The Harvard pyramid is based on the Mediterranean diet. Its structure came from the diets of the inhabitants of Crete and Southern Italy in the 1960’s. The study was presented in 1993 by Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health at the International Conference on the Mediterranean Diet held in Cambridge Massachusetts. Note that oil is one of the basic components, in direct opposition to the current USDA pyramid. This pyramid has enjoyed a decade of increasing acceptance.
In one study published in the Journal of Obesity and Research in 2013, scientists at McGill University carried out a randomized control trial to compare the effects of medium-chain triglycerides (such as caprylic acid and lauric acid) and long-chain triglycerides (like olive oil) on body fat storage, energy expenditure, appetite control, and other aspects of weight loss in overweight men.
The “PREDIMED” study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 conclusively showed that the Mediterranean diet group had a third less heart disease, diabetes and stroke than the low-fat group. They also lost a little weight and had less memory loss. The most recent results showed that it also reduced chances of breast cancer, albeit in a small number of women.
The “PREDIMED” study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 conclusively showed that the Mediterranean diet group had a third less heart disease, diabetes and stroke than the low-fat group. They also lost a little weight and had less memory loss. The most recent results showed that it also reduced chances of breast cancer, albeit in a small number of women.
From this foundation, Flynn’s plant-based olive oil (PBOO) diet was born. She determined its components based on validated research examining food and chronic diseases. The cornerstone foods of the diet are extra virgin olive oil, vegetables (with particular emphasis on those with deep color and those from the cruciferous family), and starches/grains (ideally those that are whole), with minimal animal protein. Flynn was initially curious as to whether or not her diet would aid in weight loss. She hypothesized that as long as calories were controlled (~1500 calories per day for women, ~1800-2000 calorie per day for men), having healthy fats at every meal, in the form of nuts at breakfast and extra virgin olive oil at lunch and dinner, along with vegetable-heavy lunches and dinners, would help individuals feel more satiated and help them lose weight. Overall, those who follow her diet eat four to five servings of fat daily, most of which is extra virgin olive oil.
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.
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 required schedule of meals and snacks, either, but the diet does emphasize the social aspect of eating—like sitting down at a table with friends or family. “When you talk about the pillars of the Mediterranean lifestyle, diet is only part of it,” says Weinandy. “Regular social interaction and staying active with exercise are also really important.”
There’s room for interpretation in the Mediterranean diet, whether you prefer to eat lower carb, lower protein or somewhere in between. The diet focuses on consumption of healthy fats while keeping carbohydrates relatively low and improving a person’s intake of high-quality protein foods. If you refer protein over legumes and grains, you have the option to lose weight in a healthy, no-deprivation-kind-of-way with a high amount of seafood and quality dairy products (that simultaneously provide other benefits like omega-3s and often probiotics).
Beyond plant foods, another major staple of the diet is locally caught fish and a moderate consumption of cow, goat or sheep cheeses and yogurts that are included as a way to receive healthy fats and cholesterol. Fish like sardines and anchovies are a central part of the diet, which usually is traditionally lower in meat products than many Western diets today.
The Mediterranean diet might help you lose weight. While some people fear that eating a diet like the Mediterranean diet that is relatively rich in fats (think olive oil, olives, avocado and some cheese) will keep them fat, more and more research is suggesting the opposite is true. Of course, it depends on which aspects you adopt and how it compares to your current diet. If, for instance, you build a "calorie deficit" into your plan – eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max or burning off extra by exercising – you should shed some pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you.
Dr. Westman never brings up exercise as a first step in weight loss. He wants patients to focus on the diet first. “But later on, if things are no longer working well and there is still significant weight to lose, I bring up the E-word, exercise. But I try to get them back to things that are fun for them. Exercise will help you get through a plateau.”

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.


