Cheaper Alternatives To Blood Ketone Testing
I’ve had a couple readers reach out to me asking if there were any cheaper alternatives to blood ketone testing. My most recent check on Amazon.com shows the Precision Xtra Blood Ketone strips going for a whopping $4-$5 per strip, although as you see from the picture above, some places exorbitantly charge up to $9.99 per strip! This post is my attempt to go through some of the cheaper options that are available if you’ve decided that tracking ketones is important to your goals but you can’t afford the cost of these strips. The current gold standard for measuring how deeply in ketosis you are at home is still the Precision Xtra Blood Ketone monitoring system, and you already know how pricey this is. Unfortunately if accuracy on a moment to moment basis is important to you, there’s no way around it: this is your only option. To lessen the cost burden, you can do some online searches to see if you can find a better deal, although your mileage may vary depending on the legitimacy of the site. Some reputable options I’ve come across are: Ebay – You can sometimes get them for as cheap as $3 – 3.50 per strip, although it’s important to pay attention to the expiration date. Sometimes these go for cheaper because they’re expired or near expiration. If you’re ok with that, then have at it. Universal Drug Store – This Canadian pharmacy is where I typically pick mine up. They used to sell it for around $1.99 per strip, but have since raised the price to $2.30 per strip. Depending on how comfortable you are with ordering from across the border, this could be a good option. If your order is over $100, shipping is free. A drawback is that they don’t accept Visa or Mastercard, so make sure you have your American Express handy. Canada Drugs – Another Canadian p 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 >>
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 >>
Monitoring Ketone And Blood Glucose Levels On A Low Carb Diet
By Mary T. Newport M.D. While it is not necessary to measure ketone levels, many people who make the change to a low carb, ketogenic diet and/or use ketone salts would like to have some positive proof that their ketone levels are, in fact, elevated. When transitioning from a higher carb to a low carb, ketogenic type diet, it can take several days to begin to see an increase in ketone levels and the ketone level may continue to rise for two or three weeks before it levels off. The ketone level can fluctuate somewhat throughout the day and can vary considerably from person to person. Using ketone salts, such as Prüvit KETO//OS® or KETO//OS Max, as a supplement can give you a jump start on getting into ketosis and increase ketone levels within 30 to 60 minutes of taking the product. Using coconut oil and MCT oil as part of the diet can help increase and sustain ketone levels as well. There are several ways available to measure ketone levels in urine, blood or by using a breath analyzer. When blood levels of ketones become elevated, the excess ketones will filter out of the blood into the urine. Urine ketone test strips were originally developed for diabetics to help determine if they are going into diabetic ketoacidosis when the blood sugar is elevated. There are a number of companies that sell urine test strips that change color when ketone levels are elevated – usually the deeper the color, the higher the ketone level. This will not tell you what your actual blood ketone level is but can give you a rough idea of whether you are in ketosis or not. However, one of the drawbacks to using urine test strips is that they only measure the ketone acetoacetate and not beta-hydroxybutyrate, which tends to be much more elevated than acetoacetate during ketosis. Also, Prüvit ke Continue reading >>
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- NZ case study; A citizen scientist controls autoimmune diabetes without insulin, with a low carb diet, a glucose meter, and metformin.
