Mediterranean Keto Diet Meal Plan
This meal plan can be easily customized. It doesnt call for eating a lot of lunch leftovers . Eat more leftovers to cut down on cooking time .
If you want to meal-prep, breakfast on day 1 and lunch on days 2-7 can all be made ahead of time.
Every day includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one no-prep snack. Total time spent in the kitchen varies from 40 to 70 minutes per day.
Feel free to make substitutions .
Lets get started!
How Many Carbs Is Low Carb
Particularly, theres no actual number that defines low carb! There are several kinds of diet plans that offer different steps and guidelines.
Some basic low carb diets allow an intake of 50-100 grams of carbs. The basic diets are for beginners. When you go deeper in the low carb diet, moderate plans allow an intake of 100-150g carbs since you get more active and lean after experiencing weightloss.
But for people having low carb emails while being on a keto diet, you cannot go above 30g in carbs. Theres no particular number that states the term low-carb. All of it depends on the level you are!
Key Takeaways: The Science
The current literature suggests that the combination of the Mediterranean and keto diet may provide more significant health benefits than either diet on its own. These science-backed benefits include:
- Increased HDL cholesterol levels
- Significant fat loss
It is also reasonable to speculate that combining the key characteristics of each diet can also help us:
- Reduce cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality .
- Provide us with the unique benefits of ketosis and carb restriction .
However, there is one crucial limitation to the current data on this diet: No studies have been conducted comparing the Mediterranean keto diet to the standard keto diet, Mediterranean diet, and/or a low-fat diet control group. This makes it difficult to determine how significant the differences are between each diet.
Despite this limitation, the current data does show us that the Mediterranean keto diet has the potential to optimize at least ten key biomarkers associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and overall health all at once. This extends beyond what either the standard keto diet or the Mediterranean diet can help us achieve on their own.
To maximize these benefits, however, we must identify the primary principles responsible for the remarkable results. This will allow us to formulate a safe, simple, and highly effective Mediterranean keto diet.
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Mediterranean Keto: The Takeaway
The Mediterranean Keto diet takes Mediterranean staples like fresh unprocessed seafood, low-carb veggies, olive oil, full-fat dairy, and red wine, and tailors them to a keto macronutrient ratio.
Most people are already familiar with the benefits of a Mediterranean diet that replaces processed foods with fresh whole foods.
A Mediterranean keto diet takes these benefits and adds the dramatic improvements associated with ketogenic diets. These include protection against neurodegenerative diseases, many forms of cancer, metabolic disease, insulin resistance, and infertility.
The Case For The Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet: The Best Of Both Worlds
In 2008, researchers from Spain sought to explore the potential impact of combining the ketogenic diet with the Mediterranean diet. Their diet plan featured these primary characteristics:
- Unlimited calories .
- Olive oil as the major source of added fat, with over 2 tablespoons consumed per day.
- Green vegetables and salads as the primary carbohydrate source.
- Fish was the major source of protein.
- Participants also drank a moderate amount of daily wine .
The researchers called this a Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean diet, and it resulted in changes youd expected from a standard keto diet, including significant decreases in body fat, blood pressure, glucose, and triglycerides.
The most noteworthy finding, however, was what happened to each subjects cholesterol numbers. On average, there was a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol .
In other words, the Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean diet mitigated the increase in LDL cholesterol commonly experienced as a result of standard keto dieting while keeping its HDL boosting benefits. This indicates that consuming more unsaturated fat-rich foods like fish and olive oil and less saturated fat from other animal foods while restricting carbs may be a suitable strategy for those who struggle with unhealthy cholesterol levels.
- Significant reductions in total cholesterol
- Significant decreases in LDL cholesterol
- Increases in HDL cholesterol
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Mediterranean Diet Vs Keto Mediterranean Diet
Although the Mediterranean keto diet provides us with most of the benefits of keto and the Mediterranean diet all in one, this doesnt mean we should ignore the traditional Mediterranean diet altogether. In fact, a Mediterranean diet with moderate carbs may be the best option for some people.
Here are the three main instances when the Mediterranean diet may be the better option:
Shrimp And Sausage Skillet Meal
I love Meat and Seafood combos very much, the most sizzling foods on the table. These dishes are very popular and available in almost all restaurants!
