By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
December 05, 2014
- Why you shouldn’t be eating a low-fat diet
- Turn on your “healthy genes” with this common oil
- #1 way to beat today’s most common age-related diseases
What if you could protect yourself from heart attack, cut your risk of diabetes, fight off Alzheimer’s, stop feeding cancer cells and lose weight naturally – all in one fell swoop?
It sounds like something out of a futuristic novel, but it’s not. The power to do every single one of these things is right at your fingertips.
Why haven’t you heard about this before?
Chances are good that you have. It’s just that there’s so much conflicting information out there today, you might not have realized it.
One of the worst pieces of advice – which comes from our government – is that fats are bad for us. This is why so many foods in the grocery store have labels that scream “low-fat,” “reduced-fat,” and “no fat.”
Everybody is terrified of fats these days!
Well, guess what? Your body needs fats to thrive. So does your brain. And, if you eat the right kinds of fat, it can literally change the way your genes are expressed and protect you from today’s most common age-related diseases.
Now, I’m not suggesting you go out and load up on fatty meats, cheeses and junk food. But there is a high-fat diet that’s good for you. Just as importantly, it has years and years of scientific research backing it up.
I’m talking about the Mediterranean diet. And today, the news is better than ever before. It turns out extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) may have a much larger influence on the Mediterranean way of eating than most people think.
EVOO is chock-full of natural antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds can change the expression of genes that influence your risk of heart disease and plaque build-up in the arteries.
Polyphenols also repress pro-inflammatory genes. Since almost all chronic diseases today are linked to inflammation, this gives olive oil a powerful role in the fight against aging.
EVOO also contains another compound called oleocanthal. This incredible antioxidant boosts production of proteins and enzymes that are critical in removing beta amyloid – a key factor in Alzheimer’s – from the brain.
What does all of this mean for you?
When you consume plenty of EVOO in conjunction with a Mediterranean diet, it can…
- Offset all of the risk factors for stroke and heart attack.
- Improve circulation, lower blood pressure and improve your lipid profile.
- Counter obesity (especially belly fat) and slash diabetes to shreds.
- Reduce DNA oxidation and shut down the flames of inflammation.
- Counter dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Help suppress tumors.
Here’s everything you need to know to get all of these magnificent health benefits…
By itself, olive oil won’t offset the negative effects of an unhealthy diet. So, it bears repeating that these results are only seen when it’s consumed in conjunction with a Mediterranean diet.
Now, this diet isn’t hard or confusing. But, I do have some modifications that improve its effectiveness in our modern world. Here are some of the things you should do for best results:
Replace your vegetable oil with olive oil. Get as much extra virgin olive oil in your diet as you can. Four to five ounces daily has been shown to have all of the spectacular health benefits I mentioned above. So don’t hold back.
That being said, there is a huge caveat you must be aware of… many olive oils are adulterated with other vegetable oils or are not extra virgin (first press). You can find a listing of the winners from the 2014 New York International Olive Oil Competition at bestoliveoils.com.
Make antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables the central focus of your meals. Add all the colors of the rainbow and eat as much of them as you want.
Enjoy seafood delights in the form of fish and shellfish. They’re chock-full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. However, avoid farm-raised and deep sea, top-of-the-food-chain, predatory fish. Your best health benefits will come from smaller, wild-caught fish like mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and trout.
Get nutty with walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. When it comes to your health, the fats in these types of nuts can give you as much of a bang for your buck as olive oil. An ounce of nuts a day is all it takes.
Add zest with exotic herbs and spices. Try spicing things up with cloves, turmeric, ginger, sage, saffron and more. Many of them are filled with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
Enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal. Red wine contains an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging nutrient called resveratrol. So, feel free to enjoy a glass or two of red wine with your meals.
Now, here’s a list of things you should NOT do:
DON’T load up on unrefined, unprocessed whole grains that are generally included in a standard Mediterranean diet. Today’s wheat is not the wheat of a generation or two ago. It is over-processed, over-refined and lacking nutritional value. Worse, its effect on our bodies is now toxic, since it has more gluten in it and releases the protein zonulin from your GI tract. This can lead to a “leaky gut,” is generally inflammatory, and has a high glycemic index… so, it can also make you fatter.
DON’T make red meat and poultry your main sources of protein. A large portion of the protein found in the Mediterranean diet comes from fish. A much smaller portion comes from lamb, goats and chickens. Here in the U.S. our meats and poultry are loaded with hormones and antibiotics and generally fed GMO corn mash. Organic, grass-fed, and wild-caught are the all-important phrases to look for on labels. Limit consumption to around 10-13% of your diet.
DON’T include pasteurized dairy products in your diet. While yogurt, cheese and milk are all part of the Mediterranean diet, I advocate leaving them off your plate, since they can trigger an inflammatory reaction. You can substitute with coconut milk, nuts, kefir and other more natural foods.
V. Konstantinidou, et al. “In vivo nutrigenomic effects of virgin olive oil polyphenols within the frame of the Mediterranean diet: a randomized controlled trial.” The FASEB Journal, 2010.
Antonio Camargo, et al. “Gene expression changes in mononuclear cells from patients with metabolic syndrome after acute intake of phenol-rich virgin olive oil.” BMC Genomics, 2010.
Ramón Estruch, et al. “Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet.” New England Journal of Medicine, 2013.
Nancy Babio, et al. “Mediterranean diets and metabolic syndrome status in the PREDIMED randomized trial.” CMAJ, October 2014.
E. H. Martinez-Lapiscina, et al. “Mediterranean diet improves cognition: the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomised trial.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 2013