The Mediterranean Diet: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Maybe you’re heard in the media how the Mediterranean Diet has been praised as a healthful diet. Indeed, in Greece, Southern Italy, and Crete, traditional ways of eating have led to vigorous good health, heart health, and decreased rates of cancer. I want to emphasize however, the word traditional, because of late, many people in that part of the world (especially cities in Greece) have succumb to a Western diet and thus obesity rates are soaring there as well. Today though, let’s focus on the traditional, cultural  foods surrounding that part of the world.

History of the Diet

Ancel Keys first wrote about the Mediterranean diet in 1945 when he was stationed in Salerno, Italy. At the time, Dr. Keys noticed how healthy the population was, and correlated it to the diet that people in the region consumed. Keys is best known for his work in studying the health effects of different types of fats.

Although Keys published work on the Mediterranean diet in the 1940s, it took nearly 50 years for it to reach public consciousness. To further his hypothesis about the health effects of the diet consumed in the region, Dr. Keys began the Seven Countries Study in 1958. In the study, Dr. Keys and colleagues in other countries tested the hypothesis that regional diet was related to rates of heart attack and stroke. Over the next 12 years, researchers surveyed men between the ages of 40 and 59, comparing dietary factors to diseases in populations in each region. Ultimately, the study showed that populations in areas eating a diet low in animal products and cholesterol-rich saturated fat enjoyed longer life expectancy and lower levels of serum cholesterol in the blood. The group with the longest life expectancy hailed from the Cretan Mediterranean.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet follows the cultural diet practices of the Cretan Mediterranean population during the time Dr. Keyes performed the Seven Countries Study (1958 to 1970). Principles include:

  • Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and legumes.
  • Eat animal protein mostly in the form of fish and seafood, minimizing dairy, eggs, meat, fish, and processed foods. Eat fish about twice a week.
  • Eat locally available, natural, organic foods.
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
  • Drink red wine in moderation.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Make mealtime a family event, eating slowly and enjoying the time you spend with your family and friends.
  • You don’t need to limit fat consumption, you just need to eat healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, olives and avocados.
  • Eat whole grains, not processed ones.
  • Enjoy almonds or walnuts as a snack.
  • Avoid saturated fats like butter and animal fat.

Health Benefits

The diet has several health benefits including:

  • Increased longevity
  • A healthier heart
  • Weight control
  • High levels of antioxidants, which help fight aging
  • Anti-inflammatory properties, which helps fight autoimmune disease
  • Protects against type 2 diabetes
  • High in fiber for a healthy colon

10 Reasons the Mediterranean Diet Works

So why does the Mediterranean diet work? If you look at it closely, you may notice it has many qualities similar to The Beauty Detox Solution. Let’s break down the elements to see why the Mediterranean diet is so effective.

