Ketogenic and Mediterranean Diets Effective Against Diabetes


Pitting a ketogenic diet against a Mediterranean diet in pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes patients, scientists have learned that both confer metabolic benefits, but “keto” also has a darker side [1].

Diabetes is often reversible with diet

While many anti-diabetes drugs have been developed in recent decades, with some being repurposed as anti-aging drugs [2], there is a growing understanding that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and even reversed with the help of a healthy diet [3].

However, there is an ongoing battle between diets, such the ketogenic diet and the Mediterranean diet. The latter is less restrictive, more balanced, and arguably has greater scientific evidence behind it [4], while the former touts inducing the state of ketosis, the metabolic switch from carbohydrates to fat as the body’s main energy source, as its main advantage.

“Keto” is thought to be quite effective when it comes to weight loss, but since it derives most calories from animal protein and fat (although some rather convoluted vegan variants exist), it is suspected of raising cholesterol levels, including LDL, a form of cholesterol with largely harmful effects.

Keto vs Med

In this new study, the researchers directly pitted those two diets against each other in people with pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. The study consisted of two arms, numbering 16 and 17 participants, with a median age of 60 years and a median BMI of 30. Both arms started with one diet, either the ketogenic or the Mediterranean, and switched to the other diet after 12 weeks for another 12 weeks. At the end of the study, there were 12 additional weeks of follow-up.

With diets, the devil is in the details; for instance, foods packed with empty calories, such as French fries, can be part of a vegan diet. To account for this, the researchers tried to make the two diets as healthy as possible. They used a well-formulated ketogenic diet (WFKD) and encouraged the participants on the Mediterranean diet to enhance it by completely avoiding refined sugars and grains (Med-Plus).

According to the researchers, both diets incorporate three key nutrition principles endorsed by diabetes organizations…

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