Medical and public health research suggests that body weight and BMI are useful indicators of health. According to the National Institutes of Health, being obese and morbidly obese is significantly associated with an increased risk of developing serious health issues such as certain cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney damage. [2, 3, 4] Maintaining a healthy weight is a critical way to prevent the onset of many of these health problems.
Coconut oil is blowing up in the health and wellness scene, but there’s a catch to all the so-called benefits. Coconut oil contains different strains of fats and not all of these strains are equally effective for energy and fat loss. That’s why I specify the exact types of oils that work best in “The Bulletproof Diet,” and why Bulletproof makes Brain Octane Oil and XCT Oil, neither of which is the plain MCT oil found in coconut oil.
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.
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A 2004 study published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging found that the MCTs in coconut oil helped improved memory problems, including Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. (6) It only makes sense that a food that supplies fuel for your brain and also helps you absorb vitamins and minerals better will also make you feel more clearheaded, energetic and positive.
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).
Hallberg suggests caution, however, around very long fasts lasting multiple days. “If you are skipping meals because you are not hungry from doing a proper low-carb, high-fat diet that is just fine.” She is concerned, however, about very long fasts in which people are ignoring hunger signals and for the potential for a dangerous physiological fluid and electrolyte imbalance called refeeding syndrome that can arise after very long extended fasts, lasting many days, when normal eating is resumed.
In the Mediterranean, many people start their day with a quarter cup of olive oil. The oleic acid in olive oil has a satiating effect. As mentioned above, it also slows the absorption of other nutrients, so you’ll feel full longer and won’t need to reach for that mid-morning sugary snack. While the calories in olive oil may be high, the overall consumption of calories throughout the day will drop when you’re just not that hungry.
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Keep in mind, however, that consuming too much protein at any given meal can decrease your levels of ketosis. To mitigate this effect, you can divide your protein intake into equal amounts throughout your meals. If you workout, then consider consuming more protein after and/or before your workouts because this protein is less likely to spike insulin levels and reduce ketone levels.
The ketogenic diet is a diet based on the consumption of predominately fat, giving less emphasis to the other two macronutrients, particularly carbohydrates. While ratios vary depending on the individual and their goals, consumption typically consists of only five to ten percent carbohydrates, fifteen to thirty percent protein and the remainder of the diet is made up of fat.
A typical keto diet is comprised of 80 percent fat, 15 percent protein, and a mere 5 percent of calories from carbohydrates. If you consume 2,000 calories a day, that means just 100 of them are coming from carbs—including healthy carbs like fruits and vegetables. When you eat this way, it triggers ketosis, which means your body has burned through all its carbs and needs to begin burning fat for energy.
Complex high fat foods such as extra virgin olive oil, when eaten with a wide variety of other healthy polyphenol-dense foods, provide the basis for a rich and diverse community of gut microbes. This diversity is increasingly being shown to be important for our health. The original PREDIMED study didn’t measure gut microbes directly (although subsequent research is doing so) but the striking benefits of the Mediterranean diet and particularly extra virgin olive oil are that they are superb gut microbe fertilisers and improve gut health.
• 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]."
HDL cholesterol has long been considered “good” because it is largely responsible for picking up excess cholesterol from tissues, including the artery wall, and bringing it back to the liver for disposal. This process is known as reverse cholesterol transport. It’s easy to remember if you think of HDL as the garbage trucks that help rid the body of garbage (LDL).
In fact, he says my already somewhat balanced diet is part of why I didn't experience the keto flu. (Some people report feeling sick to their stomach, irritable, and dizzy, among other flu-like symptoms, for the first few days or even weeks of keto.) People who transition from a very high-carb and high-protein diet to a high-fat diet are more susceptible to these rare but extreme symptoms, he says. This is why he says he built a Feast Phase-when you're adding fats into your diet without really restricting your carbs-into his Keto360 plan as a way to ease your body into ketosis. "If someone is a fairly good eater, and they already do have a moderate amount of fat in their diet-not high fat but moderate-typically they'll transition pretty well," he says.

The problem and the struggle for all the people we see, not just menopausal women, is they don’t know what hunger and fullness really are. They come to us after years and decades of a low fat high carb diet. So they are used to a feeling of fullness that is fuller than full. So we need to retrain ourselves to understand that full enough is the way you should feel.
Now you’ve made the decision to follow the diet, it’s time to choose the type. There are four options. The standard ketogenic diet is the ones that we’ve already looked into, where your diet consists of 70% fat, 25% protein and the rest carbs. You can also follow a high protein option, which cuts your fat intake to 60% and your protein intake up to 35%.