  1. It’s high in plant foods. In fact, much like The Beauty Detox Solution, the Mediterranean diet is made up mostly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds. These foods for energy have enzymes to aid digestion and beneficial nutrients that contribute to your body’s overall vibrancy. It is also a high alkaline diet, which preserves cell health.
  2. It contains mostly unsaturated fats. Saturated fats from animal sources clog up your system, leading to heart disease and high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand contribute to better health, promoting weight loss, reducing cholesterol, and decreasing the risk of breast cancer.
  3. It minimizes animal protein and dairy. Both of these foods create a state of metabolic acidity in your body. Since your body needs to maintain an alkaline pH to function properly, when you eat metabolically acidic foods like animal protein and dairy, your body pulls alkaline mineral salts from your bones and cells to neutralize the acids and return to alkalinity. This hampers function. Likewise, dairy contains a protein, casein, and a sugar, lactose, that the human body does not process well. This can create increase toxicity within the body. Further, animal proteins and dairy are one of the highest sources of toxins for humans to ingest, including antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides.
  4. The diet emphasizes local, seasonal, organic produce. Since it is based on how Cretan Mediterranean men ate in the 1960s, it is safe to assume that the Seven Year Study occurred mostly before the massive industrialization of the food supply. This means that the diet most likely contained fewer toxins like pesticides.
  5. The diet is high in antioxidants. Red wine contains resveratrol, which protects cellular and heart health.
  6. It is minimally processed. Part of the reason today’s Western diet is so unhealthy is due to the highly processed foods commonly consumed. These foods contain toxic chemicals, pesticides, artificial flavors, food dyes, sugar, and neurotoxins like MSG. Eating a minimally processed diet like the Mediterranean diet protects you against the many diseases associated with processed foods.
  7. It contains an exercise component. Men in the Mediterranean region involved in the Seven Countries Study were highly active. Activity can help detoxify your body, and it helps you maintain high levels of energy while controlling weight.
  8. It is low in sugar. Sugar consumption causes spikes in blood glucose, which result in the release of insulin. Excessive sugar consumption in the Western diet causes overuse of the pancreas, which may result in insulin overproduction. It may also stop producing it altogether as the production mechanism wears out. Sugar also feeds Candida albicans, the yeast found in the human body. Proliferation of Candida albicans can cause a whole host of health problems, including weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
  9. The diet is high in fiber. Fiber helps promote colon health, keeping your bowel free of toxins. Fiber intake is associated with lowered risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and stroke.
  10. It balances Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. The typical Western diet is high in Omega-6 fats, creating an imbalance between these two essential fatty acids. Your body needs both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats in roughly equal amounts (some experts believe a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio). Unfortunately, the highly processed nature of today’s American diet has upset the balance between these two essential fatty acids. The result is inflammation, higher risk of heart disease, and autoimmune dysfunction.

A Few Cautions

While there are similarities between the Mediterranean diet and The Beauty Detox Solution, there are differences as well.

  1. Changing your diet will make a significant difference, but it’s not the only solution. I also believe you need to pursue ongoing cleansing in order to rid your body of all of the toxins that have built up throughout your life.
  2. I used to recommend fish to those that want to keep some animal protein in their diet, but now I caution people eating it. Today, fish is one of the most toxic foods, containing high levels of mercury and other contaminants. If you eat fish, do so minimally in order to avoid mercury toxicity. Instead, get Omega-3s from plant sources like chia and flaxseeds. DHA, which is a type of Omega-3 fat, can be supplemented from an algae-based source. There is no reason to consume fish oil, which is often rancid.
  3. I recommend eating a majority of your vegetables raw for the most nutrients and enzymes.
  4. The Mediterranean diet allows small amounts of low-fat dairy. I don’t recommend any dairy because it contains high levels of hormones and antibiotics. I also feel the human body cannot adequately process the proteins and sugars in dairy.
  5. I also recommend taking probiotics for a healthy gut.
  6. Coconut oil, while saturated, is a healthy fat that supports thyroid function and contains lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid that has all kinds of health supporting properties. Coconut oil is also 100% cholesterol-free, unlike saturated animal fats.

 

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60 Responses to “The Mediterranean Diet: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  1. I understand the value of the Mediterranean diet, and generally, have often adhered to its basic tenets of fresh produce, minimal canned goods, etc. alas, I would prefer to live a slightly shorter life and continue to eat dairy and some measure of animal protein and take my chances.

    Yes, I completely recognize that a close-to-vegetarian diet is best, but I think that I will be happier on a day to day basis continuing with a mostly plant-based, fresh produce approach to eating. Yes, there will be some meat, more fish, and some dairy (cheese and creme fraiche), not to mention the occasional delicious buttery, sweet fruit tart or chocolate cake. It may screw up my alkalinity but I wouldn’t be happy eschewing chocolate, butter, cheese, and such completely.

    Glad to see you promulgating your viewpoint, though–more folks need to know their options.

  2. Cholesterol isn’t all bad. It’s an essential fat that provides support in the membranes of our bodies’ cells. Some cholesterol comes from diet and some is made by the liver. Cholesterol can’t dissolve in blood, so transport proteins carry it where it needs to go. These carriers are called lipoproteins, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one member of the lipoprotein family.—-

  3. Right here is the perfect webpage for everyone
    who wishes to find out about this topic. You know a whole
    lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that’s been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  4. Hello Kimberly,

