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Keto Diet Vs The Mediterranean Diet by JD

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By: JD

The Keto Diet vs the Mediterranean Diet

Source: Keto Diet Vs The Mediterranean Diet | Curious About Stuff

JD of Curious About Stuff highlights the differences between the Keto and Mediterranean Diet

Source: Keto Diet Vs The Mediterranean Diet | Curious About Stuff

Nutrition advice evolves year after year. Naturally, the idea of the “perfect” diet is changing too.

Low-fat used to be all-the-rage until we started realizing it wasn’t sustainable for long-term weight loss or health. Now that we know fat is “in,” good and necessary, we’re faced with different recommendations within that realm.

We’ll be comparing the Keto diet vs the Mediterranean diet, summarizing each and then seeing where they are similar as well as different.

What is the Keto Diet?

Corn and Kale

Source: Kale | Penelope Peru Photography P³

The ketogenic diet is a strictly modified form of the original Atkins diet; a low-carb and high-protein diet.

Atkins first came on the scene in the 1980’s, and it was revolutionary in its advice to eat more fat and reduce carbs.

The ketogenic diet focuses on very high fat (at least 70-80%), moderate protein (20-25%), and very low carb intake (5-10%). It’s been discovered to be helpful for everything from weight loss to possible alternative cancer therapies, according to research published by AGING.

The idea behind the Keto diet is to put the body into ketosis, a metabolic state where the body uses up all its carb reserves and begins burning fat for energy instead.

Ketosis has many health benefits & is also used as a preventative diet for chronic disease.

The Keto Diet

  • Fats include healthy oils, avocados, fatty nuts or nut butter, eggs, and full-fat dairies like butter or ghee.
  • Animal proteins including beef, poultry, organ meats, fatty fish, and eggs.
  • Non-starchy and low-carb vegetables.
  • None or very limited amounts of fruits and only those that are low in sugar like berries.
  • NO sugars, flours, or processed foods as any extra carbs can kick you out of ketosis.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Spinach Salad

Source: Spinach Salad | Penelope Peru Photography P³

The popularity of the Mediterranean Diet’s has been prevalent for many years.

The Mediterranean Diet is based on the dietary choices of people in France, Italy, and Spain during the 1940-50s.

The actual diet of those around the Mediterranean Sea varies quite a bit. In studies, the diet typically has fats making up about 30% (about 8% or less from saturated), protein making up about 20%, and carbohydrates making up about 50%.

The Mediterranean Diet

  • High-quality oils, mostly olive oil.
  • Beans and legumes, such as beans, peas, and lentils.
  • An abundance of fruits and vegetables.
  • Dairy products, especially yogurt and cheese.
  • Fish as the main source of non-vegetarian protein — at least twice a week.
  • Unrefined whole grains, including brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain bread.
  • Moderate wine drinking.
  • Low amount of meat products, besides fish.
  • Little to no refined sugars, flours, and processed foods.

This diet became highly recommended after it was found to lower the risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) reports.

The high levels of oleic acid from olive oil and polyphenols from wine is thought to provide many benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

Keto Vs Mediterranean: Similarities

Both diets share a few notable similarities, including:

Health Benefits

There are health benefits for both diets. 

For example, the ketogenic diet has been shown to help increase HDL cholesterol, lower LDL and total cholesterol, and lower triglycerides. It’s been used by those with type 2 diabetes. In preliminary research, it has even shown promise for use in treating and preventing serious conditions like cancer.

The Mediterranean diet has been in mainstream practice much longer than the Keto diet and brings a few similar results. A meta-analysis done in 2014 found a relationship between more olive oil consumption and reduced risk of death, stroke, and heart disease.

These benefits have yielded especially successful results for long-term weight loss when compared to low-fat diets.

When comparing low-fat, low-carb, and Mediterranean diets, the results showed both the Mediterranean and low-carb diet brought more weight loss over time than the low-fat group, according to the American Journal of Medicine.

Sodium Intake

Both Keto and Mediterranean diets may be higher in salt than other “clean” diets.

The Mediterranean diet is high in sodium due to oily dressings with high salt and foods like olives, anchovies, and cured cheeses.

Foods on the Keto diet are actually naturally very low in salt, so adding salt is encouraged to avoid electrolyte deficiencies.

“Clean” Foods

Both diets also emphasize eating whole, fresh vegetables and proteins and avoiding added sugars, additives, chemicals, and processed foods.

Keto Vs Mediterranean: How They Differ

Although they share a few common benefits, the ketogenic diet and Mediterranean diet do have many differences:

Carb Intake

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy fats and eliminates refined sugars, but it also includes a very high amount of carbohydrates, including: fruits, whole grain breads, and pastas.

The standard version of the Mediterranean diet is really in no way a low-carb diet.

In contrast, the ketogenic diet is strictly very low in all carbohydrates, even the unrefined versions.

Fat Intake

The Mediterranean diet is higher in fat compared with standard low-fat diets, but it’s much lower in fat percentage than Keto.

The type of fat is also different. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes unsaturated fats from oils and fish, while keto foods include both saturated and unsaturated fats.


Both ways of eating can help improve health, especially if someone was eating junk before. However, the purpose of the ketogenic diet is much deeper. It’s more than just a weight loss or health diet; it’s designed to “hack” the body’s metabolic state through ketosis.

For someone simply interested in eating better and losing weight, the Mediterranean diet can be a good place to start, but the high carbohydrate intake, especially from grains and pasta, is problematic in the long run.

Instead, the Mediterranean diet could be used as a springboard for gradually moving into a more low-carb diet, like Keto.

The Keto-Mediterranean Diet: Best of Both Worlds


Source: Gone Fishin’ at Lake Billy Chinook | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Some people follow something called the “Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet” that incorporates the best of each diet. This diet features about 7-10% carbs, 55-65% fat, 22-30% protein, and 5-10% alcohol.

The Keto-Mediterranean Diet

  • High amounts of healthy oils (especially coconut and olive) and other plant fats like avocados.
  • Fatty fish as the main protein source along with eggs, cheese, and lean meats.
  • Lots of salad and non-starchy vegetables.
  • A moderate intake of red wine.

Just like with the keto diet, starches, sugars, and grain-based flours are completely eliminated. The difference is that the Keto-Mediterranean diet emphasizes slightly different fat sources than the standard keto diet. It also allows red wine.

When it comes down to it, the fact is that most people need some type of nutritional intervention – whether that comes from the Mediterranean or the ketogenic diet.

The difference is that the ketogenic diet is more updated with recent research and brings about specific results from being in ketosis, which we at Curious About Stuff personally favor above all.

The keto diet is the easiest way to burn fat! When your body is in ketosis, it is burning fat cells for energy instead of carbs – I recommend trying Purefit KETO to kickstart this process!

Bug’s Two Cents

We often take our bodies for granted and never pay much thought into what we shovel down our throats.

Whether it boils down to a ignorance, laziness, or a lack of resources, a well-balanced diet is just as important as staying hydrated and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

I really appreciate JD allowing me to share his highly informative article about the keto and Mediterranean diets and encourage you to check out his blog for even more insightful content!

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