There is a lot of talk these days about the ketogenic diet—and for good reason. Developed in the 1920s as a way to cure epilepsy, the low-carb/high-fat diet is now being embraced for many of its other health benefits — weight loss being a primary one. If you search online, you’re bound to stumble across spectacular before-and-after photos of people who have lost a substantial amount of weight, seemingly overnight, thanks to the keto diet.
One review, published in April 2016 in The American Journal of Medicine, looked at five research trials on overweight and obese people and found that after one year those who followed a Mediterranean diet lost as much as 11 pounds (lbs) more than low-fat eaters. (6) (They lost between 9 and 22 lbs total and kept it off for a year.) But that same study found similar weight loss in other diets, like low-carb diets and the American Diabetes Association diet. The results suggest, the researchers say, that “there is no ideal diet for achieving sustained weight loss in overweight or obese individuals.”
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.

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.


Benefits It packs lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is associated with a reduced risk of some cancers, like prostate and breast. Other components in tomatoes may help reduce the risk of blood clots, thereby protecting against cardiovascular disease, according to a review published in December 2013 in the journal Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. (9,10)


Benefits It packs lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is associated with a reduced risk of some cancers, like prostate and breast. Other components in tomatoes may help reduce the risk of blood clots, thereby protecting against cardiovascular disease, according to a review published in December 2013 in the journal Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. (9,10)
The cost of the Mediterranean diet, like most aspects of the diet, depends on how you shape it. While some ingredients (olive oil, nuts, fish and fresh produce in particular) can be expensive, you can find ways to keep the tab reasonable – especially if you're replacing red meats and meals with plant-based home cooking, some research suggests. Your shopping choices matter, too. Can't spring for the $50 bottle of wine? Grab one for $15 instead. And snag whatever veggies are on sale that day, rather than the $3-a-piece artichokes.

Benefits The main ingredient in hummus, chickpeas pack an impressive amount of fiber (more than half of a woman’s 25 g daily quota), as well as iron, zinc, folate, and magnesium, according to a paper published in November 2014 in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. (15,16) The stats above are for a whole cup, but you only need ½ cup per day to reap the benefits.


The capric acid in XCT Oil doesn’t break down into ketones as quickly as pure caprylic, but capric acid is more affordable (but still works) so you can save money by going with the XCT.  XCT Oil still goes to brain energy, just not as quickly as Brain Octane. Both can be used for energy without processing by the liver, unlike many other fats and oils.
You'll get a chance to eat rich-tasting foods like roasted sweet potatoes, hummus, and even this Lima Bean Spread. You digest them slowly so that you feel full longer. Hunger's not a problem when you can munch on nuts, olives, or bites of low-fat cheese when a craving strikes. Feta and halloumi are lower in fat than cheddar but still rich and tasty.
After investigating 20 controlled feeding studies, Hall and Guo found that both low-carb and high-carb diets had similar effects on body fatness and energy expenditure. The results of this meta-analysis provide us with high-quality evidence that supports the widely-believed theory that calories matter much more than the fat or carbohydrate content of the diet when it comes to weight loss. [24]
There’s been no shortage of coconut oil uses and treatments proven by recent research — it provides not only MCTs (especially abundant levels of lauric acid), but also antibacterial properties, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and more. The difference between MCT oil and coconut oil is that MCT oil is much more concentrated and contains mostly capric acid and caprylic acid. While coconut oil certainly has MCTs in it, concentrated MCT oil is almost entirely MCTs.
Armed with the 411 on how the keto diet works, I felt encouraged and relieved. The concept is rooted in nutrition- and weight-loss science. And from my initial conversations with Dr. Axe, I liked knowing that ketogenic diet results are always meant to be time-bound-eating this way is not a lifestyle and that makes sense. You may have heard that the keto diet was ranked last in the U.S. News & World Report's 2018 list of the best and the worst diets. While I embarked on this journey before that news came out, I would have given the keto diet a try regardless. Part of the criteria for that ranked list was whether a diet was sustainable and easy to follow-the keto diet is neither, but it's not designed to be. "I don't recommend people follow strict ketogenic diets for their life," says Dr. Axe. "I recommend 30- to 90-day periods, and after that moving into more of a 'cycling' phase, where you can cycle in and out of keto." Dr. Axe admits that following a keto diet will be difficult for most people, since many Americans have diets high in sugar, salt, and carbs. But he says that the potential benefits-boosting brain health, supporting muscles and overall improved performance at the gym, at the office, and in life-are worth putting in the hard work. (Just Look at the Keto Diet Results Jen Widerstrom Saw After 17 Days.)