    Your insight is quite helpful. However, I have a couple of questions…I too am against the normal dairy found in stores but have been eating raw organic liquid whey protein and cottage cheese from farm in small amounts as well as organic wild game (I’m living in Siberia right now) and these food products have been very helpful to me. I used to be a vegetarian as a teenager and have found that it really messed me up health wise…I have found a wonderful naturopath who has told me that because of my nordic genes, a life without small amounts of quality meats will not be a healthy one for me. Right now, given my experiences, I tend to agree. I’ve done several detox programs over the years, even water and dry fasting and liver flushing and many others so I do believe that I am as “clean” as can be for the most part.
    I am wondering whether you think a person’s genes and environment should also have an effect on the food he/she consumes.
    I do love the heathly lifestyle that you advocate and the green smoothies (I’ve been drinking all kinds of variations for a year now…heard about it first from Victoria Butenko–who I’ve recently met while she was in Siberia in the summer)…although I must say that she was quite unhealthy and did not look good (one reason why I think having Russian genetics and being a raw vegan is not the best idea)

  5. Hi!
    I liked your book and I”m wondering if you have it translated into Russian. I would like to purchase for my sister who does not speak English.
    Also I like and eat buckwheat often. What is your opinion about it?
    Thank you.
    Fiza

  6. Hi Kimberly,

    I have read your book the Beauty Detox Solution and love it… I am having one problem and that is finding the Magnesium oxygen supplement… I have been to whole foods, sprouts and the internet and not one has it. Where can I find this supplement?

    Thank you for your help….

    Warm Regards,
    Theresa

  7. This is great advice -to eat only local fresh fruits and vegetables. But what grows in New Hampshire in winter? And I would like to eat more nuts and seeds, and fruits, but I am allergic to most of them. So, how can I get protein other than from animal products?

  8. Hi Kimberly,
    I have a nut allergy and unfortunately wouldn’t be able to have them as a snack. Any ideas on what healthy snacks I can substitute them for?

    Thanks!

  9. Hi kimberly,

    I am quite a huge fan of your work but I was just wondering…You recommend a lot of foods that actually work against the thyroide such as kale, spinach and raw sauerkraut to be eaten everyday…Could you share some insight on that?

    Also some of your other recommendations such as quinoa, millet and all the nuts and seeds along with the avocados due to their high content of unsaturated fatty acids are actually quite inflamatory and I find don’t do me or my family any good.

    Your thoughts on all of this would be very much appreciated…

    cindy

  10. Thank you for a very informative site!!! I think getting rid of the dairy is hardest…especially with kids. I could take or leave it…but they love milk and cheese, etc! Thanks for the article.

  11. Hi Kimberly, I just read through your book and I am really excited to get started on the program. However, I have a question. I work out as soon as I wake every morning. Right now I drink a glass of OJ and banana because I feel very weak without anything in my stomach. In the book, you recommend not eating until you are hungry but I cannot wait for that. How should I handle this issue? Should I drink the Green Smoothie as soon as I wake? And how long would I need to wait before I exercise? Thanks in advance for your help with this.

  12. Just bought your book…it’s great! I’m learning new things and have a couple questions:

    Do you have any recommendations on which company to purchase Chlorella tablets from?

    My 19 year old son is a dedicated athlete and body builder. He currently eats meat for protein. His goal is to build more muscle (he is not huge). How much Chlorella should he eat? And will it help build muscle?

    Thankyou for your time!

  13. G’day Kim thank for ur reply… I’m also wondering when your next book is out? I must have about 100clients and friends on to you now the results speak for themselfs thank you for all your great help.. How long should I wait after dinner or lunch to eat a desert containing fruit/dried fruit xx

  14. Hi Kim!

    Very off topic but I desperately need to know… I read this article this morning claiming that blending fruits/veggies in a high performance blender destroys most of the nutrient content within them (due to oxidation)… Please say it isn’t so!

    • That is completely false. The point of a high performance blender is that the produce is not heated up too long to destroy the enzymes and nutrients. Blending ruptures the plant cells’ walls, making the nutrition much more available to the body than just be regular eating.

      Blend away!

      • Also wanted to add that minerals, which is one of the most important benefits of eating a lot of greens, and fiber, are not destroyed by any amount of heat- even if someone had a weak blender.

