“The general body of research says that once you have two or more tablespoons a day, you’ll improve your blood pressure, your glucose levels and your good cholesterol,” Flynn says. “But I’ve found that the weight-loss effect comes into play at three tablespoons, so that’s what I recommend. It’s an amazing food – it does all these things that help your body, plus it tastes good.”
Unfortunately, our current food environment is nothing like what the human race initially evolved to handle. Today, we are constantly bombarded with endless processed food options, food ads, and smells that trigger our desires. As a result, the oldest parts of our brain motivate us to hunt for that food, which we now have a 100% chance of getting — and we don’t have to exert much effort at all to get it.
Studies suggest an ideal ketone concentration for maximum hunger suppression and fat burning is 0.48 millimole per liter (mmol/L).19 Ketone measurements can be done through urine, breath or blood testing. Blood testing is the most expensive but also the most accurate and easy to test with home meters and strips. Measure your ketones about one hour after taking your MCT oil, and slowly build up your dose until you reach 0.48 mmol/L.
In 2007, a team of eight research scientists compared the impact of the Atkins diet on body mass and body fat with three other diets in a 12-month randomized controlled trial. The team recruited 311 overweight and obese, premenopausal women with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. The women had an average age of 41 years, BMI of 32, and body fat percentage of 40. After taking baseline measurements, researchers distributed the subjects to one of four different groups.
The keto diet is notorious for delivering a quick initial slim down. That’s because carbs hold on to more water than protein or fat, says Becky Kerkenbush, RD, a clinical dietitian at Watertown Regional Medical Center. So when you stop eating them, all that extra H2O gets released through urination. As a result, the scale might read a few pounds lower, and you may look a bit leaner.
Keep in mind, too, that all oils are a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated acids (though they’re usually called by the name of the fatty acid that is most abundant). Olive oil is about 14% saturated fat, so if you’re pouring olive oil into your skillets and food every day, you’re likely consuming significantly more artery-clogging saturated fat than you realized.
Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, Covas MI, Corella D, Arós F, Gómez-Gracia E, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, Fiol M, Lapetra J, Lamuela-Raventos RM. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018 Jun 13. [Note: reference updated in June 2018 due to retraction and republication]
The benefits above are the most common ones. But there are others that are potentially even more surprising and – at least for some people – life changing. Did you know that a keto diet can help treat high blood pressure, may result in less acne, may help control migraine, might help with certain mental health issues and could have a few other potential benefits?
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[*][*].
Olive oil cuts hunger. You won’t burn belly fat (or any fat, for that matter) unless you first take in fewer calories than your body needs to fuel itself. “And you won’t stick with a low-cal approach if you’re constantly hungry,” says Palinksi-Wade. That’s why using olive oil to reduce belly fat and lose weight is a no-brainer. “You often hear that protein or fiber help control hunger, but I find olive oil is equally if not more powerful.” Explanation: Olive oil is made up of 75 percent oleic acid, a substance shown to help us feel content for hours longer between meals. For this reason, Palinski-Wade actually includes more olive oil on the lowest-calorie version of her plan. “Olive oil is extremely filling.”
The second reason is arguably more important: Vegies taste better with olive oil, so people are likely to eat more. “My rule of thumb is one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to one cup of veg,” Flynn says, adding that sautéing them or roasting are tasty options, plus these methods maintain much of their nutrient value. “Eating veg like this fills you up and stops you being hungry.” An added bonus, she says, is fibre from the veg also improves bowel regularity.