Keto and Mediterranean diets help manage diabetes, but differ in adherence

July 8, 2022

A study performed at Stanford University comparing two popular low-carb diets, namely the ketogenic and Mediterranean, measuring the blood glucose, other factors and individuals' adherence to them.

As per study's conclusions: "The researchers found that both diets improved blood glucose control, as indicated by similar drops in HbA1c levels (9% on keto and 7% on Mediterranean). Weight loss was also similar (8% on keto and 7% on Mediterranean), as were improvements in fasting insulin and glucose, HDL cholesterol, and the liver enzyme ALT. 

Each diet had one other statistically significant benefit: LDL cholesterol increased on the keto diet and decreased on the Mediterranean diet — a point for Mediterranean. Triglyceride decreased on both diets, but it dropped more on the keto diet — a point for keto.

In nutrient levels, the ketogenic diet provided less fiber; thiamin; vitamins B6, C, D and E; and phosphorus. Only vitamin B12 was higher on the ketogenic diet."

The authors concluded that the Mediterranean diet offers similar benefits to the ketogenic diet and is associated with higher adherence to the diet, being less restrictive.

Keto and Mediterranean diets both help manage diabetes, but one is easier to maintain


"Dr. Gardner is a member of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, the Stanford Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute, and the Stanford Cancer Institute.

The research was supported by funding from John and Meredith Pasquesi; Sue and Bob O’Donnell; the Teton Fund; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (National Institutes of Health grant T32HL007034); a Stanford Clinical Translational Science Award (NIH grants UL1TR001085 and TL1R001085); and Stanford Diabetes Research Center (NIH grant P30DK116074).