Olive oil, particularly extra-virgin olive oil, is full of vitamin E and antioxidants. These help fight the free radicals in your bloodstream that may be the cause of some of the effects of aging as well as certain cancers. Olive oil contains 77 percent monounsaturated fat, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Monounsaturated fats are associated with lowering low-density lipoproteins — LDLs, the “bad” cholesterol — and raising the levels of high-density lipoproteins — HDLs, the “good” cholesterol — in your bloodstream. Proper balance between LDLs and HDLs can help decrease your risk of heart disease. The better your body functions, the better you feel, and the more likely you are to exercise and make healthy choices.
Gut health is extremely important for anyone looking to lose weight and increase overall health[*][*]. It is not uncommon for those who shift to a ketogenic diet to have a change in the production of bacteria in their colon (although not necessarily a bad thing – just a change)[*]. To help support this change and increase the healthy bacteria in your gut, try consuming more fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi or kefir and/or supplement with a high-quality probiotic[*][*].
However, this diet is gaining considerable attention as a potential weight-loss strategy due to the low-carb diet craze, which started in the 1970s with the Atkins diet (a very low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet, which was a commercial success and popularized low-carb diets to a new level). Today, other low-carb diets including the Paleo, South Beach, and Dukan diets are all high in protein but moderate in fat. In contrast, the ketogenic diet is distinctive for its exceptionally high-fat content, typically 70% to 80%, though with only a moderate intake of protein.
The long-term effects of the keto diet aren’t clear. The fact that the body can derive energy from ketones is an evolutionary adaptation that helps people survive during periods of starvation, when glucose isn’t available to power the brain, points out Charlotte Vallaeys, a nutritionist and a senior food and nutrition policy analyst for Consumer Reports.
MCTs, also called “MCFAs” for medium-chain fatty acids, are believed to be largely missing from the diets of people eating “standard Western” diets, most likely because the public has been led to believe that all forms of saturated fats are potentially harmful. However, recent research has shown a lot of evidence about the real truth regarding saturated fats.