Julius – You are awesome and nice job with this! I have been a crazy person researching every university and medical journal to study nutritional ketosis as well as fasting, and how to use in combination. My goal is to be on the cover of SHAPE magazine when I’m 60 – a few years away – and this lifestyle what will make that happen. So far, 26 pounds in 6 weeks – this is huge – and I was inspired to read your results. DO YOU FIND that keeping snacks in your diet is OK?? Same question for whey powder vs egg white powder?? I thought the whey resulted in a higher insulin response…have you compared the two? As a former competitive powerlifter, I’m curious about this….and thanks for doing this great blog.
The Mediterranean diet is easy to find in the grocery store, contains nutrients that are known to enhance longevity and has other health benefits that are backed by peer-reviewed, scientific studies. Broccoli makes the list because it's one of nature's most nutrient-dense foods, with only 30 calories per cup. That means you get a ton of hunger-curbing fiber and polyphenols -- antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals in your body -- with each serving.
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)
Eating the Mediterranean way might be a natural Parkinson’s disease treatment, a great way to preserve your memory, and a step in the right direction for naturally treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Cognitive disorders can occur when the brain isn’t getting a sufficient amount of dopamine, an important chemical necessary for proper body movements, mood regulation and thought processing.

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]


Han, J. R., Deng, B., Sun, J., Chen, C. G., Corkey, B. E., Kirkland, J. L., …. & Guo, W.(2007, July). Effects of dietary medium-chain triglyceride on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in a group of moderately overweight free-living type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects [Abstract]. Metabolism, 56(7), 985–991. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17570262
This research also demonstrated that the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid (olive oil is 78% oleic acid) resulted in a marked increase in LPS attached to chylomicrons in the bloodstream. Chylomicrons, also known as cholesterol remnants, are large, fat-rich lipoprotein particles that research has found contribute to the growth of cholesterol-filled plaques. (8) After a fatty meal, the blood is so full of chylomicrons that it turns milky, like a strawberry shake.
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.
What’s next for Flynn? With teaching, research, clinical and non-profit work on her plate, she still feels that there is much left to learn about the application of a plant-based diet that includes high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Securing funding remains challenging, which Flynn attributes in large part due to the “dismal failure” of low-fat diet research. She also is confident in the potential of using “food as medicine” to improve risk factors for chronic diseases among low-income groups, which offers dual benefits of improving lives as well as decreasing health care costs. She is also curious about the freshness of olive oil vis-à-vis its provision of health benefits and whether there is a cutoff at which these benefits begin to decline.
And so much more. Click Here to open a chart comparing the nutrients in the same number of calories from green leafy lettuce and olive oil. Keep in mind, too, what mountains of research over the past several decades have told us. Consistently, the foods linked with healthier, longer, disease-free lives are foods rich in all kinds of nutrients – vitamins, minerals, fiber, polyphenols, beta carotene, and so on. Yes, foods like leafy greens. Olive oil, by comparison, tallies up a whole lot of zeros.
Generally a good source of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, fresh fruit is a healthy way to indulge your sweet tooth. If it helps you to eat more, add a little sugar—drizzle slices of pear with honey or sprinkle a little brown sugar on grapefruit. Keep fresh fruit visible at home and keep a piece or two at work so you have a healthful snack when your stomach starts growling. Lots of grocery stores stock exotic fruit—pick a new one to try each week and expand your fruit horizons.
Thank you for the info.. I have lost 22 lbs in 6 1/2 weeks started Keto on Feb 27, 2019 and today is April 10, 2019..I lose every other day it seems with a couple times that I gained a lb and then lost it the next day.. I IF every couple days to see how long I can go but i do well with one big meal and a small one .or I have a loaded coffee with butter and heavy cream with Stevia in the morning.. I watch everything I can find to help me and I just happened on this.. My body loves me now that I am putting good food in it.. I have so much energy and feel so good.. I am 65 yrs young and want to live a lot longer only better .. Thanks again…
