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.
I just started keto this past week and I am on day 7. I am down 4lbs, but have a long way to go to reach my goal (40lbs). I was wondering about certain foods….are tomatoes/onions okay on a keto diet? I’ve read quite a few conflicting reports that claim you should not eat those while on keto. I’m not very good at tracking macros and calories yet. I’m just trying to stay focused on eating all the right foods. It has been a rough week with brain fog, headaches, fatigue, the works…and barely enough energy to get in any exercise. Still I try. I have two little ones and that tends to take up more of my time. I recently found out that milk is pretty high in carbs and replaced that as well. I was wondering if after your reaching your goal, whether or not I could transition to paleo and still keep the weight off. Do you think that would work? I love fruits and the occassional glass of milk that allows me to make a smoothie haha….I was just wondering, what are your thoughts on this?
Con: Results can vary depending on how much fluid you drink. By drinking more water, you dilute the concentration of ketones in the urine and thus a lower level of ketones will be detected on the strips. The strips don’t show a precise ketone level. Finally, and most importantly, as you become increasingly keto-adapted and your body reabsorbs ketones from the urine, urine strips may become unreliable, even if you’re in ketosis.
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.
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?
Now you’ve made the decision to follow the diet, it’s time to choose the type. There are four options. The standard ketogenic diet is the ones that we’ve already looked into, where your diet consists of 70% fat, 25% protein and the rest carbs. You can also follow a high protein option, which cuts your fat intake to 60% and your protein intake up to 35%.
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.
According to the US FDA, having two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease, due to its monounsaturated fat content. Some of the antioxidants present in extra virgin olive oil like oleocanthal and oleuropein are known for their anti-inflammatory action and help in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol which can be a risk factor for heart disease.
One of the diets that implement these principles is the low-carb ketogenic diet. It primarily consists of highly-satiating foods like meat and low-carb vegetables while cutting out all carb-ridden, highly-palatable foods. By eating in this way, most people experience tremendous amounts of fat loss — not because it lowers insulin levels, but because keto dieters tend to eat significantly fewer calories than high-carb dieters without realizing it.
After 12 weeks, the decrease in body weight and body fat was significantly greater in the MCT group than in the LCT group. The decrease in the area of subcutaneous fat in the MCT group was also significantly greater than that in the LCT group, which suggests that the MCT diet might be able to help reduce body weight and fat in individuals who need to lose weight. (3)
In the end, I'm pleased with my keto diet results both internally and externally. I lost 4 pounds in two weeks, gained some energy and efficiency with my training, and more often than not felt that I could see better muscle tone instead of feeling bloated or weighed down. While the ketogenic diet may not be my go-to on a regular basis, Dr. Axe's final feedback was encouraging: He says because I've now had a successful keto trial run, if I wanted to cycle through some keto weeks (or even a month, next time), I'd be able to easily, potentially reaching ketosis even more quickly. While going full-force back on the carbs could derail me or anyone else who wants to keto-cycle, Dr. Axe says the odds are in my favor. "Ninety percent of the time if someone's done it once, they will get into ketosis quicker and easier the next time," he says.
You have to give yourself time to learn how to feel if you are full or still hungry. And so you do that for each meal, for a week’s time, you realize at some point that you are eating the right amount, you are eating too much, or you are eating too little. You will realize at some meals “I was eating too much. I didn’t need that second egg or whatever.” It is a way to do it without counting calories, to do it based on your body’s need and for you to get in touch with your body’s need.
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.
During this first phase, people can expect to lose anywhere from 2 to 7 pounds of water weight. Some people may even lose up to 10 pounds! Studies indicate that each gram of glycogen in human muscle is bound to about 3 grams of water. So, as your body burns through the glycogen, it also rids your body of water. Even though you’ll be losing mostly water weight in these early stages, this is a great sign that you are on your way to achieving ketosis.
Want even more inspiration? Sign up for our Fresh Fridays newsletter. Our bi-weekly e-newsletter delivered right to your inbox celebrates the Mediterranean Diet and its remarkable health beneﬁts. Each issue includes delicious recipes that will remind you just how easy it is to enjoy beautiful, simple, economical, and easy-to-ﬁnd Mediterranean foods.
