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.
Welcome to the 21st century, where the low-fat diet is slowly but definitely on its way out to make room for a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet. For decades we have been following the faulty advice to reduce our fat intake to a bare minimum while increasing the amount of sugar in everything. Even a well-known brand of packaged macaroni and cheese contains added sugar, leaving us wondering why noodles and cheese might possibly need to be sweetened.
Olive oil joins foods containing omega-3 fats, like salmon and walnuts, for example, as an elite category of healthy fatty acids. Olive oil has a ton of research backing its health benefits — in fact, it’s so backed by research that the FDA even permits labels on olive oil bottles containing a specific health claim (to date this is only allowed on olive oil, omega-3 fats and walnuts). That claim?
As well as being a full time GP, Dr Simon Poole is a renowned international commentator on the Mediterranean Diet and a member of the Council of Directors of the True Health Initiative in the USA. He has written regularly on matters related to primary care in medicine and nutrition for a diverse range of national media including The Guardian, Nutrition and Food Science and the Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons as well as consumer magazines such as Cook Vegetarian and Body Language. He also has extensive experience broadcasting and writing for local, national and international radio, television and web based organisations and regularly speaks at and chairs conferences attended by physicians, the media, politicians and the food industry on subject matters relating to health, politics and nutrition.
Day 3: I'm tired AF. Like the kind of tired when you're so exhausted you have to use your left arm to lift your right arm. Somehow, I pried myself out of bed to work out only to realize cardio has never been more hardio, so some chill strength training was going to have to do. (I Now Know These 8 Things About Exercising While On the Keto Diet.) Nonetheless, feelings of lethargy were to be expected, says Dr. Axe, who says days 2 and 3 were also the hardest for him the first time he tried keto. "Every body is different," he assures me. "Some people feel better by day 5, others take two weeks."
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).
So don’t reward olive oil with the laurels, agreed Dr. Alice Lichtenstein, one of the nation’s top nutrition scientists, at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tuft University in Boston. In several interviews about this study of Greek adults, she said, “If the main message that Americans get is to just increase their olive or canola oil consumption, that’s unfortunate because they will increase their caloric intake and they are already getting too many calories.
In just about every study purporting to show that people or animals lowered their LDL bad cholesterol levels after starting to use olive oil, the subjects used olive oil in place of other dietary fats, often saturated fats like butter, coconut oil, or lard. Well, of course LDL cholesterol is going to be lower when olive oil replaces butter. The total amount of saturated fat and/or cholesterol in the diet takes a tumble when butter is removed.
Olive oil, particularly extra-virgin olive oil, is full of vitamin E and antioxidants. These help fight the free radicals in your bloodstream that may be the cause of some of the effects of aging as well as certain cancers. Olive oil contains 77 percent monounsaturated fat, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Monounsaturated fats are associated with lowering low-density lipoproteins — LDLs, the “bad” cholesterol — and raising the levels of high-density lipoproteins — HDLs, the “good” cholesterol — in your bloodstream. Proper balance between LDLs and HDLs can help decrease your risk of heart disease. The better your body functions, the better you feel, and the more likely you are to exercise and make healthy choices.
"The authors … use kilojoules to measure energy instead of calories, but when you convert the units, you'll see that few of the studies showed a benefit relevant to the real world. For example, one study found that 5 grams of MCT oil did indeed raise the metabolic rate of healthy men … by 11 calories a day … [Y]ou could burn more calories than that by walking for [five] minutes, or jumping rope slowly for [two] minutes."
The benefits above are the most common ones. But there are others that are potentially even more surprising and – at least for some people – life changing. Did you know that a keto diet can help treat high blood pressure, may result in less acne, may help control migraine, might help with certain mental health issues and could have a few other potential benefits?
Maintain adequate protein intake. Too little protein and you lose muscle mass and starve the few parts of your body that can’t use ketones as an energy source, like portions of your red blood cells, kidneys and brain. Too much protein and you inhibit ketone production. Make sure you consume enough protein to support your vital functions, but not too much that protein becomes your alternate glycogen source.
I lost most of my weight on a high protein, low carb diet prescribed by my surgeon, but I’ve recently started the Deeper State Keto program which is much higher fat. I’ve cut out the protein bars and shakes and have so much energy. I feel like I could do cartwheels at all times. It’s not like I felt bad before. I wasn’t sleepy, lethargic, or sluggish. Now, I’m alert, bright and energized all the time."
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.
"After 10 years of drinking and partying in the music industry, I had the perfect example of a 'dad bod'. This whole, calories in calories out, thing didn’t work for me, so I did some research and I came across keto. I saw a weight loss transformation picture of someone who had done keto for four months and saw great results, so I went five months without carbs.
For dinner, I stick to a spinach salad, topped with two hardboiled eggs, two pieces of bacon, an avocado, 4 oz. of chicken and some sunflowers seeds. I top it with ranch. I’ll have a couple fat bombs and some pecans. That’s very basic, but I don’t like to get too crazy with the meals. I’ll track all my meals the day before then I’ll prep it on Sunday and eat it for the rest of the week.
Consuming three tablespoons of EVOO isn’t enough to start shedding the kilos, Flynn says, explaining that the weight-loss effect kicks in when it’s combined with a healthy Mediterranean-style diet. This is rich in vegetables, fruit, legumes and whole grains, moderate in dairy and low in meat (about three serves of white meat or fish a week for women, and red meat only once or twice a month).