One thing you’ll find people love about the Mediterranean diet is the allowance of moderate amounts of red wine. “Moderate” means 5 ounces (oz) or less each day for women (one glass) and no more than 10 oz daily for men (two glasses). (1) Above all else, these meals are eaten in the company of friends and family; strong social ties are a cornerstone of healthful lives — and a healthful diet. Here, food is celebrated.
The go-to protein in the Mediterranean diet is fish. In particular, this diet emphasizes fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel. These fish are rich in heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Even those fish that are leaner and have less fat (like cod or tilapia) are still worth it, as they provide a good source of protein. If you currently don't get a lot of fish in your diet, an easy point of entry is to designate one day each week as "fish" night. Cooking fish in parchment paper or foil packets is one no-fuss, no-mess way to put dinner on the table. Or try incorporating it in some of your favorite foods, like tacos, stir-frys, and soups.
Instead, a revised version of the study was released on June 13, 2018. (2a) This updated study made statistical adjustments to the data, accounting for the fact that it wasn’t 100 percent random. The language is softer, too — instead of saying that the Mediterranean diet was the direct cause of the reduced rate of cardiovascular diseases and death, it simply says that people following the diet had fewer instances of it.
Day 4: Grabbing lunch out has been successful thus far. Today was some tilapia, zucchini, and yellow squash, and a kale and tofu side salad. I tossed on half an avocado for good fatty measure. Oh, and I notice that I've lost a pound already, which is definitely just water weight-carbs hold water so limiting them is a surefire way to release some fluid in your body-but nonetheless. Weight loss wasn't my objective, but I doubt I'm alone in thinking, "I'll take it!"
Your brain is largely made up of fatty acids, so you need a steady supply from your diet to feel your best, think clearly, perform well at work and stay sharp well into older age. Medium-chain fats are believed to be one of the most easily digested, utilized and protective fatty acids that exists. According to leading Neurologist Dr. Perlmutter, you can boost the availability of ketones for your brain by simply adding coconut oil or MCT oil to your daily regimen. But to make this effective, carb restriction is a must! “MCT oil not only feeds your brain cells, but also improves your gut health—which is largely connected to cognitive functioning thanks to the “gut-brain connection.”
I have always been what most would consider a “big girl”. In January 2018, I weighed 180 lbs, which is quite overweight for a woman my height. I wasn’t always this weight though. In my teenage years, I weighed only 140 pounds and I felt much healthier and happier. I strived desperately over the years to get back to this weight. But with a stressful and busy work life, I struggled... continue here https://bit.ly/mydietplantoday
"I'm not obsessed with food anymore. Before keto, I was constantly hungry and thinking about food. If we got takeout, I would open all of the containers to see which one had the most in it and I would grab that one. It makes sense now because everything I was eating was full of sugar and carbs and I was in that vicious cycle. Growing up, if we had a bad day my dad would say, "Let’s go get some ice cream." He wasn’t trying to raise a food addict.
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
Ever wonder why people from the Mediterranean region seem so happy and full of life? It’s tempting to attribute their good health and positive moods to one single factor alone — like their diet, for example — but the truth is that it’s a combination of their lifestyle factors and their unprocessed diets that has promoted their longevity and low rates of disease for centuries.
Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. (4)

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.
So don’t reward olive oil with the laurels, agreed Dr. Alice Lichtenstein, one of the nation’s top nutrition scientists, at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tuft University in Boston. In several interviews about this study of Greek adults, she said, “If the main message that Americans get is to just increase their olive or canola oil consumption, that’s unfortunate because they will increase their caloric intake and they are already getting too many calories.

