The Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet for Optimal Health & Weight Loss
Why combine the Ketogenic and Mediterranean Diets?
Combining the Mediterranean and Ketogenic diets may have more significant health benefits than either diet alone, according to recent studies. Benefits include reduced inflammation, improved cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes markers, along with significant weight loss. Additionally, this diet combination may also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease while providing all of the known benefits of being in ketosis.
What is the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet?
Here are the 5 main concepts:
- Restrict carbs low enough to promote ketosis. Typically, total carbs should be below 35g and net carbs below 25g to stimulate ketone production and enter deeper levels of ketosis over time. This level of carb restriction can help reduce your appetite, boost weight loss, and significantly decrease your insulin, blood sugar, hbA1c, and triglyceride levels.
- Eat predominantly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can do this by eating olive oil, avocados, and avocado oil instead of butter and coconut oil. Replace red meat with fatty fish, seafood, poultry, and snack on low-carb nuts, seeds, olives, and dairy. This will increase your intake of healthy fats and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Get most of your carbs from keto-friendly vegetables. Eating plenty of leafy greens, colorful vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables is a must, with the goal of having them at every meal. These vegetables contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to help optimize your health.
- Use fish, seafood, poultry, and eggs as your primary protein sources. These protein sources are packed with protein, unsaturated fats, and other health-promoting compounds. Seafood including wild salmon, sardines, tuna, shrimp, shellfish, and mackerel may be some of the best options because they are relatively high in omega-3s. Pasture-raised eggs and poultry are great options as well.
- Adjust your protein and fat intake based on your goals. Eating enough protein is what will help you preserve muscle or build it (if you are lifting weights) while manipulating your fat intake will adjust both the speed of fat loss as well as satiety levels. Think of your fat intake as a lever, and adjust accordingly. Remember that consuming too much fat won’t allow your body to burn off its own fat reserves, and may stall fat loss. However, if you are eating too lean and find yourself hungry between meals, try upping the fat intake with the healthy fats discussed in the post.
Let’s simplify it:
- Restrict carbs low enough to promote ketosis, typically less than 35g Total or 25g Net Carbs
- Eat mostly Polyunsaturated & Monounsaturated fats
- Get most of your carbs from low-carb vegetables
- Primary protein sources include seafood, poultry & eggs
- Adjust your protein: fat ratio based on your goals
Mediterranean Keto Food List
The Mediterranean keto diet primarily consists of these foods:
- Mediterranean protein sources — fatty fish, seafood, poultry, and eggs
- Fats/oils — olive oil, avocado oil, and MCT oil
- Low-carb vegetables — leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and other low-carb vegetables
- Low-carb fruits — avocados, olives, and tomatoes
- Common Mediterranean flavorings — basil, paprika, cumin, rosemary, cinnamon, oregano, fresh dill, coriander, saffron, lemon or lime juice, mint, parsley, garlic, etc.
Foods you can eat in moderation:
- Nuts and seeds — macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pecans, flax, chia seeds, and hemp hearts have the lowest carbs
- High-fat dairy — full-fat cheeses (parmesan, feta, goat, hard cheeses) & full-fat low-carb greek yogurt
- Low-carb fruits — all berries
- Red meat — beef, pork, veal, lamb, etc.
- Saturated fat-rich fats/oils — coconut oil, butter, ghee, and animal fats
Limit these common keto foods:
- Coconut oil
- Butter, ghee, lard
- Heavy cream
- Fatty cuts of red meat
Foods to avoid:
- Grains – wheat, corn, rice, oats
- Legumes — beans and lentils
- Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Fruit – apples, bananas, pineapple, oranges, etc.
- Tubers – potato, yams, etc.
3-Day Mediterranean Diet Kickstart
Looking for a delicious and nutritious meal plan that combines the best of both worlds? Look no further! Our 3-day Mediterranean ketogenic meal plan brings together the heart-healthy benefits of the Mediterranean diet with the metabolism-boosting advantages of a ketogenic diet.
With 25g or fewer of carbohydrates per day, this meal plan will help you achieve optimal health and wellness while indulging in delectable and satisfying meals. Get ready to say goodbye to bland and boring diets and hello to a new, exciting way of eating that will leave you feeling full, energized, and rejuvenated. So, let’s get started!
- 3 egg omelet with spinach, mushrooms, and feta cheese
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup of coffee with coconut milk
- Sauteed shrimp with garlic
- Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chopped pecans, olives, and goat cheese
- Dress with olive oil and vinegar of choice
- Baked chicken thighs with garlic and rosemary
- Cauliflower rice with Parmesan cheese
- Steamed green beans
- Greek yogurt with mixed berries and a handful of almonds
- 3 scrambled eggs with sun-dried tomatoes
- Smoked salmon roll-ups with cream cheese, dill, and capers
- 1/2 cup of hummus with celery sticks
- Salmon with lemon and dill
- Zucchini noodles with garlic, capers, parmesan, and olive oil
- Veggie omelet with bell peppers, onions, and goat cheese
- 1/2 cup of mixed berries
- Grilled chicken or canned tuna
- Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, feta, walnuts, olives, and cucumber
- Dress with your favorite low-carb vinaigrette
- Shrimp and chicken skewers with lemon and rosemary
- Roasted brussels sprouts with red onion
- Cucumber and tomato salad with olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil