The findings show that the adoption of a modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet can not only aid weight loss but also improve blood circulation and glucose management.
The most popular weight-loss diets have one huge problem that is easily recognised by most users as well as researchers, and that’s a lack of long-term compliance. It’s easy to pick up a diet and stick to it with sheer grit and determination to lose weight for a few weeks. Adopting a weight-loss diet as a lifestyle and adhering to it for years, for consistent weight loss and maintenance, is another story.
This has been a major problem with the ketogenic diet. “The ketogenic diet provides us energy from the ketosis process, and many studies have shown that it has a great impact on weight loss, epilepsy and other health conditions,” says Akanksha Mishra, a nutrition and wellness expert associated with myUpchar. “But we are still unaware of the long-term results and side effects of this diet, primarily because it is so restrictive that it is really hard to follow in the long run.”
Mishra further indicates that with carbohydrates accounting for a large part of the typical Indian diet, adoption of the keto diet might be even more difficult. “One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables,” she adds. “At the beginning of the keto diet, some people may feel a little tired, while some may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems. This also affects the sustainability of this diet. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because the keto diet can worsen their condition.”
Add a little Mediterranean for better results
What you need to understand about nutrition science is that it’s constantly evolving to present better options to you, not just for weight loss but for overall good health and wellbeing. Disease prevention through nutrition is a constant subject of research, and scientists have been looking at ways to modify the keto diet to make it sustainable for longer periods of time and to amplify its benefits. Research studies have indicated that a modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet (MMKD), also known as Keto 2.0 diet, provides the best of these two diet systems.
As you may already know, the Mediterranean diet is based on the eating habits of the people of Italy, Greece and Spain in the 1960s and is known to not only reduce the risk of chronic diseases but also expand lifespans as proved by the Blue Zones diet project. “There are a lot of studies which confirm that the Meditteranean diet is good for the heart, and to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases,” Mishra says. “This diet has a good combination of various essential nutrients like vitamins, protein and carbs as the diet is largely based on the consumption of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains.”
Benefits of modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet
A study in Nutrients published in 2013 shows that the combination of Mediterranean and keto diets makes long-term weight loss not just possible but successful. This study observed as 89 male and female participants, between the age of 25 and 75, adopted this combination diet for over 12 months and found that only eight subjects failed to adhere to the diet for longer than six months. The rest of the participants not only had significant and stable weight loss but also decreased levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides and glucose.
The findings show that the adoption of a modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet can not only aid weight loss but also improve blood circulation and glucose management. This, in turn, can help keep obesity, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes at bay. A recent study published in EBioMedicine indicates that the MMKD improves the gut microbiome and cerebrospinal fluid in such a way that the risks of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are reduced.
Neurodegenerative disorders can be quite debilitating as you grow older and the MMKD is one of the proposed therapies, especially for Alzheimer’s disease.
How to adopt a modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet
The MMKD is still a high-fat and low-carb diet, but it’s not focused on very low carbs and saturated fats – the addition of components of the Mediterranean diet ensures that. In a traditional keto diet, you would get 60-75 percent of your calories from fats, 15-30 percent of the calories from protein, and just 5-10 percent of calories from carbohydrates. In the modified diet, you’d have to get 50 percent calories from fats, 30 percent from protein and 20 percent from carbs. The following are the things you can eat in the modified diet:
- Fish should be consumed every day and should make for half of your animal protein intake. Chicken, turkey, eggs, shrimp, lobster and pork can be consumed.
- Olives and olive oil (extra-virgin and virgin) should be consumed daily.
- Nuts and seeds of a wide variety.
- Vegetables and fruits of as wide a variety as possible. These are the major sources of your carb intake in this diet.
- Cheese, butter, full-fat milk and other dairy products.
- A glass of red wine or red grape juice can be consumed every day. Black coffee and black tea can be consumed in moderation but without any sugar.
For more information, read our article on the Ketogenic diet.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.