Bloggers and self-proclaimed experts bombard us with misinformation. For decades, we were told that fat is unhealthy. Fad diets come and go. Entire food groups are often eliminated with the promise of weight loss. Yet, people aren't healthier. Despite all of this diet information, obesity is on the rise.
Processed "health" foods damaged public health. Reduced fat products contain added sweetener. Synthetic sweeteners come with side effects. Why did we take natural food into the laboratory? Why did we seek to correct what wasn't broken?
Natural foods and simple ingredients sustain human life. When we look at different cultures, we see that a variety of simple ingredients is best.
The Mediterranean Diet
People in the Mediterranean enjoy long, healthy lives. Their health is a direct result of their relationship with food. In addition, they have a relaxed attitude that reduces daily stress. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes plant-based foods. They consume mostly vegetable, legumes, grains, and olive oil. They eat meat sparingly. The main animal product consumed is fish.
People in the Mediterranean don't restrict fats or carbs. Instead, they source natural and local. This diet leaves them satisfied. Meanwhile, the foods they eat offer proper nutrition.
Eat Fat to Burn Fat?
In the 80s, fat was demonized and everything was “low fat” and “fat-free.” That phenomenon damaged the American relationship with food. We were told that fat made us fat. Reduced fat dairy products and synthetic foods took over.
The research concludes that eating fat is healthy for our bodies. The fat in food is not the same as the fat we store in our body. Eating healthy fat increases subcutaneous fat metabolism. MUFAs in olive oil increase metabolism of subcutaneous (stored) fat.
PPAR-a is a protein that speeds up fat metabolism. Researchers fed obese mice olive oil. The results showed an increase in PPAR-a activity. The mice activated their ability to utilize stored body fat. In turn, they used energy and burned excess fat from their bodies.
Don't Eat Processed Foods
Corporations can sway dietary research and information. Government funding from big business allows research to be manipulated. Marketing over the years has fed us diet culture. That culture has resulted in a health care crisis. Our intuitive relationship with food has been distorted.
Simple, whole foods are superior to processed foods. Anything manufactured is stripped of its vitality. A plant-based diet with olive oil, vegetables, and whole grains is ideal. Eating all essential macronutrients supports healthy body function. Focus on abundance and quality, not restrictions.
Olive Oil and Mental Health
Slim waistlines, healthy hearts, and longer life spans are great. But, olive oil doesn't stop there. Eating olive oil also supports cognitive function!
Say what? The MIND Diet was designed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It prevents degeneration of mental function with age. The results of this diet are positive. It's a simple, plant-based diet. Inspired by the Mediterranean diet, olive oil plays a vital role. Study participants saw a 53% decrease in developing Alzheimer's.
The plan itself is simple. Remove unhealthy saturated and trans fats. Don't eat high-fat meats, refined cooking oils, and fried foods. Instead, eat a healthy amount of plant foods. Focus on leafy greens, whole grains, fruits, olive oil, and lean meats. Fat is essential for brain function, but not just any fat will do! Unprocessed, plant-based fats provide the best protection.
A Longer, More Quality Life
The New York Times featured an article titled "The Island Where People Forget To Die." The article spoke of the culture and diet of Ikaria, Greece. Ikaria has been designated a “blue zone.” Blue zones have the longest life expectancy. Many people in Ikaria live to be over 100 years old. The centenarians not only live longer but they're healthy into old age. Their mental and physical health is impressive. They have low rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
Their diet is simple. Beans and fresh vegetables making up a bulk of their diet. They cook with herbs and extra virgin olive oil. Their diet also lacks all of the processed snack foods. junk foods, and items that are stripped of nutrition. They eat real food, olive oil, and plenty of wine!
Olive Oil For a Healthy Mind and Body
The answer is relatively simple. No gimmicks or special products will make you healthy. Replace junk with natural ingredients. Cook using high-quality olive oil. Buy extra virgin olive oil from a reputable source.
If you eat clean, you will function better. Enjoy food without the fuss of regimens and restrictions. After all, a simple, low-stress life provides the best results.