Mediterranean diet and keto diet, which is better to lose weight and stay healthy? Perhaps the two most well-known diets of recent times divide protein supporters and carbohydrate fans. But is one really better than the other? To lose weight quickly, the keto diet gives immediate results, but it is more difficult to maintain, while the Mediterranean diet allows to outline a more sustainable eating style even in the long term.
Let’s analyse them one by one.
By keto diet we mean a NORMOPROTEIC, HYPERLIPIDIC, HYPOGLYCEMIC diet with such a modest carbohydrate intake, to activate a physiological modification of the body’s energy source, which leads to the formation of substances such as ketone bodies that induce a slight metabolic acidosis.
It is based on the assumption that a diet rich in proteins and lipids and at the same time very low in carbohydrates keeps insulin levels constant, avoiding the accumulation of fat and favouring its use for energy purposes.
Keto Diet: What It Provides
Often the keto diet is seen as a high-protein regimen, but in reality it is normoproteic. However, it is hyperlipidic, with a high content of fats (good, however) and a reduced intake of carbohydrates.
This diet activates a physiological response of the organism that leads to the formation of substances called ketone bodies that cause a slight metabolic acidosis. The body thus draws energy from these ketone bodies, rather than from carbohydrates, using fat for energy purposes.
The expected carbohydrate intake in the keto diet is less than 50 grams per day, while for protein we have 1.2 to 1.5 grams per kg of body weight. As you can easily imagine, this involves a certain weight loss especially in the first week, also because it triggers a reduction in appetite, due precisely to the production of ketone bodies, while improving insulin sensitivity.
The Advantages Of Keto Diet Are:
- High success rate;
- Loss of 10% of the ideal body weight (from 5 to 10 kg) in the short term (21 days);
- Significant and motivating weight loss;
- Absence of temptations;
- Reduction of appetite tone due to the direct effect of ketone bodies at the hypothalamic level;
- Protection of muscle mass;
- Energy, euphoria, well-being thanks to ketone bodies;
- Improves sensitivity to sugars;
- It improves the symptoms of neurological diseases such as epilepsy.
The Disadvantages Of Keto Diet Are:
- Bad breath;
- Transient headaches at the beginning of the diet;
- Low blood pressure;
- Menstrual disorders.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet instead represents a nutritional model inspired by the eating patterns widespread in some countries of the Mediterranean basin in the 50s. It is recognized by UNESCO as a protected asset and was included in 2010 in the list of oral and intangible heritage of humanity. The diet is based on foods such as whole grains with a low glycemic index, fruits, vegetables, seeds, olive oil, legumes, fish, white meat.
Mediterranean Diet: What It Provides
The discourse of the Mediterranean diet is very different: a regime that, unlike the keto diet, is based precisely on carbohydrates. It represents one of the best nutritional models, so much so that it is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
It’s based on whole grains with low glycaemic index, vegetables and fruits, oilseeds, dried fruit, extra virgin olive oil, fish (especially blue), legumes and white meat.
In the case of the Mediterranean diet the percentage of carbohydrates is very different from ketogenic, because it is about 55-60% on a standard day, while proteins cover about 15% of daily energy needs and fats between 25 and 30%”, adds the nutritionist.
The Advantages Of The Mediterranean diet Are:
- Acquisition of correct eating habits;
- Long-term lasting weight loss, avoiding the yo yo effect;
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease;
- Reduces the occurrence of tumors;
- Reduces the risk of diabetes;
- Prevents arterial hypertension;
- Prevents hepatic steatosis.
There are no side effects of the Mediterranean diet indeed it is proposed as the best diet because, unlike the ketogenic diet which is uneducational and cannot be prolonged over time, it represents a lifestyle, a model of nutritional education through which the correct eating habits are acquired.
The Mediterranean diet represents a model of awareness and acquisition of the rules of healthy nutrition thanks to which a subject can live in full health.
Weight loss is maintained and prolonged over time because regardless of therapeutic success, subjects radicalise the food choices that become part of the daily routine.
Advantages And Similarities Between Mediterranean Diet And Keto Diet
Both eating plans have been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol and increase the production of “good” cholesterol, thereby lowering triglyceride levels. This is very good, thanks to the fact that it prevents cardiovascular accidents. Both diets can contribute to weight loss and emphasise the consumption of fruits, vegetables and proteins.
The Difference Between Mediterranean Diet And Keto Diet
In the Mediterranean diet carbohydrates are not excluded, even if the consumption of refined sugars is reduced, while in the keto or keto diet you avoid eating carbohydrates.
If we compare the Mediterranean diet with other eating plans, it includes a higher intake of fats, although if we have the keto diet as a reference, they are consumed in smaller percentages.
Another difference is the type of fat you consume, in the Mediterranean diet you consume unsaturated fats such as fish and the keto diet allows you to eat both saturated and unsaturated fats, because the goal is to take in fat to immediately turn it into energy.
So Which Diet Is The Best?
Well, this depends on what you are looking for in particular, because if it comes to losing weight quickly, the most indicated would be the Keto diet, since the Mediterranean diet is more for people looking to have a healthier diet and stay in that state.
It is true that in terms of health, the Mediterranean diet will always exceed the performance of keto, since it prevents cardiovascular problems to a high extent, since high-quality fats are consumed, which are very beneficial.
The only problem is that you will lose weight, but at a very slow pace; on the other hand the Keto Diet has long-term consequences, such as excessive weight loss, so it is good to maintain it, but temporarily, later it is better to replace it with a diet that allows you to maintain your ideal weight.
So you could try the Keto diet first and after reaching the desired height, stop it and weigh yourself Mediterranean diet to maintain and avoid gaining weight.