Keto versus Mediterranean. Which is best?
The ketogenic diet and the Mediterranean diet are two popular approaches to healthy eating that have gained widespread popularity in recent years. Both diets have been linked to numerous health benefits, including weight loss, improved heart health, and reduced risk of chronic diseases. However, they differ in their approaches to food and nutrients.
In this article, we will compare the keto diet and the Mediterranean diet in terms of their key principles and determine which one is better for you.
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet, also known as keto, is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that aims to induce a state of ketosis in the body. In ketosis, the body begins to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
The keto diet was discovered as a treatment for epilepsy, and has been shown to be effective in reducing seizures in some individuals. However, today, the diet is popular for its effectiveness as a weight loss method.
The keto diet typically consists of around 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrate. This is achieved by restricting intake of carbohydrates to a very low level (typically less than 50 grams per day) and increasing intake of healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Protein intake is moderate.
In addition to weight loss, it has also been suggested that the diet may have other health benefits such as improved blood sugar control and reduced risk of heart disease. However, more research is needed to fully understand the long term benefits and risks of the ketogenic diet.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that is based on the traditional cuisines of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, such as Italy, Greece, and Spain. It is characterized by an emphasis on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, and a moderate intake of fish, poultry, and dairy products. The diet also encourages moderate intake of red wine and red meat.
The Mediterranean diet is often praised for its potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved heart health, and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and certain cancers. It is also associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease.
In addition to its emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods, the Mediterranean diet also promotes an active lifestyle and a culture of sharing meals with family and friends, which may contribute to its health benefits.
Diet showdown: Keto versus Mediterranean. Which won?
It is difficult to say definitively which diet is "better," as the best diet for an individual will depend on their individual needs, goals, and preferences. Both the ketogenic diet and the Mediterranean diet can be effective for weight loss and have been linked to numerous health benefits.
If a choice had to be made, a healthy Mediterranean diet is superior to keto in one important way. It doesn’t restrict you from eating specific food groups, much less healthy ones like whole grains and fruits.
Keto’s restrictive nature makes the diet very hard to sustain long term. In some cases it even results in side effects like constipation, keto flu, migraines, and fatigue.
Overall, what matters is that you choose a diet that supports your needs and fits your lifestyle. The best diet for YOU is the one you can stick to for a long time, maybe even for life. You should always consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet.
Benefits of the Mediterranean and Keto Diets
Weight loss. Both the Mediterranean and ketogenic diets are fantastic for weight loss. Keto is especially great for short term weight loss while the mediterranean diet, if sustained, is great for long term weight loss.
Blood sugar control. Both these diets are great for blood sugar control since they minimize the consumption of high sugar low-fiber foods such as soda, candy, and cakes.
Improved heart health. The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be effective for improving and maintaining heart health. While the effect of keto on heart health is still debatable, it has been found to improve lipid profiles in high risk individuals.
Reduced risk of chronic diseases. In addition to heart disease, both these diets, if sustained, can lower your risk for chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and dementia.
Which is better: Mediterranean diet or keto?
The better diet will differ from person to person according to preferences, health requirements, and resources. However, in general, the Mediterranean diet is a higher quality diet since it doesn’t restrict any of the major food groups.
What's the difference between keto and Mediterranean keto?
Keto is a low-carbohydrate high-fat diet that aims to induce a state of ketosis in the body while the Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that is based on the traditional cuisines of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, such as Italy, Greece, and Spain.
Is there a keto version of the Mediterranean diet?
Yes, there is a keto version of the Mediterranean diet but it is not a true version of the Mediterranean diet since it eliminates two of the main components of the Mediterranean diet; fruits and whole grains.
Will I gain weight switching from keto to Mediterranean diet?
No, you’ll not gain weight switching from keto to a Mediterranean diet as long as you don’t exceed your calorie requirements.