Being Fat Adapted Versus "in Ketosis" (pt.1/3)
UPDATE!! (9/20/2017) I have a new post that explains how and why the body produces ketones, It will help you understand much better the difference between burning fat and having a fat-based metabolism, versus being "in ketosis." It's very long, but I think it's worth reading if you'd really like to understand this -- and if you want to stop freaking out about your ketone levels. (If you click over to that post and want to read only the section that explains the difference between ketosis and running on fat, scroll way down to where it says Ketogenesis: How and Why Do We Make Ketones? Also: Fat Adaptation versus Ketosis.) Happy reading! If I never hear or read those six words, in that order, ever again, I’ll be one happy individual. Based on what I come across on low-carb forums, blogs, and videos, there is a lot of confusion about the correct use of urine ketone test strips (which I’ll sometimes refer to as ketostix, since “ketone test strips” is a mouthful, even when you’re only reading). So allow me to ‘splain a little bit about how to interpret these things, and what role they should play—if any—in your low-carb life. First and foremost is the most important thing you will read in today’s post. (And it is so important that I will likely repeat it in all the posts to follow in this little series. Plus, you can tell it’s important because it’s red, bold, in italics, and all caps, hehheh.) You can be in ketosis and not lose body fat, and you can lose body fat without being in ketosis. Here is an exhaustive, comprehensive list of everything urine ketone test strips tell you: There is acetoacetate in your urine. That’s it. Nothing more. Nada más. Game over. Finito. The fat lady has sung, and Elvis has left the building. Your worth as a human being Continue reading >>
How Do The Ketone Test Strips Work, And Where Can I Get Them?
Ketone urine-testing strips, also called Ketostix or just ketone sticks ... are small plastic strips that have a little absorptive pad on the end. This contains a special chemical that will change colour in the presence of ketones in the urine. The strips may change varying shades of pink to purple, or may not change colour at all. The container will have a scale on the label, with blocks of colour for you to compare the strip after a certain time lapse, usually 15 seconds. Most folks simply hold a strip in the flow of urine. However, the force of the flow can "wash" some of the chemical away, experts advise that a sample of urine be obtained in a cup or other container, then the strip dipped into it. The chemical reagent is very sensitive to moisture, including what's in the air. It's important to keep the lid of the container tightly closed at all times, except for when you're getting a strip to take a reading. Make sure your fingers are dry before you go digging in! They also have an expiry date, so make note of this when you purchase the strips ... that's for the UNopened package. Once opened, they have a shelf-life of about 6 months -- you may wish to write the date you opened on the label for future reference. Ketone test strips can be purchased at any pharmacy, and are usually kept with the diabetic supplies. In some stores they're kept behind the counter, so if you don't see them on the shelf, just ask the pharmacist; you don't need a prescription to buy them. Continue reading >>
Ketosis & Ketone Test Strips
Discuss this article! By Doreen EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT KETOSIS ... 1. What are ketones? 2. How will ketosis help me to lose weight? 3. But, isn't ketosis dangerous? 4. How do the ketone test strips work, and where do I get them? 5. I'm following Induction strictly; why won't my strips turn purple? 6. Will I lose weight faster if the strips show dark purple all the time? 7. Does caffeine affect ketosis? 8. Will drinking alcohol affect ketosis? What are ketones? Ketones are a normal and efficient source of fuel and energy for the human body. They are produced by the liver from fatty acids, which result from the breakdown of body fat in response to the absence of glucose/sugar. In a ketogenic diet, such as Atkins ... or diets used for treating epilepsy in children, the tiny amounts of glucose required for some select functions can be met by consuming a minimum amount of carbs - or can be manufactured in the liver from PROTEIN. When your body is producing ketones, and using them for fuel, this is called "ketosis". How will ketosis help me to lose weight? Most reducing diets restrict calorie intake, so you lose weight but some of that is fat and some of it is lean muscle tissue as well. Less muscle means slowed metabolism, which makes losing weight more difficult and gaining it back all too easy. Ketosis will help you to lose FAT. Being in ketosis means that your body's primary source of energy is fat (in the form of ketones). When you consume adequate protein as well, there's no need for the body to break down its muscle tissue. Ketosis also tends to accelerate fat loss --- once the liver converts fat to ketones, it can't be converted back to fat, and so is excreted. But, isn't ketosis dangerous? Being in ketosis by following a low carbohydrate diet is Continue reading >>
What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?
