Keto vs Mediterranean Diet: Which is Best for Blood Sugar?

Posted byZaineb Fatima Posted onDecember 30, 2022 Comments0

Low carb diets have been a hot topic in the health and wellness world for a while now, especially for those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). But there’s been some debate about which low-carb diet is the best option.

Well, a recent study called Keto-Med compared two low-carb diets with three key similarities – they both incorporated nonstarchy vegetables and avoided added sugars and refined grains – and three key differences – one diet incorporated legumes, fruits, and whole, intact grains, while the other avoided them. The goal was to see how these diets affected glucose control and cardiometabolic risk factors in people with prediabetes and T2DM.

Forty participants followed the well-formulated ketogenic diet (WFKD) and the Mediterranean-plus diet (Med-Plus) for 12 weeks each, in random order. The primary outcome was the change in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) after 12 weeks on each diet. Secondary outcomes included changes in body weight, fasting insulin, glucose, and blood lipids, average glucose from continuous glucose monitors, and nutrient intake.

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So, what did the study find? HbA1c values did not differ between the two diets at 12 weeks. However, triglycerides decreased more for the Keto diet and LDL cholesterol was higher for the Keto diet. Weight and HDL cholesterol also showed some differences between the two diets, but there was a significant interaction of diet and order for both. Participants had lower intakes of fiber and three nutrients on the keto diet compared to the Mediterranean diet. And the 12-week follow-up data suggested that the Mediterranean diet was more sustainable.

In Conclusion, the HbA1c values improved from baseline on both diets, likely due to the shared dietary aspects. But the Keto diet led to a greater decrease in triglycerides, but also had some potential risks from elevated LDL cholesterol and lower nutrient intakes from avoiding certain foods. It’s also worth noting that the Mediterranean diet seemed to be more sustainable in the long run.

So, what does this all mean? It’s important to note that both diets had some benefits, but it’s crucial to carefully consider all the potential risks and benefits before starting any new diet. It’s always a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional before making any major changes to your diet, especially if you have a chronic health condition like prediabetes.

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Gardner, Christopher D et al. “Effect of a ketogenic diet versus Mediterranean diet on glycated hemoglobin in individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: The interventional Keto-Med randomized crossover trial.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 116,3 (2022): 640-652. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqac154


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