Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

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MiniJunkie
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Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by MiniJunkie »

Hi folks,

I was on Keto for about 6 months and lost a lot of weight (about 60 lbs). I would say it was beneficial for cognitive clarity and memory, and even found it had mental health and emotional benefits. I felt good on it - BUT, to be honest I did find it hard to follow for the long term. When it was new and novel, I did pretty well, but eventually I started to get sick of eating the same stuff every day and my "meals" slowly devolved into eating super basic (like...2 hard boiled eggs for lunch EVER DAY kind of thing). So over time I have slipped more into a low-carb (no sugar either) diet. I feel ok and have decent mental clarity etc, but the weight is slooooowly creeping back on :D

Recently I've been reading about AD prevention again, and looking into the MIND and/or Mediterranean diets. They sound beneficial as well, but there are differences in them as compared to Keto. They aren't low carb, for example, which makes me think insulin resistance could remain an issue. They discourage cheese, which I was eating a lot of on Keto. That kind of stuff.

Right now I'm trying to decide where to land on diet - do I "try harder" to get back onto Keto, and have ketones available for brain fuel etc. Or do I try switching to the MIND diet, which seems to have specific cognitive benefits?

My question is: for those of you using either one, or who have tried both, which have you found more beneficial? Or basically - any thoughts on this topic in terms of which one is more beneficial to delaying (or preventing) AD?
49M, married with 3 kids, my mother has advanced Alzheimer’s, and I am 4/4
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grommet
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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by grommet »

I tried Keto/Paleo for a while and although the food was delicious (who doesn’t like baby back ribs?!!?) my saturated intake was way too high and therefore my LDL-P spiked pretty high.

Since then I’ve been following a whole foods plant based diet with fish from time to time which is probably just the Mediterranean diet under a different name. My lipid panels have never been better! LDL-P and Apo B dropped to perfect levels.

Re: weight gain…you can overeat on any diet so I suggest tracking your calories to make sure you’re not overdoing it. I use Cronometer but there are other apps out there.

Great question, and good luck!


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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by MiniJunkie »

Thanks, Dan - yeah I've been trying to use Cronometer and found it a bit unwieldy (which is probably a user problem not an app problem. Prior to that Carb Manager was great and then they screwed it up with a redesign. Good point about over-eating for sure. I
49M, married with 3 kids, my mother has advanced Alzheimer’s, and I am 4/4
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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by Quantifier »

Don't forget fasting! Dr Bredesen recommends fasting at least 3 hours between the end of dinner and bedtime, and at least 12 hours between the end of dinner and beginning of breakfast. If you plan your dinner to be relatively low in carbohydrates you might be able to get some ketone production to fuel your brain. And with an even longer fast you would be able to be in ketosis into the day too. Going in and out of ketosis regularly - that's metabolic flexibility, many here do something like that.
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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by MiniJunkie »

Thanks! Yep I fast around ~ 13-14 hours overnight (I skip breakfast and eat lunch around 11:30 - 12). At some point I might push it to 16.
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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by NF52 »

MiniJunkie wrote:Hi folks,
...Recently I've been reading about AD prevention again, and looking into the MIND and/or Mediterranean diets. They sound beneficial as well, but there are differences in them as compared to Keto. They aren't low carb, for example, which makes me think insulin resistance could remain an issue. They discourage cheese, which I was eating a lot of on Keto. That kind of stuff.

Right now I'm trying to decide where to land on diet - do I "try harder" to get back onto Keto, and have ketones available for brain fuel etc. Or do I try switching to the MIND diet, which seems to have specific cognitive benefits?

My question is: for those of you using either one, or who have tried both, which have you found more beneficial? Or basically - any thoughts on this topic in terms of which one is more beneficial to delaying (or preventing) AD?
Anyone who lost 60 lbs should do a dance each day to celebrate yourself! As someone who over a much longer period of time lost about 40 lbs, I sympathize with how hard (or impossible) it is to follow a restrictive diet--especially with 3 kids and in your 40's, when your metabolism is probably going through all sorts of perimenopausal cartwheels. What I have found interesting to consider is what is sometimes called a "modified keto/Mediterranean diet"--one with healthy fats (more olive oil than butter, more goat cheese than brie, more leafy greens and berries than pasta and wine.)

Here's a recent article I found very readable and reasonable--and also has a list of helpful supplements to consider and recommended doses for those of us who are 4/4s. The final author listed, Richard Isaacson, is Director of the Weill-Cornell Medicine Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic, and seems to me to be a respected source for prevention topics.
Precision Nutrition for Alzheimer’s Prevention in ApoE4 Carriers. It discusses both low-glycemic index and low-card diets and ketogenic diets.

You may also want to check out The XX Brain by Dr. Lisa Mosconi, director of the Women’s Brain Initiative at Weill Cornell Medicine and Dr. Isaacson's associate. She is the daughter of a mother with AD and has focused her research and clinical practice on understanding how women's brains are different than men's and how to support our brains, especially during perimenopause and when in menopause.

Finally, Dr. Isaacson and others believe that evidence is strong that exercise (not Cross-Fit or marathons, but moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise 30 minutes most days) reduces the risk of AD dramatically and keeps brains well-nourished through a health vascular system. So give yourself permission to have those three kids in activities or with others so that you can find time for your own favorite (or new) activities. Then don't sweat the small stuff, if that means a few lbs come back. We are more than one metric of health!
4/4 and still an optimist!
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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by MiniJunkie »

Thanks NF52! I should clarify that I'm a man (or maybe you got that and I misunderstood some parts of your reply). It's funny you should link that article about precision nutrition - I just bookmarked it last night with intention of reading it sometime soon :) I will definitely check it out.

Exercise is something I am terrible at and it's my Achilles heel as far as taking all the right steps to prevent AD. I have got to get my butt in motion. So I'm glad you mentioned the 30 minutes thing. I mean, we just bought a treadmill (ostensibly for my teenage son and wife), so I have no real excuse not to get moving.
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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by TheHormonePharmacist »

I have been struggling with the big question, “So what CAN I eat?” I’m especially wrestling with whether or not saturated fat should be included in my diet. Without saturated fat, keto is extremely difficult or at least extremely boring.

@n52 mentioned “Precision Nutrition for Alzheimer’s Prevention in ApoE4 Carriers” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8073598/), co-authored by Apoe4 wunderkind Dr. Nicholas Norwitz. Norwitz earned a PhD in nutrition from Oxford in his early 20s. Now 25, he’s now working toward an MD at Harvard.

I wanted to mention The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, also co-authored by Nick Norwitz, this cookbook combines keto AND Mediterranean eating ideas. This book explicitly aims to help those with Apoe4 alleles eat in a way that reduces AD risk.

Bought the book last week and we’ve tried 4 or 5 recipes. Most of them are amazing!

I also re-started glucose and ketone testing this week with encouraging results that are tied with these recipes.

I’ve been quite comfortable with 16 hour overnight fasts and not snacking between noon and 6. I’ve also had great fasting blood glucose as well as post-meal blood glucose. My ketone levels are consistently 0.9 up to 2.5.

The downside is the recipes do take some work and prep time. Some of the ingredients may be expensive or hard to find (coconut butter, mackerel filets). But I think this book has already given us some hope about what we can eat. There are definitely Mediterranean flavors - fish, olives, pesto, some tomatoes, lamb, zucchini, eggs.

The additional variety this book brings us is a welcome change.

Here’s a link that references the article as well as a video of Dr. Norwitz explaining precision nutrition for prevention of cognitive decline.

https://newmediketo.com/dr-nicholas-norwitz/
Steve Goldring, RPh The Hormone Pharmacist

I help patients and healthcare practitioners with easy-to-understand patient education resources - mostly about hormone optimization
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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by mike »

MiniJunkie wrote:Thanks NF52! I should clarify that I'm a man (or maybe you got that and I misunderstood some parts of your reply). It's funny you should link that article about precision nutrition - I just bookmarked it last night with intention of reading it sometime soon :) I will definitely check it out.

Exercise is something I am terrible at and it's my Achilles heel as far as taking all the right steps to prevent AD. I have got to get my butt in motion. So I'm glad you mentioned the 30 minutes thing. I mean, we just bought a treadmill (ostensibly for my teenage son and wife), so I have no real excuse not to get moving.
I had to read your signature twice to figure that it was your mom with AD, and not that you were a mom...

AD is a cascade of things that often lead to brain loss, and exercise is one of the best ways to protect your blood brain barrier and keep up blood flow and nutrition to the brain and keep neurons healthy. Without moderate exercise, neither diet would likely be enough on their own.
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Re: Torn between Keto and the MIND/Mediterranean diets

Post by MiniJunkie »

mike wrote:
MiniJunkie wrote:Thanks NF52! I should clarify that I'm a man (or maybe you got that and I misunderstood some parts of your reply). It's funny you should link that article about precision nutrition - I just bookmarked it last night with intention of reading it sometime soon :) I will definitely check it out.

Exercise is something I am terrible at and it's my Achilles heel as far as taking all the right steps to prevent AD. I have got to get my butt in motion. So I'm glad you mentioned the 30 minutes thing. I mean, we just bought a treadmill (ostensibly for my teenage son and wife), so I have no real excuse not to get moving.
I had to read your signature twice to figure that it was your mom with AD, and not that you were a mom...

AD is a cascade of things that often lead to brain loss, and exercise is one of the best ways to protect your blood brain barrier and keep up blood flow and nutrition to the brain and keep neurons healthy. Without moderate exercise, neither diet would likely be enough on their own.
Good point about my signature, I'll edit that!
49M, married with 3 kids, my mother has advanced Alzheimer’s, and I am 4/4
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