Fact: The food is a huge part of the diet, yes, but don’t overlook the other ways the Mediterraneans live their lives. When they sit down for a meal, they don’t sit in front of a television or eat in a rush; they sit down for a relaxed, leisurely meal with others, which may be just as important for your health as what’s on your plate. Mediterraneans also enjoy plenty of physical activity.
The trick with the rice is to find a substitute, and we’ve already looked at cauliflower rice. Avoid over grating your cauliflower. You don’t want it so fine that it is a fine powder for this dish. It still needs to have a rice texture. You will also need to add some cream cheese to the cauliflower to work for this rice substitute. Otherwise you’ll just get the cauliflower everywhere!
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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.
Now, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, scientists have found that seniors who adhered most closely to the Mediterranean diet were the least likely to be become frail over a four-year study period. Recently, in the Journal of Urology, researchers also found that men who followed a diet rich in fish, produce and olive oil—and low in juice—had a lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer than those who followed low-fat or typical Western diets.
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“MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. Coconut oil is one great source of MCTs — roughly 62 percent to 65 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs — but recently more concentrated “MCT oil” has also been growing in popularity.
When ketone bodies accumulate in the blood, this is called ketosis. Healthy individuals naturally experience mild ketosis during periods of fasting (e.g., sleeping overnight) and very strenuous exercise. Proponents of the ketogenic diet state that if the diet is carefully followed, blood levels of ketones should not reach a harmful level (known as “ketoacidosis”) as the brain will use ketones for fuel, and healthy individuals will typically produce enough insulin to prevent excessive ketones from forming. [2] How soon ketosis happens and the number of ketone bodies that accumulate in the blood is variable from person to person and depends on factors such as body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate. [3]

“The general body of research says that once you have two or more tablespoons a day, you’ll improve your blood pressure, your glucose levels and your good cholesterol,” Flynn says. “But I’ve found that the weight-loss effect comes into play at three tablespoons, so that’s what I recommend. It’s an amazing food – it does all these things that help your body, plus it tastes good.”
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