If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, then you’ll know that it can be really tough to figure out if you’re doing keto right. Am I eating too many carbs? Too much protein? Should I still be feeling tired? When is the fat burning supposed to start? It’s confusing, and one of the most confusing aspects is what your optimal ketone levels are supposed to be. Unlike most other diets, the ketogenic diet is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis in order to get your body to start burning ketones instead of the glucose that it usually burns when you eat a high carb standard American diet (SAD). But to know whether you’re in ketosis and whether your body has enough ketones circulating for you to use as energy instead of glucose, you have to measure your actual ketone levels and then determine whether they’re high enough for you to be reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet. If you’ve tried searching for this information already, then you’ll know that there’s some controversy depending on which expert you follow. So in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what the different experts are suggesting are the optimal ketone levels as well as give you recommendations for what ketone levels you should be aiming for depending on your goals with a ketogenic diet. A Few Quick Notes Before We Start… If you’re looking for signs other than testing your actual body ketone levels as to whether you’re in ketosis or not, then please check out this article instead that provides you with signs you’re in ketosis. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, then this article is not for you and the optimal ketone levels suggested below are not applicable to you. Please check out the tons of other ketone level articles on the web to ensure your ketone levels do not reach Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- World's first diabetes app will be able to check glucose levels without drawing a drop of blood and will be able to reveal what a can of coke REALLY does to sugar levels
- Does the Ketogenic Diet Work for Type 2 Diabetes?
The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>
Source Many low-carbohydrate dieters utilize ketosis strips as a way to determine whether their body is reacting to the low-carb or low glycemic diet appropriately. The small strips test urine and measure whether or not you have achieved ketosis. Ketosis and Low-Carbohydrate Diets The father of the low-carbohydrate diet, Dr. Robert Atkins, brought the concept of ketosis to the popular consciousness when he penned his first book, Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, in 1972. At the time, Dr. Atkins suggested that in the process of a low-carbohydrate diet, the body achieves a process known as ketosis. When you are in ketosis, your body is burning stored fat as its primary source of fuel, causing ketones to enter your urine. Ketosis strips allow you to measure whether you are in ketosis. If you aren't in ketosis when low-carbohydrate or semi-low-carbohydrate dieting, then you may need to reduce carbohydrates further or look for hidden sugars in the foods you're eating. Signs of Ketosis Aside from using ketosis strips to test for ketosis, you may also notice other signs indicating you have entered this metabolic state, including: Bad breath Metallic taste in your mouth Increased energy, or even jitteriness Increased thirst and urine output Is Ketosis Dangerous? Many people fear ketosis is a dangerous physical state. It isn't. It merely means your body is utilizing its own fat as its primary source of fuel. The result is weight loss. Ketosis Strips Ketosis strips, also known as Ketostix, are small plastic strips that have a chemically-reactive indicator pad on the tip. You use the strips to test your urine to determine whether you are in ketosis. How to Use Using ketosis strips is relatively easy. You can either hold it in the flow of urine and take a reading after about 15 seconds, Continue reading >>
A Quick Primer On The Ketone Test Strips...
A Quick primer on the Ketone Test Strips... Questions about ketones, ketosis, KetoStix, and its implications and misconceptions have always been one of the most common querries at Low Carb Luxury. We'll try and clear up some of those mysteries here. So... what are they? You'll hear them referred to as KetoStix (the original brand name), Urine Test Strips, Reagent Strips, Ketone Testing Strips, and Lipolysis Test Strips. Depending on the plan you follow and whether you are new to this way of life, or an old timer from the 70's, you'll be referring to them as one name or another if your plan calls for being in Ketosis. Please note, we're not here to debate the merits of Ketogenic vs non-Ketogenic diets here, so don't send me mail of disagreement. For me personally, being in Ketosis is my ideal state and keeps my body's systems at their best. The Ketosis we're talking about here is what Dr. Atkins refers to as "Benign Dietary Ketosis" (or BDK), and should never be confused with Acidosis — a dangerous state for diabetics and those in advanced starvation where acetone builds in the blood and tissues. People will sometimes tell you that producing ketones is dangerous for the body. This is simply misinformation. They're confusing ketosis (the state from a Ketogenic diet) with ketoacidosis (or acidosis) which occurs in uncontrolled diabetes and/or starvation. Ketones? Ketones are incompletely burned carbon fragments. The very fact that they are less efficient as fuel is what makes them give you that 'metabolic advantage.' Some of the calories burned are not used to their full capacity... hence the person can eat more calories when in ketosis than when not, and still lose the same amount of weight. Ketoacids are short (four carbons long.) It's important because in that way the Continue reading >>