MCT oil powder is a unique form of dietary fat rapidly absorbed by the body and has a wide range of health benefits. Supplementation with MCT powder can help combat fatigue, suppress appetite[*], enhance thermogenesis (aka ‘fat burning’)[*] and help your body adapt to using ketones for fuel. A recent scientific review showed that MCTs can effectively decrease body weight, total body fat, hip circumference, waist circumference, total subcutaneous fat and visceral fat[*]. Check out this articlefor more information on how to supplement with MCTs.
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.
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%.  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.  Risk of type 2 diabetes was also reduced in the PREDIMED trial. 
Eat the right amount of protein. Too much protein can increase insulin levels and decrease ketone levels, while not consuming enough protein can cause you to burn muscle rather than fat. If you exercise, protein levels should be hovering around 0.8g – 1.0g protein per lean pound of body mass a day. This helps with muscle mass retention and growth. However, if you are not exercising – your protein intake doesn’t need to be as high. A protein intake of 0.6g – 0.8g of protein per lean pound of body mass is going to be fine for sedentary individuals.
A: You’ll find a detailed menu earlier in this article (also, recipes from Everyday Health!), but generally, you’ll want to make plants and whole grains the stars of your plate. If you look at a Mediterranean diet food pyramid, sweets are up top (indicating they should make up only a small part of your diet), followed by meat and dairy, and then fish. Last are fruit, veggies, and whole grains (suggesting they can be eaten liberally). Also, enjoying food with friends and family is a tenet of the eating approach, so make your meals a social affair!
What’s really intriguing is that high-fat meals increase inflammation even when calorie intake is restricted and weight is lost. In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, a diet high in fat raised an inflammatory protein (CRP) in the blood by 25% despite the fact that the subjects lost weight. By contrast, CRP levels dropped by 43% when the subjects lost the same amount of weight on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. (6)
While many of these studies have been observational, and therefore could not establish cause-and-effect relationships, experts say it’s not surprising that the diet’s emphasis on whole, plant-based foods could deliver these results. “It focuses on foods that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and we know that’s important for the prevention of disease,” says Weinandy.
Because this is an eating pattern – not a structured diet – you're on your own to figure out how many calories you should eat to lose or maintain your weight, what you'll do to stay active and how you'll shape your Mediterranean menu. The Mediterranean diet pyramid should help get you started. The pyramid emphasizes eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation, while saving sweets and red meat for special occasions. Top it off with a splash of red wine (if you want), remember to stay physically active and you're set.
Since MCTs are processed in the liver, they are absorbed quickly and provide fast and sustained energy. MCTs move passively via the hepatic portal system to the liver without the need for a longer digestive process. Unlike almost all other foods, MCTs do not require energy to be absorbed, stored or used in the body, making them an almost perfect source of natural energy.
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.)
Like the ketogenic diet, the subjects aimed to eat 20 grams of carbohydrates per day or less for a 2-3 month induction phase; then, they were asked to eat 50 grams of carbohydrates daily for the following 9-10 months. All participants were instructed to maintain a calorie deficit and utilize professional support to adjust to their diet and make sure that they stayed healthy. Additionally, the research team emphasized general health-promoting behaviors such as regular exercise and using nutritional supplements.
Another influencing factor is that this diet encourages people to spend time in nature, get good sleep and come together to bond over a home-cooked healthy meal, which are great ways to relieve stress and, therefore, help prevent inflammation. Generally, people in these regions make sure to spend a lot of time outdoors in nature; eating food surrounded by family and friends (rather than alone or on-the-go); and put aside time to laugh, dance, garden and practice hobbies.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the few oils that can be eaten without chemical processing. (Nearly every other vegetable oil has been detoxified and refined with steam and solvents). Fresh pressed olive oil can be eaten immediately and retains the natural flavors, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthy products of the ripe olive fruit.
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.
If you're doing everything else right but missing these elements, you'll stall your progress. Getting subpar sleep, not moving enough, and environmental toxins are among the factors that can stall weight loss even when you're vigilantly following a keto diet. What you eat matters, but how you live also dramatically affects weight loss. For many patients, dialing up sleep, reducing environmental and psychological stressors, and incorporating high-intensity burst training can be big needle movers to overcome plateaus.
Follow this dude’s advice to the letter. Put up with the keto flu for a few days, it will pass, and after it does you’ll feel better and have more energy than you have had in a long time! Be strict with yourself, don’t have cheat days, they’re never worth it, trust me, it just ends up demotivating you by making you feel physically terrible and mentally kicking you in the balls when you see the weight gain (even though its only temporary). Also any time you up your carb intake you’ll find you start feeling hungry again, don’t do it, it sucks.
