In 2013, a landmark study of more than 7,000 people in Spain was published. The study’s subjects were split into three groups: those receiving advice about following a Mediterranean diet and getting extra-virgin olive oil delivered to their home; receiving advice about following the Mediterranean diet and getting nuts delivered to their home; and, in the control group, receiving advice about following a low-fat diet.
Get a good night sleep: During menopause, many women find their quality of sleep sharply deteriorates, often because of hot flashes and night sweats. Drs. Fung and Hallberg really recommend that women in weight loss plateaus aim to improve their sleep. A good night sleep reduces stress and cortisol, the stress hormone that when raised hangs onto abdominal fat.
This research also demonstrated that the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid (olive oil is 78% oleic acid) resulted in a marked increase in LPS attached to chylomicrons in the bloodstream. Chylomicrons, also known as cholesterol remnants, are large, fat-rich lipoprotein particles that research has found contribute to the growth of cholesterol-filled plaques. (8) After a fatty meal, the blood is so full of chylomicrons that it turns milky, like a strawberry shake.
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).
Maybe you don’t want to choose olive oil over, say, butter or marbled steak for the rest of your life. Not to worry. “You don’t have to give up favorite foods forever,” Palinski-Wade promises. “As you use my plan and lose weight, your body chemistry shifts. You’ll be able to indulge from time to time without adding belly fat.” And if you’re looking to get a smaller waist as quickly as possible, “You won’t find a better jumpstart. This is perfect for the impatient dieter.”
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.
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.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
Now, if you had looked only at the blood lipids of the monkeys eating the monounsaturated-fat-rich diet in this study, you’d have thought they would have ended up with cleaner arteries than those that ate more saturated fat. Compared to monkeys fed the diet high in saturated fat, the monkeys fed the monounsaturated-fat-rich diet had lower LDL bad cholesterol levels and higher HDL good cholesterol levels (similar to what happens in studies with humans). And compared to monkeys fed a diet high in polyunsaturated fats, the monkeys fed the high-mono diet had HDLs that were nearly twice as high (again, just like humans).
“It makes other food, especially vegetables, taste delicious,” says Palinski-Wade. Raw broccoli? Salad with fat-free dressing? Meh. But broccoli sautéed with garlic and olive oil, salad drizzled with homemade vinaigrette — now we’re talking. “There are so many micronutrients in veggies with potential to help reduce belly fat — but they won’t work if you don’t eat them. I really think that’s a huge reason diets rich in olive oil have been shown to take off more weight,” says the pro. “Olive oil leads to greater vegetable consumption!”

Informed-Choice is an adulteration monitoring program through LGC that conducts monthly blind batch testing of registered products at the retail level and posts updated results on their website. The Informed-Choice logo indicates that these products have been tested for, and certified to be free of, banned substances through the Informed-Choice certification program.
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]
It's important to realize that MCT oil will not produce weight loss miracles all on its own. However, it is an excellent addition to an otherwise healthy diet. Moreover, many consider MCTs "the ultimate ketogenic fat," as it allows you to eat slightly more net carbs while still staying in nutritional ketosis. Without MCTs, you'd have to cut carbs more drastically in order to maintain ketosis.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is based on typical eating habits from the early 1960's in some Mediterranean areas, including parts of Greece and Southern Italy. During that time, the rates of coronary heart disease were among the lowest in the world and the life expectancy rates were among the highest. These trends were attributed to the eating habits in the regions. More recently, in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Mediterranean diet was shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and death related to heart problems by 30%.
50 yr old ~ retired dancer (huge discipline with diet exercise most of my life) ~ yoga practitioner/teacher ~ through menopause at age 45, developed hypothyroidism, gained 50 lbs. ~ very high nightime cortisol, morning low ~ on NDT (natural dessicated thyroid medicine) ~ am easily exhausted, poor sleep since 2009, love juicing everything and find it easy to consume since appetite is low most days and eating food usually triggers intestinal discomfort…I like pea protein shakes a lot ~ always on the hunt for natural sweeteners but rarely find one I like that is healthy ~ love butter ~ recently found grilled salmon to be delicious ~ love all sorts of fruits & veggies ~ NEED to lose this burdensome weight!!! ~ exercise is limited due to adrenal fatigue, but love my gentle yoga 5 days per week
The Mediterranean diet is most famous for its benefit to heart health, decreasing the risk of heart disease by, in part, lowering levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and reducing mortality from cardiovascular conditions. It’s also been credited with a lower likelihood of certain cancers, like breast cancer, as well as conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. (1)
If the idea of overhauling your entire way of shopping and eating seems daunting, start small. Wiping the slate entirely clean may not be necessary. Instead, take steps toward eating more in the Mediterranean-style. Choose one of these strategies below, and make it a habit. When you're ready, move onto the next strategy. No matter where you choose to start, these seven tips for starting a Mediterranean diet can help you makeover your plate so you can reap the benefits.
A study in the Journal of Lipid Research conducted at the University of Kentucky clearly demonstrated in animals that a high-fat diet promoted the absorption from the gut of lipopolysaccharides (LPS), toxic substances that are part of bacterial cell membranes. That’s troubling because high levels of LPS trigger immune cells to increase inflammation. (7)
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.”
Almost everything in this diet is good for your heart. Olive oil and nuts help lower "bad" cholesterol. Fruits, veggies, and beans help keep arteries clear. Fish helps lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Even a daily glass of wine may be good for your heart! If you've never fallen in love with fish, try this Mediterranean-inspired recipe for Grilled Whole Trout With Lemon-Tarragon Bean Salad.
To maintain ketosis (where you burn fat rather than sugar for energy), you need to keep your carb intake to around 20 to 50 grams daily. Some of my patients have to go to the lower end to get those results. That doesn't mean you can't incorporate some carbs: You can fit plenty of green vegetables and low-sugar fruits like berries and avocado into even a 20-gram carb allotment.
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.
Research shows that greater adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet, including plenty of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 foods, is associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, especially heart disease. A striking protective effect of a Mediterranean diet rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from olive oil has been shown in many studies, with some finding that a Mediterranean-style diet can decrease the risk of cardiac death by 30 percent and sudden cardiac death by 45 percent. (6)
Extremely quick weight loss is possible, but it’s rarely healthy and almost never permanent. The Weight-Control Information Network website warns that losing more than 3 pounds per week is too fast. Losing weight quickly by following a fad diet may get you into that wedding dress, but the extra pounds will most likely be waiting for you when the honeymoon’s over. Thus, you can go on a fad olive oil diet, or you can incorporate heart-healthy olive oil into a nutritious diet and drop five pounds that are much more likely to stay gone. Consult your doctor before beginning any new diet.
×