In fact, in a recent study, Dr. Borge Nordestgaard at the University of Copenhagen demonstrated just how dangerous cholesterol remnants like chylomicrons can be. He and colleagues followed nearly 12,000 people in Denmark who had established coronary heart disease, diagnosed between 1976 and 2010. The scientists found that each 1 mmol (38.7mg/dl) increase in nonfasting remnant cholesterol caused a nearly 3-fold greater risk of a coronary heart disease event. (10)
Being constantly stressed keeps your sugar-boosting hormone cortisol jacked up, which not only elevates your blood sugar but also short-circuits fat loss. And let's be honest: When you're stressed out, you're more likely to nose-dive into keto-unfriendly foods, like comfort carbs. Find ways to dial down stress levels. I find even five minutes of shutting my eyes and taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths can give me a renewed focus and take stress down a few notches.
Studies suggest an ideal ketone concentration for maximum hunger suppression and fat burning is 0.48 millimole per liter (mmol/L).19 Ketone measurements can be done through urine, breath or blood testing. Blood testing is the most expensive but also the most accurate and easy to test with home meters and strips. Measure your ketones about one hour after taking your MCT oil, and slowly build up your dose until you reach 0.48 mmol/L.
Tallon, these suggestions are meant to be taken one at a time. If you’ve hit a plateau or are struggling with weight loss, you can try to cut back on your protein. If that doesn’t provide results than maybe that wasn’t the culprit..now try cutting back on dairy, see what happens with that. It’s all about finding what works for you. If you cut out everything at once, you’ll never know which one was causing the issue. Hope that makes sense.
Hi, I started last month and lost 16 pounds then went a week and no loss, thought ok fine then I gained 3 pounds and nothing I did wrong, no cheating at all and I go to the gym 5 days a week – nothing hardcore but I go. Is it normal for that to happen? Getting frustrated especially when I see all these people loosing all this weight and doing fabulous. I am on a lot of support groups on F/B and I am amazed but not sure what I am doing wrong. I know I cannot drink oil or butter in my coffee – but I have started to use coconut oil more and heavy cream too.
Technically, you can eat any food and lose weight. The key to weight loss is not eating “fat burning foods,” the key to weight loss is a sustained calorie deficit. When you are in a calorie deficit (i.e., eating fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight), your body will be forced to use its energy stores, which includes glycogen (stored sugar) and body fat (stored triglycerides).
The fatty acids termed MCTs and lauric acid act somewhat differently in the body, although in the U.S., coconut oil and MCT oil manufacturers are legally allowed to claim that lauric acid is a type of MCT. Some people claim that lauric acid doesn’t biologically act like other forms of shorter MCTs (or at least as quickly), which is one reason why MCT advocates believe that MCT oil is somewhat superior.
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.
One interesting finding of this eating plan is that it dispels the myth that people with or at risk for heart disease must eat a low fat diet. Although it does matter which types of fats are chosen, the percentage of calories from fat is less of an issue. The PREDIMED study, a primary prevention trial including thousands of people with diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts and without any fat and calorie restrictions reduced the rates of death from stroke by roughly 30%. [6] Most dietary fats were healthy fats, such as those from fatty fish, olive oil, and nuts, but total fat intake was generous at 39-42% of total daily calories, much higher than the 20-35% fat guideline as stated by the Institute of Medicine. [7]  Risk of type 2 diabetes was also reduced in the PREDIMED trial. [8]
The diet primarily consists of foods and ingredients that are very close to nature, including olive oil, legumes like peas and beans, fruits, vegetables, unrefined cereal products, and small portions of animal products (that are always “organic” and locally produced). In contrast to the typical American diet, it’s very low in sugar and practically free of all GMOs or artificial ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and flavor enhancers. For something sweet, people in the Mediterranean enjoy fruit or small quantities of homemade desserts made with natural sweeteners like honey.

Over the past 50 years, what we think of as Mediterranean fare has changed. Many of us picture huge, three-hour feasts with multiple courses of pizza, lasagna, racks of lamb, long loaves of white bread, and endless bottles of wine. But the true Mediterranean Diet is based on the region’s traditional fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, olive oil, and dairy—with perhaps a glass or two of red wine. That’s how the inhabitants of Crete, Greece, and southern Italy ate circa 1960, when their rates of chronic disease were among the lowest in the world and their life expectancy among the highest, despite having only limited medical services.And the real Mediterranean diet is about more than just eating fresh, wholesome food. Daily physical activity and sharing meals with others are vital elements of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Together, they can have a profound effect on your mood and mental health and help you foster a deep appreciation for the pleasures of eating healthy and delicious foods.


