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Are Ketosis Strips Accurate

The Best Way To Monitor Ketone Levels

The Best Way To Monitor Ketone Levels

Awareness and appreciation of the “low-carb high-fat” ketogenic diet has been steadily growing over the last few years. Along with that, you hear the words ketosis and ketones used more commonly. That’s excellent, but many people don’t really know what it all actually means. ..What are ketones? And what does your body do with them? What are the proper levels of ketones you should have to be in ketosis? With so many people talking about the diet/lifestyle, it’s understandable that there is more misinformation as a result. So, let’s clear it all up in this post. First we’ll review the details of ketones – what they are, how they’re formed, etc. – and then we’ll talk about how to monitor them. Let’s dive in! Contents: First Off, What Exactly Are Ketones? Ketones, or ketone bodies, are byproducts created by the body in the process of breaking down (metabolizing) fat for energy, when carbohydrate levels in the body are low. It works like this… The body prefers to use glucose (from carbs) as its source of fuel. But when there isn’t a sufficient level of glucose, and glycogen levels are depleted, blood sugar and insulin levels are reduced, as the body looks for an alternative source of fuel: fat. This process can occur during fasting, starvation, extended periods of exercise, or in the case we’re referring to in this post and on this site: while adhering to a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet. …When the body switches to metabolizing fats for energy – a process called beta-oxidation – instead of glucose, ketones are created as a fuel source for the body and the brain. It is this process which is referred to as ketosis or ketogenesis…Or, as some people like to say, switching from being a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner”. If you’re Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

5 Ways to Measure Your Ketones A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. Research has demonstrated that this nutrition plan improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation throughout the body. This leads to greater fat metabolism and muscle development as well as a reduced risk of chronic disease. (1, 2). I get asked all the time how to measure the state of ketosis. There are several major ways and we will discuss those in this article. Measuring Your Ketones There are three types of ketone bodies: Acetone, Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxybutryate (BHB). Each of these three can be tested as acetone is a ketone released through the breath, acetoacetate is a ketone released through urine and BHB is (although not technically a ketone it acts like a ketone) in the blood stream and used by the cells for energy. 1. Blood Ketone Meter This measures BHB and is considered to be the most accurate way to measure ketone bodies. These have the ability to determine the ketone level in your blood precisely but they are also pricey and invasive. Personally, I freak out every time I have to prick my finger!! The Precision Xtra blood glucose and ketone meter is a good buy at $28-$30. The expensive part is the ketone test strips here which can cost $4 each. If you are looking at testing yourself every day it is going to cost you $120 a month and the $30 meter. Here is a starter kit you can get on Amazon Most people will enter into a light nutritional ketosis (between 0.5-1.0 mmol/L on the meter) within two or three days. It typically takes Continue reading >>

Measuring Ketosis On A Ketogenic Diet

Measuring Ketosis On A Ketogenic Diet

Tweet Ketosis is the process of burning body fat for energy and can be measured when following a low-carb ketogenic diet. You don’t have to test for ketones for a ketogenic diet to work but some people may find it helps to check they’re on track and to tailor their diet towards more effective weight loss. Whilst ketosis is a natural process in the body, it’s important to know the safety implications of being on a ketogenic diet which will apply to people on certain diabetes and blood pressure medications. How measuring ketosis can help Whilst we can all measure our weight to see whether weight loss is occurring, there are a number of reasons why measuring ketosis can be better. Our weight can go up and down through the day but this won’t tell us whether we are actually burning body fat. Simply going to the toilet, for example, will involve a certain loss of body weight but that won’t give us any idea whether we’ve burned any body fat over the past hour or two. Additionally, if you’re exercising and putting on muscle, the scales will only show weight loss stalling or a gain in weight and won’t show you whether you’re gaining muscle whilst also losing body fat. Measuring ketone levels can help much more directly therefore as the production of ketones is a direct result of fat burning. Just as blood sugar levels vary through the day, depending on what we’ve eaten and how our body is coping with metabolising the food, ketones levels can also change through the day in response to the food we eat and how our body copes in response. How to measure ketones There are a few different methods of measuring ketones which each have their pros and cons. Urine ketone strips Urine testing strips are cheap but measuring ketones in the urine rather than the breath or b Continue reading >>

