By Julie Gregory, Chief Health Liaison for Apollo Health

KetoFLEX 12/3 is truly in a class by itself. If you’re envisioning bacon-wrapped cheese with slabs of ribs and coffee dolloped with butter and heavy cream, I’m here to burst your bubble. KetoFLEX 12/3 is NOT the Atkins Diet, the Carnivore Diet, or even Keto 2.0.

While other keto diets may promise to help with blood sugar control and weight loss, they can also come with some frightening side effects, including increased gut permeability, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease.    

Our version of “keto” is very different. We take the best of many healthful diets (Mediterranean, MIND, Paleo, DASH, Pegan, etc.) and roll them into an approach that harnesses multiple mechanisms to heal underlying chronic disease and supply your brain with the nutrients it needs for optimal performance. Indeed, a recent clinical trial using KetoFLEX 12/3 as a part of an overall protocol has demonstrated reversal of cognitive decline in a population with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. The only side effects are improved health and a sharper mind. If you’re ready to ditch your statins, diabetes, and hypertension medications, read on for more. 


What exactly is KetoFLEX 12/3?

KetoFLEX 12/3 is a heavily plant-based, nutrient-dense, whole foods diet that emphasizes local, organic, and seasonal non-starchy vegetables from every color of the rainbow, combined with an adequate amount of clean protein and generous amounts of healthy fat. The name itself is a mouthful. I’ll start by breaking down each part to help you understand the underlying mechanisms that we use to support brain health.  

Keto refers to ketosis, the process by which your body uses dietary fat and breaks down stored body fat to use as fuel. An inability to effectively use glucose as brain fuel precedes and accompanies the development of Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about how and why ketosis helps, see The Importance of Ketosis for Brain Health

FLEX refers to metabolic flexibility, the ability to use both glucose and fat as fuel. While our initial goal is to remind our bodies how to get into natural ketosis, our long-term goal is to reclaim our metabolic flexibility to optimize the fuel supply to our brains.

12/3 refers to the minimum amount of time spent fasting. We advise a minimum twelve-hour fast, including the period of time that you’re sleeping, beginning at least three hours before bedtime to promote autophagy, a cellular housekeeping process vital for health optimization. See Cognitive Restoration Through Fasting to learn more.  


How does it help my brain?

This new version of keto was developed through Dr. Dale Bredesen’s clinical work with thousands of participants. By using “food as medicine,” he’s been able to harness multiple mechanisms (see the list below) to optimally support the brain to prevent and reverse cognitive decline while also generally healing the chronic diseases that lead to dementia.

● Creates critical insulin sensitivity.
● Addresses neuronal fuel reduction and mitochondrial deficiency.
● Reduces inflammation.
● Upregulates immunity.
● Increases circulation and optimizes blood pressure.
● Provides raw materials for synaptic support.
●Protects against nutrient deficiencies associated with cognitive decline.
● Promotes cellular autophagy and amyloid beta clearance. 
● Promotes detoxification. 
● Protects against muscle and bone loss associated with cognitive decline.


Still wondering what to eat?

It’s one thing to learn about the scientific underpinnings of the diet and a very different thing to translate that into actual meals. See But What do I Eat? for details, and check out the plate diagram above to help you visualize the foods that will make up your daily intake on KetoFLEX 12/3.

Vegetables   You’ll notice that three-quarters of the plate is comprised of vegetables. Yes, vegetables! In fact, we encourage everyone to work up to 6 to 9 cups of non-starchy vegetables daily. These phytonutrient powerhouses are vital for brain health. They not only supply specific nutrients and fiber to promote detoxification, but they also provide the building blocks to cultivate a healthy gut microbiome that can influence brain health. Indeed, specific vegetables, including prebiotics (e.g., asparagus, jicama), resistant starches in small amounts (e.g., colored potatoes, legumes), and probiotics (e.g., kimchi, sauerkraut).

Protein   As an omnivore, you can still enjoy an adequate amount of clean animal protein. We prioritize low mercury wild-caught seafood for DHA and pastured eggs for choline, but grass-fed beef, lamb, and pastured poultry are other good choices. If you’re primarily plant-based, no worries. You can also make your way of eating very healthy for your brain by heeding specific precautions. Learn more at KetoFLEX 12/3 for Vegans and Vegetarians.

Healthy Fats   We encourage generous use of high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) at every meal. Make it the base of your salad dressings, sauces, and use it to generously finish your cooked vegetables. It’s not only delicious but also has been shown to be heart-healthy and to promote improved brain structure, function, and even cognition. Other healthy fats that we encourage are those found in avocados, nuts, and seeds.


But how do I get into ketosis?

With all of these delicious vegetables back on your plate, you may be wondering how you can achieve a state of ketosis. No worries! The vegetables we’re using are low glycemic and mixed with lots of healthy fats. We also combine our dietary approach with a long daily fast and exercise — all of which help to create ketosis. So, instead of relying on nutritional ketosis alone, we’re harnessing other ancestral strategies and have combined a winning triad to optimize metabolic and overall health.        


Ready to dig in?

Move over bacon, ribs, cheeses, butter, heavy cream, and more and make room for a healthy new keto diet featuring loads of colorful veggies in bright salads, bowls, or even stir-fries, with your choice of clean proteins — wild-caught salmon, prawns, or even a grass-fed steak with delicious salad dressings combined with pestos, aiolis, remoulades, and more for a winning combination sure to delight your tastebuds, improve overall health, and most importantly – sharpen your cognition!

If you’re not ready to take on the challenge of cooking a whole-food diet from scratch, consider our new KetoFLEX 12/3 Meal Kit delivery service. If you still have questions, schedule a free 15-minute Discovery Call with our board-certified holistic nutritionist Sara Tate, M.S., F.M.C.H.C., B.C.H.N.


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