When the data were examined, it was clear that people who ate a diet where fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, and ﬁsh were the basis of daily meals were healthiest. Topping the chart were residents of Crete. Even after the deprivations of World War II – and in part, perhaps, because of them – the cardiovascular health of Crete residents exceeded that of US residents. Researchers attributed the diﬀerences to diet.
Nuts are another Mediterranean diet staple. Grabbing a handful, whether that's almonds, cashews, or pistachios, can make for a satisfying, on-the-go snack. One study in Nutrition Journal found that if people replaced their standard snack (cookies, chips, crackers, snack mix, cereal bars) with almonds, their diets would be lower in empty calories, added sugar, and sodium. Plus, nuts contain more fiber and minerals, such as potassium, than processed snack foods.
This research also demonstrated that the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid (olive oil is 78% oleic acid) resulted in a marked increase in LPS attached to chylomicrons in the bloodstream. Chylomicrons, also known as cholesterol remnants, are large, fat-rich lipoprotein particles that research has found contribute to the growth of cholesterol-filled plaques. (8) After a fatty meal, the blood is so full of chylomicrons that it turns milky, like a strawberry shake.
Following a very high-fat diet may be challenging to maintain. Possible symptoms of extreme carbohydrate restriction that may last days to weeks include hunger, fatigue, low mood, irritability, constipation, headaches, and brain “fog.” Though these uncomfortable feelings may subside, staying satisfied with the limited variety of foods available and being restricted from otherwise enjoyable foods like a crunchy apple or creamy sweet potato may present new challenges.
Keep in mind, too, that all oils are a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated acids (though they’re usually called by the name of the fatty acid that is most abundant). Olive oil is about 14% saturated fat, so if you’re pouring olive oil into your skillets and food every day, you’re likely consuming significantly more artery-clogging saturated fat than you realized.
Start by grating your cauliflower, so it looks like cauliflower rice. Put it all in a bowl and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. This helps to pack everything together to make your bread slices. Make the cauliflower into patties and then pop onto a baking tray. Just put in the oven on a medium heat for around 15 minutes. They’ll be ready to go!
And monounsaturated fat isn't the only thing olive oil has going for it nutritionally. Some olive oils come with phytonutrients that may offer their own disease protection benefits (still, it's not clear whether most of us can take in enough of these phytonutrients without going overboard on olive oil, says Joyce Nettleton, DSc, RD, researcher and editor of the PUFA Newsletter).