Keto Mediterranean diet or Mediterranean Keto is almost more popular than standard Keto these days. When we started our project, nobody even used this term. However, if you search the internet you will find so many videos, articles and even books by authors who live far away from the Mediterranean zone.
Now, why is this detail about the author’s origin important? Well, if you are trying to create or understand a geographically inspired diet, you can’t just base it on books and concepts. Living a Mediterranean lifestyle, knowing the tradition, customs and having an ancestral connection to the zone gives you a better perspective.
Naturally, we all can learn and accept the lifestyle, but to truly understand it, it would be ideal to visit the Mediterranean zone as often as possible and learn from the locals. Especially in villages, far from the touristic centres and modernisation. For example, to learn what is a real Greek diet, one must NOT go to the centre of Athens or Thessaloniki. Same stands for all other Mediterranean countries and their big cities. Ancient traditions can still be experienced on distant islands and in remote villages.
Mediterranean Keto or Keto Mediterranean?
Ever since we started calling this approach KMD, we decided to base it on the ancestral tradition. We also wanted to emphasise the nutritional density and healing properties of the diet. In general, the misconception of a Mediterranean diet, especially the modern version presented in popular media, is far from what we call Keto Mediterranean Diet.
To help you understand what we see as a problem in contemporary concepts of “Mediterranean Keto” we will assemble a shortlist of misconceptions. This way we will cover all the confusing directions, especially for people who live far away from the Mediterranean zone and culture. Remember, it’s more about the lifestyle than about diet, but ingredients do matter!
Natural, healthy, fresh ingredients…
Homemade food, slow cooking, patience…
Fun, laughter, comedy, enjoyment of sunshine and life…Three postulates of Keto Mediterranean diet
Keto Mediterranean misconception 1
We don’t eat a lot of meat?
This is as wrong as it can be! In fact, in the Mediterranean zone, meat is almost a staple! Why would Prosciutto and Pancetta exist if the Mediterraneans were not striving to preserve meat?
Every time you see a kebab, giros or souvlaki, remember, Mediterraneans eat a lot of meat, but if you want to make it healthy, you will stick to ruminant animal meat! Greece produces more lamb and goat yearly than any other European country! Let’s not forget all the traditional Mediterranean stews, soups and broths with meat. We Ketonised almost all of them!
Mediterranean nations also eat a lot of internals! Each of the countries in the zone has a special dish made with lamb or goat internals. Just think Kokoretsi or Magiritsa!
Kokoretsi is a famous Mediterranean dish consisting of lamb or goat intestines, wrapped around offal including sweetbread, liver, kidneys, lungs and hearts.
Keto Mediterranean misconception 2
We use only olive oil?
We do use a lot of it in all countries around the Mediterranean sea. However, it’s not our only fat! We love our goat, sheep or buffalo butter on Keto Mediterranean Diet.
We also love saturated fat ever since antiquity! This is why we render mutton, vela and lamb fat for tallow and we do fry or bake on high temperatures using coconut oil. In some countries lard is used, but on KMD we try to avoid fats which are high in omega-6 and poor in omega-3. This is why we opt for tallow!
Now, what is Mediterranean and what is Keto Mediterranean when it comes to fat?
One thing will surprise you – we actually place emphasis on protein, not on fat in the world of KMD! As long as you keep your carbs very low, have a moderate amount of fat and a decent portion of protein, you will enter mild ketosis!
A mild state of ketosis is far healthier than the state of deep ketosis for the long term! If you are doing Keto for neurological reasons, you might need a lot of fat, but if you decided to trim your body, lose excess fat, then you don’t need extreme amounts of dietary fat. Let your body burn your own fat first!
Keto Mediterranean misconception 3
We eat mainly poultry?
Not at all! You would be surprised, our Keto Mediterranean Diet calls for no poultry. Unlike the standard belief, Mediterraneans don’t eat that much chicken! On KMD, we avoid it due to modern farming and high amount of omega-6 and low Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids matter to us more than macros! We will treat ourselves with occasional duck roast or quails…
However, the modern chicken should never land on a KMD plate. Besides omega 6, the chicken available to humans today comes with hormones and antibiotics. Even if it was organic and old-fashioned, we avoid it together with pork and this is how we reduce inflammation! If you miss it that much, a rabbit roast will provide the same texture and flavour and it will be much healthier!
Contemporary industry usually feeds birds with arsenic in order to make them grow faster. This is highly toxic to humans and can cause cancer, dementia, neurological problems…
Keto Mediterranean misconception 4
We eat unlimited portions of vegetables?
Another misconception that runs around the internet. Actually, on the Keto Mediterranean diet we don’t eat many vegetables! Especially if someone is on their fat loss program! We keep the carbs as low as possible. A small salad will accompany meat or fish and that’s it!
Could be shocking, but, we find fruits more acceptable than vegetables
Naturally, not high-fructose fruits, but the well-known berries, lemons, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini and olives. Well, all these are botanically fruits, not veggies. In fact, anything bearing seeds is a fruit, not a vegetable…
When someone wants to try KMD after not having success with standard Keto, we recommend reducing all sources of carbohydrates to the minimum, and this sometimes leaves the dairy products and nuts out!!!
Keto Mediterranean misconception 5
We eat only fish?
Well, we do eat a lot of it! We also eat almost everything that moves in the sea and this could be the main advantage of the Mediterranean zone! However, on KMD we try to include both meat and seafood on daily basis! So, ideally, for proper nutrient ratio, you will have ruminant animal meat for your first meal and something from the sea for dinner. Fresh or frozen fish, octopus, shrimp, calamari, squid… At least once per week we have mussels or other shellfish!
When we are cooking fish, in the Mediterranean tradition, we add olive oil at the end. But during high heat cooking, tallow or butter will be a better choice! These fats are more stable at high temperatures, and as you know, nothing gives richer flavour to fish than goat or sheep butter! Furthermore, try our recipe for sardines baked in tallow and discover a new nutritional treat!
To sum it up, KMD is the Golden Φ of nutrition. If you would like to learn more, please read the article we wrote long before Keto Mediterranean or Mediterranean Keto became a hype! Remember, staying Ketonised can be enjoyable and fun!