Tag Archives: Steve Parker MD

Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet vs Atkins Induction #keto #lowcarb

How does the Ketogenic Mediterranean ‘Diet’ by Steve Parker MD compare with Atkins Induction?
Atkins Induction allows 20 grams of net carbs per day. (Net carbs = total carbs – fiber.) The KMD allows 20-40 grams of carbs per day. If you do closer to th 40 than the 20, you may have problems getting into ketosis (check your Ketonix, test strips or blood ketone meter.)


KMD allows 14 oz. of vegetables a day (400 g.) Atkins Induction allows 2 cups of salad and 3/4 cup of cooked low-carb vegetables (probably 1 cup fresh.) I think this comes pretty much to the same amount. Two cups of salad is 4 net carbs if it’s lettuce, about 1 net carb if it’s alfalfa sprouts. 1 cup of green beans is about 5 net carbs. So, let’s say on both plans we may get around 9 net carbs from our veggies.


KMD allows 3 oz. of cheese, Original Atkins allowed 4 oz. and New Atkins made cheese a ‘free food.’ 1 oz, which is one slice of cheese, is a ‘trace’ of carbs for most cheeses and 2 g of Swiss cheese. So let’s say 3 net carbs for KMD and 4 or more for Atkins Induction.


KMD allows 1 oz of nuts-and-seeds daily. Atkins doesn’t allow nuts on Induction. 1 oz of pecans is 1 net carb, walnuts or macadamias are 2 net carbs, and peanuts are 3 net carbs. 


KMD allows 6-12 oz. of table wines, red or white, such as Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio. These are all 1 gram of carb per oz, so this is an addition of 6-12 grams of carbs. (I only drink 2 oz to a glass and have the wine at my two meals.)


So— following the KMD may add as much as 15 grams of carbs from items not allowed in Atkins Induction. Now, among the carb-containing foods allowed on both, you may not be getting 20 full grams of carbs from just those items. I would advise keeping a food diary and checking up at least on the carb-containing foods you eat. If you are close to 20 grams even with the addition of a little nuts-and-seeds and a little wine, that is great.


If your net carb grams are creeping along toward the 40, check to see what you are doing too much of. I would cut back on the wine amount if you are doing the full 12 oz, rather than, say, cutting out one of the daily salads. 


I like the KMD as it is a nice change from doing Atkins at Induction or near-induction levels for years. I find I like having a bit of wine with my meals— when I finish my wine, I feel more like I’ve had a real meal and am finished. 


The KMD also insists that you have a daily serving of fish. Mine is mostly canned tuna, which I have for lunch prepared into one of two different recipes, one a low-carb ‘tuna casserole’ and the other a ‘tuna loaf.’ (I add my nut ration, in pecan or walnut pieces, into the tuna recipe.)


Sources: 

Parker, Steve, MD – Conquer Diabetes & Prediabetes: The Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet, 2011.Atkins, Robert C., MD — Dr Atkins Diet Revolution, 1972.Atkins, Robert C., MD and Gare, Fran – Dr Atkins New Diet Cookbook, 1994.
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The Mediterranean Low-Carb ‘Diet.’

Among the many low-carb/keto books in my book hoard is ‘Conquer Diabetes & Prediabetes: The Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet’ by Steve Parker, MD.


The book seems to be self-published, and Parker is not, so far as I know, a well-known name in the low-carb community, so I would not recommend this book as your first or only book on low-carb/keto.


What I think it is good for is this: if you have been doing low-carb for a while and want to try something that’s still low-carb but feels different, or if you’ve been doing Atkins and your ignorant family and friends are nagging you to quit because they think Atkins will kill you, this may be something to try. Imagine telling those pushy family members ‘I’m on the Mediterranean diet’ and watching their objections go away.


Parker’s diet (he calls it a diet, sadly) has two phases. One he calls the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet, which is similar to Atkins Induction— it is more strictly low-carb and can put your body into the healthy state of ketosis.


The other phase is less strict, and is called Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet. Like the Atkins levels, this phase adds a bit more carbs, and so may cause increases in blood sugar, and slowing or stopping of desired weight loss. 40-100 grams of carbs are allowed — though many of us can’t do such levels and still control our blood sugars. 


Some of the recommendations may not be too palatable to some of us. Using olive oil to cook eggs, in my own experience, results in eggs with an off taste I do not enjoy. I would rather cook eggs in coconut oil or butter, and have eggs with a better taste. I have to eat low-carb long-term, and so I prefer avoiding olive oil when that ruins the taste of a meal. (I use it when cooking my kebabs and my bun-free burgers, though, and couldn’t taste the difference.)


Both phases of the diet allow the use of 6-12 oz of wine daily. I was never a drinker, but a small amount of wine with my low-carb, ketogenic meal has a good bit of appeal to me. (Needless to say, problem drinkers should not try this.)


Some of the carbs Parker suggests adding back in the Low-Carb phase seem a bit impractical for some people. He recommends eating 1/3 of a medium apple or 1/3 of a banana. Which means there is 2/3s of that apple or banana still around, and if you like those fruits you might be tempted to eat the rest. Particularly since a cut-open apple or banana does not improve when you set it aside for the next day’s serving.


It also suggests 1/2 a slice of ordinary whole wheat bread or Ezekial 4:9 bread. This leaves another 1/2 slice lying around, plus you have a whole loaf of bread around somewhere. I find that when I resolve to eat only 1/2 a slice of bread, I eat the whole slice or perhaps two, and then my carb-cravings are triggered and I’m likely to eat a few more slices later on. Which is why I prefer to stick with low-carb bread (Aunt Millie’s Carb Smart, 1 net carb per slice) and to eat it only at the last meal of the day.


Parker also allows 3 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) of cooked brown rice. I own a rice cooker, and it just does not work to cook up such a small amount— so you will have a larger batch of cooked rice on hand. Will you be able to resist eating more? I can’t. And after triggering my carb cravings with the rice I’ll have plenty of cooked rice on hand to have a carb binge on. NOT a sustainable low-carb/keto practice.


Right now I’m pushing my low-carb/keto routine in the direction of the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet. If I go on to the higher carb levels of the second phase, it will probably be only one extra serving of the less problematic carbs, done on one or two days a week, and only on days when my morning blood sugar has been good.


My problem is that for the past few months I have had difficulty getting my desired low-carb food supplies due to vehicle problems. My friends, none low-carbers, offer to go buy me groceries, but none are willing to pick me up and drive me to the store. I had one dear friend bring me a load of things that included 5 or 6 loaves of ordinary white bread, loads of pasta, but very little of what I should be eating. And, with limited food in the house, I ate it.


Which brought my carb cravings roaring back, and when I could get to stores I found myself getting ‘treats’— and then lacking the energy to make myself proper low-carb meals, which lead to more ‘treats,’ and as a result my weight has gone up quite a bit.
SO— I need to get back on my keto/low-carbing life, and I’m using the Ketogenic Mediterranean eating plan to do it. Since it’s hard for me to get the salad veggies I need in my rural area, I’ve cleaned up my Victorio sprouter and started my sprouting seeds so I can have daily sprouted salads. I’m consulting Parker’s book for some fresh ideas on what to eat— I’ve already tried his Easy Tuna plus Pecans yesterday, replacing the nasty-and-sugared Miracle Whip with real mayonnaise (would have used avocado oil mayonnaise but can’t get it.)