For centuries, people have been looking to optimize their health and maximize the benefits of the foods they eat by creating special diets that can get them there.
Through this process of trial and error, a few diets have emerged from the crowd as having major impacts on things like weight loss, disease prevention, and overall health, two of which are the Ketogenic diet and the Mediterranean diet.
While they both operate on different principals, there’s quite a bit of crossover between the two. Thus, the Mediterranean keto diet was born.
Many dieters rely on this conglomeration of food guidelines as a means to reduce fat, lower cholesterol, improve cardiovascular health, and more.
So, what exactly is this diet, and what benefits does it offer? In this article, we’re exploring the key components of this way of eating and sharing the science-backed advantages it offers.
Table of Contents
What Is The Mediterranean Keto Diet?
The Mediterranean keto diet captures the benefits of each eating style while melting away the drawbacks that some dieters have had problems with.
The ketogenic diet is most often described as a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein diet. It focuses on the principle of restricting carbs to the point that your body begins the process of ketosis, which burns body fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates.
The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, is a diet focused on vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, fish, and healthy fats. It focuses on the natural diet of Mediterranean countries like Greece and Spain.
The Mediterranean keto diet combines certain characteristics of each, creating the following guidelines:
- Restrict carbs with the goal of ketosis. – This level of carbs can vary from person to person, but it typically falls between 25 and 35 grams to get into and remain in ketosis.
- Enjoy plenty of healthy fats. – Enjoy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from avocado and olive oil to optimize cholesterol levels.
- Get carbs from vegetables. – Focus on eating green and colorful vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts at every meal to avoid keto flu symptoms.
- Protein should focus on fish, seafood, poultry, and eggs. – These sources are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are more environmentally sustainable than red meat.
- Adjust protein and fat based on personal goals. – You may need to adjust your protein and fat intakes depending on whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain your current position.
Together, these five criteria offer the maximum health benefits of both the keto and the Mediterranean diet.
To boil the diet down to one sentence: It adds the standard macronutrient ratios used in the ketogenic diet to Mediterranean foods to offer the combined benefits of carb restriction, ketosis, natural unsaturated fats, and whole foods.
Science-Backed Benefits of Following A Mediterranean Keto Diet
Too many diets claim major results with little data to back up these claims. With the Mediterranean keto diet, there’s enough literature and research done to confirm significant health benefits from this style of eating.
Some of the most prominent science-backed benefits of this diet include:
- Decreased inflammation
- Decreased total cholesterol
- Decreased LDL cholesterol
- Increased HDL cholesterol
- Decreased triglyceride levels
- Reduced blood sugar
- Insulin control
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced hbA1c levels
- Significant loss of excess weight
- Optimized biomarkers associated with heart disease
- Optimized biomarkers associated with type 2 diabetes
In order to gain these benefits, you must follow the key components responsible for these impressive results.
Key Components of the Mediterranean Keto Diet
In one impressive study, researchers tested people with metabolic syndrome and severe obesity while they followed the Mediterranean keto diet for a total of three months.
Each participant followed these key components of the diet every day:
- No calorie counting was allowed.
- There is no limit to the amount of protein they were allowed to consume.
- They had to eat lots of fish – a minimum of 4 days a week, often more. They focused on about a kilogram of fish each day, consisting mostly of trout, sardines, mackerel, and salmon. Other days, they got their protein from sources like poultry, eggs, cheese, and shellfish.
- They needed to focus on getting lots of omega-3s – aiming for more than 15 grams on days they had fish and supplementing this with 9 grams of fish oil on days they did not eat fish.
- They were to have somewhere between 200-400 mL of red wine each day – up to half a bottle per person.
- They could only have two portions of salad and one portion of a low-carbohydrate vegetable each day.
- They followed a comprehensive vitamin plan to cover all the nutritional basics.
Are you wondering what this study found after each participant followed these guidelines for three months? Below we’re sharing the results that are possible for you, too.
Results from Mediterranean Keto Diet
On average, participants in the study experienced the following results after twelve weeks of the diet:
- Loss of 30+ pounds
- BMI drop from 37 to 31.5
- Loss of 6 inches from waist
- Fasting blood sugar levels dropped from a pre-diabetic 118 to an ideal 91
- Triglycerides went from 224 to 109
- Liver fat reduced and resolved in certain cases
- All participants started with metabolic syndrome but ended it without
At the time the study ended, they had all cured their metabolic syndrome, which is strikingly impressive.
Prepping for a Mediterranean Keto Diet
Want to try your hand at the Mediterranean keto diet? Get started by investing in a cookbook that can guide you with recipes and inspire your meals, like the Essential Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet Cookbook.
- Devine RD, Molly (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 212 Pages - 02/18/2020 (Publication Date) - Rockridge Press (Publisher)
It comes full of fiber-rich and heart-healthy foods that can help you improve your cardiac performance and gut health, lose weight, and feel more energized.
If you’ve been trying to lose weight or take back control of your health but haven’t had much luck with fad diets or restrictions, the Mediterranean keto diet might be worth a shot. Judging from the research that backs this eating style, there’s a lot of potential to lose stubborn body weight and optimize your health levels long-term. Will you give it a try?