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?
Still, I enjoy cooking and I plan my meals on the regular anyway. With a keto food list in hand and advice from Dr. Axe in my mind, I filled my grocery cart with family-size versions of what I regularly buy (apples, berries, nut butter, kale), and a lot more meat than I ever have in my cart at one time (ground lamb, chicken, REAL bacon). What was missing? Some of my usual high-carb items, like whole-grain English muffins, orange juice, butternut squash, and tortilla chips.
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”.

It also may help stave off chronic diseases, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as act protectively against certain cancers. (34) The diet is also a boon to mental health, as it’s associated with reduced odds of depression. (34) There’s even some data to suggest it can be supportive in relieving symptoms of arthritis, according to a paper published in April 2018 in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. (35)
There’s not enough of it to matter in coconut oil, it tastes bad, and it often results in stomach/gastric upset, but it converts quickly to ketones! If your generic MCT oil makes your throat burn or has a weird flavor, one reason may be that the distillation process didn’t remove enough of the C6. There are other reasons this can happen, too. We’ll cover that below.
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I would love to see some before and after pics… High intensity biking/running or any cardio for long periods of time can raise your cortisol levels, spiking your insulin whilst putting you in a catabolic state… Your body is eating away at your muscles by converting dietary protein into glucose. The physical stress from extreme cardio sends “stress signals” throughout your body forcing it to look for additional energy. Your hormonal systems interpret this energy as glucose. It’s like when you watch the Olympics, long distance runners look skinny and sick whilst “short distance sprinters” look thick and muscular… HIIT training or moderate cardio is the way to go if you want to spare muscle mass…
At the same time, you need to remember to increase the amount of fat that you eat. Also, it doesn’t mean a complete ban on carbs. You just need to reduce the amount that you eat to 15g or less per day. On average, we tend to eat around a third to a half more than that on a daily basis. Reducing carbs won’t be easy for some, which is why having delicious recipes to try first is the way to go.
Unfortunately, our current food environment is nothing like what the human race initially evolved to handle. Today, we are constantly bombarded with endless processed food options, food ads, and smells that trigger our desires. As a result, the oldest parts of our brain motivate us to hunt for that food, which we now have a 100% chance of getting — and we don’t have to exert much effort at all to get it.
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.
Remove artificial sweeteners: If you have been including artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose in your low-carb or keto diet, our experts recommend you wean yourself off them. “While there are not a whole lot of scientific studies, anecdotally we find when people get rid of artificial sweeetners, they were able to lose weight. Come off them as soon as you can,” advises Dr. Westman.
Follow this dude’s advice to the letter. Put up with the keto flu for a few days, it will pass, and after it does you’ll feel better and have more energy than you have had in a long time! Be strict with yourself, don’t have cheat days, they’re never worth it, trust me, it just ends up demotivating you by making you feel physically terrible and mentally kicking you in the balls when you see the weight gain (even though its only temporary). Also any time you up your carb intake you’ll find you start feeling hungry again, don’t do it, it sucks.
However, there is one caveat when it comes to weight loss. In response to a calorie deficit, the body will typically burn some of its muscle mass for fuel by using a process called gluconeogenesis. As a result, many people will lose muscle along with the fat when they diet. Luckily, there is a way to preserve muscle mass, even in the midst of extreme caloric deficits.
What’s next for Flynn? With teaching, research, clinical and non-profit work on her plate, she still feels that there is much left to learn about the application of a plant-based diet that includes high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Securing funding remains challenging, which Flynn attributes in large part due to the “dismal failure” of low-fat diet research. She also is confident in the potential of using “food as medicine” to improve risk factors for chronic diseases among low-income groups, which offers dual benefits of improving lives as well as decreasing health care costs. She is also curious about the freshness of olive oil vis-à-vis its provision of health benefits and whether there is a cutoff at which these benefits begin to decline.
It has a belly-melting X factor. Olive oil is what scientists call a monounsaturated fat (MUFA). And while the mechanism that makes MUFAs melt ab fat isn’t yet fully understood, one thing is for sure: MUFAs lower levels of insulin, a hormone programmed to turn excess blood sugar to belly fat. No wonder studies show that when we choose mostly MUFAs, our bellies shrink up to 350 percent faster than when we choose other fats or no fat at all. Says Palinski-Wade: “This actually works better than really crazy diets.”
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