After the initial drop in weight due to water loss, your body will then begin to adapt to using fat as its main energy source. At this stage, you’re becoming “fat adapted.” This is the point in the process when you achieve a state of ketosis, meaning your body switches from using glycogen as its fuel source to using fat. When your body starts burning fat for energy, it produces ketones (also called ketone bodies). You can test your body’s level of ketones to determine whether or not you’re in ketosis.
So if you are experiencing a weight-loss stall, our experts recommend you look at how much fat you are consuming and see where you might cut back without harming the tastiness or quality of your food or your feeling of fullness, and without bringing back the cravings and blood sugar swings. Don’t starve yourself, but be mindful of excess fat for now. Samantha decided to cut out her bulletproof coffee for now.
You can approach keto in a number of different ways. On some keto diets, like dirty keto, it doesn’t matter where your fats, protein, and carbs come from. So dinner could be a bunless cheeseburger with extra bacon. Eating bad fats like low-quality vegetable oils, packaged low-carb snacks, and processed cheese dials up inflammation, making weight loss more challenging.[8]

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Day 10: I'm starting to get sick of the same foods that I know are safe bets. And the number of times I've Googled: "Is _____ keto?" is getting out of hand. I've realized that the only real gripe I have with the keto diet is that there are so many healthy, nutritious foods that you can't eat while on it. (Maybe that's why experts say you should give up restrictive diets once and for all.) Carrots? Sweet potatoes? Brussels sprouts? What vitamins and nutrients am I missing out on by leaving these foods off my plate?
For example, a 2003 study published in the Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders showed that after comparing long-term consumption of MCTs and LCTs on energy expenditure, body composition and fat oxidation in obese women, the MCTs had more significant effects. Substitution of MCTs for LCTs in a targeted energy balance diet proved to offer better prevention of long-term weight gain due to increases in energy expenditure and fat-burning. (2)
To start, olive oil is very high in compounds called phenols, which are potent antioxidants capable of lowering inflammation and fighting free radical damage. Olive oil is mainly made up of monounsaturated fatty acids, the most important of which is called oleic acid. Oleic acid is known to be extremely heart-healthy in numerous ways, especially when compared to many other refined vegetable oils, trans-fats or hydrogenated fats.
Given the choice of a fat and protein source like meat or a salt and carb rich food like potato chips, we are designed say yes to both. No matter how stuffed we are, the most primal parts of our brain will typically tell us that there is room for more if a novel food source is available. These behaviors were essential for our survival as a species. If we ate reasonably whenever food was available, then we wouldn’t have enough fat or muscle to fuel us when calories were scarce.
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Of course, the most famous use for MCT oil is Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof® Coffee recipe. This fat-packed coffee uses a mixture of grass-fed butter and MCT oil for a brain and energy boost. I accomplish similar results by adding coconut oil to my healthy coffee recipe, but have tried the MCT version and can vouch for its energy-boosting and brain-focus inducing properties. (Note: There are two Bulletproof® brand MCT oils: XCT Oil (C8+C10)and Brain Octane oil (Pure C8), which do contain palm but are sustainably sourced and use a super-clean steam distillation process of extraction).
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.
Additionally, they remarked that “concerns about adverse metabolic effects of the Atkins diet were not substantiated within the 12-month study period.” [16] They acknowledged that more research needs to be done on the long-term effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health especially on men. However, their study supports the idea that a low-carbohydrate diet can help you lower body mass and body fat better than higher-carbohydrate alternatives.
Hi, really encouraging post. I'm considering the Keto diet among others, but I think I need more help and direction. I'm trying to see if I can get any good feedback on some diet programs that I've come across. One that looks possibly promising is the Easy3WeekDiet.com. Does anyone have any experience with or suggestions for this? Thanks for any help.

In one study published in the Journal of Obesity and Research in 2013, scientists at McGill University carried out a randomized control trial to compare the effects of medium-chain triglycerides (such as caprylic acid and lauric acid) and long-chain triglycerides (like olive oil) on body fat storage, energy expenditure, appetite control, and other aspects of weight loss in overweight men.