Why I Stopped Testing My Ketones On A Ketogenic Diet

Why I Stopped Testing My Ketones On A Ketogenic Diet

On measuring Ketones. Like many people, when I first started a Ketogenic diet in early 2014 I bought the Ketostix and just couldn’t wait to see the color change. And change it did! It was neat, and it provided motivation for me to continue. Eventually, I got a blood meter, a breath meter and spent lots of time (and money) testing ketones. Between a Ketonix Breath Ketone Analyzer, as well as dozens of blood ketone test strips, I’ve probably spent well over $500 testing ketones. The main thing I learned from my extensive ketone testing regimen is that the results vary widely and there’s little application to my goals. Eventually, I stopped testing and here are several reasons why: 1. Burning fatty acids from fat is the main benefit of a ketogenic diet On a ketogenic diet, some of the brain’s energetic demand is fueled by ketones, but the heart, muscles, etc. are fueled by fatty acids. Most of the energy we utilize both at rest and at sub-maximal exertion on a ketogenic diet is fatty acid, not ketones. Quoting Dr. Ron Rosedale on chasing ketones at the Keto Summit: “I don’t want people to have the mindset that it’s the ketones that are the benefit of the diet. They are a beneficial side effect, but the main benefit is that you are burning fatty acids from fat. The more fatty acids from fat you are burning, the less glucose you need to burn. And that’s really where you are getting the benefit…So ketones are great but the term ketogenic diet indicating that the diet is so good because you are generating all these ketones is a misinterpretation of the benefit. The main benefit is that you are burning fatty acids, and as a side effect of burning fatty acids you are producing ketones that your body can burn too!” 2. Urine Ketones aka “peetones” are ridic Continue reading >>

How To Tell If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips

How To Tell If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips

A ketogenic diet is having a minor resurgence as of late, surpassing low carb diets for fat loss. The idea of keto dieting is to use all of your bodies glucose reserves and burn ketones for energy. The body eventually reaches a state of ketosis from the result of reducing your net carb intake. People who are new to a low carb high fat, ketogenic diet often ask what are the signs, symptoms and how to tell if you are in ketosis without strips. If you’ve never been in ketosis before then you may not even realize you are in it. The human body is quite remarkable being able to switch from burning glucose for energy to ketones. Your body experiences many physiological adaptions, including a decline in insulin and breakdown of fats. While Ketosis may be confirmed by urine ketone sticks and blood ketone tests, it is not always practical or convenient. You may be at work, out to eat with friends and don’t need the hassle of measuring your blood or urine levels of ketones. There are many small signs and symptoms of ketosis which can help your analysis. Sleep and Ketosis No matter what type of diet you follow, after a good nights sleep you are already in light ketosis. While you have fasted for over 8 hours you are on your way to burning ketones. Once our liver glycogen stores have been depleted we begin to produce ketone bodies at an exponential rate. Despite that, it doesn’t mean that we’ll be utilizing them efficiently. We will not be able to effectively use ketone bodies for our muscles, brain, digestive system if we are not keto-adapted. When following a ketogenic diet some people may experience all symptoms of ketosis, some may only feel a few signs or none at all. If you are brand new to low carb high fat dieting then achieving the optimal fat burning state takes ti Continue reading >>

Low-carb = Ketosis? Not Necessarily.

Low-carb = Ketosis? Not Necessarily.

I’ve been following Jimmy Moore’s N=1 experiment with staying in nutritional ketosis on his blog, but it was instructive to actually watch the man eat during his visit last week. His meals are WAY high in fat now and he watches his protein intake. I must admit, despite everything I’ve read about the benefits of ketosis, when I watched Jimmy scooping gobs of butter and sour cream on his cheesy scrambled eggs in the morning, I couldn’t help thinking, “Wait a minute … you’re losing weight eating like this?” The reason he’s doing this is that he discovered eating low-carb doesn’t necessarily mean being in ketosis, or at least not in the zone that Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney call nutritional ketosis: a blood ketone level of between 0.5 and 3.0 mM. As they explain in their terrific book The Art and Science of Low-Carb Living, it’s within this zone that we can easily tap body fat for fuel and keep our brains happily supplied with ketones. When Dr. Atkins was practicing and writing his books, he urged people to test their ketone levels with ketone urine strips. That was the technology available at the time. Unfortunately, the ketones in urine aren’t necessarily an accurate reflection of the ketones in the bloodstream, which is the level that matters. The reason for the disparity is that as you become keto-adapted, you tend to use more of the ketones for fuel instead of excreting them. The newer and better technology is a device similar to a glucose meter that tests ketone levels in the blood. As Jimmy Moore explained on his blog, he was surprised when he first used a ketone meter and saw that despite being on a very low-carb diet, his blood ketone level was only 0.1. After adjusting his diet, he’s hanging around the 2.0 level most of the time Continue reading >>

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>

Ketone Strip Reviews Which Keto Urine Sticks Are The Best?

Ketone Strip Reviews Which Keto Urine Sticks Are The Best?

If this is your first-time hearing about keto strips as a weight loss product, then you’re probably wondering what in the world they are. Fortunately, we’re here not only to answer that question but to also give you the rundown on how to find the type and brand is the best keto strip today. But first, let’s rewind a bit. To understand what these products do, it’s important to first understand ketosis. This process is the metabolic state in which your liver breaks down body fat. Through this process it produces ketones. During a ketogenic diet, they are your body’s primary source of fuel. What this means is, if you want to lose weight through this process, then these particular bodies are essential to keep your body powering through the challenges of everyday life. As you can imagine, this would make measuring your bodies ketone levels very important during the process of this diet. There are three primary methods of doing so: For more information on choosing the right measurement tool for you and getting the most accurate results possible, you definitely need to keep reading this review. Continue reading >>

Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?

Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver breaks down fat to produce ketones. Ketones, on a ketogenic diet, are the primary fuel source for the body. If you’re new to the ketogenic diet and you still have questions, consider reading our Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Keto > There are three main ways to measure the ketones in your body, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The most common ways to measure are: Blood Ketone Meter. Very accurate but the strips are extremely expensive. Breath Ketone Meters. More accurate than the urine strips, but can sometimes vary in accuracy. Cheaper than blood strips in the long-run. Urine Stricks. This will answer the question “Am I in ketosis?” but will not provide an accurate measure of blood ketones. Scroll down to read a more in-depth analysis of each, and what we recommend for you. Measuring Ketones with Urine Sticks Urine sticks will always be the cheapest and easiest way to measure ketosis. For beginners, this should cover everything you need – there is no point in getting more complex blood strips so early on when you are still trying to understand the nuances of a ketogenic diet. Ultimately, keto sticks are very easy to use – you hold the sticks in your urine stream for a few seconds, and within 10-15 seconds you should notice a color change in the strip (if you are in ketosis). The color of the stick typically is measured in red: light pink being low in ketone production and dark purple being high in ketone production. While keto sticks can be ideal for a general answer to the question “Am I in ketosis?”, they aren’t precise with their accuracy. They measure the acetoacetate in your urine, which is an unused ketone by the body. As you get deeper into ketosis and your body adapts, your b Continue reading >>

3 Common Ways To Measure Ketone Levels

3 Common Ways To Measure Ketone Levels

When you transition from burning glucose to using fat as a fuel (and consecutively, ketones), you will notice a number of changes in your body. There are many signs to tell that you are in ketosis. However, if you’d like to know for sure whether you’re in ketosis, there are three ways to measure it with relative certainty. #1. Using Urine Strips The cheapest method is to use urine strips (Ketostix or a similar product), which will detect whether there is a spill-over of ketones in your urine. Urine strips that measure ketones were initially designed for diabetics to allow them to check for signs of ketoacidosis (a state that is very different from nutritional ketosis), however, a lot of people from the keto community have resorted to using them in order to check whether they’re in ketosis. The way to use them is to either pee on a strip or pee in a cup and dip the strip in it. You need to wait for a few moments (usually 15 seconds, check the strips’ label for detailed instructions). If the strip changes colour, this means you’re in ketosis. Higher readings are not necessarily better for weight loss and might mean that you’re dehydrated, in which case you need to make sure that you’re drinking enough water. Urine strips are not very reliable for people who have been in ketosis for a while, as they measure only excess ketones that the body is getting rid of. As your body becomes fat-adapted, it will become more efficient in using the ketones it’s producing, and as a consequence the ketone levels in your urine will decrease, to the point of giving you false negatives. #2. Using Blood Ketone Meters As their name suggests, blood ketone meters measure the ketone levels in your blood. They are much more accurate than the urine strips, as they don’t measure on Continue reading >>

Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

Many people following keto diets want to be in ketosis, a natural state in which the body burns fat for fuel. For this reason, people are curious about whether they are doing enough (via carb restriction) to achieve this state. As a result, ketone strips are a popular tool that numerous people use as a way of measuring ketosis. However, just how accurate are they? And how do they compare to alternate methods of measuring ketones? What is Ketosis? Anyone following a standard high-carbohydrate diet will be burning glucose for energy. However, the body can use both carbohydrate and fat for fuel (1). When carbohydrate intake is very low, the body switches to burning fat for energy. As this happens, our body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural biological state during which our body burns fat for fuel. While we are “in ketosis,” our blood levels of ketones—a by-product from the breakdown of fats—rise. Measuring these ketones (also known as ‘ketone bodies’) can, therefore, provide a hint as to how deeply our body is (or isn’t) in ketosis. For this reason, ketone strips—which measure the level of ketones—have become increasingly popular in recent times. Key Point: Ketosis is a biological state where the human body burns fat rather than carbs. What are Ketone Test Strips? For people who want to know if they’re in ketosis, ketone test strips are a cheap and simple way of detecting ketone levels. They are otherwise known as ‘ketone sticks’ and work by urinalysis to tell us the volume of acetoacetate in our urine. If you don’t know what acetoacetate is, then let’s start at the beginning. First of all, there are three types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Acetoacetate is one of the two main ketone bodies, and it is present in urine. We can test f Continue reading >>

Ketone Bodies Explained: How To Measure Ketone Levels?

Ketone Bodies Explained: How To Measure Ketone Levels?

Ketosis is an awesome superpower of our bodies. This can be used for rapid fat loss, curing diseases, improving physical and mental performance. It is a metabolic state, where your body starts using fat as fuel, resulting in fat loss. If you are new to the whole ketogenic diet thing, then definitely check out our Ketosis101: What is the ketogenic diet guide and see the comprehensive list of foods you can eat during the ketogenic diet. But the real question remains, how in the world are you supposed to know, if you are in a state of ketosis or not? Well, we need to measure ketone bodies right? Without an accurate measurement method, it is very hard to achieve an optimized ketogenic diet, which you can take advantage of. Well, fear not, that’s what this article is all about. We are going to cover everything from what to measure up to tips and tricks on how to get the most accurate results possible. Let’s take the guessing out of the equation. Before we dive deep into measuring ketone bodies, first let’s go over some basics of what we actually are measuring. What are we measuring? The short answer is ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are produced by the liver from fatty acids. Your body starts producing ketone bodies thanks to low carb restrictive diets and fasting. Your body produces three types of ketone bodies when in ketosis: Acetoacetate (AcAc) in the urine, beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) in the blood and acetone in the breath. Two first ones are used as a vital source of energy in the heart and brain, during fasting. The last one is a waste product excreted from the body.[1] The best part of measuring ketones is that you can measure all 3 types from the very comfort of your home, by yourself. How to measure ketones? There are 3 different methods for measuring ketosi Continue reading >>

The Best Ketone Meter For Monitoring Ketosis

The Best Ketone Meter For Monitoring Ketosis

If you're on the ketogenic diet, measuring your ketone levels is crucial to make sure your body is actually in ketosis - otherwise, you're basically just leaving things up to chance. We spent roughly five days researching ketosis meters in order to find the most accurate monitor for measuring ketone levels, and after reviewing 20+ options, we've found the Precision Xtra to be the best ketone meter available. Using a light prick of the finger, it measures ketone levels using your blood, collecting nearly-exact numbers to help you manage your diet better than any other testing method. You will also need a set of ketone test strips to get started, which can be a little expensive, but we consider this a small price to pay when you're investing in your health. If you’re following the ketogenic diet, you probably already know how it works – low carb, high fat. By eliminating carbohydrates (our body’s main energy source), you’re manipulating your body to move into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of carbs. Maintaining ketosis is relatively easy if you stick to the core principles of the diet (60-70% fat, 20-30% protein, 5-10% carbs), but at the end of the day, you still don’t know for sure if your body has successfully made the transition. Instead, regularly using a ketone meter (also called a ketosis meter) is the preferred way to ensure your blood-ketone level consistently stays within the optimal range for ketosis. There are three main types of ketone meters: blood ketone meters, urine strips, and breath analyzers. Urine strips and breath analyzers work exactly as their names imply – one measures ketone levels using your urine, the other measures them using your breath. Blood ketone meters, on the other hand, work like a blood-glucose me Continue reading >>

Do You Really Need Ketostix?

Do You Really Need Ketostix?

If you’ve ever spent time browsing the #keto hashtag on Instagram (what? I like to get meal ideas!), you’ve likely seen pictures of ketostix, proudly displaying their pinkish purple results. It’s exciting! It’s an almost instant way to tell if you’re in ketosis…sort of. Either way, the concentration of keto strip pictures on social media would seem to indicate that they’re necessary. After all, don’t you want to know you’re in ketosis? So, what’s the deal with ketostix? Do we really need keto strips to know we’re in ketosis? What Are Ketostix? Basically, ketostix (or keto strips) are used to detect ketones in your urine or blood. If you’re in ketosis, your body will excrete a measurable amount of ketones. This is a fairly good indicator of whether or not you were recently in ketosis. I say recently because if you have literally just eaten a piece of chocolate cake, and then go to test to see if you got knocked out of ketosis (spoiler alert: you did), it might not register for a little while. There are typically two types of keto strips. One is the type that you pee on, and the other is a blood test. For the latter, you use the same type of testing kit that diabetics use to test blood sugar levels, only with a different type of strip. The strips for the blood meters are actually really expensive, so most people tend to go with the first type mentioned. Alternatively, you could use a ketone monitor that checks for ketone levels in your breath. This is the most accurate way to check ketone levels, as it’s a snapshot of your body’s current state. These are disposable, but still more costly than just peeing on a strip. So… Do I Need Ketostix to Know I’m in Ketosis? Maybe, this one’s kind of relative. When you’re just starting out on a keto Continue reading >>

Kicked Out Of Ketosis? The Dirty Little Secret About Ketone Testing Strips

Kicked Out Of Ketosis? The Dirty Little Secret About Ketone Testing Strips

[Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I might receive a small commission if you purchase something by using one of those links.] Confused about how ketone testing strips actually work? Do you think you've been kicked out of ketosis because they suddenly turned tan? Many low-carb dieters have misconceptions about Ketostix and blood ketone levels, so in this post, we are going to clear out some of those myths and misunderstandings. You'll get the truth about testing strips and learn what really causes those high blood ketone levels. If you hang out at low-carb forums for any length of time, you're bound to hear again and again how someone recently got kicked out of the state of ketosis, and they are looking for a fast way to get back in. Out of all of the issues that you can have with a low-carb lifestyle, understanding ketone testing strips is one of the biggies. “I got kicked out of ketosis,” is one of the most common complaints I hear. And while that may or may not be true, depending on the situation, there are a lot of misconceptions about the role that ketones and ketone testing strips play in a low-carb diet. Even those who are using a blood meter often go by the rumors circulating around the web instead of listening to Dr. Phinney himself. For example: One of the misconceptions I've run into over the years is the idea that ketones are used to fuel the entire body. This is only true at the very beginning of your low-carb diet. When the body first runs out of glucose, the body runs on protein and ketones, but as carbohydrate restriction continues past those first few days, your body goes through a series of steps, or adaptions, that eventually result in muscle insulin resistance. This resistance to the presence of insulin allows the ketones buildin Continue reading >>

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