Choosing a suitable diet may be confusing and not easy because there are many dietary approaches, but not every diet may fit you. In this article, we help you to know about two famous diets, which are recommended by doctors and nutritionists, which are the Keto diet and the Mediterranean diet. Also, we will talk about the unique combination of both of them, which is called The Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet. Let’s know more about them.
What is the Keto Diet?
The Keto diet supports switching the body’s fuel from sugar to fat by eating high-fat foods and low amounts of carbohydrates. Moderate consumption of protein is included as well to keep you feeling full.
How does the Keto Diet work?
When you decrease eating carbohydrates, the body will try to deal with the carbs deficiency by going into ketosis, in which the body will be more capable of burning fat and converting them into ketones, which are organic components to get the needed energy, and this leads to a quick weight loss. It’s like a way of shifting the body’s energy source from carbohydrates to primary fats.
The Keto Diet pyramid
If you look at the keto food pyramid, you will see that fats are the base of the pyramid, and moving up the pyramid protein comes, then at the top carbs are found because they should be limited to small amounts.
The health benefits of the Keto Diet:
- Boosting the mental health, and improving the mental performance An Overview of the Ketogenic Diet for Pediatric Epilepsy – Zupec‐Kania – 2008 – Nutrition in Clinical Practice – Wiley Online Library
- It may help to improve sleeping quality Ketogenic diet improves sleep quality in children with therapy-resistant epilepsy – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Following the Keto diet leads to be more energetic
- It’s beneficial for heart health due to decreasing cholesterol levels, which is linked to heart disease Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Evidence from Animal and Human Studies (nih.gov)
- It helps to protect against the fatty liver disease Effect of a ketogenic diet on hepatic steatosis and hepatic mitochondrial metabolism in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (nih.gov)
- It’s an effective diet, which helps lower blood sugar Insulin Resistance: A Multifaceted Syndrome Responsible for NIDDM, Obesity, Hypertension, Dyslipidemia, and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease | Diabetes Care (diabetesjournals.org)
- It has shown positive effects on some diseases include Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease Ketogenic Diet in Alzheimer’s Disease – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Being a low-carb diet contributes to the weight loss process Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Help in reducing inflammation Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet – PubMed (nih.gov)
- It helps to have clear skin and fight acne Nutrition and acne: therapeutic potential of ketogenic diets – PubMed (nih.gov)
What foods are allowed to be eaten in the Keto Diet?
- Protein comes from foods such as:
meat, poultry, beef, lamb, pork, veal, ham, venison, bacon, eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, butter, fish, and seafood including oyster, salmon, lobster, mussels, trout, sardines, shrimp, sole, herring, halibut, cod, clams, crabmeat, squid, and tuna
- Fat comes from foods such as:
olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, MCT oil, coconut butter, coconut oil, walnut oil, fatty fish, chia seed, flaxseeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, and hemp seeds
- low-carb and non-starchy vegetables such as:
celery, lettuce, zucchini, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, red and green peppers, cucumber, asparagus, eggplant, and green beans
- Full fat cheese is recommended such as:
feta, cottage cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, swiss, cheddar, bleu cheese, and goat cheese
- Fruits that are low in sugar such as:
berries, lemon, lime, tomatoes, avocado, strawberries, and coconut
- Spices and herbs such as:
basil, parsley, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chili powder, and others
What foods should be avoided in the Keto Diet?
- Vegetables that are excessively rich in starch and carbs such as:
potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, corn, mushrooms, onions, squash, and peas
- Trans fats such as margarine
- Foodgrains such as:
corn, rice, cereal, wheat products, oatmeal, bread, quinoa, rye, barley, and pasta
- Most fruits that contain high content of sugar, fiber, and carbs such as:
bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, pears, pineapples, raisins, dates, peaches, and others
- Legumes and beans such as:
Lentils, green peas, green beans, and black beans
- Sugary beverages such as:
Coda, fruit beer, cola, and others
- Potato chips and crackers
- Dairy products that are low in the fat content
- Artificial sweeteners
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is simply following the healthy eating pattern of the people who live in the Mediterranean area. It recommends eating vegetables, fruits, and high-fiber grains. The most important element in it is fat, which mainly are healthy that come from olive oil, fish, and some kinds of nuts and seeds.
What foods should be eaten in the Mediterranean Diet?