Weight-loss history — If you’ve lost weight in the past, you’ll have a more difficult time losing weight now. That’s because as you lose weight, your metabolic rate decreases. If two men weigh 200 pounds, but one man used to weigh 275 pounds, the man who used to weigh 275 will burn fewer calories per day since his metabolic rate has decreased from where it once was.
This is because you get rid of the foods that cause high blood sugar, also known as glucose. Glucose is the easiest way for your body to get energy, but it can lead to energy crashes if you get too much in a short time. To get rid of the glucose and use it up, the body needs to produce insulin. As we produce more and more, our bodies become resistant to it, and this can lead to diabetes.
A randomized control study in 2017 examined the effects of a ketogenic diet combined with Crossfit training on body composition and performance. Results from this study concluded that subjects following a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (LCKD) significantly decreased body weight, body fat percentage and fat mass compared to those in the control group[*].
• 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]."
If you stop taking MCT oil for a while and then restart, begin with a small amount again to allow your digestive system to readjust. That said, MCT oil is often more easily digested by those struggling to digest other types of fat, such as those with malabsorption, leaky gut, Crohn's disease or gallbladder impairment (such as an infection or if you had your gallbladder removed).
Judy Ridgway is an acclaimed food writer and international expert on olive oil. She was the first non-Italian judge to sit on the judging panel of the prestigious Leone d'Oro international awards for olive oil. She travels frequently to the producing regions meeting the growers and tasting the oils along the way. She is also in regular contact with specialist cooking schools, university agricultural departments and research institutes. Previous books featuring olive oil include two editions of Judy Ridgway's Best Olive Oil Buys Round the World and The Olive Oil Companion. She also has extensive experience of national TV and radio.
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.
The participants had an age range of 22 to 75 years with an average age of 46.8 years. They had a BMI range of 30 to 45 kg/m2. About 88% of the participants were female and 51% were of African origin; thus, it was considerably more diverse than the prior study. They were also free of cardiovascular and renal complications including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney disease as well as significant weight-loss in the past six months.
In the United States, the Mediterranean diet’s popularity continues to rise alongside a growing need for healthier eating patterns and lifestyles. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms heart disease as the leading cause of death in America for men and women, due to obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, diabetes, high levels of bad LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and more. In the 1970s, U.S. physiologist Ancel Keys first linked a Mediterranean-style diet and better cardiovascular health through his “Seven Countries Study,” but his theory would not catch on until several decades later. In the 1990s, non-profit Oldways Preservation Trust introduced the Mediterranean Diet pyramid (pictured below), offering Americans a different approach to healthy eating than the USDA food pyramid provided. Through solid research, increased support from experts, and continued education to the public, the Mediterranean diet is regarded today as a powerful weapon against rising rates of heart disease in the U.S.
It's generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments. The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods. The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control. By following the Mediterranean Diet, you could also keep that weight off while avoiding chronic disease.
By combining caffeine, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) salts, MCTs and guarana, KETO WEIGHT LOSS can help your body use fat for energy, increase mental focus, boost endurance and even help control hunger. The BPI Sports supplement offers a smooth release of energy, so you can perform at your best for longer. No worries about the jitters or the crash, the KETO WEIGHT LOSS formula can be taken in the morning or before your workouts to give you the boost you need for increased productivity.*†
"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.
C8 has potent anti-microbial properties (way more potent than lauric acid) to help you maintain a healthy gut, and it is the fastest to metabolize in the brain. (This is Brain Octane Oil.) Your liver does not need to process this rare type of MCT, and it only takes 3 steps for your body to turn it into ATP, the cellular fuel you use.[2] Sugar takes 26 steps. This is why Brain Octane is so good at suppressing cravings and is the most powerful oil to put in Bulletproof Coffee. You would need 4 tablespoons of coconut oil to get just one tablespoon of Brain Octane.
Combine that with the fact that your body is excreting more water, and you have a potential recipe for clogged pipes. You can keep things moving by getting some fiber from keto-friendly foods like avocado, nuts, and limited portions of non-starchy vegetables and berries, says David Nico, PhD, author of Diet Diagnosis. Upping your water intake helps, too.

