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Mediterranean Keto Diet: What Is It, Benefits & Food List In 2023
The Mediterranean keto diet is a unique approach that merges the principles of the Mediterranean diet with the purported effectiveness of the standard ketogenic diet. It combines the wholesome ingredients of Mediterranean foods with low-carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic-friendly foods.
So, is the Mediterranean low-carbohydrate diet? This way of eating reduces saturated fat, and high carbohydrate food, and focuses on healthy fats, lean proteins, and abundant vegetables and fruits. The blend may help improve your health and promote weight loss if implemented safely and under appropriate supervision.
However, this diet lacks research and may not be appropriate for everyone.
- The keto Mediterranean diet meal plan combines elements of Mediterranean and ketogenic diets.
- It offers potential benefits: weight loss, heart health, cognitive function, blood sugar control, and reduced disease risk.
- Its drawbacks include food restrictions, potential nutrient deficiencies, sustainability challenges, adaptation periods, and individual variations.
What Is The Mediterranean Keto Diet?
Numerous studies compare the Mediterranean diet to the keto diet, but research regarding the combination is lacking. Nonetheless, the Mediterranean keto diet uniquely blends these two popular eating approaches. It combines the principles of these two diets to create a flexible eating habit that leads to low daily calorie intake.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes unprocessed plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and unrefined oils like olive oil. In contrast, the ketogenic diet focuses on low-carbohydrate intake and high consumption of healthy fats.
It promotes consuming low-fat and nutrient-rich foods while achieving a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. This can lead to weight loss, improved blood sugar control, enhanced cognitive function, and reduced inflammation.
Who Would Benefit Most From A Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet?
The Mediterranean ketogenic diet may help improve health and well-being. The Mediterranean keto diet may help those who want to lose weight. It may also help manage diabetes (type 2 diabetes) or insulin resistance, improve heart health, or enhance cognitive function.
Additionally, if you enjoy a wide range of flavors and want to maintain a diverse meal plan, this way of eating might appeal to you. It incorporates healthy fats, lean proteins, and abundant vegetables and fruits. If you are already familiar with and enjoy Mediterranean region cuisine, it may be easier to transition to this diet.
Health Benefits Of The Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet
If you are still skeptical about incorporating this diet long term, here are potential Mediterranean and keto-friendly food benefits:
Weight Loss And Body Fat Reduction
The Mediterranean keto diet may support weight loss by encouraging the body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. By limiting carb consumption and focusing on healthy fats and proteins, this diet can help you shed excess pounds and reduce body fat. You may use a diet meal replacement strategy by controlling your portions.
Improved Heart Health
Combining the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet with the low-carb ketogenic diet may lower the risk of developing heart disease. It emphasizes consuming healthy fats, such as olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids, which can significantly improve cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. This is because of the abundant monounsaturated fats that can treat inflammation. Still, research remains conflicting.
Enhanced Cognitive Function
The Mediterranean keto diet’s emphasis on healthy fats and nutrient-dense foods can potentially improve brain health. Healthy fats, like those found in fish and nuts, provide essential nutrients for brain function and may help protect against cognitive decline.
Blood Sugar Control
People living with diabetes may consider the Mediterranean keto diet as it may help regulate blood sugar levels. By reducing carbohydrate intake, this diet can minimize spikes in blood sugar, leading to improved glycemic control.
Reduced Disease Risk
This diet’s combination of Mediterranean and ketogenic principles can help reduce disease risk. This may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Nutrient-Rich And Varied Diet
The typical Mediterranean diet with low-carb foods encourages the consumption of a wide range of nutrient-rich foods. This includes vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This promotes a balanced and varied diet, ensuring you receive essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Mediterranean Keto Diet Food List
Natural Unsaturated Healthy Fats
You can cook with or drizzle natural unsaturated healthy fats.
Lean proteins are great for the Mediterranean diet.
- Fish and seafood.
- Poultry, such as chicken and turkey.
- Greek yogurt.
- High-fat dairy in moderation.
An abundance of veggies for vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant fix.
- Leafy greens, like spinach, kale, and arugula.
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
- Green vegetables, such as zucchini, asparagus, and green beans.
- Colorful peppers.