        • kimberly, can you eat nuts and seeds in your granola? It looks like you can from your acai recipe, but I thought we could not mix proteins with starch? Thanks!

  15. Hello – I just recently bought a copy of your book and am loving the new way of thinking and eating! I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater (mostly vegan…if that makes sense! Some fish). The food order and pairing are new to me and I have incorporated a lot more raw foods into my diet. I’m a mother of two and currently nursing my 7 month old and plan to continue nursing for at least a year but probably longer. I have questions about some of the supplements you recommend and their safety during nursing – mainly the enzymes and the magnesium oxygen supplement. Also – concerned about detoxing too much/too quickly – do you know if the toxins can get into the breastmilk? Thanks for your advice. I will also talk to the pediatrician but I am curious if you have any knowledge/experience with this. Thanks!!

    • Hi Kali,
      If you are nursing you definitely don’t want to detox too quickly or make drastic changes too fast. Of course, continuing to make better and better lifestyle choices will be beneficial to you and your child as well. Enzymes are generally considered pretty safe, since they don’t contain specific herbs that can be allergenic, etc. but you can always check with the doctor.

      The thing that I would caution you about is consuming fish while nursing. Unfortunately, fish today is so high in mercury and other toxins, which can be passed through breast milk and can be especially harmful to a developing child.
      Take care! Kim

  16. I was wondering about calcium. As a 50 year old woman, I have been taking calcium with Vitamin D and zinc supplements for several years to strengthen my bones and I was wondering at this point, if this is actually beneficial to me or harmful. I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Helena,
      Many people believe that calcium supplements are beneficial, especially in dire situations if your bones are in a weakened condition. But please, please though read my section on alkalinity/acidity and dairy in The Beauty Detox Solution. More and more studies, including The China Study, are demonstrating that the more dairy in the diet, which is acidic, the higher the overall calcium loss from the body, via urinary calcium excretion. That is why countries like China, which consume virtually no dairy, also have virtually no osteoporosis, though they consume less than a third the overall calcium Americans do. I believe one of the best ways to truly protect your bones is to not just rely on supplements, but work to make your entire body more alkaline, through a diet filled with alkaline-forming plant foods.

      Please check it out!! xx

  17. Are you sure about Mediterraneans eating avocados?I live in Southern Italy, and older people still consider avocados a fancy, exotic food and it’s still not too easy to find it. We use olive oil, we eat fresh local fish and no one has ever eaten low fat cheese ’til the ’80-s, they used fresh whole milk to prepare cheese, for some people, flaxseed is not a complete source of omega 3′s, and need to have fish.

  18. Hi Kimberly, I read in your power protein smoothie blog that you have replaced ground flaxseeds with chia seeds as your daily seed. In regards to my post above, how would you include the chia seeds in your diet if you can’t fit in a snack? I’m assuming you wouldn’t sprinkle chia seeds on your salad like you would flaxseeds??

    Thank you again!

    Julia xx

    • Hi Julia,
      Some people do that, but I like to hydrate the chia seeds first. If you don’t want to have another smoothie, you can eat it in a more solid form, such as the Chia Seed Pudding recipe, and fit it in as part of lunch or dinner. xx

  19. Hi Kimberly,

    Thank you for all the good advices! I love your book and use it daily. I have been on a raw food diet for about a year now (prescretarian for four years before that), but for the last 4 months I have been having troubles with bloating. I am not sure if it is because of my diet or because of stress. So I wanted to ask you if you know a good place for colonics in New York? Is this what my body is asking for? I read about the Woods Gravity Method…I would really appreciate your advice and cannot wait for your new book to come out.

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Leah, are you practicing proper Beauty Food Pairing? Also, be sure you are not drinking too many liquids while eating, which dilutes your digestive enzymes and can lead to bloating. Some people have to have their digestion built back up before they can handle so much raw food, so you can incorporate some cooked veggies in your diet as well.
      Email us and I can pass along my favorite colon hydrotherapist’s number: info@kimberlysnyder.net.
      xx

  20. Anyway, feta cheese has always been Greek. The Italians have a long history of and plethora of artisan cheeses, sausages, and gelato. This is before processed foods took over the world. The ingredients in their home made goodies were preservative free. And even the Mediterranean diet theory is flawed because it overgeneralizes a diet for an entire region, which is in fact very diverse, and was not as raw/veg based as purported. Food, and the right way to eat, has more history and culture than that book or any book could ever describe.

  21. Hi Kimberley!
    I know this isn’t directly related to this article, but have just bought your book and have couple of questions if you don’t mind??
    Firstly, what are your thoughts on using natural organic carob power?Maybe as an alternative to cacoa powder?
    Also, I ordered some Athletic Greens powder a couple of days before I bought your book. You may have heard of it, its a powder that contains a bunch of mostly organic raw greens, fruits, pre and probiotics etc. Will this be ok to take on your program? I’m doing the radiant beauty menu. While it is just made of fruit and vege i checked the ingrediants and it does contains 233mg of rice bran powder and 400mg of organic flaxseed powder per serve. Is this going to be a problem with food combing as it’s mixing with fruit? I hope i can use it as it cost me $80 ekk! Thanks for your help :)

  22. hi kim, if people ate no salt and only ate dulse and herbs as substitues, how wouldd they get their idodine intake? won’t this hurt their thyroid functions?

    • You can still eat pizza- just try to find one that is gluten free, don’t get cheese, and top with lots of veggies. It’s yummy!

  23. Hi Kimberly,

    Hope you’re well! I’m currently doing blossoming beauty, and wanted to know if u use nutritional yeast as a protein source, or more of a ‘taste’ thing? I can only eat 1 tbs per salad – more than that feels too strong for me. I know u recommend 3-4 tbs in the book – I realize that’s for 2 servings. Is that then 1.5-2 tbs for 1 serving? Just want to make sure I’m not missing out on protein, as my protein levels are low. I love your book, and currently eating animal protein 3x per week. Eggs twice, chicken once. I’ve cut out seafood altogether as I did have high mercury levels previously. I follow your recipes quite closely, but am only eating nuts/seeds about 3x per week (can’t really fit in snacks) and concerned that may be not enough protein. Do u think I’m getting enough protein to build my levels back up? I do make sure I eat lots of greens! Also, would there be any point in having a chia/protein shake after dinner if I can’t fit it in for an afternoon snack? Thank you so much :)

    P.s. Will you be visiting Australia soon??!! Would love to meet you!!!!!!

    Kind regards,

    Julia xx

    • Hi Julia,
      Yes 1 Tbs. of nutritional yeast is fine. It sounds like you’re getting enough protein for sure, with your animal protein and seeds/nuts. Are you drinking the GGS?
      xx

      • Thank you so much for your reply Kimberly! I was drinking the GGS for about a month, but found that I was craving sweets alot more (I believe I still have a candida issue). So last week I went back to blossoming beauty and am having a large bowl of greens & raw rolled oat cereal for breakfast, and have cut out fruit altogether. My sugar cravings have reduced quite significantly. Do u think that I still do have a yeast issue and that I’m doing the right thing by going off the GGS for a while? How long should I give it until I start having GGS & fruit again?

        Thank you :)

        Julia xx

  24. Hi. My boyfriend and I have been starting to follow your detox guidelines and within the first week, I’ve lost 5 pounds – he refuses to weigh himself. :)

    However, the one thing you didn’t mention above is feta cheese, which seemed to be included on every salad I ate at a Greek home (of friends) or restaurant when I visited Greece about 30 years ago. As far as I know, feta is a traditional part of a Greek salad. I’ve cut out all meat and dairy, but I know there are dairy farms in my region of the country (New England) that state that they don’t give their animals hormones or antibiotics. Would feta from these farms be OK in moderation (to me, they’re fairly local)? What about Parmesan? Cheese is the one thing I’m going to miss eating, but I already feel much better after only one week on your diet, so we’re going to stick to it.

    • Hi Michele,
      Feta goat cheese is definitely a great transition/occasional food, as goat’s enzymes are closer to humans and their products digest easier than cow’s milk products. Stick to the feta instead of the parmesan!! Try my vegan parmesan which is part of the JMP Raw Lasagna recipe in the BDS. xx

  25. Hi Kim,

    Question about the fish oil supplements, my boyfriend takes the prescription fish oil pills for high triglycerides. They seem to have helped, but do you think they are not necessary. I would love to find ways he can combat high triglycerides through diet.

