Sustained nutritional ketosis can be therapeutic
People already experiencing cognitive decline are advised to try a therapeutic ketogenic version of Ketoflex™ that is very low carb overall. A well-designed ketogenic diet includes things like five or more servings of low-carb non-starchy vegetables (as tolerated) daily as well as high amount of healthy fat, including foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, eggs, fatty cold-water fish, and olive oil (see photo below). Healthy fats are prominent at most every meal. It doesn’t look like a typical popular “keto” diet, as you may have gathered from the photos of Ketoflex™ foods here.
If you’re aiming for a therapeutic ketogenic diet, I recommend in-depth preparation before attempting mild ketosis so that you have a good experience. Most people need to adapt slowly to accessing energy from mostly consumed good fats and stored bodyfat, rather than sugar from carbohydrates. To prepare, you may read about the ketogenic diet in the recommended books on my recipes webpage, discuss it at my free meetups (in San Diego), learn more in my Brain Health Revitalization program, or work one-on-one with a dietician or health coach specializing in ReCODE™ and Ketoflex™, like me.
In general, you may want to wait to aim for therapeutic nutritional ketosis until after (a) your diet predominantly consists of the “lots” and “some” foods listed on the Ketoflex Eating page, (b) you’re quite comfortable eating 100 grams of carbohydrates per day (the slim minority who do lots of anaerobic physical activity for relatively long durations would be an exception to this carb guideline), and (c) you have no problem fasting for 12 hours every night. That’s a general starting point; of course, a better understanding of each individual is required for better personalized coaching. While adjusting to this way of eating, proceed with another aspect of the ReCODE™ program—brain training, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress reduction, detox, and/or ReCODE supplements.
For most everyone who tries it, a fully ketogenic Ketoflex™ diet brings an end to cravings, significant hunger, and irritability between meals. Most also experience more sustained energy throughout the day.
Some people experience significantly more mental sharpness and enhanced cognitive functioning while in ketosis so they seek to sustain a nearly constant state of mild ketosis. Others introduce carb cycling after a therapeutic period of sustained ketosis.
A well-formulated ketogenic diet combined with coaching is a very effective therapy to reverse type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes (see this 2018 clinical study) as well as resolve the insulin-resistance in brain cells contributing to cognitive decline. You can read about the anti-inflammatory and additional therapeutic benefits of fueling the brain with ketones in Dr. Bredesen’s 2017 book.
Choose the most healthful, highest quality fats that you can afford. Nourish your brain with health-promoting fatty foods like those pictured above—wild-caught Alaskan salmon, pasture-raised eggs, high poly-phenolic olive oil, grass-fed organic ghee, hemp seed, olives packed in olive oil, and a diversity of tree nuts, like macadamias, walnuts, and hazelnuts/filberts. Compared to other ketogenic diets, Ketoflex™ steers you toward more modest amounts and higher quality selections of other more controversials fats. Especially for people with elevated LDLp or who are ApoE4+, this can mean choosing one strip of pasture-raised sugar-free bacon rather than lots of bacon or adding a couple of tablespoons rather than a half-cup of coconut milk to your beverage.
Because a ketogenic diet is high in fat, it’s essential to keep carbohydrate intake quite low. Avoid the combination of high-fat, high-carb, and excess calories in the disastrous standard American diet eaten by sedentary people.
For most people, a well-designed ketogenic Ketoflex™ diet promises more health rewards than risks. It can even help preserve, optimize, and restore memory and cognitive functioning. Readers worried about coronary heart disease (CHD) from eating more fat may find comfort in a 2017 meta-analysis that found no significant difference in CHD mortality with total fat or saturated fat intake. While this is generally true, a physician should monitor your cardiovascular disease markers to ensure you are not a hyper-responder to a high fat diet.
Please consult your physician, qualified dietician, nutritionist and/or health coach before starting a strict ketogenic diet as it might be contraindicated or require additional supplementation for individuals who are quite thin, frail, or have certain health conditions. The 2018 book “Superfuel” can be a source of sound information for composing a healthy ketogenic diet.
That said, individuals often need a second pair of eyes, especially from a qualified nutrition professional, to make sure their overall ketogenic eating is well formulated. An experienced Qualified ReCODE™ practitioner such as myself can be especially valuable to guide you through the transition phase into therapeutic ketosis so that you don’t get caught in what could otherwise be miserable experience in between.