Keto Diet VS Mediterranean Diet – Which Works Better?

Let's compare Keto Diet VS Mediterranean Diet – which works better?

Are they really helpful for weight loss?

Which of these 2 diets is safe to follow and which one is not?

Well – if you want to find out their differences, you're in the right place.

Note: This article includes references and studies on Keto Diet and Mediterranean Diet.

Keto Diet VS Mediterranean Diet (In A Nutshell)

Keto and Mediterranean Diet are both pretty popular for weight loss.

But in order to compare them correctly, we have looked at their most important aspects.

Here are the quick results of their “competition”:

  • Keto Diet is only suitable for quick weight loss
  • Mediterranean Diet is easier to follow and safer
  • Mediterranean Diet is also less expensive and more versatile

As you can see, Mediterranean Diet is superior to Keto Diet.

It scores better in most aspects.

That's because it's less restrictive and doesn't require extreme food elimination.

Also – you don't need to count your daily net carbs with the Mediterranean Diet.

In fact, it even gives you a wider food range, which can help you budget your money.

Plus, it has a minimal risk of side effects.

Just keep in mind that in terms of weight loss, it's super slow.

But still, it's a more sustainable and more comfortable way (so who wouldn't like that?)

As long as you're not consuming foods more than your body needs, it will work for you.

Now, the Keto Diet is known to promote a drastic weight loss.

Sure – at first, it sounds ideal.

But if you consider its health risks, I don't think a quick weight loss is worth it.

Unless you're someone with special health conditions, Keto Diet isn't amazing.

Overall – between these two dietary regimens, the Mediterranean Diet is more sustainable.



#1 – Results – WINNER: Keto Diet

Let's begin by comparing the weight loss results of these two diets.

That's quite interesting, since the Keto Diet and the Mediterranean Diet have different approaches.

With that, here's the aspects we're going to look at:

  • weight loss effects
  • their claimed benefits

So let's focus on the details of each regimen below.

1. Keto Diet

As I mentioned, the Keto Diet has several versions/types.

Firstly – here are the benefits this dietary approach claims to provide (in general):

  • increases weight loss [1]
  • promotes satiety and fewer cravings
  • boosts energy and mental focus
  • regulates cholesterol and blood sugar  levels
  • reduces symptoms of carb-related inflammation
  • helps epileptic people to reduce their seizures [2]
  • improves the health of people with diabetes/prediabetes [3]

Besides the fact that the Keto Diet is recommended to epileptic people, others follow it for losing weight.

Also – some people do to maintain their desired weight (especially those who are active/fit).

That's because it promotes a low carbohydrate intake on a daily basis.

This eventually triggers ketosis (the conversion of stored fats into energy) [4].

In this way, losing weight is much faster.

2. Mediterranean Diet

Unlike the Keto Diet, the way the Mediterranean Diet works for weight loss is different.

It's based on the eating habits of people living around the Mediterranean Sea.

So with that – here are the effects on the body this diet claims to have [5]:

  • enhances the body's ability to absorb blood sugar
  • keeps cholesterol levels healthy
  • reduces the inflammation in the body
  • improves cardiovascular health
  • supports weight loss [6]
  • decreases high blood pressure
  • helps with digestive health

The difference in this diet is the amount and types of carbs allowed..

This means most plant-based foods are included in daily meals and animal proteins are limited.

As you can see, this approach is far from the restrictions of the Keto Diet.

Sure – you can still lose weight, but in a slow manner.

That's simply because there are more carbs-rich foods in this diet.


To sum it up, choose Keto Diet over the Mediterranean Diet if you want to lose weight quickly.

However – I don't really recommended it, since it has more extreme restrictions.

So if you want a slightly healthier approach, the Mediterranean Diet is better.

Overall – for the sole purpose of faster weight loss, the Keto Diet wins.



#2 – Safety – WINNER: Mediterranean Diet

Just like any type of special diet, the Keto and Mediterranean Diet also have risks.

They both come with guidelines that can cause drawbacks to health.

But if we're going to evaluate these two diets, the Mediterranean Diet is less dangerous.

So if you want to know why, read further down the line.

1. Keto Diet

During the first phase of the Keto Diet, a lot of people who follow it tend to experience side effects.

Well – some of its promoters claim they won't last, since your body is only adjusting.

However, don't feel at ease yet – since those negative reactions might develop into serious complications.

