The Mediterranean diet has long been one of the healthiest diets known to man. The history and tradition of the Mediterranean diet come from the historic eating and social patterns of the regions around southern Italy, Greece, Turkey and Spain. Therefore the Mediterranean diet is really not even a “diet” in the way we usually think of them, more like a life-long way of eating and living. For thousands of years people living along the Mediterranean coast have indulged in a high-fiber diet of fruits and vegetables, also including quality fats and proteins in moderation, and sometimes a glass of locally made wine to complete a meal, too.

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.”

Finally, watch your protein intake, it’s very easy to go over on that and excess protein will be converted to sugars in your body (so it’s fine if you work out a lot but if you don’t then just be aware and don’t go overboard). It’s practically impossible to eat too much good fats (avoid trans fats like the plague and try to limit polyunsaturated too as too much of them can promote inflammation in the body and unfortunately they’re in lots of stuff), fats are so satieting though that you’ll nearly always feel way too full before you can eat too much of them (provided the food that they’re in isn’t secretly hiding carbs and protein too, I.e. be careful with the kind of nuts you eat, macadamia only have 5 grams of carbs per 100g but cashews have 20+ so a couple big handfuls of those will nearly knock you out of ketosis like that!)
Consuming three tablespoons of EVOO isn’t enough to start shedding the kilos, Flynn says, explaining that the weight-loss effect kicks in when it’s combined with a healthy Mediterranean-style diet. This is rich in vegetables, fruit, legumes and whole grains, moderate in dairy and low in meat (about three serves of white meat or fish a week for women, and red meat only once or twice a month).
This supposedly “good” monounsaturated fat-rich meal, in effect, elevated blood fats and crippled the workings of the endothelium (the inside skin of the arteries), putting the squeeze on blood flow and reducing the arteries’ ability to deliver more blood to tissues. Research has shown that things that impair endothelial function in the short term usually contribute to clogged arteries in the long run. No problems with impaired endothelial function occurred with meals enriched in other parts of the Mediterranean diet, such as vegetables and fruits.
In 2010, researchers published findings showing MCTs help lower your risk of developing metabolic syndrome,18 which includes a cluster of symptoms such as abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Unlike carbohydrates, ketones don't stimulate a surge in insulin. Another benefit is that they don't need insulin to help them cross cell membranes, including neuronal membranes. Instead, they use protein transporters, which allow them to enter cells that have become insulin resistant.
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.

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)
Consuming three tablespoons of EVOO isn’t enough to start shedding the kilos, Flynn says, explaining that the weight-loss effect kicks in when it’s combined with a healthy Mediterranean-style diet. This is rich in vegetables, fruit, legumes and whole grains, moderate in dairy and low in meat (about three serves of white meat or fish a week for women, and red meat only once or twice a month).
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