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.  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. 
It’s also crucial, if you’re eating more fats, to make sure you eat the right kinds. A study published last year in Lancet Public Health of 15,428 adults found that low-carb diets were linked with a higher risk of dying during the study period if people replaced carbs with animal-based fats and protein. But those who replaced carbs with fat and protein from plants—such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds—had a lower risk of dying.
On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7. When insulin levels become very low, fat burning can increase dramatically. It becomes easier to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy. This may help keep you alert and focused.
While keto diets minimize sugar and other food sensitivities, they often allow full-fat dairy such as yogurt that, for some people, can stall fat loss. And some packaged keto-friendly foods (yes, there's a whole industry of keto-friendly cookies, candy, and other junk food!) can contain gluten, artificial sweeteners, and other reactive ingredients. These foods and additives cause dysbiosis (an imbalance between good and bad bugs), leaky gut syndrome, and increase insulin resistance, which raises blood sugar levels—stalling weight loss. Read your labels carefully: Food sensitivities can be sneaky and hide in foods that you would never suspect, like mustard.
History, culture, tradition and science: the secrets of olive oil, the most important contributing dietary factor for better health and longevity of the Mediterranean diet. You will find everything inside this enjoyable book, which will surpass all expectations.―Professor Francesco Sofi, Professor of Food Science and Clinical Nutrition, University of Florence
On a less serious (but still important) note, it is important to start using MCT oil slowly. Because it is so readily and quickly used by the body, it can lead to all kinds of (temporary but embarrassing) digestive disturbances if you jump in to quickly. I’ve even stumbled across entire threads in online forums bemoaning the “disaster pants” that resulted from using too much MCT oil too quickly. It is generally considered safe to start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon and work up as the stomach permits.
Good fats in olive oil, nuts, and fish are beneficial for our health, and science is continually proving this to be the case. Recent studies have shown that consuming a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil leads to lower rates of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. And now there is evidence that the healthy fats in olive oil is linked to weight loss.
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.
Watch out for hidden carbs — Carbs are everywhere, especially in processed food. If you’re consuming more than the recommended amount of carbs (5% of your calories), your body will revert to burning those as opposed to burning fat. Try to stick to wholesome, unprocessed foods and be very careful about what you’re putting in your body. Read the nutrition facts on all your food and use our carb counter to help you monitor your carb intake. Know the difference between net carbs and total carbs. Net carbs = total carbs – fiber – sugar alcohols. To achieve and stay in ketosis, most people have to keep net carbs around 25 grams per day.
A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that subjects who received 400 mg garlic powder tablets twice a day lost significantly more fat than the control group. Although there are many confounding variables in this trial, animal studies back up the human findings by providing us with evidence that garlic supplementation can have anti-obesogenic effects (i.e., garlic prevents weight gain) in mice.
The solution? One way of approaching this issue is through dieting. To adapt to such an abundant food environment, you need to give your brain new food rules to follow (e.g, a diet). Your brain needs you to tell it what to eat and what not to eat to meet your health goals. One of the best ways to do this is by finding a diet with simple rules that you can follow for the rest of your life.
How do you know if a strict ketogenic diet or simply cutting some carbs is the right dietary approach for you? First, consult with your doctor and a dietitian to see if it is a suitable plan for you based on your medical history. Then, use the guides, articles, and recipes on Ruled.me to create a well-organized weight-loss plan. Remember to make healthy diet choices, such as eating fatty fish and high fiber vegetables, and supplement with exercise to get the best results.
Notes Gomer, “There is also reason to believe that whatever modest health benefits are associated with consuming olive oil are largely due to the beneficial plant chemicals, such as polyphenols and plant sterols, found in the extra virgin olive oils, but these plant chemicals are largely lost in the more processed ‘light’ olive oils. These phytochemicals may provide some protection from the harmful effects caused by consuming a high-fat meal.”
Mediterranean diet is a generic term based on the typical eating habits in the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Elements include dairy products, fish and poultry being more common than red meat; fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds; use of olive oil; wine consumed in low to moderate amounts. These diets have similarities to the American Heart Association's dietary recommendations, except a relatively high percentage of calories in Mediterranean-style diets come from fat.
Julius thanks for sharing your story with us and the great breakdown of everything. I’m two weeks in on my standard keto diet along with exercise and I feel great. I know how vital sleep is but I find myself waking up very early in the morning usually between 3-4 am(I wake up at 5 for work) but I have so much energy I can’t go back to sleep and I am not tired throughout the day. From your knowledge and experience is this normal? And is working out more than 3x a week counter productive in your opinion? Thanks again, Josh