With that, here are the possible side effects of this dietary approach:

  • Keto Flu (fatigue, headache, bad breath, constipation and sugar cravings) [7]
  • nutrient deficiencies [8]
  • memory issues and mental health problems
  • digestive problems (diarrhea, gas and bloating)
  • increased cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risks [9]
  • development of fatty liver and kidney stones [10]

Again – in this diet, you need to cut down on carbs (which usually come from plant-based foods).

Now, you might think that you're only reducing your carbs if you do that.

But in fact, you're also cutting nutrients your body needs.

So not consuming enough nutrient-dense foods isn't the best thing ever.

You would also be focusing on meals that are high in proteins and fats, which is not always good.

2. Mediterranean Diet

Now – let's talk about the potential adverse reactions of the Mediterranean Diet.

But to give you an overview, it's a diet that emphasizes plant-based foods, olive oil, fish and poultry.

So if you're curious, here are the potential issues if you follow this diet [11]:

  • weight gain
  • deficiencies in some minerals
  • allergic reactions
  • worsened inflammation

Now, here are the triggers behind these side effects:

  • intolerance to nuts, seeds, legumes and grains
  • excess consumption of fats
  • lack of calcium and other minerals

Honestly – Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest types of diet out there.

That's because there are no extreme restrictions, such as drastic food elimination.

You can follow a balanced diet with it – which is ideal for the body to function properly.


Overall – the Mediterranean Diet is safer, compared to the Keto Diet.

It allows a wide variety of foods, with few restrictions.

In fact – it doesn't require a lot of food elimination, just a limited consumption (red meats).

So in terms of safety, the Mediterranean Diet wins this chapter.



#3 – Ease of Use – WINNER: Mediterranean Diet

Let's now see which of these diets is more comfortable to use.

As usual – we're going to look at the following features:

  • schedule of eating
  • allowed food groups
  • diet's guidelines

If you need a quick answer, the Mediterranean is easier to follow.

1. Keto Diet

Now – I already mentioned the basic guidelines of the Keto Diet in a previous article.

Basically, you need to note that you should focus on healthy fats, proteins and limited carbohydrates.

But here are some of its essential aspects [12]:

  • allowed foods include nuts, seeds, meat, seafood, fish, eggs, healthy fats and high-fat dairy
  • some vegetables that are low in carbs are also allowed
  • the amount of carbohydrate intake depends on the Keto Diet Plan you follow
  • most of the time, fasting is not required

Again – you need a meal plan to distribute the allowed net carbs throughout your day.

Stricter plans only allow 20 grams of net carbs per day (to promote weight loss).

So you can't easily eat out…

Lastly, a meal schedule is not the thing about this diet – it's mostly about daily net carbohydrate intake.

2. Mediterranean Diet

Meanwhile, here are the things you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet.

Just remember you need more plant-based foods and limited animal proteins.

With that, let's specify even more [13]:

  • fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, herbs and spices are allowed
  • healthy fats should include olive oil, avocados, nuts and oily fish (sardines or salmon)
  • those good fats can replace other types of oils, butter and margarine
  • you should eat fish at least twice a week
  • red meat is only allowed a few times per month
  • other animal proteins can be eaten in a smaller portion (eggs, poultry, and dairy products)
  • water should be the main drink
  • you can also drink wine moderately

In addition, the portion size is up to each person.

But you should try to eat (at least) thrice a day.

Food servings should depend on daily needs, based on your body size and physical activities.

As you can see, you have a lot of food groups to choose from.

Plus, there's no need to count carbs.

Also – eating out won't be that much of a problem, as long as you choose fresh and whole foods.

Lastly, this diet also encourages regular exercise in order to lose weight.

Overall – the Mediterranean Diet promotes a holistic approach to help you to be healthy.


In terms of which approach is easier to follow, the Mediterranean Diet is the answer.

Again, you only have to limit the consumption of some foods (not completely remove them).

Also – unlike the Keto Diet, you don't need to take note of your daily carb intake.

Just make sure to don't overeat.



#4 – Versatility – WINNER: Mediterranean Diet

As usual, we're also going to discuss the versatility of these 2 diets:

  • who can follow the diet
  • limitations to some health conditions

Now – based on the info from the previous chapters, the Mediterranean Diet is the obvious answer.

But let me give you some explanations and comparisons below.

1. Keto Diet

So what are the types of people who can give the Keto Diet a try?:

  • children, adolescents and breastfeeding/pregnant women (modified versions)
  • epileptic and diabetic/prediabetic people (also those with metabolic syndrome)
  • healthy adults with no underlying serious conditions

Again – there are different versions of the Keto Diet.