What Is Ketosis? Hint: It Can Help You Burn Fat & Suppress Your Appetite
We’ve longed been told that calorie restriction, increasing exercise and reducing dietary fat intake are the keys to weight loss. But, if you’ve ever attempted to control your weight by subsisting on fewer calories — especially from mostly bland “diet foods”— you’re already probably aware that this typically produces minimal results and is extremely hard to stick with long-term or consistently. Considering the high rates of obesity now facing most developed nations — along with an increased risk for health conditions like diabetes or heart problems as a result — researchers have been anxiously working on how to suppress appetite and achieve weight loss in a healthy, sustainable manner. The keto diet has emerged over the past several decades as one potential answer to this large-scale weight loss problem. (1) While there are some differences in opinion, depending on who you ask, regarding the best approach to very low-carb dieting, studies consistently show that the ketogenic diet (also called the keto diet) produces not only substantial weight loss for a high percentage of people who adhere to it, but also other important health benefits such as reductions in seizures, markers of diabetes and more. The keto diet revolves around eating foods that are high in natural fats, consuming only moderate protein and severely restricting the number of carbs eaten each day. Even if you don’t have much weight to lose, entering into a state of ketosis can be helpful for other reasons — such as for improved energy levels, mental capabilities and mood stabilization. What Is Ketosis? Ketosis is the result of following the ketogenic diet, which is why it’s also sometimes called “the ketosis diet.” Ketosis takes place when glucose from carbohydrate foods (like 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 >>
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 >>
Precision Xtra Vs. Novamax Plus: Ketone Meter Evaluation
With the rise in interest in the n=1 experiment I’ve been blogging about since May 2012 (read my latest updates about it here, here, here and here), so many of you have begun testing your own blood ketones to see how well you are doing in pursuit of reaching that glorious state of “nutritional ketosis.” Attaining blood ketone levels of 0.5-3.0 millimolar is the optimal level for producing an appropriate level of beta-hydroxybutyrate to commence fat-burning and to serve as an excellent alternative fuel source for your brain and body for optimal performance according to what Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek outline so beautifully in their outstanding MUST-HAVE 2012 book The Art & Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance. If you haven’t already picked up your own copy of this book, then I cannot recommend it highly enough to you as an invaluable resource in your pursuit of living an optimally healthy low-carb lifestyle. As people have been shopping around for their own blood ketone meter, I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails from readers who have asked me for my recommendation between which of the two major ketone meters they should get to test their blood levels. Is there any difference between the Precision Xtra and NovaMax Plus blood ketone meters? I’ve personally tried both of these meters and have been using the Precision Xtra results to document my n=1 experiment. Let’s take a closer look at the PROS and CONS of each: **Precision Xtra Blood Ketone Meter** PROS: – Accurate and clear blood ketone measuring – Sturdy and strong test strips – More precise than urine ketone testing CONS: – Requires more blood than glucose testing – Test strips can be quite expensive – Not available for purchase in stores **NovaMax Plus Blood Ketone Meter** PROS Continue reading >>
The Best Ketone Meters To Monitor Ketosis – Christmas 2017
The goal of a high-fat, low-carb diet is to get into a state called Ketosis where the body burns fat as fuel rather than using glucose as its source of energy. Types of Ketone Meters There are several types of ketone meters available that monitor ketosis in vastly different ways, some more accurate than others and some more convenient others. We’ll discuss 3 types of Ketone Meters available starting with the best on the market today in 2017. Ketonix Breath Ketone Analyzer The Ketonix breath analyser doesn’t use any blood glucose test or test strip, it works by analysing acetone on your breath that your body produces when you’re in a state of ketosis. The Ketonix is slightly less accurate as blood ketone and glucose meters are per test. But they are more convenient With the Ketonix, you can test yourself an unlimited amount of times, hourly if you like. Which is ideal if you want to see how various foods effect ketosis after you’ve eaten them or even the effects exercise has. The Ketonix is affordable when you take into account the price of test strips for blood monitors. (Many companies give away cheap versions of blood monitors but make their money on testing strips). The Ketonix has no test strips and requires no further outlay. Ketonix also comes with software that will keep a log and also calibrates the device to the optimal settings for your goals. If you’re trying to monitor ketones under conditions such as athletic performance, weight loss, diabetes, alzheimer’s or epilepsy. The Ketonix adjusts its settings to test whether you’re in the ideal range for that condition. The Ketonix Breath Ketone Analyzer is a one-off payment you can read more & check them out here. Blood Ketone Meter One of the best & most precise ways of monitoring ketosis is with a Continue reading >>
How To Detect Ketosis
How can you tell if your low-carbing efforts have been effective enough to induce ketosis? Learn how to check your ketones! The state of ketosis The state of ketosis means that the body has switched from depending on carbohydrates for energy to burning fats for fuel. This means not only dietary fats (olive oil, guacamole, deep-fried pig ears), but also all the jiggly bits around your waist — clearly a desirable state for anyone looking to shed extra weight. When the body metabolizes fat, it generates molecules called ketones (also known as ketone bodies). As you restrict carbohydrate intake and amp up the dietary fat, more fat is metabolized and a greater quantity of ketones are created. Most of the cells in your body — including those in your brain — are able to use ketones for energy, although many people experience a few days’ adjustment period, often called the low carb flu. One of the varieties of ketones generated — acetone — cannot be used by the body and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and the breath. Conveniently, this makes it very simple to measure whether or not you are in ketosis. Upon entering ketosis, some people report a distinct change in the smell of their breath as a result of the extra released acetone. It could be “fruity” — it’s been likened to overripe apples — or even “metallic.” If you notice this happening during your first few days of changing your diet, it could be a good sign you’re in ketosis. The unusual smell isn’t anything dangerous, but it could be annoying. Drinking plenty of water should help, or get yourself some sugar-free gum. Most people report “keto-breath” diminishing after the first few weeks. Detecting ketones in urine The more accurate way — and the one we recommend — to check f Continue reading >>
What Are Ketone Test Strips?
