A diet high in fresh plant foods and healthy fats seems to be the winning combination for longevity. Monounsaturated fat, the type found in olive oil and some nuts, is the main fat source in the Mediterranean diet. Over and over, studies show that monounsaturated fat is associated with lower levels of heart disease, cancer, depression, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory diseases and more. These are currently the leading causes of death in developed nations — especially heart disease.
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?
A study of 89 obese adults who were placed on a two-phase diet regimen (6 months of a very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and 6 months of a reintroduction phase on a normal calorie Mediterranean diet) showed a significant mean 10% weight loss with no weight regain at one year. The ketogenic diet provided about 980 calories with 12% carbohydrate, 36% protein, and 52% fat, while the Mediterranean diet provided about 1800 calories with 58% carbohydrate, 15% protein, and 27% fat. Eighty-eight percent of the participants were compliant with the entire regimen.  It is noted that the ketogenic diet used in this study was lower in fat and slightly higher in carbohydrate and protein than the average ketogenic diet that provides 70% or greater calories from fat and less than 20% protein.
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.”
“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.”
As you start removing carbohydrates from your body, your body will begin using the glycogen stored in your liver and muscles as its primary fuel source. This is exactly what you want, because once your body gets through the glycogen, it will start burning fat instead of glucose. And when this happens, you’ve made it to the holy land: ketosis. We’ll talk more about this in Phase 2.
Extra virgin olive oil has high a percentage of omega fats (polyunsaturated fats that are good for your heart) along with monounsaturated fats. Delhi-based Dietitian, Dr. Deepali Solanki, shares, "Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, unlike other oils which have a lot of saturated fat acids. It can be consumed in the same amount like any other oil. The recommended amount is half a liter per person per month."
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.
At this point, you probably already know that the Mediterranean diet is good for your health. Research proves over and over again that people who put an emphasis on produce, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats not only weigh less, but also have a decreased risk for heart disease, depression, and dementia. So what are you waiting for? Here are the basics: Shop the market perimeter, eat seasonally, and break (whole-grain) bread with people who make you smile. Now for the nitty-gritty.
We know inflammation caused by following these flawed guidelines is the true villain. Rather than demonize fat, we need to restrict sugar and carbohydrates that break down to sugar, along with inflammatory omega 6 fats. Instead, we want more omega 3 fats and MCTs like coconut oil, which can help you to lose weight and become healthy and vibrant. Quality matters here, not quantity.
I used the keto guide at http://www.ketocookbook.org and I've lost 25 pounds of fat in one month! Since starting the keto diet, there's one thing I can tell you: the longer you follow it, the more benefits you get! It also gets much easier! That's because, once your body is fat adapted for a long period of time, it get's easier to get back into ketosis. You simply need to train your body to do it. Once you've been fat adapted for a few months, you can even add a few carbohydrates back into your diet from time to time. So understand that you aren't saying goodbye to carbs forever, you are just getting smarter about how to use them!
How much olive oil should you consume daily? While recommendations differ depending on your specific calorie needs and diet, anywhere from one to four tablespoons seems to be beneficial. Estimates show that those in the Mediterranean region probably consume between three to four tablespoons a day, and this is the amount that some health practitioners recommend to their heart disease patients.
First, start with a tablespoon and increase the amount over time. Another option is to mix olive oil in a blender with a cup of warm water and the juice of a lemon. It makes it much more palatable and the lemon juice will help with the easier digestion of the oil. Plus, lemon juice has been linked to improved liver function. A healthy liver produces more bile, which in turn is needed for the proper breakdown of fats (and oils) in the small intestine.
In 2007, a team of eight research scientists compared the impact of the Atkins diet on body mass and body fat with three other diets in a 12-month randomized controlled trial. The team recruited 311 overweight and obese, premenopausal women with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. The women had an average age of 41 years, BMI of 32, and body fat percentage of 40. After taking baseline measurements, researchers distributed the subjects to one of four different groups.
Research has consistently shown that the Mediterranean diet is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality. [3, 4] A study of nearly 26,000 women found that those who followed this type of diet had 25% less risk of developing cardiovascular disease over the course of 12 years.  The study examined a range of underlying mechanisms that might account for this reduction, and found that changes in inflammation, blood sugar, and body mass index were the biggest drivers.
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.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to produce beneficial metabolic changes in the short-term. Along with weight loss, health parameters associated with carrying excess weight have improved, such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. [2,7] There is also growing interest in the use of low-carbohydrate diets, including the ketogenic diet, for type 2 diabetes. Several theories exist as to why the ketogenic diet promotes weight loss, though they have not been consistently shown in research: [2,8,9]
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.