Eliminating several food groups and the potential for unpleasant symptoms may make compliance difficult. An emphasis on foods high in saturated fat also counters recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association and may have adverse effects on blood LDL cholesterol. However, it is possible to modify the diet to emphasize foods low in saturated fat such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
While most people in the Mediterranean aren’t vegetarians, the diet promotes only a small consumption on meats and heavier meals — instead going for the lighter and healthier fish options across the board. This can be beneficial for those looking to lose weight and improve things such as their cholesterol, heart health and omega-3 fatty acid intake.
That’s why the unique process we use at Bulletproof is completely chemical and solvent-free. Most MCT’s on the market are manufactured via chemical/solvent refining, which can require using chemicals like hexane and different enzymes and combustion chemicals, such as sodium methoxide. The oils used to make MCTs – palm and coconut – are often solvent extracted too, but not Bulletproof.
Welcome to Keto! I cannot say enough good things about it! Your starting macros really depend on a few factors: current weight, height, approximate body fat, activity level, age, and gender. Its also important to figure out your BMR and daily calorie allotment. Each person is different; there is no way I could eat 150 grams of fat and get in a good amount of protein while remaining under my calorie limit for the day (1300). It is recommended that you re-calculate these numbers if your activity level or weight changes. Every 15 lbs I lose I take a look at my Macros. Here is the calculator my keto community and I use: https://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/

I've spent years tackling subjects from urban health to medical marijuana to behavioral science—both as a city reporter for my hometown public radio station in Tulsa, Okla., and as a freelance writer. Now I cover health and food at Consumer Reports. My hobbies include tinkering with computer code and watching trashy TV. Follow me on Twitter: @catharob. 
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.
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.
This supposedly “good” monounsaturated fat-rich meal, in effect, elevated blood fats and crippled the workings of the endothelium (the inside skin of the arteries), putting the squeeze on blood flow and reducing the arteries’ ability to deliver more blood to tissues. Research has shown that things that impair endothelial function in the short term usually contribute to clogged arteries in the long run. No problems with impaired endothelial function occurred with meals enriched in other parts of the Mediterranean diet, such as vegetables and fruits.
Recently, many people have begun to question the usefulness of BMI as a general indicator. A sizable amount of people who may be overweight or even obese may be classified as such even though they have a high amount of muscle. Conversely, people with a “healthy” or low BMI may have a high level of body fat and actually be at a greater risk for developing health problems. [5, 6]
"Listening to podcasts while I run has completely changed my fitness routine. I thought I hated running, but what I hated was pop music. Keeping my mind engaged has helped me push passed physical barriers. Podcasts about keto, fitness, and nutrition is motivating to me to learn about my body while I’m actively working it. My favorite podcasts are Keto for Normies, The Keto Savage podcast, Seth Godin's podcast and Hiding in the Bathroom."
For Brown University researcher and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine Dr. Mary Flynn, the development and advocacy of a plant-based, olive oil diet was at one time considered outrageous. In the 1990s when the notion of consuming low-fat and fat-free foods for health was gaining widespread popularity, Flynn, who is also a nutritionist at The Miriam Hospital, was a vocal dissident. She openly expressed her concerns that this eating pattern was largely unsupported by sound science, even though many others in her field opposed her views. “I know that people in the nutrition community thought I was a near heretic,” Flynn says.
Too many "legal" high-calorie foods can sabotage your keto diet. So can lots of other things. One way to pinpoint those potential glitches is through a food journal. One study found people who tracked everything they ate lost twice the amount of weight as those who didn't track what they ate. A food journal also keeps you honest and compliant with your keto plan.
A 2004 study published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging found that the MCTs in coconut oil helped improved memory problems, including Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. (6) It only makes sense that a food that supplies fuel for your brain and also helps you absorb vitamins and minerals better will also make you feel more clearheaded, energetic and positive.
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Day 5: As fate would have it, 3 p.m. rolls around and we get a message that there are cookies in the conference room. I have been snacking on keto-approved foods like Granny Smith apples (the tart green apple has way less sugar than, say, a red Gala), and full-fat cottage cheese with blueberries (where have you been all my life, snack?) with no real trouble with cravings. But just knowing there are cookies that I can't eat makes me feel a little cheated. (Though These Low-Carb Keto Desserts Help With That.)
Lauric acid is naturally antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral. It is excellent for the skin and it has even been studied for its potential ability to help with severe acne for this reason! Coconut oil is the richest natural source, followed by human breastmilk, which contains up to 20% of its saturated fat content as lauric acid. (Side note to nursing moms: there are studies that show that consuming coconut oil helps improve the lauric acid content of milk.)
