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Comparing The Mediterranean Diet To The Low-Carb Diet

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health coverage, compares the Mediterranean diet versus the Low-Carb Diet to help determine which is suitable for you.

“Regarding diet choices, two contenders have emerged as favourites among health-conscious individuals: the Low-Carb Diet and the Mediterranean Diet,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“Both diets boast numerous health benefits but differ significantly in their macronutrient composition and food choices.”

Understanding the Low-Carb Diet

The Low-Carb Diet, also known as the carb-friendly or ketogenic diet, focuses on restricting carbohydrate intake while increasing consumption of healthy fats and protein. The primary goal of this diet is to induce ketosis, a condition in which the body uses fat for fuel rather than carbs.

The Low-Carb Diet usually promotes meat, fish, poultry, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil. Foods to avoid or limit include grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, sugar, and processed foods.

Benefits of the Low-Carb Diet

Advocates of the Low-Carb Diet believe it may result in quick weight reduction, better blood sugar management, decreased inflammation, and higher energy levels. This diet may also benefit those with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, or type 2 diabetes since it limits carbs and promotes fat burning. Some studies also suggest the Low-Carb Diet may help lower triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol levels, and improve markers of cardiovascular health.

 

Disadvantages of the Low-Carb Diet

Some find this diet’s restrictive nature challenging. The initial phase of adapting to a low-carbohydrate diet can also lead to a condition commonly referred to as the keto flu (fatigue, headache, dizziness, irritability, nausea, and difficulty concentrating). These symptoms occur as the body adjusts to its new energy source and are usually temporary, typically lasting from a few days to a few weeks.

 

Understanding the Mediterranean Diet

 The Mediterranean Diet emphasises whole, unprocessed foods commonly consumed in Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy. It is distinguished by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, moderate quantities of fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and red wine, and low intakes of red meat, processed foods, and refined grains.

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is thought to help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. This diet is high in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals and has been linked to better cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and lifespan. The focus on plant-based meals and healthy fats such as olive oil may also help to decrease cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and improve weight reduction and maintenance.

Disadvantages of the Mediterranean Diet

As mentioned, the Mediterranean diet incorporates beneficial fats from sources such as olive oil and nuts, but overindulgence in these fats may contribute to weight gain. The diet’s emphasis on plant-based foods can also result in lower iron levels due to reduced meat consumption, while decreased intake of dairy products may lead to calcium loss.

About Affinity Health

 

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health coverage provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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