Some negative side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet have been suggested, including increased risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis, and increased blood levels of uric acid (a risk factor for gout). Possible nutrient deficiencies may arise if a variety of recommended foods on the ketogenic diet are not included. It is important to not solely focus on eating high-fat foods, but to include a daily variety of the allowed meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to ensure adequate intakes of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals (iron, magnesium, zinc)—nutrients typically found in foods like whole grains that are restricted from the diet. Because whole food groups are excluded, assistance from a registered dietitian may be beneficial in creating a ketogenic diet that minimizes nutrient deficiencies.
HI, starting my keto eating habit today, do you have other meal plans? I am leaving now to buy my grocery list. I am committed. My question is this, I am 55, do HIIT classes and CrossFit style workouts along with lifting. I teach yoga. Wondering if you have found any issues with an older client? My metabolism has changed drastically in the last few years as the weight has crept up. I weigh 148, I am planning on doing 1400 kcal, 25% deficit. 25g carbs,75g protein, 111g fat. Does that sound like a good start?
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.
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.
Your individual fat adaptation period. Remember your body needs time to become fat-adapted and that time depends on your metabolism. For instance, if you’re coming off a Standard American Diet (SAD) and your adult body has never run on ketones before, your adaptation period might take a little longer. You’ll only experience the true weight loss effects of keto when your body is actually running on ketones.
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).
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.
Hallberg and colleagues are currently in the midst of a study in which ten overweight mostly menopausal women, who have been doing low carb keto eating but whose weight loss has stalled prematurely, will spend about five days in a monitored environment. During this time the women’s food and activity will be observed and recorded and their metabolism analyzed. While studies like this have been done before, this is the first time the focus has been on women who have stalled in their weight loss on a low carb and high fat diet, Hallberg says. “Most of the other studies found it was overconsumption leading to the problem. We want to see what is happening for these women.”
The response was to try intermittent fasting — and we go into more detail about that in tip #3 below. But to truly get to the bottom of menopausal weight stalls and challenges, we explored the medical literature about what is known about metabolism changes and physiological energy needs during menopause and also tapped the knowledge and experience of some of our stellar low-carb experts — Dr. Sarah Hallberg, Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Ted Naiman, and Atkins RN Jackie Eberstein. We have come up with nine other actions, along with intermittent fasting, that may help stop menopausal weight issues and to give a boost to weight loss if you are experiencing a plateau while low-carb keto eating.
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."
I’ve been playing with the idea of a keto diet for a few months, at over 300lb I need to make some big changes. I think my biggest concern atm is being unable to exercise. Due to my size it is painful so the only work out i really get is taking my dog for a walk. I guess I’m a little scared that eating high fat whilst not doing much exercise will have an adverse effect.
Don’t eat too much protein — In addition to limiting your carb intake, you need to limit your protein intake as well. You should aim for about 20% of your calories to come from protein. If you eat more than that, your body will turn the excess protein into glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. Your body will then try to burn this glucose off instead of fat and will kick your body out of ketosis.
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.
Eat less often. It’s much easier to eat fewer calories and maintain higher levels of ketosis when you eat less meals. Instead of snacking throughout the day, try getting all of your calories from 2-3 meals every day. You can also try intermittent fasting by restricting all your meals to an 8-hour eating window. This will allow your blood sugar and insulin to drop down to baseline levels so that your body can go into its fasting state and burn body fat for fuel.
A plant based diet, one that includes lots of fruits and vegetables, is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, which can help fight cancer in nearly every way — providing antioxidants, protecting DNA from damage, stopping cell mutation, lowering inflammation and delaying tumor growth. Many studies point to the fact that olive oil might also be a natural cancer treatment and decrease the risk of colon and bowel cancers. It might have a protective effect on the development of cancer cells due to lowered inflammation and reduced oxidative stress, plus its tendency to promote balanced blood sugar and a healthier weight.
Most fundamentally, olive oil, like all oils and fats, are a concentrated source of calories. With over 4,000 calories per pound, olive oil is far more calorie dense than even pure refined sugar, which has 1,725 calories per pound. Because of its extremely high calorie density, adding olive oil to any food or meal will dramatically increase its calorie density.
It’s no secret that carbs—especially refined ones like sugary cereals, white bread and pasta, or sweet drinks—cause your blood sugar to spike and dip. So it makes sense that eating less of them can help keep things nice and even. For healthy people, this can translate to more steady energy, less brain fog, and fewer sugary cravings, Mancinelli explains.
“Better” cigarettes (those with less nicotine and toxic chemicals like benzo(a)pyrenes) still promote lung cancer. “Better” monounsaturated fats like olive oil may still lead to diseased arteries. When scientists fed a monounsaturated fat–rich diet to monkeys for five years, the monkeys developed extensive atherosclerotic plaques in their coronary arteries. (1)
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.
