When boxer Marvin Hagler fought Vito Antuofermo in 1979 for a shot at a world title, the 15-round match ended in a draw. But Hagler came back to defeat Antuofermo three years later, retaining his newly won WBC and WBA world middleweight titles.
That shows a draw doesn't always mean two opponents are truly equal. You can see it clearly in a study from Stanford Medicine that looked at the benefits and debits of the keto diet vs. Mediterranean diet for people with prediabetes or diabetes.
Researchers wanted to see how each diet affected blood glucose levels, cardiometabolic risk factors, weight loss, and nutrition, as well as whether people could stick to the diets.
Keto is extremely low-carb and high-fat; the Mediterranean diet is lower-carb and fat, plant-based, and includes whole grains, olive oil, and fish.
After 12 weeks on each diet, the researchers found that participants' blood sugar levels and weight loss were more or less the same for each diet plan — a draw. But heart-damaging LDL cholesterol levels went up on the keto diet and down on the Mediterranean diet, and keto delivered significantly fewer life-sustaining nutrients such as fiber, thiamin, vitamins B6, C, D and E, and phosphorus.
In addition, the keto diet was harder to stick with long-term.
Add this data to another study, published in JAMA, which found that a Mediterranean diet helps prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer's in middle-age Hispanic adults, and we say the title of healthiest diet clearly goes to the Mediterranean plan.