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the few oils that can be eaten without chemical processing. (Nearly every other vegetable oil has been detoxified and refined with steam and solvents). Fresh pressed olive oil can be eaten immediately and retains the natural flavors, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthy products of the ripe olive fruit.


Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that MCT oil sales have skyrocketed in recent years is due to growing popularity of “The Bullet Proof Diet.” “The Bulletproof Diet,” written by Dave Asprey, is a dietary approach for rapid weight loss and better cognitive health that recommends you receive 50 percent to 70 percent of your energy from healthy fats, especially MCT oil, grass-fed butter and coconut oil. (1) The plan’s signature breakfast, “bulletproof coffee” — a mix of coffee, MCT oil and butter — promises decreases in hunger levels, the ability to fast easily, better brain function and mental clarity. While coconut oil benefits are still recognized by Bulletproof dieters, MCT oil is considered the gold standard, and the official Bulletproof site sells its own MCT oil, called Brain Octane Oil.
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.)
I’m so very happy I found your page! I was on the ketogenic diet a couple of years ago and there wasn’t much information back then as there is now. I followed the diet and lost 25 lbs but fast forward to today Im 17 lbs heavier so I’m back on it again but this time I’m concerned because unlike before I wasn’t working out at all! I now train 6 times a week. I’m not skinny but I do consider myself a fit person and run 5k’s, obstacle course races and now training for my first CrossFit competition but I felt a devastating hit to my performance this week. I mean I know it’s normal to be weak and fatigued in the beginning but I’m not so sure if keto is the best diet for me now that my goal is to perform for these OCR and drop weight while still building muscles. Any advise for me?
Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, Covas MI, Corella D, Arós F, Gómez-Gracia E, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, Fiol M, Lapetra J, Lamuela-Raventos RM. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018 Jun 13. [Note: reference updated in June 2018 due to retraction and republication]
You'll get a chance to eat rich-tasting foods like roasted sweet potatoes, hummus, and even this Lima Bean Spread. You digest them slowly so that you feel full longer. Hunger's not a problem when you can munch on nuts, olives, or bites of low-fat cheese when a craving strikes. Feta and halloumi are lower in fat than cheddar but still rich and tasty.

Experiment with “real” whole grains that are still in their “whole” form and haven’t been refined. Quinoa cooks up in just 20 minutes, making it a great side dish for weeknight meals. Barley is full of fiber and it’s filling: pair it with mushrooms for a steamy, satisfying soup. A hot bowl of oatmeal is perfect for breakfast on a cold winter morning. Even popcorn is a whole grain—just keep it healthy by eating air-popped corn and forgo the butter (try a drizzle of olive oil instead). Supplement your intake with other whole-grain products, like whole-wheat bread and pasta. Look for the term “whole” or “whole grain” on the food package and in the ingredient list—it should be listed as the first ingredient. But if you still find it too hard to make the switch from your old refined favorites, phase in a whole grain by using whole-grain blends of pastas and rice or mixing whole grains half-and-half with a refined one (like half whole-wheat pasta and half white).
Metagenics MCT Oil provides over 90% caprylic (C8) and capric (C10) acid triglycerides. Emerging science suggests that medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) may benefit the body in numerous ways. MCT may help support cognitive health and certain cognitive processes, and pre-clinical research suggests that MCT may benefit mitochondrial function. MCT supplementation temporarily increases levels of ketones, which may serve as an alternative energy source in the brain and in muscle. Supplementing with MCT at multiple meals during the day may aid reductions in body weight and body fat, especially in those with an increased body-mass index (BMI).†† MCT may also help to temporarily increase satiety and reduce food intake, and may temporarily enhance fat oxidation as compared to common long-chain fats.*

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.
In the short term, you may lose a modest amount of weight over a year span and are likely to keep it off it you continue to eat following the diet. (6) If eating in the Mediterranean style prompts you to consume more fruits and vegetables, you’ll not only feel better physically, but your mental health will get a lift, too. Research shows that people who eat more raw fruits and veggies (particularly dark leafy greens like spinach, fresh berries, and cucumber) have fewer symptoms of depression, a better mood, and more life satisfaction. (36)
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.)
This is the ultimate “trimmifying” oil, with 100% Medium Chain Trglycerides that boost your metabolism life rocket fuel. MCT Oil has become the delicious and multi-talented dietary BFF of Trim Healthy Mamas all over the globe. Its succulent silky texture and neutral taste make it perfect to whip into your morning coffees that we call “Trimmies” and to drizzle over large leafy salads topped with protein. It delivers a very fatty mouth feel but provides the fewest calories of any oil!

There’s no required schedule of meals and snacks, either, but the diet does emphasize the social aspect of eating—like sitting down at a table with friends or family. “When you talk about the pillars of the Mediterranean lifestyle, diet is only part of it,” says Weinandy. “Regular social interaction and staying active with exercise are also really important.”
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the few oils that can be eaten without chemical processing. (Nearly every other vegetable oil has been detoxified and refined with steam and solvents). Fresh pressed olive oil can be eaten immediately and retains the natural flavors, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthy products of the ripe olive fruit.
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.
hey Julius, love your blog and dirtyweights.com … im two weeks into keto and really seeing some great results..but i would liek to know what is the optimal calorie intake and macro split ishould be doing. im 31, 6 feet 2, at 195 lbs. ive put on muslce for the past year and want to burn body fat from what i am now (approx 21% fat) to ideally 15% or lower in next 6 weeks. what would you suggest?
That doesn’t mean you’ll go hungry on a diet. It’s quite the opposite! You’re not starving yourself of calories but of carbohydrates. Your body won’t go into what’s known as starvation mode, which is where your metabolic rate drops considerably. You’re adding more fat to the diet and taking out the carbs, so the metabolism can still work, and you get the energy you need.

Getting adequate amounts of vitamins is extremely important to support healthy weight loss and overall wellness. Taking a multivitamin with synthetic ingredients has been shown to be ineffective and a complete waste of money[*]. Alternatively, consuming a high-quality greens powder made from real, nutritious whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and phytonutrients is a much better way to optimize health and longevity. Check out this article for more information on supplementing with a high quality, effective greens powder.

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder and CEO of Wellness Mama, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.
Our Clinical Services Team - staffed by clinicians and other nutritional experts - answer technical questions about our nutritional formulas and the most effective ways to recommend them in a variety of protocols. And our product representatives help practitioners grow their business in many more ways than suggesting practice-appropriate nutritional products.
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?
Keep moving — In addition to ketosis, the best thing you can do for your weight-loss journey and your overall health is to get moving! It’s extremely easy to wake up, go to work, sit at a desk all day, come home, and then sit on the couch for the rest of the evening. But when you do this, you aren’t burning calories like you should if you want to lose weight. For best results, take up a combination of resistance training and cardio. Building muscle will give your metabolism a boost since muscle in your body burns more calories than fat, and cardio will further help you burn calories. And even if you don’t want to go to the gym or get outside for a run, try to get in a 30-minute walk 3-4 times per week. A 30-minute walk at a brisk pace can help you burn about 150 calories. Plus, working out will boost your mood and help you stay motivated on your health journey.
Both MCT oil and coconut oil are beneficial for balancing bacteria in the gut microbiota, which in turn has positive effects on the digestive symptom, energy expenditure, and the ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Medium-chain fats can help kill a wide range of pathogenic viruses, strains and bacteria that cause digestive issues, including candida, constipation, diarrhea, food poisoning, stomachaches and so on. (8)
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Picking through the data, the researchers found that the extra olive oil group did slightly better than the extra nut group, but both were clearly superior to low fat diets. The research was also much more reliable than many diet studies because it was a randomised control trial that looked at a large group of people over a long period of time, rather than just monitoring people on one diet for a few days or weeks.
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