I am researching keto plans and was so pleased to read your perspectives and personal story. It seems many over complicate things. I am 44, 5 ft 8 in and 236 pounds. I had kids at 35 and 48 yrs old and have had a really tough time with my body changes and overcoming this “doomed” feeling when it comes to weight. I want to be confident that this can happen but not sure where to start. I am a nurse, want to run and play with my 2 boys and really want to feel confident and show my horses again. This extra 60 pounds has got a hold of me! What do u recommend I do to start. Thank you for your inspiration!
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.

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.

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?
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.*
It’s confusing because coconut oil marketers imply that lauric acid is the same as monolaurin, an extremely potent antimicrobial that is derived from lauric acid. (They are not the same…I used monolaurin when I had candida years ago, and depending on your gut bacteria, you may create monolaurin in your gut when you eat affordable coconut oil.) Given how common and cheap this stuff is, it’s no wonder that companies are tempted to sell it as a true MCT. Two years ago, I looked into making a more affordable MCT oil containing lauric acid. I’d have made a killing selling what is basically coconut oil as something special, but it simply doesn’t work, and it’s not truthful marketing. #notgonnahappen
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?
MCTs get their name because of the length of their chemical structure. All types of fatty acids are made up of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen. Fats are categorized by how many carbons they have: short-chain fats (like butyric acid) have fewer than six carbons, medium-chain fats have between six to 12 carbons and long-chain fats (like omega-3s) have between 13–21.
In 2014, a group of three Brazilian researchers assessed the available literature on the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets in a meta-analysis. They specifically looked at trials that compared a ketogenic diet that consisted of no more than 50 grams of carbs per day with a conventional, low-fat diet with less than 30% of calories from fat. The researchers included 13 studies that lasted 12 months or more with a total of 1577 subjects.
Available research on the ketogenic diet for weight loss is still limited. Most of the studies so far have had a small number of participants, were short-term (12 weeks or less), and did not include control groups. A ketogenic diet has been shown to provide short-term benefits in some people including weight loss and improvements in total cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. However, these effects after one year when compared with the effects of conventional weight loss diets are not significantly different. [10]
Day 1: It's 8:15 a.m. and my stomach is growling. It knows it's time for its breakfast, and I'm depriving it. I blended my protein coffee and ran out the door. My first thought is that the vanilla flavor is a nice complement to black coffee. But toward the end of the thermos, I realize that no matter how you dice it, vanilla bone broth protein coffee is not the same as a vanilla blonde roast with skim milk.
I’m going to keep eating like this until I lose another 13-15 kilos, then I’ll reevaluate how I want to eat… But really i’ll probably stick to this diet most of the time, it’s easy once you get into it and I love how I feel on it don’t expect to lose weight as quickly as guys do by the way if you’re a woman, my missus is doing this diet too and she’s losing weight about half as quickly as I am but it is still coming off (she’s lost 6 kilos so far) but she cheats a bit and can’t help having dessert a lot of the time (she whips some cream and adds a few frozen raspberries and vanilla essense) plus she only recently started the intermittent fasting as well so I think it will speed up for her now too.

Consume more beef and high-fat dairy. These keto foods contain high amounts of a fatty acid called Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). CLA has been found to improve fat loss by a variety of different mechanisms. To get as much CLA as possible, source your dairy and beef from 100% grass-fed cows. CLA content is 300-500% higher in beef and dairy from grass-fed cows, compared to grain-fed cows.
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.

Our European neighbors have known for many centuries of the many benefits of olive oil — they use it inside the body and out! On the skin, they use it as an exfoliant mixed into a sugar scrub or as a moisturizer. But you don’t have to smear olive oil all over you; drinking it will provide known anti-aging compounds, like antioxidants and vitamin E.
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.
"The authors … use kilojoules to measure energy instead of calories, but when you convert the units, you'll see that few of the studies showed a benefit relevant to the real world. For example, one study found that 5 grams of MCT oil did indeed raise the metabolic rate of healthy men … by 11 calories a day … [Y]ou could burn more calories than that by walking for [five] minutes, or jumping rope slowly for [two] minutes."

