Diets: KETO vs. MIND

Earlier this week we posted that the MIND Diet is being promoted for brain-friendly nutrition.

A loyal reader asked: “I’ve been hearing a lot about the KETO diet.  How does the MIND diet compare?”

Good question.


With the disclaimer that I’m not a nutritionist, here’s what I found…


First, some background on KETO …

The  KETO diet (short for “ketogenic diet”) is a variant of the old Atkins Diet.

KETO reduces carbohydrate intake, replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones, which can supply energy for the brain

So, KETO  claims to help you lose weight, improve your overall health and potentially have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

The MIND diet is more specifically aimed at  improving brain function and slowing the decline in brain health that people often experience as they age.


So, how do KETO and MIND they compare?

For openers, they both encourage some foods, most notably:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Berries

And, both diets say to avoid some foods:

  • Unhealthy fats (think fried foods)
  • Pastries and sweets
  • Processed foods
  • Sugar-free foods and drinks
  • Soda

So far, so good, but…

The are some very significant differences.

  • MIND says to avoid red meat and cheese; both are mainstays of KETO
  • KETO says to avoid carbs like the plague; MIND advocates moderate, whole grain consumption
  • KETO says to avoid fruits, except berries; MIND is more fruit-friendly
  • MIND says to eat beans often; KETO says to avoid them.


Bottom line: MIND and KETO are very different.

Consider your objectives and dig way deeper if before you jump on either bandwagon.

For starters, see the Healthline articles from which I drew most of the above info:

Happy dieting…


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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