Does The Controversial Ketogenic Diet Really Work? Dietitians Give Their Verdict On The Low Carb High Fat Program Beloved By Celebrities
Favoured by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow for its rapid results, the Ketogenic Diet has been making headlines non-stop over the past 12 months. The low carbohydrate, high fat program sees participants eat moderate protein and receive the majority of their energy intake from fat. But does it really work? The Dietitians Association of Australia recently weighed in on the controversial diet and revealed the three things people need to consider before jumping on board the Keto bandwagon. The Dietitians Association of Australia recently weighed in on the controversial diet and revealed the three things people need to consider before jumping on board the Keto bandwagon In a recent media alert, the DAA first explained the thinking behind the program and how it works. 'As fat is the main source of energy being consumed, the body must then use this (that is, break it down) as its main energy source or "fuel",' they explained. 'When dietary fat is metabolised for energy, by-products called "ketone bodies" (molecules that are made by the liver from fatty acids) are produced which are used up by the body’s tissues, muscles and the brain. This process is known as "ketosis". 'The body can enter ketosis during times of severe energy restriction (such as during fasting or starvation) or prolonged intense exercise, or when carbohydrate intake is reduced to around 50g per day, or less – the equivalent of around two slices of bread, and a banana.' While there are many low carb, high fat diets available, the Keto Diet remains 'proportionately lower in carbohydrates' at around 20 to 50 grams per day to keep the body 'in a state of ketosis'. When it comes to weight loss, the DAA says those who follow a Keto Diet will 'undoubtedly result in short-term weight loss'. This, Continue reading >>
Whether Your Ketostix Show Light Pink, Purple Or Beige, It Has No Bearing On Your Low-carb Diet
One of the most interesting tools we have at our disposal when we start livin’ la vida low-carb to let us know whether we are doing it right or not is a testing strip that measures ketone levels called Ketostix (there are other brand names for ketone sticks, but this one from Bayer is the most common). Basically, here’s how it works: you can check your urine on this testing strip to see how many ketone bodies you are excreting out of your body. Ketones are present when you are in ketosis which is instigated when you keep your carbohydrates at a ketogenic level (usually under 50g carbs daily). I recently asked a group of low-carb experts the following question–“Is Ketosis Necessary On A Low-Carb Diet?” That seems to be a “well duh” kind of question which is why we use things like Ketostix to see whether we are in ketosis or not. But where people seem to get most confused is with the color of the testing strip. If it’s light pink, then I must be doing something wrong. My Ketostix need to be dark purple if I am experiencing “deep” ketosis, right? I get these kind of questions every single week and they miss the point of the testing strips. In Episode 47 of “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb On YouTube,” Christine and I seek to better explain the purpose of Ketostix by telling you what they are for, what the various colors actually mean, why showing no ketones on these strips may not be a bad thing, and how you can virtually guarantee your body is in ketosis. I’m astonished by how many people are still so concerned about the results of their Ketostix, but hopefully this video will clear up some of the miscommunication. Find out all you need to know about Ketostix in today’s video: Noted biochemistry professor Dr. Richard Feinman from SUNY Downstate in Br 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 >>
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 >>
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 & Measuring Ketones
Generally, ketone concentrations are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Whatever time you pick to measure ketone levels, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, do not measure your ketone levels right after exercise. Ketone levels tend to be lower while your glucose levels higher so you won't get representative numbers. Keep in mind there are daily fluctuations caused by changes in hormone levels. Don't get discouraged! Another aspect that affects the level of ketones is the amount of fat in your diet. Some of you may show higher concentration of ketones after a high-fat meal. Coconut oil contains MCTs that will help you boost ketones. To easily increase your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, try fat bombs - snacks with at least 80% fat content. Ketone levels tend to be higher after extensive aerobic exercise as your body depletes glycogen stores. Exercise may help you get into ketosis faster. ketogenic "fruity" breath is not pleasant for most people. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, mint tea and make sure you eat foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid too many chewing gums and mints, as it may put you out of ketosis; there may be hidden carbs affecting your blood sugar. Increase your electrolyte intake, especially potassium. You are likely going to lose some sodium and potassium when switching to the keto diet. Finally, if you find it hard to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, there may be plenty other reasons than the level of ketone bodies: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further. 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 >>
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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 >>
How Do Ketone Testing Strips Work?
