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Bottom Line: Research has shown in both humans and other primates that diets high in fat and cholesterol promote atherosclerosis. By contrast, research in animals and humans, such as the Stanford Coronary Risk Intervention Project, have demonstrated that diets very low in total fat and cholesterol can not only prevent atherosclerosis but actually shrink plaque and reverse atherosclerosis.
"I always make an assessment of whether or not the cheat is worth it and 99 percent of the time, it’s not. If I do have a cheat meal, I don't worry about what the scale says afterward. I want to be happy with the decision before I make it, during it, and after I make it. A lot of it is living with your decisions and not beating yourself up over it."
At the same time, you need to remember to increase the amount of fat that you eat. Also, it doesn’t mean a complete ban on carbs. You just need to reduce the amount that you eat to 15g or less per day. On average, we tend to eat around a third to a half more than that on a daily basis. Reducing carbs won’t be easy for some, which is why having delicious recipes to try first is the way to go.
On the other hand, coconut oil does have some well-documented health benefits that concentrated MCT oils might be lacking. The biggest drawback to buying manufactured MCT oil is that you might not really know what you’re getting. In order to produce a liquid MCT oil that does not become solid at colder temps, it might need to be more refined than regular coconut oil.
You won't need to roam the frozen food aisle or hit a fast-food drive-thru. The focus is on seasonal food that's made in simple, mouth-watering ways. Build a yummy salad from spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Add classic Greek ingredients like black olives and feta cheese with a Quick Light Greek Salad recipe. You can also whip up a colorful, veggie-filled batch of Grilled Tomato Gazpacho.
Milk is limited. There are no long-term risks to eating Mediterranean, says Cohen. But you may be put off if you’re big on eating a lot of milk and rely on it to get all the calcium you need. You’ll get to eat cheese and yogurt, but in smaller amounts. "To get enough calcium in the diet without milk, one would need to eat enough yogurt and cheese, or seek nondairy calcium sources," says Cohen. If needed, drink skim milk. Otherwise, nondairy calcium sources include fortified almond milk, sardines, kale, and tofu made with calcium sulfate. (30)
These are the widely recognized LCTs, or long chain fatty acids in coconut oil, mostly saturated, including stearic acid (C18:0), oleic acid (C18:1), and linoleic acid (18:2). The exact percentage of each depends on the region the coconut is grown, time of harvest, and other growing variables. They are good as a fuel source, but they are also widely available in other oils, and you won’t benefit from eating a lot more of them compared to eating true medium chain fatty acids.

There is a risk of excess calorie intake because specific amounts of foods and portion sizes are not emphasized, which could lead to weight gain. It might be helpful to use the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, which provides guidance on specific types of foods to choose, along with a balanced plate guide such as the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate, which gives a better indication of proportions of food to eat per meal. However, it is important to note that—probably in part due to the higher intake of olive oil and less processed foods—the Mediterranean dietary pattern provides satiety and enables long term adherence. In one of the most successful weight loss trials to date, those assigned to the Mediterranean diet maintained weight loss over a period of six years. [14]