    Thanks!

    We also eat alot of fish like Tonya, I am guessing shell fish falls into this same category? :( its soo good.

    • Hi Jenna,
      Be sure to check out the BDS, which has a lot of info on a plant-based diet, or at least a more plant-based diet. Plant foods are cholesterol-free and full of fiber, and are helpful to many different health conditions. Shell fish is indeed toxic. Sorry! xx

  26. Thanks for the info as always, Kim! Aside from chia and quinoa, what are some other great plant based sources of protein? I would love to add some more variety to help me cut back on chicken and fish.

  27. hi kim following ur program n think its amazing have gotten alot of family n friends onto u and ur book here in australia. just wondering can i use coconut flour almond flour n coconut milk in some deserts im wanting to make?? and can u have the raw balls as a desert after ur dinner? (as its fruit) thanks jess xxx

    • Hi Jess, that’s fantastic! Sure coconut flour and milk is great in moderation in desserts. Keep up the great work! G’Day! :)

  28. Hi Kim!

    I agree with everything you said here. I love your book and frequent your blog often. I did come across an article on Dr. Fuhrman’s blog, Disease Proof, which you can view here:

    http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/hurtful-food-its-about-time-the-olive-oil-myth-was-laid-to-rest.html

    I use olive oils, coconut oils & grapeseed oils in my cooking all the time. It’s obvious Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t believe in consuming olive oil, but my question is do you see it as something we shouldn’t consume frequently?

    • Dr. Fuhrman is more of the belief that all fats and oils should be reduced in the diet, which I agree with largely. I do however, use small amounts of coconut oil in desserts and for cooking, and I do use small amounts of olive oil in certain recipes. Oils should definitely be treated with moderation. I now completely avoid grapeseed oil. Even though it has a high smoke point, making it a better choice from a cooking standpoint, it is still a vegetable oil with a high content of Omega 6 fatty acids, which most people get too much of in general. Too much Omega 6′s upsets the essential fatty acid ratio, where you should have more of a balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. xx

  29. Hi Kimberly,

    Would you please share your thoughts on the 80-10-10 diet, advocated by Dr. Doug Graham? Maybe you could even do a post about it?

    Thanks :)

    • I have been a vegan for a few years now and recently decided to actually start following the 80/10/10 diet and within a month I feel such an amazing difference and my skin looks great. I would love to hear your thoughts as well Kim. I had been trying to cure candida for months now and hadn’t been eating fruit or any types of sugar. Within a week of following 8/1/1 diet my candida dissappeared.

      • Candida simply does not disappear within a week. Period. On any diet. True candida takes weeks, months, or even years before the body can fully rebalance. I think a high fruit diet would be more ideal if we didn’t live in the polluted world today, where we’ve all had polluted water, preservative-filled foods, antibiotics, meds, etc. in our past. Greens are in my opinion the most nutrient-dense of all foods, and I don’t advocate eating a diet so high in fruit and low in greens and veggies. I think it can cause imbalances for many- but that is not to say that it can’t work for some people. Everyone’s genetic constitution is different.

      • Hi Kim,

        I’ve loved reading The Beauty Detox Solution and am now beginning 80/10/10. It seems to me that they can both work together and use very similar princliples. However, the notion that 80/10/10 is “low” in veggies is not what Dr. Graham outlines in the book. In fact, he recommends around 6% of our calories come from greens and veggies. That’s a greens-friendly diet to me. :)

        • That’s true! I eat a ton of greens and veggies on 80/10/10, following the recommendations and how I feel. I’ve been following the diet 90% of the time for a year and feel absolutely amazing. When I’m eating cooked I make sure to follow Kimberley’s food combining rules. Works like a charm and my blood work is great!

  30. I follow this diet more closely than any others, even though I’ve never bought a recipe book or strictly followed any guidelines. It’s the one that makes most sense to me. And I LOVE olive oil. I do refrain from dairy these days though, eating cheese only on special occasions, but one thing I’m having trouble with is I probably eat too much fish so I do worry about mercury. I really need to experiment with more types of plant-based protein.

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