Olive oil contains biophenols, which suppress the oxidization of LDL (or “bad cholesterol”) which has been shown to play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. High levels of LDL in the blood amplify oxidative stress which hardens the arterial walls (called atherosclerosis). The biophenols in olives reduce blood pressure, therefore reducing the development of arterial plaque as well.
It requires a pit stop in the liver rather than getting immediately converted into energy like the other MCTs above. This is why it is more accurately described as an LCT, not an MCT like marketers claim. It raises cholesterol more than any other fatty acid (not necessarily a bad thing.) It is also commonly cited as having antimicrobial benefits, which it does…except the shorter chain MCTs are more effective against aggressive candida yeast and even gonorrhea and chlamydia (as a monoglyceride).
In fact, in a recent study, Dr. Borge Nordestgaard at the University of Copenhagen demonstrated just how dangerous cholesterol remnants like chylomicrons can be. He and colleagues followed nearly 12,000 people in Denmark who had established coronary heart disease, diagnosed between 1976 and 2010. The scientists found that each 1 mmol (38.7mg/dl) increase in nonfasting remnant cholesterol caused a nearly 3-fold greater risk of a coronary heart disease event. (10)
Shortly after World War II, Ancel Keys and colleagues (including Paul Dudley White, later President Eisenhower’s heart doctor) organized the remarkable Seven Countries Study to examine the hypothesis that Mediterranean-eating patterns contributed directly to improved health outcomes. This long-running study examined the health of almost thirteen thousand middle-aged men in the United States, Japan, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, and then-Yugoslavia.
Polyphenols are antioxidant plant compounds that are linked with better heart health, including less oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a process that inflames the arteries and heightens the risk of plaque rupture and heart attacks. Plant sterols are another plant chemical that interferes with cholesterol absorption from the gut and helps lower LDL cholesterol.
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.”
From a health and dietary perspective, the popularity of the ketogenic diet has arrived because, at its root, the body is burning fat for energy. As the body becomes efficient in this method of energy extraction, you can reduce the amount of fat you consume and the body will start to use stored fat as well as the fat you consume to facilitate ketosis.
Interestingly, a few years ago the American Heart Association lowered the recommended intake of saturated fat to no more than 7% of total calories eaten each day. Olive oil is 14% saturated fat. (The average American consumes a diet with about 14% saturated fat.) So if you’re using a lot of olive oil on your food, it’d be hard to have a diet that’s less than 14% saturated fat, which means your arteries are being subjected to double the saturated-fat-limit that the AHA recommends.
What is even more surprising is that the monounsaturated-fat-rich diet and saturated-fat-rich diet were equally damaging. “The monkeys fed monounsaturated fat developed equivalent amounts of coronary artery atherosclerosis as those fed saturated fat,” wrote Dr. Lawrence Rudel and colleagues at Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston–Salem, North Carolina.
Your calorie deficit. The one factor that leads to the most significant and consistent weight loss is a calorie deficit. In other words, when we consume fewer calories than we need to maintain our weight, we will lose weight. This means that your weight loss rate will usually increase as your total calorie consumption decreases. However, there are limits to how far you should take you should take your deficit. The human body is designed to prevent massive amounts of weight loss during times of starvation via mechanisms that make long-term fat loss much harder to achieve and maintain. Because of this, it is never a good idea to starve yourself for extended periods of time. Research indicates that calorie deficits above 30% are enough to stimulate some of these counterproductive mechanisms for long-term fat loss.
Current weight — In order to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit which means you need to burn more calories than you consume. That being said, your current weight is the number one determining factor for how fast you’ll be able to lose weight. This is because the heavier you are, the higher your metabolic rate is (your ability to burn calories in a given day). So, individuals with more weight to lose typically lose weight faster and more easily in the initial stages than those who don’t weigh as much.
Minerals/Electrolytes: Adopting a ketogenic diet will change the way your body uses (and loses) certain minerals. Not replacing these minerals can lead to symptoms of the “keto flu” such as lightheadedness, headaches, constipation, muscle cramps and fatigue. Refer to this article for tips on how to replace common minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
In this phase, you may continue to lose 1-2 pounds per week, or it could slow down. If your weight loss slows down, that’s okay! Remember, as you lose weight, your metabolism will slow down a little as well. Your caloric needs will also lower, which means you’ll have to eat less to maintain your deficit. Stick with it. The CDC suggests that people who lose weight gradually and steadily at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week are more successful at keeping that weight off.