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.
For example, the large Greek EPIC study investigated which components of the Mediterranean diet were most beneficial and found that monounsaturated fats like olive oil were not stars. (11) Following 23,349 people for 8.5 years, the scientists demonstrated that only 11% of the benefit from a Mediterranean diet came from a high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats, and all of the monounsaturated fats were not olive oil.  The biggest health benefits came from high vegetable intake, low meat intake, and moderate alcohol consumption.
When the data were examined, it was clear that people who ate a diet where fruits and vegetables, grains, beans, and fish were the basis of daily meals were healthiest. Topping the chart were residents of Crete. Even after the deprivations of World War II – and in part, perhaps, because of them –  the cardiovascular health of Crete residents exceeded that of US residents. Researchers attributed the differences to diet.
The media have made much of the fact that low-fat diets like Pritikin are problematic because science has shown that HDL levels drop in response to low-fat eating. But science has also found (and the media rarely point it out) that the HDL particles of people on a low-fat diet are working very, very efficiently. (17) There may not be as many garbage trucks, but those that are in force are functioning superbly well and clearing the LDL garbage out.
The point here is that olive oil is not the magic bullet that made populations along the Mediterranean in the 1950s so healthy. Olive oil was simply a bellweather, or marker, for other features of the Mediterranean diet, like plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and exercise, that actually did make Mediterranean populations healthier than those in the U.S. or Northern Europe, where more fatty animal products were consumed.
In this new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers from the Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil,  had a group of middle aged, overweight women receive a high fat breakfast that included 25 ml of oil. One group was given olive oil while the other group was given soybean oil. The oils were added to shakes that were consumed every morning. The participants were following a calorie restricted diet prescribed by a dietitian. After 9 weeks on this diet, both groups had lost weight, although the olive oil group had lost more weight but also more body fat. In fact, the olive oil group had 80% more body fat loss than the soybean oil group. The researchers noted that the results indicate that extra virgin olive oil should be included into calorie restricted programs for obesity treatment.
Caution: Palm oil is a controversial source of MCTs, not because it’s bad for your body, but because there are major issues involved in the process of procuring this oil. These include deforestation, loss of wildlife diversity and unethical treatment of workers. That’s why I only recommend RSPO-certified palm oil, which comes from producers who prioritize sustainability practices.
The North American Olive Oil Association is committed to supplying North American consumers with quality products in a fair and competitive environment; to fostering a clear understanding of the different grades of olive oil; and to expounding the benefits of olive oil in nutrition, health, and the culinary arts. | © North American Olive Oil Association. All Rights Reserved.
According to some studies, medium-chain fats offer better protection from infections than longer-chain fatty acids do. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that fatty acids and monoglycerides with chain lengths varying from 8–12 carbons were found to be more strongly antiviral and antibacterial when added to milk and formula than long-chain monoglycerides. Medium-chain lipids added to milk (lipid-enhanced milk) and formula inactivated a number of pathogens, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), haemophilus influenzae and streptococcus. (10)
Remove artificial sweeteners: If you have been including artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose in your low-carb or keto diet, our experts recommend you wean yourself off them. “While there are not a whole lot of scientific studies, anecdotally we find when people get rid of artificial sweeetners, they were able to lose weight. Come off them as soon as you can,” advises Dr. Westman.
The kidneys play an important role in metabolizing protein, and it’s possible that eating too much of the nutrient can have a negative impact on kidney function. While ketogenic diets are supposed to be much higher in fat than they are in protein, many keto eaters make the mistake of loading up on lots of meat, Mancinelli says. The result? You could end up eating way more protein than you actually need.
Shortly after World War II, Ancel Keys and colleagues (including Paul Dudley White, later President Eisenhower’s heart doctor) organized the remarkable Seven Countries Study to examine the hypothesis that Mediterranean-eating patterns contributed directly to improved health outcomes. This long-running study examined the health of almost thirteen thousand middle-aged men in the United States, Japan, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, and then-Yugoslavia.
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.
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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.
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 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!


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.

Remove artificial sweeteners: If you have been including artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose in your low-carb or keto diet, our experts recommend you wean yourself off them. “While there are not a whole lot of scientific studies, anecdotally we find when people get rid of artificial sweeetners, they were able to lose weight. Come off them as soon as you can,” advises Dr. Westman.
In 2017, Drs. Kevin Hall and Juen Guo published a meta-analysis of controlled feeding studies that compared diets of equal calorie and protein content with variations in carbohydrate and fat content. By designing the study in this way, the researchers could finally find out whether restricting carbs or limiting calories is more important when it comes to weight loss.
All olive oils are not the same, however. This book also explores the effects of diverse varieties of olives, growing techniques and oil-production methods on the health-giving properties - and flavour - of different oils. With over 100 delicious recipes, it points the way to those extra virgin oils and food combinations that are likely to do you the most good.
There's a lot of confusion around the best cooking oils that you should use for your health. The supermarket shelves are stuffed with a huge variety of different kind of oils and within those too there different types. You have virgin oils, extra-virgin oils, cold-pressed oils and even blended oils! The word extra-virgin refers to 'fine grade' oil. There are different varieties of olive oil that are set apart not by the type of olive that is used, but the process used to extract the oil. Extra virgin olive oil is obtained by crushing olives and extracting the fresh juice. It is unrefined and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra-virgin olive oil is made, it retains the true flavour of olives, and has a lower level of oleic acid than the other varieties. It has a higher concentration of natural vitamins and minerals found in olives. According to Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Dutta, "Extra virgin olive oil is the first oil that comes out of cold pressing the olives. It has been subjected to zero processing, and has no additives which makes it bright green in colour and has a strong olive flavor. It also contains only 1% of Oleic Acid and is able to retain all its antioxidants. Regular olive oil, on the other hand, is commercially produced and processed just like any other oil. It contains at least 3-4% of Oleic Acid."Ms. Ritika Sammadar, Consultant Nutritionist at Max Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, agrees, “Extra Virgin Oil is the clearest form of oil and is extremely healthy as it is rich in Vitamin B. There is no heat applied during its extraction nor are are any chemicals used in the process, thus the oil is pure and unrefined. The oil usually has a pungent smell because it is crude and pure.”
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