Keto vs. Mediterranean: Which Diet Is Really Better for You?

    The Mediterranean and keto diets are both extremely popular worldwide for various reasons, despite being incredibly different. In a nutshell, ketogenic meals have low carbs, moderate protein, and high fats. In contrast, the Mediterranean options are plant-based with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. 

    So which is better in the Mediterranean Diet Vs. keto debate? Let’s expand this topic into a detailed discussion.

    Keto vs. Mediterranean: Which Diet Is Really Better for You?
    Written By: Adam Dagan MDS

    True Diet: Mediterranean Diet Vs. Keto

    A diet plan showcases the type of food you can and can’t eat, along with clear guidelines for what is and isn’t restricted. In essence, people use it for medical reasons, to lose weight, or for personal physical development.

    In this context, the keto plan is absolutely a diet. It has defined stipulations on what you can consume, and you’ll even measure the grams you eat per meal. On the other hand, the Mediterranean program is more of an eating plan than a diet, despite being called that. It has a holistic view of food intake without rigid rules.

    Comparing Main Ingredients

    The most significant aspect of the keto diet is that you need to focus on high-fat, low-carb meals. It’s generally used for building muscle instead of staying lean. Here are some of the food groups you may find:

    • Unprocessed meat (proteins should maximum 30% of the macronutrients)

    • Leafy greens

    • Avocados

    • Eggs

    • Nuts and Seeds with low carbs

    • Olive and coconut oil

    • Dairy (full-fat)

    • Berries (restrict other fruit)

    • Vegetables

    • Dark Chocolate

    The Mediterranean plan deals more with whole foods with a primary base of plants, but some meats are acceptable. Here’s an example of what you might find in a serving:

    • Fruits

    • Whole grains

    • Vegetables

    • Nuts and seeds

    • Fish and poultry

    • Olive or canola Oil

    • Legumes (beans and peas)

    • Herbs and spices (low salt intake)

    • Red wine (in moderation)

    Which Diet is More Restrictive?

    One of the most significant differences when comparing Mediterranean Diet Vs. keto is that the latter is more restrictive. It literally indicates which foods you can’t consume, making it more challenging to adjust. You also need to keep your daily carb count to a minimum.

    In contrast, the Mediterranean plan concentrates on inclusion instead of exclusion. You can change menus to suit your tastes as you like without messing with your diet. Its primary focus is on foods rich with plants, but you can sneak in poultry and fish if you wish.

    Once you have signed up, you can choose your subscription or meal option. There are three meal options to choose from:

    Different Fats

    The one aspect both programs have in common is that they incorporate fats. However, the keto diet emphasizes a high fat intake to make up for the lack of carbs. It’s essential for the ketogenic process so that the body turns the fat into muscle. 

    People once believed that the Mediterranean plan was high in fats, but when compared to keto, it really doesn’t come close. Sure, you’ll still consume fats, but it concentrates on the healthier versions. For instance, you’re looking at olive oil and avocados as some of your options.

    Nutrients or Not

    Where the Mediterranean Diet Vs. keto debate comes to a head is that the former calls for food rich in nutrients. There’s plenty of fiber and carbohydrates, while you’ll also receive a generous intake of protein. Most of these nutrients are from legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    Keto doesn’t follow this guideline at all. As long as you consume meals high in fat and low in carbs, you’re good to go. Whether or not it has nutrients is up to you to determine.

    Tracking Food

    Since keeping carbs low is vital in the keto diet, you’ll need to count how much you take in daily. There’s a minimum amount to keep it under if you want to succeed in your body remaining in the ketogenic state. Hit over that limit, and your body may lose some of the progress you’ve made so far.

    The Mediterranean plan doesn’t care how many fats, proteins, and carbs you eat. As a matter of fact, it focuses more on which foods you’ll absorb instead of how many. That’s the reason it doesn’t work well for losing weight and building muscle as the keto diet.

    Similarities between Mediterranean and Keto

    While we’ve spent an excessive amount of time looking at the differences, there are actually many similarities between the two. These defined states are vague to quantify, but we’ll highlight a few points where they meet in agreement:

    • Whole foods: Both ways of eating encourage removing processed foods and including whole foods.

    • Fat is good: Neither option eliminates fats from the equation; the only difference is in the types allowed.

    • Losing weight: There’s no doubt that you can use both options for losing weight, as long as you plan your meals properly.

    • Similar ingredients: Although we showed you what each diet consists of, there are similar ingredients between them, such as eggs, vegetables, and fatty fish.

    Which Diet is Better for You?

    The diet that works better for you ultimately depends on your goals. Keto is excellent for stripping weight quickly and building muscle. It is also helpful for suppressing your appetite if you enjoy food too much.

    With the Mediterranean plan, you’ll lose weight more steadily over time. You can continue to eat carbs if that’s your passion, while you can consume any fats you’d like. Moreover, it’s ideal if you want to look after your cardiovascular system.

    Final Thoughts on Mediterranean Diet Vs. Keto

    Finding the answer to the Mediterranean Diet Vs. keto question about which is better can be challenging. At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve. We hope this guide has given you a detailed insight into what each plan consists of and how to choose the one that suits you most.