Julius thanks for the reply. I am usually asleep anywhere between 9-10pm. I usually eat dinner early between 5 and 6. Work out at about 7:30(after we put our daughter to sleep Mon, Wed, Fri). I drink caffeine in the mornings. I have a full gym in my garage where I do light weight until fatigue(or close to it) for 3 sets one after the other Bench, Squat, Barbell Rows, Military, and RDL with about a two and a half minute in between. When I am done I usually throw in some auxillaries.. curls, tri’s, etc.. I was thinking of adding HIIT on off days(sprints on treadmill, jump rope). Thank you again!
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.
Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, assigned 322 moderately obese adults to one of three diets: calorie-restricted low-fat; calorie-restricted Mediterranean; and non-calorie-restricted low-carb. After two years, the Mediterranean group had lost an average of 9 7/10 pounds; the low-fat group, 6 4/10 pounds; and the low-carb group, 10 3/10 pounds. Although weight loss didn't differ greatly between the low-carb and Mediterranean groups, both lost appreciably more than the low-fat group did.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

You can eat what you love. It’s evident that with such a variety of whole, fresh foods available to you as options, it’s easy to build meals based on the diet. And, you don’t have to eliminate your favorites, either. They may just require some tweaks. For instance, rather than a sausage and pepperoni pizza, you’d choose one piled high with veggies and topped with some cheese. You can also fit in a lot of food into one meal. Filling up on fresh foods like fruits and vegetables will allow you to build volume into meals for fewer calories.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately. Any mention of products or services is not meant as a guarantee, endorsement, or recommendation of the products, services, or companies. Reliance on any information provided is solely at your own risk. Please discuss any options with your healthcare provider.
In one animal study published in the Journal of Animal Feed and Sciences, when pigs were either fed a standard feed mixture (the control) or the same mixture supplemented with two grams each of caprylic or capric acid MCTs, the pigs receiving MCTs showed improvements in bacterial gut health, performance, growth and digestion of nutrients, including proteins and fiber. (7)
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.

Because this is an eating pattern – not a structured diet – you're on your own to figure out how many calories you should eat to lose or maintain your weight, what you'll do to stay active and how you'll shape your Mediterranean menu. The Mediterranean diet pyramid should help get you started. The pyramid emphasizes eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation, while saving sweets and red meat for special occasions. Top it off with a splash of red wine (if you want), remember to stay physically active and you're set.
Great article and very inspiring. I am very interested in the Keto lifestyle. My husband has Chrons disease and a friend of ours was telling us about the Keto diet. From the research I have done this seems very beneficial. However, I am struggling with the meal planning part of this. I currently plan our meals and grocery shopping weekly and know if I had a meal plan/recipes that we could be very successful. Do you have recommendations or suggestions on a place to find this?
There isn't "a" Mediterranean diet. Greeks eat differently from Italians, who eat differently from the French and Spanish. But they share many of the same principles. Working with the Harvard School of Public Health, Oldways, a nonprofit food think tank in Boston, developed a consumer-friendly Mediterranean diet pyramid that offers guidelines on how to fill your plate – and maybe wineglass – the Mediterranean way.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself parched while you’re on the keto diet. Excreting all that extra water will likely cause a spike in thirst—so make it a point to drink up, Mancinelli advises. There’s no hard and fast recommendation for how much water you should be having on a keto diet. But in general, aim to drink enough so your urine is clear or pale yellow. If it’s any darker, bump your intake.
There’s no one book or website to follow if you want to learn about the Mediterranean diet, and there’s no one way to structure a meal plan around it. But in general, says Weems, the Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and lean sources of animal protein. It’s low in red meat and other saturated fats, and it contains few processed foods or refined sugars.
What is it about anti-inflammatory foods that helps boost your mood and mental health? Inflammation is frequently named as the root cause of many mood and psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and social withdrawal. The same lifestyle habits that tend to activate inflammation— such as a poor diet, chronic stress and sleep deprivation — also tend to produce brain states that contribute to mental illness. (13) A nutrient-dense diet seems to help directly protect parts of the brain, while other dietary/lifestyle changes like getting good sleep, having a mindful approach to meals, planning meals ahead of time, and limiting stress can also lead to a calmer mindset. (14)
It's more than just Greek and Italian cuisine. Look for recipes from Spain, Turkey, Morocco, and other countries. Choose foods that stick to the basics: light on red meat and whole-fat dairy, with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, olive oil, and whole grains. This Moroccan recipe with chickpeas, okra, and spices fits the healthy Mediterranean profile.
