How is the Mediterranean diet different from Keto?

Wondering why the Mediterranean and Keto diets are the talk of the town lately? Let’s take a look at both of these diets.

The ketogenic diet is an incredibly low-carb, high-fat diet that calls for a sharp drop in the
consumption of carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet forbids sugary fruits, and whole grains in order to achieve an extreme restriction of carbohydrates. In fact the biggest concern usually is that the lower
you go in carbs, the more you’re wiping out entire food groups that are considered very rich
in nutrients that your body does need.

On the contrary, the Mediterranean diet, however, places a strong
emphasis on whole grains, vegetables, fish, legumes, fruits, and olive oil.

How to pick the right diet for you?
The Mediterranean diet has actually been around for centuries, whereas the
ketogenic diet is relatively new to science, having only been recognized a little over a century
ago when it was found to be an effective treatment for epilepsy. Though these two diets
appear to have little in common at first glance, they are two of the most research-supported
diets available today, especially for weight loss.

Researchers have observed identical drops in the level of HbA1c in people who did the diets;
7% on the Mediterranean diet and 9% on the keto diet. This proved that both diets help
improve blood glucose control, and improve fasting insulin, HDL cholesterol, and also liver
enzymes, with similar weight loss rates as well: 8% on keto and 7% on Mediterranean.

But remember that the LDL cholesterol goes down on the Mediterranean diet and up on the
keto diet, giving the Mediterranean diet the upper hand. Both diets saw an overall reduction in
triglycerides, but the keto diet saw a greater drop in triglycerides—so, a point for keto.

Here’s a short summary outlining the differences between the Mediterranean diet and
the ketogenic diet:

The Mediterranean Diet:
The Mediterranean diet is a traditional eating pattern inspired by the culinary habits of
countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and southern
France. It is characterized by:
1. Emphasis on Whole Foods: The Mediterranean diet focuses on whole, minimally
processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds,
and olive oil.
2. Moderate Consumption of Animal Products: While the Mediterranean diet
includes animal products like fish, poultry, dairy, and occasional red meat, they
are consumed in moderate amounts compared to many Western diets.
3. Healthy Fats: Olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, providing
monounsaturated fats, which are believed to contribute to its heart-healthy
benefits. Nuts and seeds are also sources of healthy fats.
4. High Intake of Fruits and Vegetables: This diet encourages a high consumption
of fruits and vegetables, providing an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants,
and fiber.
5. Moderate Wine Consumption: Some versions of the Mediterranean diet include
moderate red wine intake, typically consumed with meals in a social context.

The Ketogenic Diet:
The ketogenic diet, often referred to as keto, is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet
designed to induce a metabolic state known as ketosis. Key features include:
1. Low Carbohydrate Intake: The keto diet restricts carbohydrates to a minimal
amount, typically around 20-50 grams per day. This restriction forces the body to
use fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates.
2. High Fat Consumption: The diet emphasizes high consumption of healthy fats
such as avocados, nuts, seeds, butter, coconut oil, and fatty cuts of meat. Fat
intake typically constitutes around 70-80% of daily calories.

3. Moderate Protein Intake: Protein intake on the ketogenic diet is moderate and
usually ranges from 15-30% of total daily calories.
4. Ketosis: By significantly reducing carbohydrate intake, the body enters a
metabolic state called ketosis, where the liver produces ketones from fat
breakdown, providing energy for the body and brain.

Differences between the Diets:
1. Macronutrient Composition: The primary difference lies in their macronutrient
distribution. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes a balance of carbohydrates,
fats, and proteins, while the ketogenic diet restricts carbohydrates and
emphasizes high fat intake.
2. Focus on Specific Foods: The Mediterranean diet emphasizes a wide variety of
whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive
oil. In contrast, the keto diet focuses on specific macronutrient ratios, prioritizing
high-fat, low-carb foods to achieve ketosis.
3. Health Goals: The Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of heart
disease, improved brain health, and longevity due to its emphasis on whole foods
and healthy fats. The keto diet is primarily used for weight loss, managing
epilepsy, and potentially improving insulin sensitivity but may pose challenges in
long-term sustainability and potential nutrient deficiencies due to its restrictive

In conclusion, while both the Mediterranean diet and the ketogenic diet offer potential
health benefits, they differ significantly in their food choices, macronutrient
composition, and intended outcomes. Choosing between these diets should be based
on individual health goals, preferences, and consult with a healthcare professional or
nutritionist to ensure nutritional adequacy and safety.

Phone: +1 (518) 972-0028
Address: 312 W 2nd St, #356 Casper, Wyoming, -82601 USA