- Healthy fats and oils such as:
- Vegetables such as:
Tomatoes, leafy greens, garlic, onions, cabbage, mushrooms, squash, green beans, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, beets, broccoli, peas, and asparagus
- Fruits such as:
Pomegranates, peaches, avocados, berries, grapes, apples, apricots, oranges, dates, figs, melon, plums, cherries, and bananas
- Whole grains such as:
Rice, couscous, quinoa, bread, pasta, oatmeal, bulgur, polenta, barley, buckwheat, farro, whole-grain bread, and freekeh
- Legumes and beans such as:
Pinto beans, hummus, kidney beans, lentils, white beans, chickpeas, and black beans
- Eggs, poultry, and traditional cheese
Mediterranean diet Vs Keto diet
- They are both based on the idea of eating healthy real foods not the types of foods that are processed and come in packages
- They both help in losing weight when used for a long time
- Following both of them nearly has similar positive health benefits
- The Mediterranean diet allows eating carbs that come from healthy sources like fruits, vegetables, and grains, while in the keto diet, using only low-carb foods is allowed
- Fats are the main source of calories in the keto diet, but carbs are used as a primary calories source in the Med diet
- The Med diet supports eating only saturated fats, but in the Keto diet both saturated and unsaturated fats are allowed
- The Med diet is less restrictive according to the food options
- The Med diet allows sugar consumption throughout eating fruits, while in the Keto diet it’s now allowed to eat fruits that are high in sugar
The Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet
Now, after talking about the Keto diet and the Med diet separately, we should explain the unique combination of both of them, which is called the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet. This combination is more comfortable and sustainable. The main idea of this diet is to eat the foods that are used in the keto diet from the classic Med diet, which produced the approach of the Mediterranean Keto diet, which is classified as a low-carb and high-fat plan. It’s considered a successful diet plan which has many health benefits.
The health benefits of the Ketogenic Mediterranean diet:
- Following the ketogenic Med diet is a beneficial way of losing while preserving muscle mass
- Managing blood sugar and regulate insulin
- It’s effective in improving cognitive function
- It has been proved that the Spanish Keto Med diet reduces LDL cholesterol levels
- The Med diet mainly depends on eating healthy foods and not consuming sugar and processed foods, which helps reduce inflammation. And also, the ketones in the Keto diet help reduce inflammation, which doubles the positive effect of the Ketogenic Mediterranean diet on lowering inflammation
How does the Mediterranean Keto Diet work?
This mixing of both diets is basically eating the foods that are in the Mediterranean diet, and limiting the grains and fruits to reduce the carbohydrates that enter the body, and using fat instead to generate energy.
So, let’s talk about the foods that are allowed to be eaten in the Ketogenic Med diet:
- vegetables (no limit)
okra, broccoli, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, lettuce, cabbage, arugula, collard greens, kale, and brussels sprouts
- Limited types of fruits that are low in sugar such as:
berries, melon, lemon, and avocados
- Seafood ( 1 to 3 times per week) such as:
crab, clams, oysters, and mussels
- Fish ( 1 to 3 times per week) such as:
bass, tuna, salmon, sardines, swordfish, and mackerel
- Nuts and seeds ( can be used daily but in small amounts) such as:
chia seeds, brazil seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and macadamia nuts
- Poultry ( no limit) such as
chicken, poultry, and ducks
- Eggs ( no limit) such as
chicken eggs, duck eggs, and quail eggs
- Dairy products ( in moderation)
such as greek yogurt, feta cheese, parmesan cheese, and goat cheese
- Meat ( not more than one time per week) such as
veal, beef, pork, and lamb
- Oils such as
olive oil, fish oil, and avocado oil
- Herbs and spices such as turmeric, garlic, paprika, oregano, mint, cumin, Spanish saffron, lemon juice, lime juice, anise, coriander, cinnamon, parsley, rosemary, and others
The basic idea of the Ketogenic Mediterranean diet is to eat
- Healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- Green vegetables and salads
- Fish is the primary source of protein
- Drink wine in moderation
Foods that should be eaten in moderation include:
- High-fat dairy products
- Red meat
- Saturated fat
- Red wine
What foods should be avoided in the Ketogenic Mediterranean diet?
- Legumes such as
black beans, peas, lentils, and others
- Some fruits that containing high content of carbs and sugar such as:
bananas, apples, oranges, pineapple, pears, and others
- Grains such as
wheat products, rice, corn, cereal, and others
- Vegetables that contain starch and carbs such as:
potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and others
- Sugar and sugary drinks
- Sweetened beverages
- Highly processed foods
Is the Ketogenic Mediterranean diet beneficial for weight loss?
Following the Mediterranean Keto is beneficial and effectively leads to getting rid of kilos, if used in a long term in a period between 1 and 2 years due to the healthy components, which help improve and promote body health. Achieving weight loss requires calories tracking.
After all, the Keto Mediterranean diet is worth trying. I think it’s a great way to change your eating habits and to try to eat real healthy foods, which surely will improve your overall health, and help you lose weight.