I recently returned from several conferences where everyone was super-excited about ketogenic dieting. If you’re not familiar, the keto approach is a high-fat, very low-carb style of eating. It forces your body to burn fat by turning fatty acids in your blood into ketone bodies. The body (and brain) then uses these as fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates.
We can do Keto Dirty vs Keto Clean which is Keto-Green!
My version of keto nutrition – the Keto-Green® Diet - combines an alkaline diet (lots of greens and other alkaline foods) with ketogenic nutrition. This prevents common side effects of keto dieting like keto flu and keto-crazy, and supports whole-body health.
There’s one other main difference between conventional keto diets and my Keto-Green® Diet: Mine focuses more on good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, and other plant-based fats, as opposed to full-fat dairy, cheese, bacon, and lots of fatty meats emphasized in most keto diets.
A big reason why many plant-based fats take center stage on the Keto-Green® Diet is because they bust menopausal symptoms, such as brain fog, mood swings, hot flashes, and fatigue by helping to balance your hormones and keep you functioning at your best.
One of the best Keto-Green fats you can eat is olive oil. It has an impressively long resume of health perks, especially for women. Olive oil:
- Balances one of our major hormones. I’m talking about insulin. When our bodies have trouble using insulin and it stockpiles in the blood, we become insulin-resistant (the result of habitually eating a high-carb diet.) Insulin-resistance is one of the chief causes of hot flashes. Olive oil to the rescue! When scientists reporting in Diabetes Care looked at olive oil, they found those eating an olive-oil rich diet had increased insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar after eating.
- Helps improve bone health. We tend to think that calcium-containing foods are the superstars in strengthening bones – they are – but researchers have recently discovered that olives, olive oil, and olive biophenols have this power too. Who knew! Lots of human studies have revealed that daily consumption of olive oil can prevent the decline in bone mineral density - and possibly prevent osteoporosis, the bone-crippling disease that affects menopausal and post-menopausal women. Olive products appear to work their magic on bones by reducing inflammation and free-radical damage to bone tissue. (I have posted a delicious recipe – The Bonebuilder Cocktail– on my website, courtesy of Robin Nielsen. Try it out!)
- Has amazing antioxidant power. Speaking of free radicals, olive oil is loaded with potent antioxidants that protect us from these dis-causing molecules. Ease. Antioxidants prevent oxidation, which is a free-radical-producing chemical reaction that can contribute to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and other serious illnesses.
- Is a source of vitamin E. Olive oil contains vitamin E, which improves your skin by treating inflammation, acne, and dryness. It also improves skin elasticity and its regenerative properties. Translation: olive oil is anti-aging!
- Contains oleic acid. This special fatty acid has demonstrated a significant effect in the prevention of malignant diseases such as colon cancer and breast cancer. (Check out my blog For Better Breast Health, Follow This Diet, and learn about other breast-protective foods.)
- Is loaded with “biophenols.”These are plant nutrients that destroy bad bacteria that may cause respiratory tract, intestinal, and genital tract infections. They also successfully prevent the body from making artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.
- Is rich in oleocanthal. This plant chemical comes about through the processing of olive oil, and is not in the original olive. It works in a way that is similar to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving drug, but without side effects. Chronic inflammation is linked to conditions such as asthma, allergies, heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
Bottom line: Olive oil is a super Keto-Green fat!
It’s no wonder that centuries ago Israel’s King David ordered guards to watch it day and night. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, called olive oil the “great therapeutic” – an assessment supported by modern nutritional science.
As for the best type to purchase, I suggest a variety known as fresh pressed olive oil. This means the manufacturer has put the olives into the crusher as fast as possible – within at least four hours of picking. The taste, purity, and health benefits of the oil are then preserved. Please watch my video on fresh-pressed olive oil for more information.
And truthfully, I am an olive oil snob as my family in Israel has had olive trees for generations and make some of the best olive oil in the world. Well, I am rationed to 1 liter every year or two so my next best is The Olive Oil Club which I love! They offer you a special$39 Artisanal Olive Oil for Just $1. Receive a free $39 bottle of artisanal extra virgin olive oil—direct from the new harvest and bursting with farm-fresh flavor unlike any olive oil you've ever tasted. Pay just $1 to help cover shipping as your introduction to the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club. My favorite olive oil—amazingly delicious! Limited to the first 250 readers who respond. For details, click here: $39-Bottle-for-a-Buck
So you see: olive oil and other wonderful Keto-Green fats definitely deserve a permanent place on your table and natural medicine cabinet!
Use olive oil in salad dressings, on veggies, and sautéed dishes. It’s an ingredient in my delectable Cardamom Seared Scallops with Zoodles and Avocado Pesto. It features avocado – another wonderful Keto-Green, hormone-balancing fat.
Cardamom Seared Scallops with Zoodles and Avocado Pesto
- 1 avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 ounces fresh basil leaves
- Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4–6 ounces large sea scallops, muscle removed and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini, prepared (spiralized) into zoodles
- To make sauce, combine avocado, basil, lemon juice, and garlic clove in a food processor or blender and blend into a paste. With the motor running, slowly add 1/4 cup oil and blend until smooth.
- Place raw zoodles in a large sauté pan with a little water and cook until tender but al dente, stirring occasionally with tongs. (You can also use a steamer to cook the zoodles.)
- Coat scallops evenly on both sides with cardamom, and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium-high to high heat. Sear the scallops on one side, without moving, until a golden crust forms, about 2–3 minutes. Turn scallops and sear on the other side.
- In a mixing bowl, combine zoodles with sauce and divide between 4 plates. Top each portion of zoodles with a portion of scallops.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
P.S. Speaking of healthy fats...
My Keto-Green Shake is packed full of medium chain triglycerides (MCT), an extremely healthy fat that converts to ketone bodies. Plus, did I mention that it's super filling and delicious?