Theres one not-so-satisfying thing in restaurants: calorie count. Its too much! But, Paleonewbie manages to compress the calorie count and created one of the best low carb recipes for weightloss which tastes delicious.
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How To Implement A Low
If youre looking to try a low-carb, high-fat Mediterranean eating plan, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Begin to reduce your portion of carb by 50% of current intake at meals and supplement with additional fat included with the meal, such as extra virgin olive oil added to protein or vegetables, avocado, nuts or seeds included in each meal, choose fatty fish more oftenideally two to four meals per week, says Zumpano.
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How Much Can Fit Into A Handful
Some of these veggies contain more carbs than others, but the amount is lower than in a potato, rice, wheat, barley etc Additionally, how much can fit in a handful of mixed veggies? Not a lot at all! It is enough to lift up the flavour, texture and overall feeling. The meal is still Low Carb but feels more relaxed and plentiful. Always make your meals colourful, attractive and inviting this is something we borrowed from Mediterranean cooking.
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Mediterranean Low Carb Is Still Kmd But Relaxed
Firstly, you will still be keeping your carbs low by adding smaller amounts of different foods to your meals. This means that youll be able to introduce more colours and seasonal varieties like Mediterranean people do. Furthermore, you can use small amounts of those ingredients which are slightly higher in carbs, but not starchy vegetables or grains. For example, in this Mediterranean Low Carb stew, you will notice I used a handful of mixed veggies. Some of them are higher in carbs but the amount is minimal.
Secondly, you will keep your protein as your primary nutrient the same as we do in KMD. For example, your meals will predominantly contain ruminant animal meat and offals. Furthermore, seafood, fish, and finally, eggs. These are your main ingredients. All your meals should consist of 70% of these ingredients. The plant-based foods will be used as a decoration or to enhance the flavour of your meals. You can also use them as small side dishes.
Thirdly, you will keep the fat moderate and go for naturally occurring fat. Theres no need to add too much fat if your protein source comes packed with it. Namely, fatty cuts of meat, bluefish can be cooked with minimal added fat. However, for whitefish, you can add a tablespoon or two of Olive oil or a teaspoon of butter. This will be more than enough for a single portion. When you think about it, Mediterranean Low Carb is quite economic, isnt it?
Steer Clear Of White Carbs
Since youre going low-carb, taking care of the primary carbohydrate sources should be your primary priority. The Mediterranean diet usually encourages the consumption of high-quality whole grain, but most of the time, people still include white bread, pasta, or rice in it. These should be severely minimized, if not completely made off-limits. Even whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat breads should be limited. Opt for quinoa and other whole grains more.
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Why The Mediterranean Diet Gets A Gold Star
The Mediterranean diet has been winning “best diet” awards for years now, and for good reason: Following a Mediterranean diet has been linked to reduced risk of disease and better heart health, according to the Mayo Clinic.
But the best part about the Mediterranean diet isn’t that it’s a concrete plan or dedicated to helping you drop pounds rather, it’s a way of eating that incorporates healthy fats, lots of fresh produce, and whole grains. Translation: You can do it for your entire life and never feel like you’re actually dieting.
Snag some of these easy Mediterranean diet recipes to create your own Mediterranean meal plan, or sprinkle them into your week to add some flair to your healthy eating routine.
What You Will Be Reducing Or Cutting Out To Be On A Low Carb Mediterranean Diet:
Most sweeteners especially sugar and brown sugar.
Most grains especially anything ultra processed.
Many bean dishes. This is unfortunate as beans are a large part of the Mediterranean Diet. As I said before, this is only temporary and beans can still be eaten, but you want to pay attention to how many carbs are in the beans you are eating.
Most starchy vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes. Personally, I find these to all be helpful for weight loss even if they are higher in carbs, but if you want to be super strict then they should be at least reduced.
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Why Mediterranean Keto
Both the keto diet and the Mediterranean diet have been shown to offer powerful health benefits. Yet, for many people, a typical keto diet can seem overly restricting, extreme, or downright scary.
This fear is linked to decades of misinformation about possible health risks of red meat and saturated fat. It can be hard for people to accept that keto-friendly plates of fatty steak drenched in butter, and lattes brimming with heavy cream are good for them.