So you have several choices, depending on your health goals.

For example, you can find a plan if you want to lose weight.

You can also try a version if your purpose is to maintain your already desired weight.

The common denominator is that you should follow the suggested net carbohydrates daily.

However – since it's not a balanced diet, it's not advisable for several types of people [14]:

  • thyroid and gallbladder sufferers
  • people with a history of pancreatitis
  • those who have liver diseases and kidney stones

As you can see – those problems are quite serious.

Following a diet that will require you to eliminate some nutrient-dense foods can be risky.

Not to mention the added stress of the Keto Flu, which can appear in the first phase of the diet.

So if you want to lose weight, you should find safer ways to do that. 

Well – unless you have epilepsy, high blood sugar levels or metabolic syndrome, you shouldn't try it.

But make sure to consult a healthcare professional to get the right Keto Diet Plan for you.

2. Mediterranean Diet

Now – let's find out the categories of people who can safely try the Mediterranean Diet:

  • typical healthy adults and adolescents
  • people with chronic conditions (high blood pressure or heart disease) [15]
  • those who want to lose weight in a more sustainable manner

As I mentioned, it's one of the safest diets anyone can try [16].

That's because it allows both animal products and plant-based foods.

So the chance of getting certain nutrient deficiencies is very low.

With that being said, almost anyone can give this diet a try.

Even though the guidelines are not that strict, this regimen can be risky for certain people:

Well – the first two points above are pre-existing conditions and we can't do anything about that.

But people who are obese or diabetic/prediabetic can make worsen their condition following this diet.

This diet has no strict serving size, so there's a temptation of overeating.

So instead of losing weight, they might experience weight gain instead.


Overall – the Mediterranean Diet is still more versatile than the Keto Diet.

Again, almost all people can try it, since it doesn't involve any extreme food elimination.

However – just try to make sure to not overdo it and practice control to experience its benefits.



#5 – Cost – WINNER: Mediterranean Diet

Lastly – we're going to see which diet is more budget-friendly.

So is it the Keto Diet or the Mediterranean Diet?

Well – the Mediterranean Diet is still the winner even at this chapter.

1. Keto Diet

In terms of cost, here are the things about the Keto Diet that can influence your spending:

  • animal products, especially high-quality ones are pricier
  • only a few options of plant-based foods to choose from
  • getting a personalized Keto Diet Plan can also add up to the total cost

Although a lot of foods in this diet are east to find, buying mostly proteins can still be pricey.

Sure – there are enough plant-based foods allowed in this regimen.

But if you balance your spending, you would still shell out more money on proteins and fats.

Not to mention the added fee to get your personalized plan.

2. Mediterranean Diet

On the other hand, let's look at the factors to consider when choosing the Mediterranean Diet:

  • there are a lot of plant-based foods allowed in this diet
  • spending on proteins (red meats and poultry) won't be very frequent
  • the majority of foods in this diet are affordable

Now – we all know that plant-based foods are less expensive.

So in this diet, you would only spend a little on proteins (such as red meats).

That's because you would just have them a few times a month.

Also – poultry is recommended only twice a week, which is still not that pricey.

With that, this diet costs less, since you have more varieties of foods to choose from.


To sum it up, both dietary approaches include plant-based foods.

However – the Mediterranean Diet gives you more choices and most of them are less expensive.

So besides it being sustainable, you would still get to enjoy the foods you will eat (while saving money).

Well – I think it's one of the things you should look for when choosing a special diet.



Final Conclusion

Overall, the Mediterranean Diet is better than the Keto Diet.

  • Mediterranean Diet is safer and easier to follow.
  • It's also more versatile and more affordable.
  • Keto Diet is only better for instant weight loss.

Now – choosing the best diet surely depends on your own situation.

The Mediterranean Diet offers a lot of food options to choose from.

On the other hand, Keto Diet is only better at promoting quick weight loss.

But the risks it involves are not the greatest.

Overall – it's always better to seek medical advice to see if you're good to try any type of diet.

So in that way, you can avoid any negative health impact.


1 –

2 –

3 –

4 –

5 –

6 –

7 –

8 –

9 –

10 –

11 –

12 –

13 –

14 –

15 –

16 –



Written by 

Paula has a background in Chemistry and continues to pursue further studies in it. She loves searching for the best products in the market that will give excellent benefits to the human body and share them with you.

Last updated: May 17, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *