Macronutrients are the best way to track our food intake while being on a diet. (You can see a brief explanation HERE).Every diet has a macronutrient ratio based on the theory behind it. The Ketogenic diet is no exception. Before I explain this in further detail, allow me to elaborate on the standard diet. Which is what a diet should look like according to your country’s dietary guidelines, for instance the CDC promotes a low fat diet to improve your health.
However, they do not explain openly the macro ratio on the webpage, but we can assume it’s a high carbohydrate diet since energy source macros are interchangeable. Pretty much it should look like the graphic under the “standard American diet” title.
I bet you noticed the second graphic with the title “real standard American diet”, well since “standard” may mean either “a model” or something “common” I decided to show you this comparison. The second graphic represents what the usual “careless and popular” diet lookslike. Pretty much a lot of everything!
Macronutrient ratio for the ketogenic diet.
A ketogenic diet has a high fat intake and a low carb intake, the first graphic shows a common ratio, however this might seem inaccurate. While this first ratio MIGHT allow you to enter the state of ketosis it does not assure you will remain on it. This is because 10% of carbohydrates on someone whose calorie intake is around 2000kcals a day, mean 200 kcals from carbohydrates, which translates into 50grams of carbs. The same applies to the protein intake. Someone with a higher muscle mass will require a higher intake of protein, there for 20% might be too little.
Our bodies really only need around 30g of carbs a day, this also helps you regulate your blood’s glucose, and if you consume below this mark, you will surely remain on ketosis. And about protein, your ideal intake should be anywhere from .69g to 1.2g per lb of lean body mass. (High protein intake isn’t harmful ON HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS, and over a short period of time). This is a ratio that will allow you to remain in ketosis, therefore I named it “real ketogenic diet ratio”.
FINALLY A TIP: although you see the ratios represented in %, you should ALWAYS consider to calculate them in grams. To do so you must choose the grams for your source energy followed by the grams of protein and fill the rest with last macronutrient. (Fats are usually last on any diet)
Let’s say I want to calculate the grams for my 2000 Calorie ketogenic diet. I would:
- Set my carbohydrate limit: 30g (equals 120kcals)
- Set my protein intake: 140g (560 kcals) -THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE, you need to calculate your own-
- Set my fat intake by doing a simple add and substract operation: (120kcals+560kcals= 680kcals) (2000kcals-680kcals= 1320kcals) (1320/9=146.6) so 146g
This might sound very complicated but the calculator I suggested on THIS POST. Does all of this for you. Feel free to check it out.