The Paleo Guide To Ketosis
Ketosis is a word that gets tossed around a lot within the Paleo community – to some, it’s a magical weight-loss formula, to others, it’s a way of life, and to others it’s just asking for adrenal fatigue. But understanding what ketosis really is (not just what it does), and the physical causes and consequences of a fat-fueled metabolism can help you make an informed decision about the best diet for your particular lifestyle, ketogenic or not. Ketosis is essentially a metabolic state in which the body primarily relies on fat for energy. Biologically, the human body is a very adaptable machine that can run on a variety of different fuels, but on a carb-heavy Western diet, the primary source of energy is glucose. If glucose is available, the body will use it first, since it’s the quickest to metabolize. So on the standard American diet, your metabolism will be primarily geared towards burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel. In ketosis, it’s just the opposite: the body primarily relies on ketones, rather than glucose. To understand how this works, it’s important to understand that some organs in the body (especially the brain) require a base amount of glucose to keep functioning. If your brain doesn’t get any glucose, you’ll die. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need glucose in the diet – your body is perfectly capable of meeting its glucose needs during an extended fast, a period of famine, or a long stretch of very minimal carbohydrate intake. There are two different ways to make this happen. First, you could break down the protein in your muscles and use that as fuel for your brain and liver. This isn’t ideal from an evolutionary standpoint though – when you’re experiencing a period of food shortage, you need to be strong and fast, Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind The Scenes Data On The Ketogenic Diet
Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind the Scenes Data on the Ketogenic Diet I’ve tried a lot of diets. I first went vegetarian, then slow carb, then gluten-free, then Paleo. I even did a 28-day Chipotle diet, which is exactly as awesome as it sounds. Eventually I found the Ketogenic diet. For me, like for many people in our communities, this all started with a health concern. I was born with a heart condition. It never impacted my life, but it was there, lingering. When I was a junior in college, a few classmates and I were out enjoying late night pizza. Out of nowhere, one classmate suddenly jolted upright and fell off his stool. He died. I found out the next morning it was from a lingering heart condition, not too unlike my own. I started to think about my health a lot more after that. I read about nutrition and started exploring the confusing world of diets. As I learned more and as I became more involved in Quantified Self, I found myself wanting to quantify these diets. That’s what drew me to Keto. It’s the most measurable diet. Quick Summary of the Ketogenic Diet Keto is a high-fat, very-low-carb diet, usually with 70% of calories coming from fat. The idea is to switch your body from using glucose as its primary energy to breaking down fats into ketones for energy. You can measure the macros that you eat and you can measure the ketones in your urine, breath, and blood. In 2013, I did my first experiment with the ketogenic diet. In that experiment, I tracked everything I ate in MyFitnessPal and compared it to other data I was collecting. I found my energy increased, my sleep quality went up (according to my Zeo data), my cholesterol levels improved, and my food cravings went away. However, I also found that measuring everything I ate was a pain, I didn’t really kn Continue reading >>
Ketones In Urine: All You Need To Know
Authored by Robert Iafelice , Dr. Brianna Stubbs and Nate Martins For a biohacker practicing intermittent fasting, urine ketones are a useful metric to track a state of ketosis . It's a quick and cost-effective way to indicate elevated ketone levels, which provide numerous health benefits. But for someone with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes? Extremely high ketone levels in urine may be a sign of ketoacidosis a serious complication of diabetes which, if left untreated, can lead to coma and death. More on this outlier below. Normally, elevated ketones in urine are a good thing. In this piece, well cover what ketones in urine mean, how they get there and ways to test for ketones. But lets start with a refresher: The two predominant ketone bodies in human metabolism acetoacetate (ACAC) and beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) are made in the liver from fatty acids. When glucose is not available, theyre transported by blood to other body tissues to be used as an energy source. Acetone, the third and least abundant ketone, is spontaneously formed from the breakdown of acetoacetate. Its found mostly in breath, and its contribution as an energy source is insignificant. There are always some ketones present in the blood, but levels naturally increase in response to fasting, prolonged or strenuous exercise, and a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet . 1 This is called ketosis . Like glucose, ketones are important metabolic fuels reabsorbed through the kidneys as the blood is filtered. When blood passes through the kidneys, small molecules like glucose and ketones end up in the urine, and so must be taken back up. Reabsorption of ketones prevents energy wastage and is especially important during extended fasts. The body doesnt want to flush good energy down the drain, so ke Continue reading >>
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 >>
The Best Keto Strips To Measure Ketosis