How To Use Ketone Strips To Stay In Ketosis
If you are new to the world of low carb, you may have come across people talking about ketone strips or “ketostix” to see if they are in ketosis. These are small strips to test your urine to see if you have ketones in it. It is a roundabout way to see if you are in ketosis. Here is a guide to your most common questions about how to use ketone strips and if they are right for you! Ketone Strips FAQ Testing Laboratory Microbiology - Air Quality - Mold Asbestos - Environmental - Lead emsl.com What Are Ketone Strips Used For? Ketostix are used to help track when someone is in ketosis. Sometimes people use them to see how many carbs they can consume and stay in ketosis. For most people this range is from 40-55 net carbs a day. For other, it can be as low as 20 carbs per day. Also, it can be used to help determine what foods may interfering with ketosis. For some people, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, or high fiber foods (giving a high carb content, but low net carb result) will take them out of ketosis. Using these strips can help one figure out what the problem is if they are not staying in ketosis or losing weight. How To Use Ketone Strips: You take a strip and dip it into your urine. Generally it is better to dip it into a cup with urine in it, rather than passing through your urine stream. This is because if your stream is too strong, you could potentially wash all the reagent off of the strip and get a false negative result. Either way, dip it, and remove immediately. Usually the bottle will tell you how long to wait, but as a general rule, you will see your results in seconds. After a minute, the results are no longer valid. How Accurate Are They? They are very accurate at showing if you are passing ketones in your urine, so the rate of a FALSE positive is Continue reading >>
Tweet Ketone testing is a key part of type 1 diabetes management as it helps to prevent a dangerous short term complication, ketoacidosis, from occurring. If you have type 1 diabetes, it is recommended that you have ketone testing supplies on your prescription. Ketone testing may also be useful in people with other types of diabetes that are dependent upon insulin. Why test for ketones? Ketones are produced by the body as an alternative source of energy to sugar. The body produces ketones by breaking down fats, this process is known as ketosis. Ketones may be produced as part of weight loss, however, it’s important for people with diabetes on insulin to note that ketones can be produced when the body has insufficient insulin. When the body has too little insulin, it means that cells of the body cannot take in enough sugar from the blood. To compensate for this, the body will start to break down fat to provide ketones. However, if a high level of ketones is produced, this can cause the blood to become acidic which can lead to illness and even potential danger to organs if not treated in time. This state is referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis. Where can I get ketone testing kits and sensors? The most accurate way of testing for ketones is to use a meter that measures blood ketone levels. The following blood glucose meters are able to test blood ketone levels in addition to blood glucose levels: Abbott - FreeStyle Optium Neo Menarini - GlucoMen LX Plus If you take insulin, you should be able to get these prescribed by your GP. You can also test urine for ketone levels, however, urine ketone testing is not as accurate as blood ketone testing as the levels of ketones in the urine will usually only reflect a level of up to a few hours previously. When to test for ketones? Continue reading >>
Why You Need To Stop Worrying About The Color Of Your Ketostix
Yeah, I know you like to use them, but there are so many misconceptions about what they are telling you, that I need to intervene and make sure you get it. But before I go there, let me urge you to just buy The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, and read pages 164-165. Phinney and Volek have the best description of this that has probably ever been written, and you should really just read it from them. If I could copy these pages verbatim and paste it here, I would. Seriously, it’s only a few bucks and it’s quite literally the book you want to own if you’re interested in low carb ketogenic diets. OK, while you wait for your book to arrive, let’s dig in… What ketostix measure First off, we need to understand what ketostix actually measure, and more importantly, what they don’t. Generally speaking, ketostix measure excess ketones in your urine. They are considered excess, because they are removed from your serum and shunted to your urine by your kidneys. Their caloric content is thereby wasted. Of the three types of ketones (acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) produced by your body, ketostix only measure acetoacetate. This is extremely important to understand, because it turns out that your body produces different quantities of these different types of ketones depending on how long you’ve been in ketosis. If you’ve been in ketosis for a while, you’re going to see a reduction in the “intensity” of what you register on your ketostix for two reasons: A change in the relative volume of the ketones produced/present in your body A reduction in the volume of ketones in your urine as your kidneys reduce the amount they secrete Both of these are covered below. Changes in the types of ketones you produce When you first start your ketogenic Continue reading >>
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 >>
How To Know If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips.