Flavorful Herbs And Spices
The Mediterranean diet is complete with flavourful herbs and spices.
Fruits In Moderation
Fruits offer an abundant antioxidant fix.
- Berries, like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
- Citrus fruits, like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits.
Limited Carbohydrate Intake
You still need to take these carbs for energy.
- Whole grains in moderation.
- Chia seeds.
- Low-carb nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
Remember to moderate these foods and adjust them based on your dietary needs. Consider meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to address your individualized nutrition needs based on your medical history.
Easy Mediterranean Keto Diets Meal Plan
If you are seeking a sample meal plan to eat plenty of Mediterranean and keto foods, here is one:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach and feta cheese cooked in olive oil.
Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.
Dinner: Baked salmon with roasted asparagus and a side of cauliflower rice.
Snack: A serving of almonds.
Breakfast: Greek yogurt topped with berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
Lunch: Mediterranean tuna salad with canned tuna, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and a lemon-olive oil dressing.
Dinner: Grilled chicken skewers with bell peppers and zucchini served with a Greek salad.
Snack: Sliced cucumber with tzatziki dip.
Breakfast: Spinach and feta omelet cooked in olive oil.
Lunch: Caprese salad with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Dinner: Baked cod with roasted Brussels sprouts and a side of quinoa.
Snack: Celery sticks with almond butter.
Breakfast: Avocado and smoked salmon roll-ups.
Lunch: Greek salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
Dinner: Zucchini noodles with sautéed shrimp in garlic and olive oil.
Snack: Hard-boiled eggs.
Breakfast: Berry smoothie made with almond milk, spinach, and a scoop of protein powder.
Lunch: Grilled halloumi cheese salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a lemon-olive oil dressing.
Dinner: Baked chicken thighs with roasted broccoli and a side of quinoa.
Snack: Mixed nuts.
Breakfast: Vegetable omelet cooked in coconut oil.
Lunch: Mediterranean chicken wrap using lettuce leaves as a wrap, filled with grilled chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tzatziki sauce.
Dinner: Baked turkey meatballs with zucchini noodles and marinara sauce.
Snack: Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of nuts and cinnamon.
Breakfast: Egg muffins with spinach, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Lunch: Shrimp and avocado salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and a lemon-olive oil dressing.
Dinner: Grilled steak with roasted cauliflower and a side of green salad.
Snack: Sliced bell peppers with guacamole.
Please remember that these sample meals do not address macronutrient needs. You can customize your menu of meals to meet your needs. Consider experimenting with a Spanish ketogenic Mediterranean diet or any prepared meal delivery services you may find appealing. Still, you must be mindful of foods outside the diet’s recommendations.
Finally, adjust your portion sizes according to your caloric and macronutrient needs per day for optimal health and weight management.
Mediterranean Keto Diet Drawbacks
Here are some ways these keto and Mediterranean diets work against you:
- Restrictive nature: The Mediterranean keto diet restricts specific foods. The diet eliminates healthy sources of carbohydrate intake, making it challenging to stick to in the long run.
- Potential nutrient deficiencies: You may miss certain essential nutrients in carbohydrate-rich foods due to the limited carbohydrate intake. Also, you may lack fiber and certain multivitamins in this diet. So, plan and perhaps use supplements for the missing nutrients.
- Sustainability and practicality: Following a Mediterranean keto diet may require significant effort in meal planning. The food preparation and finding suitable options, especially while dining out, make it less practical for some people.
- Adaptation period: Switching to a ketogenic state may involve an adaptation period known as the “keto flu,” where you may experience temporary symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and irritability.
- Individual variations: Dieters’ effectiveness and suitability may vary. The success may be based on critical factors such as metabolism, health conditions, and personal preferences.
The Mediterranean keto diet offers a unique blend of Mediterranean and ketogenic diets, combining the purported beneficial aspects of both cuisines. It can provide benefits such as weight loss, improved heart health, enhanced cognitive function, and reduced inflammation.
However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential drawbacks associated with this diet, including its restrictiveness. Other limits are nutrient deficiencies, sustainability, and the need for an adaptation period.
So, weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks. Then decide whether the Mediterranean keto diet aligns with your health goals and lifestyle preferences. Consult a registered dietitian for guidance.
+ 15 sources
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