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Do you know the difference between Keto, Paleo, Low-carb, and Mediterranean?

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

The Ketogenic Diet:

The Ketogenic diet focuses on eating high-fat foods with moderate proteins and a low amount of carbohydrates. The primary goal of the keto diet is to help you achieve and sustain nutritional ketosis- a metabolic state that occurs when the body uses fat for fuel instead of glucose.

  • Has rigid rules about what you can and can’t eat

  • High in fat as this diet promotes the utilization of fat for energy

  • Moderate protein

  • Very low carbohydrate. Levels need to be between 20-50g a day

  • Cheese, bacon, and butter are high fat and are okay

  • Does not emphasize nutrient-rich foods

  • Counting carbohydrates, proteins and fats is very important to maintain ketosis

  • Almost no sugar due to very low carbohydrates

The Paleo Diet:

The paleo diet is designed to resemble what our Paleolithic ancestors ate when they were hunters and gatherers thousands of years ago. Researchers believe their diet largely consisted of whole foods. The Paleo diet entails eating whole foods like meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc; while avoiding processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, trans fats, vegetable oils, margarine, etc.

  • Emphasizes meat, fish and seafood, nuts, and eggs as sources of protein

  • Includes a diet full of vegetables and fruits

  • Healthy fats and oils are encouraged; such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil

  • Avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries

  • Avoid grains like bread and pasta

  • Limit trans fats

The Mediterranean Diet:

The Mediterranean diet is regarded as the healthiest diet and studies have shown how it promotes health and longevity. This diet focuses on eating plant-based foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. Promotes eating whole foods and few processed foods. You could consider the Mediterranean diet to be more of an eating pattern than a diet, as it doesn't have such strict restrictions.

  • Emphasizes olive oil and other healthy fats such as avocados

  • Whole grains

  • Legumes

  • Leafy greens

  • Emphasizes nutrient-rich foods

  • No need to count calories or carbohydrates

  • Lower intake of sugar due to the amount of other fresh foods

The Low-Carb Diet:

A low-carb diet focuses on limiting your intake of grains, fruits, sweets, and starchy vegetables while eating more protein, natural fats, and non-starchy vegetables.

  • Low carb-diets largely consist of minimizing carbohydrate intake, especially simple and refined carbs.

  • The low-carb diet is looser in structure, most people do not eat enough fat to force your body to enter ketosis.

  • Typically, low-carb entails eating proteins and non-starchy vegetables, while limiting grains, fruits, bread, sweets, and starchy vegetables, like potatoes and peas.

  • Low-carb diets can be extremely successful in aiding and maintaining weight loss.

  • The total carbohydrate intake is <100g.

A Combination of Low-carb and Mediterranean:

Low-carb Mediterranean is a great way to incorporate the many health benefits of the Mediterranean diet but keeping carbohydrates low. The emphasis is on nutrient-rich foods but with very few grains and limited starchy carbohydrates. Keeping carbohydrates between 20-50mg a day would be more in line with a Keto-Mediterranean diet. A Low-Carb Mediterranean diet allows 20-100mg a day. This number varies depending on your physical activity and other metabolic numbers. Best to consume starchy carbs such as sweet potatoes and beans after an aerobic workout.

The Low-carb Mediterranean is a great way to eat for life!

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