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The Mediterranean Keto Diet: A Comprehensive Guide to Flavor and Health


The Mediterranean ketogenic diet is a healthy option for a variety of people who want to improve their food choices or lower their risk of potential diseases.

First, let us introduce you to the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet combines lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. This way of eating may reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, support healthy body weight or weight loss, improve blood glucose control, lower cholesterol, and help you live longer.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes nutrient-dense foods while still being flexible and customizable. It focuses less on specific caloric intake or formulas for health goals and more on improving overall health and making better lifestyle choices.

Keto is a high-fat, low-carb diet. The keto Mediterranean diet combines lean proteins, healthy fats, and fresh vegetables. While you would not have to completely eliminate whole grains from the diet, you would have to monitor the amounts consumed.

In this article, we will discuss how to properly follow the Mediterranean keto diet.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet? 

The traditional Mediterranean diet mimics the diet of people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Italy, Greece, and Spain. However, it is quite the opposite of a typical Western diet. It focuses on fresh, whole foods and ingredients, lean protein, and healthy fats such as oils and nuts while limiting refined grains and highly processed foods.

Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets followed in the world.

Studies have shown that the Mediterranean eating style can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It can also reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, decrease blood sugar, lower LDL cholesterol, and improve brain function. With all these known health benefits, following the Mediterranean eating style is a no-brainer.

In addition to being the most overall healthy diet to follow, the Mediterranean diet is easy to follow and includes an abundance of delicious foods. Foods included are:

  • Fruits and vegetables – greens, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, cucumber, berries
  • Whole grains – brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, whole grain braid
  • Legumes – lentils, beans, chickpeas
  • Nuts and seeds – walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds
  • Healthy fats – avocado, olive oil, olives
  • Fish – salmon, white fish, tuna
  • Seafood – shrimp, mussels, lobster
  • Poultry – chicken and turkey
  • Dairy and eggs – yogurt, cheese, milk
  • Herbs and spices – garlic, basil, cilantro, parsley, mint

With such an extensive list of included foods comes an abundance of recipes and combinations to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Meals include grilled seafood and green vegetables, hearty and fibrous salads, and whole grain dishes with fresh and herbaceous sauces and dressings.

Small lifestyle changes or food choices may be all you need to transition into a typical Mediterranean diet. Start by incorporating more fruits and vegetables, add healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil, and swap fatty protein for lean protein sources such as seafood.

Mediterranean diets tend to have very few restrictions, making them easy to follow. It does limit eating processed foods, including sugary sweets and snacks, red meat, and saturated fats. However, by making a few changes, you can incorporate the Mediterranean diet into other lifestyles, including the keto lifestyle.

As you read on, you’ll learn the difference between keto and Mediterranean diet, including the types of fats typically consumed and how to seamlessly integrate the two.

What Is the Ketogenic Diet? 

The ketogenic diet, or “keto” for short, is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet designed to put your body into ketosis. Ketosis is the metabolic state in which the body uses up glucose and uses ketones for energy.

Low-carb diets can lower blood sugar levels, reduce insulin, and switch the body’s fuel source to fat.

People with epilepsy use the standard keto diet to control seizures. However, it has become popular as a diet to reduce body fat and lower the risk of chronic disease.

keto quiz

As mentioned, the standard keto consists of high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate intake. Therefore, macronutrient ratios are very different from traditional Westernized low-fat diets.

The keto diet typically yields 70–75% of calories from fat, 20–25% from protein, and 5–10% from carbohydrates. This ratio is significantly higher in fat than typically consumed by an individual each day.

However, it is crucial to recognize that these macronutrient ratios can and will differ for each person following the standard keto diet. Therefore, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before beginning any new weight loss diet.

Healthy keto foods are:

  • Grass-fed red meat
  • Fatty fish/seafood
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Cheese
  • Berries
  • Non-starchy (low-carb) vegetables, including cruciferous vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Full-fat dairy/high-fat dairy
  • Olive oil

Foods to avoid while on the keto diet:

  • Highly processed foods
  • Whole grains
  • Refined oils, including coconut oil
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Saturated fat sources
  • High-carb foods

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