Your current health status. Your overall health plays a major role in how fast you will lose weight and adapt to a lower carb diet. If you have any hormonal or metabolic issues, weight loss might be slower or a bit more challenging than expected. Insulin resistance, excess visceral fat, and thyroid issues, for example, can all have a significant impact on your weight loss rate.
When we consider our genetics and the current food environment together, a fascinating story reveals itself. The human species evolved from millions of years of genes that were trying to survive an environment that they didn’t create. As a result, humans evolved the ability to create their own environment that allows them to fulfill their needs at any given moment with minimal effort.
What is surprising is that the one group that had significantly less atherosclerosis than the other two was the group with the lowest levels, by far, of HDL good cholesterol. It was the polyunsaturated-fat-rich group. “Most likely, this group’s higher intake of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids provided some protection against the blood cholesterol-raising effect of their high dietary cholesterol intake,” notes Dr. Tom Rifai, MD, FACP, Founder/CEO, Reality Meets Science® LLC and member of the Pritikin Scientific Advisory Board.
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!
The polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil act as antioxidants to rid the body of free radicals that would otherwise damage cells, or even lead to cancer. A study found that drinking olive oil inhibited colon cancer at various stages of the disease. So why not use it to fend off cancer to begin with? This is not to say that you should skip those recommended colonoscopies after age 50, but go ahead and add olive oil to your daily regimen as a preventative measure.
I'm not usually a fan of prescribed "diets"-I live by more of the anti-diet mantra. Call me jaded, but the word "diet" has a bit of a negative connotation these days, with "fad" and "restrictive" usually preceding it. So, when I had the chance to give Dr. Axe's new Keto360 program a two-week test run, I did some serious digging on the ketogenic diet and whether it's healthy.
Day 8: I'm still struggling to find a morning beverage that I enjoy and that keeps me full, so I try flavorless collagen protein powder with my coffee plus a splash of macadamia nut milk. It still isn't the same as a French press with cream, but it's a win! On the solid-food front, I'm starting to get a little grossed out about all the meat I've eaten in the past week. It's more than I'd normally eat in three times as long. Lamb burgers, turkey lettuce-wrap tacos, chicken salads. My digestion is off (even though I take probiotics every morning), so Dr. Axe recommends his Keto Digest supplements at lunch. They contain fat-digesting enzymes to help break down the extra fat and protein that my body isn't used to consuming, and it helps.
The Mediterranean Diet is not a diet. It is a lifelong habit. Something you must stick to as a creed. Decades ago, this was the usual way of life of the communities around the Mediterranean Basin. It was the everyday life in countries like Spain, Italy or Greece. Its major points were physical activity, healthy nutrition and calm attitude. And not much money to throw away.
Here's what I learned about the keto diet: You essentially swap a high-carb diet, which most Americans tend to eat, for a diet that's very high in fat (the healthy kinds), moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. The idea is that you change the source from which your body gets its energy (and burns calories) from glucose (from carbohydrates) to ketones (from fat). This shift doesn't happen after one bulletproof coffee, though. It usually takes a few days of eating this way for your body to reach ketosis-where it's looking to fat as its first source of fuel. Once there, though, your body "will be burning fat all the time," says Dr. Axe. "It doesn't matter if you're working out or sleeping, or what you're doing, your body continues to burn fat in ketosis."
Results, she promises, can be quite dramatic. And sure enough, Woman’s World readers who tested Palinski-Wade’s olive oil diet menus melted up to eight pounds and four inches of ab flab in just seven days. “I tried Weight Watchers, supplements, fad diets, but nothing worked until this,” says Pennsylvania grandmother Eleanor Downing, 62. “I lost a pant size in a week!” Meanwhile, Colorado travel agent Erika Crocker, 47, who whisked four inches off her middle, still can’t believe such a simple approach could be so effective. As for 30-year-old Mississippi mom Lindsey Bradley, 30, dropping a size has her raving: “For once, my belly got flatter without hunger pangs.”