• 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]."
You eat a ton of good fats on keto, and fat is satiating, helping you you feel full for longer.[7] Fat also keeps your blood sugar stable, so you don’t experience energy highs and lows. When your body runs on ketones for fuel, it has a steady supply of energy in the form of body fat. When your body relies on glucose, it needs a regular hit of carbs to keep it going. Think of how you feel after eating a white bread sandwich and kettle chips for lunch. You’re ready to raid the fridge a couple of hours later. When you instead eat some grass-fed steak with butter-drenched steamed vegetables, you’ll power through your afternoon minus any distracting cravings.   
I lost 7lbs in the first 2 weeks of Keto, I do one aerobic type class a week and 4-5 HIIT classes. I have recently purchased the Ketostix and according to that i’m not in a ketogenic state. I have decided to throw myself back into this week regardless and I’m consciously writing down everything that I’m eating and keeping the net carbs to less than 20g’s a day. I’d be interested to know how many calories and protein you are consuming a day and what should my minimum fat intake be? A day for me at the min looks something like this
Refined carbs lack nutrients and can wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Whole grains are best; have four small daily portions of whole-wheat bread, or try a pasta made from quinoa. And always eat grains with healthy fats and protein. Incorporate sprouted or fermented grains (hello, sourdough!) for easier digestion and better nutrient absorption. Or look for creative ways to swap out grains, such as using spaghetti squash in place of noodles.
This was an awesome read, man! Convinced me to go Keto again, as I’ve had great results in the past. I workout 3-4x a week heavy lifting (powerlifter), but my weight has gotten too high for me. 5’8″ 21y/o Male, 223 pounds, but a lot of muscle mass. I’m ready to transition my focus to fat loss, mostly for health and body composition reasons, and the fact that diabetes run in my family and most my relatives have it!! I refuse to be apart of that! So thank you for this awesome read and inspiring article. Awesome job on your progress!!
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.

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!
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.

Polyphenols are antioxidant plant compounds that are linked with better heart health, including less oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a process that inflames the arteries and heightens the risk of plaque rupture and heart attacks. Plant sterols are another plant chemical that interferes with cholesterol absorption from the gut and helps lower LDL cholesterol.

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]


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.
Another Nurses’ Health Study following 10,670 women ages 57-61 observed the effect of dietary patterns on aging. [13] Healthy aging was defined as living to 70 years or more, and having no chronic diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer) or major declines in mental health, cognition, and physical function. The study found that the women who followed a Mediterranean-type eating pattern were 46% more likely to age healthfully. Increased intake of plant foods, whole grains, and fish; moderate alcohol intake; and low intake of red and processed meats were believed to contribute to this finding.
According to the American Heart Association, the Mediterranean diet is higher in fat than the standard American diet, yet lower in saturated fat. It’s usually roughly a ratio of 40 percent complex carbohydrates, 30 percent to 40 percent healthy fats and 20 percent to 30 percent quality protein foods. Because this balance is somewhat ideal in terms of keeping weight gain and hunger under control, it’s a good way for the body to remain in hormonal homeostasis, so someone’s insulin levels are normalized. As a byproduct, it also means someone’s mood is more likely to stay positive and relaxed, energy levels up, and physical activity easier.
There are four different kinds of MCTs, which differ depending on the number of carbons there are connected to the fat molecules (this ranges between 6 to 12 carbons long). The MCTs in coconut oil are made up of about 50 percent of one kind (lauric acid) but typically contain the other three in varying amounts. MCT oil, on the other hand, is produced using fatty acids extracted from coconut and palm oil and is usually comprised of capric acid, caprylic acid or a blend of both.