Ketones and ketosis are no mysteries thanks to ketone testing strips. They are called KetoStix (the first brand name), Urine Test Strips, Reagent Strips, Ketone Testing Strips, or Lipolysis Test Strips. Quick look at ketosis and ketones During ketogenic diet program, glucose is by design in short supply; in this state the liver switches to breaking down the ingested and stored fats as alternative energy source. This metabolic state is called “beta-oxidization.” Ketoacids are the product of beta-oxidization process in our liver. During beta-oxidization the stored or ingested fatty acids are broken down in our liver into our alternative energy source. Our fat stores accumulate fat as “long” fatty acids called triglycerides. While sugar (glucose) is in short supply, the triglycerides are broken down into “short” ketoacids. These short molecules are able to penetrate our cells as fuel. These ketoacids are utilized (burned) by many of our tissues, including the brain. The brain operates just as well on a diet of ketoacids as it does on glucose. What’s left (the incompletely burned fragments) are called ketones. They are what spill into the urine to be removed from the body. Being in ketosis simply means that we’re burning our fat stores and using them as our primary source of fuel. How do ketone test strips work? The test strips provide a quick, private and cost effective way to determine if we are in ketosis at any given time and at what rate. Most of us feel more secure with such a simple way to test, and get instant answer. All we need to do is to simply dip the reagent end of the strip into our urine specimen and remove immediately. Alternatively we can wet reagent area of the strip in our urine stream. We check the color of the reagent area within 10-15 Continue reading >>
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 >>
Do You Really Need Keto Sticks?
Keto Sticks, or Ketostix are used to check if your body is creating ketones. It’s basically how we keto-ers check to see if we’ve done a good job, and also to make sure we haven’t done TOO good of a job. Keto sticks are especially helpful in your first couple of months, but once you get into the swing of things, you’ll have figured out what types of food put you into ketosis or not. Other things to know: You can cut keto sticks in half (the long way) to double your inventory. All brands work the same, so get the cheap ones if you want. If your keto stick is dark purple, drink lots of water and bouillon, you want it to be pink—you’ll get very sick from producing too many ketones. Also a note: everybody is different. For example, in the first three weeks that we were in Keto, we went to Disney World—we obviously enjoy being tortured. I actually did great during those days, taking buns off of burgers and drinking a lot of water. The worse part of keto is, by the way, trying to eat at normal restaurants and paying $12 for a burger when all you eat is the patty. Anyway, on our last leg of the last day in Disney, I caved and bought a hot, crispy, sugar-coated, pumpkin funnel cake. I split it with P and two other people so that it wasn’t too bad for me. I also got a giant caramel apple after that, but P just stuck to the quarter of a funnel cake. The next day we tested our keto sticks and P was kicked out of keto and I wasn’t. Even though I ate all that sugar, I remained in keto throughout, while P was off the boat. He responds to sugar and carbs similarly – I can have a glass of red wine and be fine, but it’ll kick him out – in fact he’s likely to even gain wait from it when I won’t. I can have 50 net carbohydrates (and more) a day without getting Continue reading >>
10 Signs And Symptoms That You're In Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is a popular, effective way to lose weight and improve health. When followed correctly, this low-carb, high-fat diet will raise blood ketone levels. These provide a new fuel source for your cells, and cause most of the unique health benefits of this diet (1, 2, 3). On a ketogenic diet, your body undergoes many biological adaptions, including a reduction in insulin and increased fat breakdown. When this happens, your liver starts producing large amounts of ketones to supply energy for your brain. However, it can often be hard to know whether you're "in ketosis" or not. Here are 10 common signs and symptoms of ketosis, both positive and negative. People often report bad breath once they reach full ketosis. It's actually a common side effect. Many people on ketogenic diets and similar diets, such as the Atkins diet, report that their breath takes on a fruity smell. This is caused by elevated ketone levels. The specific culprit is acetone, a ketone that exits the body in your urine and breath (4). While this breath may be less than ideal for your social life, it can be a positive sign for your diet. Many ketogenic dieters brush their teeth several times per day, or use sugar-free gum to solve the issue. If you're using gum or other alternatives like sugar-free drinks, check the label for carbs. These may raise your blood sugar levels and reduce ketone levels. The bad breath usually goes away after some time on the diet. It is not a permanent thing. The ketone acetone is partly expelled via your breath, which can cause bad or fruity-smelling breath on a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets, along with normal low-carb diets, are highly effective for losing weight (5, 6). As dozens of weight loss studies have shown, you will likely experience both short- and long 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 >>
Ketosis is basically the very metabolic state that liver breaks down fats in order to produce ketones at any given time. In this case, ketones are the fuel source in regard to ketonic diet. In case you’re new to this kind of diet, you need to understand that ketosis does not only help in metabolism but also physical performance. Additionally, ketones will enhance mental output that helps you to shed extra fats. The main thing is to know how to measure results and this is where ketosis sticks come in handy. It is equally important to note and understand the three main forms of ketones in order to know their specific roles and how eventually they affect the end results. In fact, comprehending the finer details of these compounds is highly recommended so that you can measure them at specific time or in specific circumstances. These compounds include acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutryate, of which play different roles in metabolism of the ketones that have been ingested. The important thing is that the compounds can be measured individually, by using specific techniques that have known to work. Take note that the best way to measure is when they have spilled into different areas of the body and these includes breathe, blood or urine. This is why it is vital for you to track your progress irrespective of the ketosis diet you are using. Remember, the more accurate the method is the better it is for you. In all cases, you must consider variables like exercises, specific foods you are using, as well as amounts of food. The best thing is that you can use ketosis strips at home to monitor your progress. As such, you don’t have to spend money visiting labs or other specialist in the weight loss and nutrition field. These strips are designed in such a way that color c Continue reading >>
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 >>