To know whether or not you’ve entered ketosis you can measure your blood ketone levels. But how to know if you are in ketosis without strips? Well, we’re already mildly ketogenic after an overnight fast. 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. If we’re not adapted, then our brain and muscles won’t be able to put those ketones into use. Nutritional ketosis begins if our blood ketone levels are over 0.5mMol. To indicate that, you can use either urine strips like Ketostix. There are also breath takers. The most optimal range for ketosis is between 0.5 and 3 mMol. Ketoacidosis occurs over 10mMol, which is quite hard to reach. It usually happens with people who are diabetic or after excessive alcohol consumption. But there are a few problems with measuring ketones. Having elevated levels of ketones doesn’t mean you’re in ketosis. These urine strips are expensive and taking several measurements a day is very costly. That’s why there’s another way how to know you’re in ketosis without strips. Like said, elevated ketone levels doesn’t necessarily mean ketosis. It might even be the opposite. If we’re not putting ketones into use, then we’re probably urinating it out. That’s why urine strips are not ideal. What we want to know as well is our blood sugar levels. Glucose and ketones are contradicting fuel sources. If one is elevated, then the other has to be decreased. If we have high blood sugar levels, then we won’t be able to use fat for fuel. We definitely won’t be in ketosis. Quantifying is great because it gives us an accurate interpretation of our condition. However, we shouldn’t get stuck with the dat Continue reading >>
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 >>
Ketone Strips: Are They Legit?
These days, everyone is a keto dieter, but very few actually know they’re in ketosis. Sure, you can follow the diet and take the supplements, but if it’s all predicated on reaching a certain metabolic condition, wouldn’t you want to know if you’ve achieved it? Ketone strips fall into two distinct categories that dictate the accuracy of the test you are taking. These two categories are urine and blood. The degree to which ketone strips help you to successfully monitor your blood ketone levels will be greatly affected by which of these you use. Think of a urinalysis as the book jacket version, and a blood test as the entire Moby Dick novel in regard to detail. Depending where you are on the commitment scale, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right test for your needs. Below, we’ve listed the various types, brands, and benefits/detriments of each of the ketone strips. Check them out, and see which one suits your needs best, and most importantly, helps you remain in ketosis. Ketone Strips: Urine Analysis Using urinalysis to test for ketones is simply getting a “30,000 foot view” of the ketones in your system. The body regularly emits anywhere from 3 to 15 milligrams of ketones a day. Increased amounts of ketones in the urine (acetoacetate) can show you that there is in fact an excess of ketones your system, however ketone strips that evaluate the urine will not report the amount of ketones in the blood – ketonaemia – which is where the real work is done. The benefit of using the urinalysis ketone strips at the beginning of your ketogenic diet, is that you’ll save money of the bat in case you choose not to pursue the diet later on. And, as your body initially gets into ketosis, you’ll find value in the measurements. But once your body adapts Continue reading >>
How To Know If You’re In Ketosis: A Guide To Testing Ketone Levels
Ketosis can be a powerful way to use your metabolism for fat loss, mental output, physical performance as well as many other health benefits. But how do you know if you’re actually in ketosis? As the old adage goes “test, don’t guess” when it comes to your health. In this guide, we’ll show exactly how to test your ketone levels to know if you’re in ketosis so you can make sure you’re getting all of the benefits that ketosis has to offer. There are three primary forms of ketones in your body, acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutryate. Each of these compounds do different things in the metabolism of ketosis and can be tested individually with differing techniques. Not all measurement is created equally, however, and some can be better than others for different purposes or times. The three different ketone bodies can be measured when they spill over into three different areas of your body: your breath, urine or blood. The good news is that all of these ketone level measurements can be done at home, by yourself. You don’t have to go to any lab or use any fancy high tech equipment. Tracking diligently, at least when you’re getting used to ketosis based diets, is important so you know how much you react to different variables like exercise, type and amount of food, and amounts of exogenous ketone supplements. Also, the optimal level of ketones for specific goals can vary per person. Knowing the amount where you thrive in the goal you want to achieve (and consistently checking if you’re hitting that amount) is the fastest way to reach your goals. Testing levels of ketones with urine strips (acetoacetate) One of the ketone bodies, acetoacetate, can be measured directly in the urine if they are in excessive levels. The way metabolic substrates get into Continue reading >>