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.
The study looked at more than 7000 participants who were divided into three groups and were tracked over five years. The first group was asked to follow an unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet supplemented with additional extra virgin olive oil; the second group was asked to follow an unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet supplemented with additional nuts; and the third group was asked to follow a low-fat diet. More than 90% of the participants were overweight or obese at the time of the study and were between the ages of 55 and 80 years of age.
The retention and need for a diuretic in the past may have been from excessive carb/wheat/dairy intake… Something you may find resolves with a ketogenic diet. Decreasing iodized salt and increasing sea salt, especially himilayian pink salt might help you to maintain sodium levels without the fluid retention effects also. For example I always buy unsalted butter and add pink salt for the flavour/sodium component. It’s made a big difference for me (a fellow massive found retainer haha)
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)
You still have to cap alcohol. The hallmark of a Mediterranean diet is that drinking red wine socially is thought to be one reason why the diet is so healthy. But women should still stick to one glass, and men two glasses. If you have a history of breast cancer in the family, know that any alcohol consumption raises that risk. (31) In that case, talk to your doctor to find out what’s right for you.
Due to the high-quality design and data of the study, it was published in the Journal of American Medicine, one of the most prestigious research journals in the world. The research team stated that “in this study of overweight and obese premenopausal women, those assigned to follow the Atkins diet had more weight loss and more favorable outcomes for metabolic effects at 1 year than women assigned to the Zone, Ornish, or LEARN diets.” [16]
“Dietary fat is rewarding,” said Dr. Andreas Fritsche, study co-author and nutritional medicine professor at the University Hospital Tübingen in Germany. So rewarding, in fact, that it could be used as an effective dieting tool, though further studies are needed. “If you eat a fat-free aroma extract which is commonly associated with fat, it is possible that you get the rewarding effect of fat-triggered sensations without calories,” Dr. Fritsche said. 
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.
That’s why the unique process we use at Bulletproof is completely chemical and solvent-free. Most MCT’s on the market are manufactured via chemical/solvent refining, which can require using chemicals like hexane and different enzymes and combustion chemicals, such as sodium methoxide. The oils used to make MCTs – palm and coconut – are often solvent extracted too, but not Bulletproof.

Too many "legal" high-calorie foods can sabotage your keto diet. So can lots of other things. One way to pinpoint those potential glitches is through a food journal. One study found people who tracked everything they ate lost twice the amount of weight as those who didn't track what they ate. A food journal also keeps you honest and compliant with your keto plan.
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Olive oil is also beneficial for lowering hypertension because it makes nitric oxide more bioavailable, which makes it better able to keep arteries dilated and clear. Another protective element is that it helps combat the disease-promoting effects of oxidation and improves endothelial function. Keep in mind that low cholesterol levels are worse than high sometimes, but people in the Mediterranean don’t usually struggle to maintain healthy cholesterol levels either since they obtain plenty of healthy fats.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even modest weight loss — anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of your body weight — can provide huge health benefits including improvements in blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Furthermore, a study in the National Weight Control Registry cited that participants who maintained significant weight loss reported increased “energy levels, physical mobility, general mood, and self-confidence.” In other words, losing weight on the keto diet won’t just help you look better, it will be better for your overall health, energy, mood, and confidence. Keeping all of this in mind will help you stay motivated on your ketogenic journey.
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.
Collagen is a type of protein that has been shown to suppress appetite[*], provide fullness compared to other proteins like whey, casein, or soy[*], help retain muscle mass[*] and even help to reduce the appearance of cellulite due to it’s ability to improve skin elasticity and thickness[*]. Refer to this article for more information on the benefits of collagen and the best way to supplement it in your diet.
When ketone bodies accumulate in the blood, this is called ketosis. Healthy individuals naturally experience mild ketosis during periods of fasting (e.g., sleeping overnight) and very strenuous exercise. Proponents of the ketogenic diet state that if the diet is carefully followed, blood levels of ketones should not reach a harmful level (known as “ketoacidosis”) as the brain will use ketones for fuel, and healthy individuals will typically produce enough insulin to prevent excessive ketones from forming. [2] How soon ketosis happens and the number of ketone bodies that accumulate in the blood is variable from person to person and depends on factors such as body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate. [3]
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.
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]
According to the American Heart Association, the Mediterranean diet is higher in fat than the standard American diet, yet lower in saturated fat. It’s usually roughly a ratio of 40 percent complex carbohydrates, 30 percent to 40 percent healthy fats and 20 percent to 30 percent quality protein foods. Because this balance is somewhat ideal in terms of keeping weight gain and hunger under control, it’s a good way for the body to remain in hormonal homeostasis, so someone’s insulin levels are normalized. As a byproduct, it also means someone’s mood is more likely to stay positive and relaxed, energy levels up, and physical activity easier.
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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).

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.”
The biggest health benefit of consuming extra virgin olive oil lies in its powerful antioxidant qualities. Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants, reducing the oxidative stress throughout your body. Antioxidants also help in promoting and strengthening your immune system making your body more resistant to infections and inflammation.
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