fascination with wine — especially red wine, which is considered beneficial and protective in moderation. For instance, red wine may help fight obesity, among other benefits. This smart choice of a healthy way of life leads to longer lives free of chronic complications and diseases related to stress, such as those caused by hormonal imbalances, fatigue, inflammation and weight gain.
The Mediterranean diet is not a low-fat diet. Fat is actually encouraged, but only healthy varieties such as monounsaturated fat from olive oil and polyunsaturated fat (specifically omega-3 fatty acids) from certain fish and shellfish. Unhealthy fats such as trans fats and saturated fats, which are often found in processed foods and red meat, are discouraged. While the Mediterranean diet is strongly plant-based, it is not exclusively vegetarian. Fish, shellfish, and a little poultry are welcome, but they should never trump whole grains, fruits, vegetables, or legumes in a meal.
A ketogenic diet may be an option for some people who have had difficulty losing weight with other methods.  The exact ratio of fat, carbohydrate, and protein that is needed to achieve health benefits will vary among individuals due to their genetic makeup and body composition. Therefore, if one chooses to start a ketogenic diet, it is recommended to consult with one’s physician and a dietitian to closely monitor any biochemical changes after starting the regimen, and to create a meal plan that is tailored to one’s existing health conditions and to prevent nutritional deficiencies or other health complications. A dietitian may also provide guidance on reintroducing carbohydrates once weight loss is achieved.
Remember, coconut oil is predominantly lauric acid, which has many benefits, including antimicrobial. However, it does not convert as efficiently into ketones and therefore does not contribute much of an energy boost. Nor does it suppress hunger or help feed your brain the way C8 and C10 do. MCT oil is typically tasteless and odorless, so it can easily be added to a wide variety of dishes and beverages, from salad dressing to smoothies and vegetable juices.

The fatty acids termed MCTs and lauric acid act somewhat differently in the body, although in the U.S., coconut oil and MCT oil manufacturers are legally allowed to claim that lauric acid is a type of MCT. Some people claim that lauric acid doesn’t biologically act like other forms of shorter MCTs (or at least as quickly), which is one reason why MCT advocates believe that MCT oil is somewhat superior.

Because of the data, the research team stated that “the low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet. Restricting carbohydrates may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.” [18] They also noted that “no serious adverse events were reported during the course of the study.” [18] Thus, the ketogenic diet might be a both a safe and effective weight-loss plan for you.


Extra virgin olive oil has a subtle golden-green hue with a light peppery flavour. It has a lower smoke point than many other oils, which means it burns easily at a lower temperature. Therefore, it may not be suited for high heat cooking. Dr. Rupali Datta, advises, "It is better to use extra virgin olive oil only for raw or cold cooking. Indian cooking needs are not suited to substitute this oil for our regular vegetable oil. You can use it in salads, as dressings, for making breads and dips. Light sauteing can also be done using extra virgin olive oil."
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