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.
Because of the data, the research team stated that “the low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet. Restricting carbohydrates may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.”  They also noted that “no serious adverse events were reported during the course of the study.”  Thus, the ketogenic diet might be a both a safe and effective weight-loss plan for you.
In fact, he says my already somewhat balanced diet is part of why I didn't experience the keto flu. (Some people report feeling sick to their stomach, irritable, and dizzy, among other flu-like symptoms, for the first few days or even weeks of keto.) People who transition from a very high-carb and high-protein diet to a high-fat diet are more susceptible to these rare but extreme symptoms, he says. This is why he says he built a Feast Phase-when you're adding fats into your diet without really restricting your carbs-into his Keto360 plan as a way to ease your body into ketosis. "If someone is a fairly good eater, and they already do have a moderate amount of fat in their diet-not high fat but moderate-typically they'll transition pretty well," he says.
Cunnane, S. C., Courchesne-Loyer, A., St-Pierre, V., Vandenberghe, C., Pierotti, T., Fortier, M., … & Castellano, C.-A. (2016, March). Can ketones compensate for deteriorating brain glucose uptake during aging? Implications for the risk and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1367, 12–20. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.12999/full
The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are evident from both a medical and holistic perspective. While weight loss is not the primary intent of this diet, it’s an inherent effect from eating more plant-based foods while curbing sugar and red meat. Additionally, the high-fiber content of many whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes found in the Mediterranean diet will help you feel fuller for longer, and reduce the chance of overeating. You’ll also pick up additional perks such as better digestive health and effective weight management. A Mediterranean diet can also be beneficial to those with type-2 diabetes by helping to lower blood glucose levels while promoting good HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Lastly, studies have also shown a link between the Mediterranean diet and long-term brain health. These health perks, combined with increased exercise and leisure-time, help earn the Mediterranean diet its reputation as a well rounded, logical, and realistic way to live.
Elena Paravantes, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Writer and consultant specializing in the Mediterranean Diet and Cuisine. She has been active as a clinician, consultant and lecturer for 20 years, both in the U.S. and Greece. An expert on the Greek Mediterranean Diet, her interviews and articles have been published in many publications including CNN, U.S. News and World Report, Prevention, NPR, and Shape. Elena has collaborated with a number of organizations including Loyola University, Yale University, University of Missouri, Louisiana State University, and the American College of Greece.
The trick with the rice is to find a substitute, and we’ve already looked at cauliflower rice. Avoid over grating your cauliflower. You don’t want it so fine that it is a fine powder for this dish. It still needs to have a rice texture. You will also need to add some cream cheese to the cauliflower to work for this rice substitute. Otherwise you’ll just get the cauliflower everywhere!
Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder and CEO of Wellness Mama, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.
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.
More Sustained Energy: 90-120 minutes after you eat carbohydrates, your body doesn’t have readily available energy produced from the mitochondria in your cells, so you start “crashing” or lowering your energy. When you are in ketosis, your body can run off your body fat, which is an essentially limitless source of fuel. This prevents any type of crash.
hey Julius, love your blog and dirtyweights.com … im two weeks into keto and really seeing some great results..but i would liek to know what is the optimal calorie intake and macro split ishould be doing. im 31, 6 feet 2, at 195 lbs. ive put on muslce for the past year and want to burn body fat from what i am now (approx 21% fat) to ideally 15% or lower in next 6 weeks. what would you suggest?
Researchers attributed this to the increased metabolism and fat burning that comes with consuming MCTs. I love coconut oil because it provides the very best natural source of MCT oils to boost metabolism, cut your hunger, lower triglycerides, reduce fat storage, and even improve athletic performance. On top of all these benefits, MCTs make excellent brain and cellular fuel.
Fact: The food is a huge part of the diet, yes, but don’t overlook the other ways the Mediterraneans live their lives. When they sit down for a meal, they don’t sit in front of a television or eat in a rush; they sit down for a relaxed, leisurely meal with others, which may be just as important for your health as what’s on your plate. Mediterraneans also enjoy plenty of physical activity.
Until recently it was thought these antioxidant polyphenols acted directly on genes and blood vessels. But it turns out that they also work via our gut microbes that make up our microbiome. This is the community of trillions of diverse bacteria which live in our large intestine. They feed off the different polyphenols and produce other small chemicals (short chain fatty acids) that dampen down inflammation and help our immune system.