Also don’t weigh yourself everyday, your weight will fluctuate a lot on this diet due to water loss/retention cycle (particularly if you’re a woman), if you want to weigh yourself regularly then pick a day of the week and do it at the same time every time (like Sunday morning after you’ve woken up and been to the loo etc but not had breakfast yet), otherwise though just go by whether your clothes are getting looser slowly over time (they will).
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L-glutamine is an amino acid with many functions in your body including acting as a powerful antioxidant[*][*]. Research shows that L-glutamine can help stabilize blood glucose levels[*] and has been recommended to help reduce sugar cravings. Supplementing with L-glutamine (about ½-1 teaspoon powdered form or 500 mg dose) may help in reducing carb/sugar cravings and aid in your ketogenic weight-loss journey.
On Cyclical keto, I noticed these weird bouts of depression every time I carbed up on the weekends. I saw this study and they were linking inflammation to depression and it makes sense because every time I knock myself out of ketosis, I deal with this weird depression, then a few days back into keto, my head feels more clear. Strict keto is where I feel the best. This is where I’m getting the best results. I keep my fat percentage higher, around 80 percent."
Day 2: There's a bagel shop less than a block from my office. I pass it every single day and never really think anything of it. Well, not today! The smell of the freshly baked everything bagels-and was that veggie cream cheese I smelled?-was wafting out the door as I walked by extra quickly. (Though I found out later that there is a way to have bread and still stay in ketosis.)
Caution: Palm oil is a controversial source of MCTs, not because it’s bad for your body, but because there are major issues involved in the process of procuring this oil. These include deforestation, loss of wildlife diversity and unethical treatment of workers. That’s why I only recommend RSPO-certified palm oil, which comes from producers who prioritize sustainability practices.
Coconut oil contains MCT’s, but only in relatively small quantities. C8 MCT (Caprylic Acid) comprises roughly 6% of coconut oil, and C10 (Capric acid) is usually around 9%. These two forms of MCT are particularly valuable because they take far fewer steps to convert to caloric energy than the other saturated fat forms found in coconut oil. Coconut oil is great, but if you really want to benefit from the fast acting fuel of MCT’s, choosing Onnit MCT oil is the way to go.
Oh NO!!! You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight… Where are your nutrients, fiber, electrolytes…etc..? I’m sure you looked great even before starting this. The two “biggest” issues with this… It’s really unhealthy and I’m sure you are aware of that. But what happens when you start “eating” again?… Please keep me updated and thanks for the compliment..
If you want to incorporate elements of the Mediterranean diet into your life, Weems recommends starting by adding more fruits and vegetables. “The recommendation is to get around nine servings of produce a day, and most people aren’t reaching that number,” she says. “If you’re drinking wine and eating olive oil but you’re not adding the fruit and veggies, you’re not getting the most important benefits.”
Welcome to Keto! I cannot say enough good things about it! Your starting macros really depend on a few factors: current weight, height, approximate body fat, activity level, age, and gender. Its also important to figure out your BMR and daily calorie allotment. Each person is different; there is no way I could eat 150 grams of fat and get in a good amount of protein while remaining under my calorie limit for the day (1300). It is recommended that you re-calculate these numbers if your activity level or weight changes. Every 15 lbs I lose I take a look at my Macros. Here is the calculator my keto community and I use: https://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/
"I start my day with coffee and heavy whipping cream. My first meal of the day is in the afternoon and is usually something small like leftovers or some eggs. It’s about getting in protein and making sure whatever I eat is quality and tastes delicious. For dinner, I have a bigger meal which is always an animal protein with a side of something green like spinach or broccoli."
Compared to other types of oils and fats, MCTs seem to have positive effects on fat burning and weight reduction. As part of a healthy diet, MCT oil can help increase satiety and even raise the metabolic rate at which the body functions. Does this mean eating large amounts of MCTs daily will make you drop pounds? Not quite. Not every study has shown that MCTs can produce weight loss necessarily, but some definitely have shown the positive effects of MCTs on metabolic function.

However, the researchers noted that it was still substantial and noted that “Evidence from this systematic review demonstrates that low-carbohydrate/high-protein diets are more effective at 6 months and are as effective, if not more, as low-fat diets in reducing weight and cardiovascular disease risk up to 1 year.” [20] They emphasized, however, that more research needs to be done to evaluate the long-term effects of the ketogenic diet on weight-loss.
“Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”
Bottom Line: Research has shown in both humans and other primates that diets high in fat and cholesterol promote atherosclerosis. By contrast, research in animals and humans, such as the Stanford Coronary Risk Intervention Project, have demonstrated that diets very low in total fat and cholesterol can not only prevent atherosclerosis but actually shrink plaque and reverse atherosclerosis.
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