She went on to research whether a plant-based olive oil diet would improve risk factors for chronic disease, including breast and prostate cancers, relative to a lower fat diet. In one major study of 44 women with breast cancer, participants were assigned either a conventional diet where less than 30 percent of calories came from fat or a plant-based olive oil diet. The women followed the diets for eight weeks of weight loss and then could choose which they wanted to continue on for six months of follow-up. Somewhat surprisingly to Flynn, a strong majority of the women chose her diet, saying that the meals tasted better, were easy to prepare, inexpensive, and could be used both for everyday eating and when entertaining. Moreover, those who have tried to adopt the plant-based olive diet in both research and outpatient settings have mentioned feeling better after just one day following it, which is a powerful motivator for lasting behavior change.

Cancer — While we can’t say that being obese or overweight causes cancer, consistent evidence indicates that higher levels of body fat are associated with increased risks for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer, and endometrial cancer. In fact, overweight women are two to four times more likely to develop endometrial cancer (a type of cancer that begins in the uterus).
One of the ways to do this that is yielding promising results in research is the ketogenic diet. In a 2017 study evaluating the ketogenic diet in the management of diabetes, researchers showed the diet had the potential to decrease blood glucose levels, the rudimental key to minimizing the occurrence and diagnosis of diabetes. This was further supported in a study evaluating the long-term effects of the ketogenic diet in obese patients, offering similar results in its ability to lower blood glucose levels, as well as decreasing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
There has also been increased interest in the diet’s effects on aging and cognitive function. [9-11] Cell damage through stress and inflammation that can lead to age-related diseases has been linked to a specific part of DNA called telomeres. These structures naturally shorten with age, and their length size can predict life expectancy and the risk of developing age-related diseases. Telomeres with long lengths are considered protective against chronic diseases and earlier death, whereas short lengths increase risk. Antioxidants can help combat cell stress and preserve telomere length, such as by eating foods that contain antioxidants nutrients like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. These foods are found in healthy eating patterns like the Mediterranean diet. [12] This was demonstrated in a large cohort of 4676 healthy middle-aged women from the Nurses’ Health Study where participants who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet were found to have longer telomere length. [12]
Some patients constantly graze on "legal" keto foods that can stall fat loss. Intermittent fasting is the answer here: You naturally reduce your caloric intake and give your gut a break. By not eating, you're allowing inflammation to quiet down in your body, which helps with blood sugar balance and weight loss. As an example, some plans combine daily fasting with a ketogenic diet. Have a big dinner, close up the kitchen, and push breakfast as far back the next morning as you can. I talk more about this type of keto diet, which I call a Cyclitarian plan, here.
For the sake of science and my book I was trying to emulate the diets of Cretan fishermen from the 1960s, who reportedly had a glass of olive oil for breakfast before a hard day of fishing or goat herding. These high intakes of oil had been suggested as a cause of their remarkable longevity, despite the large amounts of saturated fat they consumed as a result.

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.
With all this talk of the great benefits of olive oil, let’s talk about how to take it. We know, of course, that it may be a bit difficult to start your day with an entire shot of olive oil on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. In fact, if oil is consumed in large amounts, it may actually upset the stomach that is not used to it. Here are a couple more ways to go about it.
Includes Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) – When You Drop Your Carbs, You’re Eliminating a Source of Energy for Your Brain as Well as Your Body. Your Brain Requires About 100g of Glucose a Day to Function, So on Low-Carb Diets, You Can Feel a Bit Slow or Fuzzy. BHB is an Exogenous Source of Ketones That Will Help Combat This by Providing Fuel for Your Brain.

And monounsaturated fat isn't the only thing olive oil has going for it nutritionally. Some olive oils come with phytonutrients that may offer their own disease protection benefits (still, it's not clear whether most of us can take in enough of these phytonutrients without going overboard on olive oil, says Joyce Nettleton, DSc, RD, researcher and editor of the PUFA Newsletter).
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