On the other hand, the nutritional establishment has spent the last 50 years valorizing the high-carbohydrate veggies, whole grains, and fruits that are common in the Mediterranean diet.
Dubious healthy claims aside, these high-carb whole foods are probably an improvement to the highly processed grain and added sugars at the center of the Standard American Diet.
However, high-carb foods cut off Mediterranean dieters from the rapid weight loss, and proven impacts that keto diets have on cancer , neurological diseases including Alzheimers and Parkinsons , type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
When we combine keto and Mediterranean, the outcome is a way of eating that can be more comfortable and sustainable than a typical keto diet.
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Opt For Alternative Pastas
While certainly healthy and OK in moderation, pasta is a more concentrated source of carbohydrates. Pasta is a key player in the Mediterranean diet, promoted as an ideal partner for healthy vegetables, nuts, herbs and olive oil. For a low-carb variation, choose one of the plant-based noodle alternatives such as those made from butternut squash, zucchini, beet, turnips or spaghetti squash. A cup of spaghetti squash has 7 grams of carbohydrates versus 31 grams found in a semolina flour-based pasta counterpart.
Why This Recipe Works:
- Everything goes into an iron skillet or pan for a easy clean up one pot meal!
- Use chicken thighs or breasts depending on your preference.
- Sun dried tomatoes add a burst of color – use red bell peppers or pimentos if desired.
- Low carb as is- serve over couscous for others as desired.
- Ready in about 30 minutes!
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Opt For Yogurt And Cultured Cheese But Limit Dairy
Dairy contains lactose, a sugar found naturally in milk. It is typically only consumed several times a week on a classic Mediterranean diet. Instead, theres an emphasis on consuming fermented dairy in moderation, like yogurt and cultured cheeses, which are lower in carbs. They also tend to have a strong flavor: think cheeses like feta and Parmesan. Because they pack such a powerful punch, you can add them in smaller quantities to your favorite meals. In particular, Greek yogurt is a smart option because its strained of whey and tends to be lower in carbs and higher in protein compared to traditional yogurt.
The Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet 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 veggies >
- Low-carb fruits avocados, olives, and tomatoes
- Common Mediterranean flavorings paprika, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, coriander, anise, Spanish saffron, lemon or lime juice, mint, parsley, garlic, etc.
Foods you can eat in moderation:
- Nuts and seeds macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pecans, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are the lowest carb options.
- High-fat dairy hard full-fat cheeses, full-fat low-carb yogurt, heavy cream, etc.
- Low-carb fruits low-carb berries, melon, and other low-carb fruits >
- Red meat beef, pork, veal, lamb, etc.
- Saturated fat-rich fats/oils coconut oil, butter, ghee, and animal fats
If necessary, limit these common keto foods to help lower LDL cholesterol numbers:
- Coconut oil
- Fatty cuts of red meat
Foods to avoid:
- Grains wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
- Legumes lentils, black beans, peas, etc.
- Sugar honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Fruit apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Tubers potato, yams, etc.
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Brave The Dairy And Dont Skimp On The Olive Oil
Theres a common misconception that dairy is bad for you. Whats good is that recent studies are not correcting this. Why would it be included in the worlds healthiest diet in the first place? For one, nothing beats the health benefits of Greek yogurt, especially when it comes to promoting optimal digestion, besides making you feel fuller or providing more energy.
And who can forget olive oil, which is practically a staple of this diet? Olive oil already has a reputation for promoting heart health, thanks to it being a potent source of healthy fats. If theres one oil you should drizzle freely on your salads, cooked meals, and side dishes, its olive oil.
Best Keto Nuts And Seeds For Those On Keto Superfat
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Get Creative With Protein
While the Mediterranean diet heavily favors seafood , you can opt for lean land-based animal proteins, such as chicken breast, pork and turkey. Dont forget about plant-based protein sources, too. For example, a dollop of hummus offers protein and fiber , and it makes a great dipper for healthy, low-carb vegetables or a tasty, creative coating for lean chicken breast. Omelets and frittatas filled with vegetables are also great options for breakfast, lunch or even dinner on a low-carb Mediterranean diet.
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