Mediterranean vs. Keto Diet

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Cassandra Servitis, Staff Writer

One of the most controversial topics in the world is what diet works the best.  Two of the most popular diets people debate about are the Mediterranean Diet and Keto Diet. 

The Mediterranean Diet originated in Spain, Greece, Italy, and other countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea.  The main part of the diet includes olive oil, seafood, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.  Dairy products such as cheese and milk are also included in the diet, as well as eggs and poultry.  Unlike other fad diets, this diet does not have any extreme restrictions.

The Keto (ketogenic) Diet was first used in the 1920s and 1930s as a therapeutic treatment for people with epilepsy.  It was discovered that fasting was a way to control the condition.  Ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs, was the target for the Keto Diet.  The diet consists of eating low-carb, high fat foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, and vegetables.  Keto is a restrictive diet, unlike Mediterranean which does not have a caloric restriction.

When looking to see which diet is the healthiest, you have to look at the pros and cons of each one. A pro of the Mediterranean Diet is that it covers all major food groups and you can eat the foods you love.  A health benefit is it is low in saturated fats, which can prevent heart problems.  A con of the diet is that you won’t be able to consume as much milk as you’d like.  Milk contains calcium which is good for our bones, teeth, etc.  Although you will have yogurt and cheese, it is not enough to cover the amount of milk you are missing.

Moving on, a pro of the Keto Diet is it can lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes or even cancer.  Your glucose concentrations will be lower since your carb intake is lower.  According to the Warburg effect, “tumor cells can break down glucose much faster (specifically 200x faster) compared to typical cells”.  By “starving” your tumor cells of glucose, it can reduce their growth which in favor prevents cancer.  A major con to this diet, however, is possibly contracting the Keto Flu.  Carbs are the main source of energy for the body.  When eating less carbs, some outcomes are headaches, fatigue, nausea, and irritability.

Overall, both diets have advantages and disadvantages.  Depending on someone’s point of view will determine which of the diets they believe is better.