Although whole foods are much more than just macronutrients, here are a few basic macronutrient guide posts to give you an idea of what is meant by moderate-protein, low-carb, and high-fat KetoFLEX™ eating.
The relative proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats you aim for in your KetoFLEX™ diet ultimately depends on your unique needs.
Dr. Bredesen generally advises meeting a daily average of 0.8-1.0 gm of protein per kg of lean bodyweight with more protein when strength training or supporting liver detoxification. Truly, everyone should be engaging in some strength training and detox support. The detrimental loss of muscle that plagues older adults can be fended off with sufficient protein. Roughly estimate a minimum grams of daily complete protein by multiplying your target bodyweight in pounds times 0.45. This protein target is generally believed below what could contribute to accelerated aging while enough to attenuate age-related muscle wasting. Complete protein may be sourced from pasture-raised eggs, wild seafood (chosen to be low in mercury and other toxins), pasture-raised meats, and carefully combined protein-rich plant sources. Note that collagen supplements are not a complete protein, neither are isolated plant foods. Consider that people who engage in strenuous muscle-building exercise or are actively detoxing may need more than 1 gm protein/kg current bodyweight. This still contrasts with the much higher protein target of many other ketogenic diets that aim.
Your daily carbohydrate target depends on biomarkers, physical activity levels, goals, cognitive condition, health status, and the carb count are starting from.
Biomarkers, like fasting insulin and HbA1c, that don’t fall within the optimal ranges printed in “The End of Alzheimer’s” can be signs to reduce carb intake while addressing other lifestyle factors.
Individuals vary widely in their glycemic response to starches, fruits, and legumes. Home monitoring of blood sugar (via a glucose meter or continuous glucose monitor) can be an excellent way to determine the types and amounts of carbohydrate foods that your body’s metabolism handles well.
For example, sedentary American over the age of fifty eating an average of 250 grams of carbohydrates each day and exhibiting multiple signs of insulin resistance might begin the first stage of their KetoFLEX™ eating plan by aiming to halve their total daily complex carbohydrates (to about 125 gm), primarily from high-quality wholesome carbohydrate foods, especially non-starchy, colorful vegetables. Restoring insulin sensitivity and stabilizing blood sugar swings entails reducing low-quality carbohydrates—especially processed foods with added sugar or flour—and avoiding high glycemic foods, like fruit juice, sweets, and rice cakes.
Even though the total carb count in grams is relatively low, a KetoFLEX™ diet includes lots of non-sugary, non-starchy plant foods. So, feel free to pile your plate high with above-ground vegetables–lots of good carbs.
Carbohydrate intake will be more restricted when pursuing a therapeutic ketogenic version of the KetoFLEX™ diet.
As a very rough starting guide, you can create a meal with well-sourced protein and good carbs as described above, then fill in the rest of your meal with healthy fats until you feel full. Strive for meals that leave you satisfied with consistent energy such that you don’t need to eat again for hours. If you’re aiming for therapeutic ketosis, upwards of 60% of your caloric intake would come from good fats. If you’re a thin person, you may need to aim for a greater proportion of calories from fat (around 75%) and ensuring you eat enough calories to not lose weight.
Please consult your doctor before altering your dietary macronutrients as noted above and in Dr. Bredesen’s books. A qualified physician in collaboration with a health coach or nutritionist can help you uncover a dietary composition most likely to serve up better health.