Wondering how to tell if you're in ketosis? These keto testing strips makeit easy to detect ketosis levels at home. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. If you're following the keto diet , one of the first things you likely learned was that filling your plate with lots of healthy fats (think salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds) and cutting way back on carbscan eventually put you inketosis. In this metabolic state, your body burns stored fat instead of carbohydrates, which can lead to weight loss . But how do you actually know whether or not you've achieved ketosisand make sure you stay there? Enter keto strips. "They test levels of ketone bodies, which you produce when you're following the keto diet correctly," explains doctor of natural medicine Josh Axe, founder of DrAxe.com ,author of the upcoming book Keto Diet , and a member of The Vitamin Shoppe Wellness Council . "Testing your ketone levels is a way of providing real-time feedback about how well your diet and lifestyle choices are working to keep you in ketosis." RELATED: 4 Things You Need to Know Before Trying the Keto Diet The main ways to measure ketosis are withurine keto strips and blood keto strips. Urine keto strips are affordable and easy to use, but there are some drawbacks, Axe tells us. "[Urine keto strips] don't measure all three types of ketones," he says. "They measure acetoacetate, one of three ketone bodies, but notBHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), which is considered the predominant ketone thats produced." Over time, he adds, it's possible for urine keto strips to become slightly less accurate as your body becomes more keto-adapted. If you're someone who's just starting keto or 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis
Do you want to lose weight? Here’s number 16 of my 18 best tips. All of the published tips can be found on the How to Lose Weight page. Before we get started, here’s a short recap of the tips so far: The first and most crucial piece of advice was to choose a low-carb diet. The next were eating when hungry, eating real food, eating only when hungry, measuring progress wisely, being persistent, avoiding fruit, beer and artificial sweeteners, review your medications, stressing less and sleeping more, eating less dairy and nut products, stocking up on vitamins and minerals, using intermittent fasting and finally, exercising smart. This is number sixteen: 16. Get into optimal ketosis Warning: Not recommended for type 1 diabetics, see below. We’ve now arrived at tip number 16. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 15 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again. So how does this work? A quick run-through: The first tip was to eat low carb. This is because a low-carb diet lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume less calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight. Several of the tips mentioned above are about fine-tuning your diet to better this effect. Video course Do you know exactly how to eat a low-carb and high fat diet (LCHF)? This is required for ketosis. If not the easiest way is watching this high quality 11-minute video course on how to eat LCHF, and the most important things to think a Continue reading >>
Ketosis Strips: How To Tell If You're In Ketosis
The high-fat ketogenic diet is extremely hard to maintain. Eat just a few too many blueberries and you'll be knocked fat-burning mode. That's because restricting carbohydrates , your body's main fuel source, and protein forces your body to burn stored fat in a process called ketosis. As a result of this process, your body produces ketones. Generally, 70 percent of your total calories will come from fat. Protein makes up about 20 percent , while 10 percent comes from carbs. Consuming large quantities of fat while limiting protein and carbs is challenging, and people often aren't truly in ketosis, says Registered Dietitian Melanie Boehmer of Lenox Hill Hospital. "Sometimes people try and teeter into it and they wont lower their carbohydrates enough," she previously told Men'sHealth.com. An easy way to determine whether you're actually doing keto the right way is by using an over-the-counter ketosis strip test. There are two ways you can measuring ketones using strips: through urine or blood. Both are fairly simple to use. The urine tests are similar to pregnancy tests except they measure acetoacetate, a specific type of ketone, says Ashley Cuellar Gilmore, M.D., gastroenterologist and program director for IU Health Medical Weight Loss. Typically, you'll dunk the strip into a cup of urine for a set amount of time. Strips are made with a type of paper that reacts to ketones by turning a different color, Women's Health reported . You'll then match the color on your stick to an accompanying color chart that offers an estimate of your level of ketosis. Usually, the darker the color the deeper you are into ketosis. Cuellar Gilmore explained to Women's Health that urine levels are generally indicative of the levels found in blood. Blood ketones should measure 0.5 mM/dL at a min 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 >>
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 Keto Strips And How Do They Measure Ketosis?
What Are Keto Strips and How Do They Measure Ketosis? What Are Keto Strips and How Do They Measure Ketosis? You can pick up keto testing strips at your local drugstore or big box retailer, but can they accurately measure for ketosis? If you've read any diet story in the past year, you've likely seen a mention of the trendy keto diet . While the main goal of the high-fat, low-carb diet plan typically comes down to weight loss, at its core the objective is getting the body to use fat as its primary fuel source. "The body's preferred fuel is glucose," says Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D., a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute . "Every cell and especially your brain will draw on it before anything else as a quick source of energy. But when you drastically cut carbohydrates (the main source) and protein is low enough so that the liver does not go into gluconeogenesis (the formation of glucose from amino acids), the body turns to another source of fuel: fat." When your body begins working off fat, rather than carbs, that's when you reach what's known as ketosis. (Related: 8 Common Keto Diet Mistakes You Could Be Getting Wrong ) Without glucose as a power source, your body breaks down fat stores into fuel, creating glycerol and fatty acids-these fatty acids then get converted to ketones to deliver energy to the muscles, brain, and nervous system, explains Melissa Majumdar, R.D., C.P.T., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and senior bariatric dietitian at Brigham and Women's Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. "Instead of using muscle as fuel, ketosis switches the body over to use ketones," says Majumdar. "This spares muscles, allowing for preservation of lean muscle mass." (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Keto Flu ) Ok Continue reading >>