Sleep is good – cpap makes sure of that 🙂 Health issues are arthritis, high LDL ( think that will go away once I loose lots of weight, family history though). I try to track nutrients and I know I need to do better but I am pretty sure I am getting enough fats and calories but the pen and paper will tell for sure. This morning I am making a egg,spinach, mushroom, cheese & bacon in a large cupcake holder so I know how much I put in each. Stress….. I am a nurse, some of my high need patients are really tugging on my emotions and dealing with the ones who want their “pain meds” grrrr but overall I work for a great Dr in a great office so I am lucky, home life is great, could use some more money – lol who couldn’t – but have an ex who I guess I still have some pstd (20 yrs is hard) but still working on it – my last son is a senior in high school so won’t have to deal with the ex too much longer.
I so admire all the hard work you put into this article. I learned so much ! And you look healthy and great ! This article was really thorough and includes everything someone like me needs to know about keto. I’ve slogged through the last 1 1/2 to 2 years on a so-so low carb diet, never really committing. I have more energy now but I know I could have more. Yes, I lost some weight–about 25 to 30 pounds over the course of the last two years, but I need to lose way more. Just in the last week or so I’ve started seriously considering keto and trying to learn more about it. Your article was a godsend…thank you !! You’ve given me just that boost I needed ! Thanks so much !!
Another thing that's worked for me: holding myself accountable on Instagram. Since starting the keto diet back in 2017, I've religiously posted photos of my progress. Seeing those photos shows me how far I've come, and it helps inspire those starting their own weight-loss journeys—learning about people who I've touched also inspires me to keep moving forward with my goals.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.
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)
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.

Now olive oil known to be a healthy fat is also one of the reasons many people falsely believe the Mediterranean diet cannot help you lose weight. However, if followed correctly a Mediterranean diet not only can provide several health benefits but it can help you lose weight. Several studies have associated the Mediterranean diet with lower body fat and normal weight in children and adults.
After investigating 20 controlled feeding studies, Hall and Guo found that both low-carb and high-carb diets had similar effects on body fatness and energy expenditure. The results of this meta-analysis provide us with high-quality evidence that supports the widely-believed theory that calories matter much more than the fat or carbohydrate content of the diet when it comes to weight loss. [24]
Indeed, the people most likely to live 100 robust years and beyond, the citizens of Okinawa, Japan, don’t even use olive oil. They do eat a lot of fiber–rich, straight–from–the–earth foods, (14) as do other communities with high percentages of centenarians, such as the Seventh Day Adventists of Loma Linda, California; and the people of Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Sardinia, Italy. (15)

I really enjoyed your article. I do have a couple questions (sorry if I missed the answers in any of the comments above), how would someone calculate their personal macros? At 5’1″ female, I am not going to consume the same amount of food you do so I would think my macros would be considerably less than 150 – 200 grams of fat and so on a day? I am in week 3 and really haven’t lost much. I dropped just over 3 lbs the first week, less than 1 the 2nd week and not sure this week as I weigh on Mondays. Also, did you have to make any adjustments for heavy lifting days?
Olive oil is an integral part of the "Mediterranean diet" which is associated with sensible tasty portions and slower, more enjoyable eating. People who eat a "Mediterranean diet" have been shown to have a remarkable variety of health benefits. The olive oil in the Mediterranean diet can quickly satisfy hunger and lead to fewer total calories ingested at mealtime. It is unclear if any single component of this diet is responsible for these health benefits or if it is a combination of olive oil and a diet high in vegetables, fruit and fish.
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.
Eat less often. It’s much easier to eat fewer calories and maintain higher levels of ketosis when you eat less meals. Instead of snacking throughout the day, try getting all of your calories from 2-3 meals every day. You can also try intermittent fasting by restricting all your meals to an 8-hour eating window. This will allow your blood sugar and insulin to drop down to baseline levels so that your body can go into its fasting state and burn body fat for fuel.
The benefits can’t be narrowed down to one single food or factor but to some general themes. Extra fibre, a diverse range of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, yoghurts and cheese, small amounts of fish and meat, red wine, nuts and seeds and good quality olive oil all played their part. However the authors believe that the olive oil itself was the most powerful single factor.
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