What is the Mediterranean Keto Diet?
The Mediterranean keto diet is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the ketogenic diet. It emphasizes healthy fats, moderate protein, and low-carb intake. This means that the majority of your daily caloric intake should come from healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds, and fatty fish like salmon. Protein should be moderate, coming from sources such as fish, chicken, turkey, and eggs. Carbs should be kept low, with most of your carb intake coming from non-starchy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Benefits of the Mediterranean Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is well-known for its weight loss benefits, but the Mediterranean keto diet also offers a host of other health benefits. Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can improve heart health, lower inflammation, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Additionally, the Mediterranean keto diet can promote good gut health by increasing beneficial bacteria and reducing the bad ones.
How to Follow the Mediterranean Keto Diet
Following the Mediterranean keto diet is easy with a little planning and preparation. A sample day on the diet might include a breakfast of scrambled eggs with spinach and feta, a lunch of a Greek salad with chicken, and a dinner of salmon with a side of roasted vegetables. Snacks could include a handful of macadamia nuts or a hard-boiled egg. Meal prepping and finding keto-friendly alternatives for your favorite foods can also help make the diet more sustainable.
Here are some key elements of a Mediterranean keto diet and some tips for incorporating them into your meals:
- Healthy fats: The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy fats such as olive & avocado oil, avocados, olives, and nuts.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: The Mediterranean diet is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Common vegetables include tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, artichokes, and leafy greens. Lemons and limes are used in a variety of Mediterranean dishes for their acidic flavor and are also used for garnish.
- Herbs and spices: The Mediterranean diet is known for its use of herbs and spices such as oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. These can be used to add flavor to dishes without adding extra carbs.
- Fermented foods: Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt can help improve digestion and boost gut health.
- Reduce processed food: Processed foods are generally high in added sugars, additives, and unhealthy fats, so they are best to be avoided.
Proteins on the Mediterranean Keto Diet
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes lean protein sources, making it a great option for those following a ketogenic diet. Here are some Mediterranean keto-friendly protein options to include in your meals:
- Fish and seafood: Fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are great sources of lean protein. Shellfish such as shrimp, crab, and mussels are also great options.
- Poultry: Chicken, turkey, and duck are all lean sources of protein that can be used in a variety of dishes.
- Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats, and they’re very versatile.
- Pork: Pork tenderloin, pork loin, and pork chops are lean cuts of pork that are suitable for a Mediterranean keto diet.
- Lamb: Lamb is a traditional protein in the Mediterranean diet. Try ground lamb, leg of lamb, and lamb chops.
- Game meats: Game meats such as venison, bison, and wild boar can be lean and rich in flavor.
- Tofu and tempeh: These are great options for vegetarians and vegans, as they are both made of soybeans and a good source of plant-based protein.
It’s also important to mention that when consuming red meat, it should be consumed in moderation and lean cuts should be chosen. Additionally, when buying meats, look for grass-fed, organic, and locally sourced options that can be more nutritious and sustainable.
The Mediterranean keto diet is a delicious and healthy way to lose weight and improve overall health. By emphasizing healthy fats, moderate protein, and low-carb intake, the diet can provide a host of health benefits while still being satisfying and enjoyable to eat. If you’re interested in trying the Mediterranean keto diet, be sure to consult your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before starting any new diet.