3. Proteins: Good proteins to eat include fish and shellfish, especially varieties packing omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the healthiest seafood you can eat are salmon, arctic char, mackerel, anchovies, and oysters. Don’t forget about plant proteins such as beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds—these foods contain unsaturated fats, fiber, and can add instant texture and flavor to salads or stand alone as satisfying snacks.
I have been on the Keto diet for approximately 2 months. I have lost 18 lbs, but have about 20 more to lose. I definitely notice certain foods, even tho they are Keto friendly stall my weight loss. I am feeling a lot better about myself already and don’t see a reason why I won’t be able to stick with this diet. However, I am stressing about what I will eat on Thanksgiving being that my family does not follow my same eating habits.
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.
Similarly, in a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists followed for years the diets and health of 22,043 adults in Greece. (12) Adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet was assessed by a 10–point scale that incorporated the key facets of the diet, including an abundance of plant food (fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, nuts, and legumes), olive oil as the main source of fat, and low–to–moderate amounts of fish and poultry.
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.
If you've been cooking with vegetable oil or coconut oil, make the switch to extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which may improve HDL cholesterol, the "good" type of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol ferries "bad" LDL particles out of arteries, according to a 2017 study in Circulation. Use olive oil in homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes. Drizzle it on finished dishes like fish or chicken to boost flavor. Swap butter for olive oil in mashed potatoes, pasta, and more.
How it’s done: Warm up the LEVL or Ketonix meter by plugging it in. Blow into it and wait for the flashing light indicating it’s reading your acetone levels. The software or the color and speed of the flashing light would tell your reading: green for least acetone, red for most acetone, less flashing for less acetone per color, more flashing for more acetone per color.
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."
Set realistic expectations: Both Dr. Hallberg and Jackie Eberstein note this tip is particularly important for women, of all ages. Some women are aiming for an arbitrary number on a scale, perhaps from a long time ago or an idealized weight they have never achieved — a number that has no real bearing or relationship to their actual health and wellness.
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.
I’m in the process of creating a workout guide as I had the same issue when I started… I Just could find anything on exercising in ketosis… I was losing muscle mass when I was doing a 7 day split…lol… Basically you want to work each muscle group at least twice a week. Workout with medium to heavey loads between 8-12 reps. I also bike 20 miles a day but it’s casual, not sprinting…lol… Cardio isn’t really necessary as it can raise your cortisol levels if it’s to extreme and kick you out of ketosis… You definitely want muscle contraction thought… I will update this post with more information… Good question!
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.
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.)
Alzheimer's disease. There is interest in using MCTs to treat Alzheimer's disease because MCTs might provide extra energy to the brain and might also protect the brain against damage from beta-amyloid protein plaques. These plaques are the structures that form in Alzheimer's disease and cause symptoms. Some research shows that a specific MCT product (AC-1202) does not significantly improve learning, memory and information processing (cognitive thinking) in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, except in people with a particular genetic make-up (change in the APOE4 gene). In the people with the APEO4 gene change, a single dose of the MCT product seems to improve cognitive thinking skills.
You've probably heard of the Mediterranean diet, but do you actually understand the science behind it? Full of diverse plant-based foods, healthy fats, whole grains, and yes—the occasional glass of red wine—the Mediterranean diet is widely embraced by top medical professionals and experts. This age-old eating habit is deeply rooted in the coastal cuisines of Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and northern Africa.
For example, the large Greek EPIC study investigated which components of the Mediterranean diet were most beneficial and found that monounsaturated fats like olive oil were not stars. (11) Following 23,349 people for 8.5 years, the scientists demonstrated that only 11% of the benefit from a Mediterranean diet came from a high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats, and all of the monounsaturated fats were not olive oil. The biggest health benefits came from high vegetable intake, low meat intake, and moderate alcohol consumption.
YEP.Our Perfect MCT Oil contains only C8 and C10 MCTs. Here is a Fatty Acid lab assay to prove the MCT make-up. In addition, here is our Supplement Fact panel showing that all 14 grams of fat come from C8 and C10. Beware as many other products have high levels of C12, which is really more of a medium-long chain fatty acid and less beneficial as a quick energy source.
"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."
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.
A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials following overweight and obese participants for 1-2 years on either low-fat diets or very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets found that the ketogenic diet produced a small but significantly greater reduction in weight, triglycerides, and blood pressure, and a greater increase in HDL and LDL cholesterol compared with the low-fat diet at one year.  The authors acknowledged the small weight loss difference between the two diets of about 2 pounds, and that compliance to the ketogenic diet declined over time, which may have explained the more significant difference at one year but not at two years (the authors did not provide additional data on this).
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.