When your blood sugar runs high for an extended period of time, your body turns to fat reserves in order to get the energy it needs. The byproduct of this process is ketones, which show up in your blood and urine. Ketones can indicate hyperglycemia, which can be a serious situation if not treated properly. Ketone test strips can help determine the level of ketones in either urine or blood. Testing ketones with a blood-based test strip that you insert in a meter is just like testing your blood sugar. Testing with a urine strip means you either collect a small sample of urine or urinate directly onto the strip. Though testing with blood might be more accurate, it is also much more expensive. That's why so many of those with diabetes chose to go with urine ketone test strips. Understanding ketone test strip results Urine ketone test strips are looking for acetoacetic acid in the urine. This acid reacts with nitroprusside, a chemical in the strip, to produce a color. This color corresponds with a chart that comes packaged along with your test strips, usually on the outside of the vial. Typically, the results include negative, trace, moderate or large ketones. Negative ketones are a good sign. Trace ketones mean you should treat your high blood sugar as you normally would. Moderate or large ketones mean that your blood sugar has been too high for a while. Take the test a second time to confirm, then give your doctor a call. Options for ketone test strips When choosing urine ketone test strips, keep in mind how often you will use them. Test strips in a vial must be used before the expiration date, which is typically within six months after opening the package. Test strips that are individually packaged in foil cost a bit more, but will last much longer than those in a vial. I 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 >>
First Reusable Breath Ketone Analyzer
The KETONIX has a one time cost and is simple to use. It has never been easier to see if you are producing ketones! Urine strips indicate the excess concentration of acetoacetate in the urine. KETONIX indicates the acetone in your breath . Acetone is produced from the breakdown of acetoacetate in blood. Measurement units are not the same, the concentration of acetoacetate in blood is higher due to less volume (higher density) and is typically measured in mmol/l. The concentration of acetone in breath is lower due to much more volume (lower density) and is measured in PPM. Again, urine strips measures acetoacetate in urine, blood meters measures beta-hydroxybutyrate in blood and KETONIX measures acetone in breath (air). Urine strips can only be used once. KETONIX is reusable and can be used over and over again. Urine strips show a historical value of the excess production. KETONIX shows a real-time value of the acetone level in the blood right now! Urine strips tests need urine and somewhere to do the test. You can perform tests using KETONIX wherever you can access a powered USB port. We don't recommend using KETONIX in vehichles (or in any motion). Urine strips need to be disposed. KETONIX should be stored in the bag that was included with the product. Urine strips cost per test. KETONIX is a one-time investment! Blood ketone meters measures beta-hydroxybutyrate in blood, not acetoacetate or acetone. Blood ketone measure requires strips which are expensive Blood ketone measure sometimes fails and cost you twice! Blood ketone meter values differ between devices, even when it is the same model and brand. Blood ketones acts like a excess buffer of energy that can be used when needed. Acetone is released from acetoacetate, not the blood ketone (beta-hydroxybutyrate). Blood 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 >>
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 >>