Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: a healthy cardiovascular diet for weight loss

Nutr J. 2008 Oct 26:7:30. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-7-30.


Background: Ketogenic diets are an effective healthy way of losing weight since they promote a non-atherogenic lipid profile, lower blood pressure and decrease resistance to insulin with an improvement in blood levels of glucose and insulin. On the other hand, Mediterranean diet is well known to be one of the healthiest diets, being the basic ingredients of such diet the olive oil, red wine and vegetables. In Spain the fish is an important component of such diet. The objective of this study was to determine the dietary effects of a protein ketogenic diet rich in olive oil, salad, fish and red wine.

Methods: A prospective study was carried out in 31 obese subjects (22 male and 19 female) with the inclusion criteria whose body mass index and age was 36.46 +/- 2.22 and 38.48 +/- 2.27, respectively. This Ketogenic diet was called "Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet" (SKMD) due to the incorporation of virgin olive oil as the principal source of fat (> or =30 ml/day), moderate red wine intake (200-400 ml/day), green vegetables and salads as the main source of carbohydrates and fish as the main source of proteins. It was an unlimited calorie diet. Statistical differences between the parameters studied before and after the administration of the "Spanish Ketogenic Mediterranean diet" (week 0 and 12) were analyzed by paired Student's t test.

Results: There was an extremely significant (p < 0.0001) reduction in body weight (108.62 kg--> 94.48 kg), body mass index (36.46 kg/m(2)-->31.76 kg/m(2), systolic blood pressure (125.71 mmHg-->109.05 mmHg), diastolic blood pressure (84.52 mmHg--> 75.24 mmHg), total cholesterol (208.24 mg/dl-->186.62 mg/dl), triacylglicerols (218.67 mg/dl-->113.90 mg/dl) and glucose (109.81 mg/dl--> 93.33 mg/dl). There was a significant (p = 0.0167) reduction in LDLc (114.52 mg/dl-->105.95 mg/dl) and an extremely significant increase in HDLc (50.10 mg/dl-->54.57 mg/dl). The most affected parameter was the triacylglicerols (47.91% of reduction).

Conclusion: The SKMD is safe, an effective way of losing weight, promoting non-atherogenic lipid profiles, lowering blood pressure and improving fasting blood glucose levels. Future research should include a larger sample size, a longer term use and a comparison with other ketogenic diets.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diet, Ketogenic*
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety
  • Seafood
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vegetables
  • Weight Loss / physiology*
  • Wine


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils