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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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 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 >>
Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?
Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver breaks down fat to produce ketones. Ketones, on a ketogenic diet, are the primary fuel source for the body. If you’re new to the ketogenic diet and you still have questions, consider reading our Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Keto > There are three main ways to measure the ketones in your body, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The most common ways to measure are: Blood Ketone Meter. Very accurate but the strips are extremely expensive. Breath Ketone Meters. More accurate than the urine strips, but can sometimes vary in accuracy. Cheaper than blood strips in the long-run. Urine Stricks. This will answer the question “Am I in ketosis?” but will not provide an accurate measure of blood ketones. Scroll down to read a more in-depth analysis of each, and what we recommend for you. Measuring Ketones with Urine Sticks Urine sticks will always be the cheapest and easiest way to measure ketosis. For beginners, this should cover everything you need – there is no point in getting more complex blood strips so early on when you are still trying to understand the nuances of a ketogenic diet. Ultimately, keto sticks are very easy to use – you hold the sticks in your urine stream for a few seconds, and within 10-15 seconds you should notice a color change in the strip (if you are in ketosis). The color of the stick typically is measured in red: light pink being low in ketone production and dark purple being high in ketone production. While keto sticks can be ideal for a general answer to the question “Am I in ketosis?”, they aren’t precise with their accuracy. They measure the acetoacetate in your urine, which is an unused ketone by the body. As you get deeper into ketosis and your body adapts, your b Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Ketones In Urine – How To Test And What Levels Are Optimal
There are likely two reasons you want to test the ketone levels in your urine: REASON 1 – you’ve got type one diabetes (or type two diabetes, in some cases) and you need to test the ketones levels in your urine to help you avoid ketoacidosis. If that’s the case, skip down to the sections on… Then, skip straight to the section on… REASON 2 – you’re on the Keto diet and you want to use urine strips to check if you’re in ketosis. If that’s the case, then don’t worry we’ll also cover: But skip the section on ketoacidosis – it doesn’t apply to you unless you’re diabetic! Note that information contained in this article (and website) is not intended to and shall not convey or recommend any medical or nutritional advice or course of action. Any diet, health, or nutritional program you undertake should be discussed with your doctor or other licensed medical professionals. All opinions expressed in this article are based solely on personal experiences and research. We are NOT licensed doctors, dietitians, or nutritionists. Testing Laboratory Microbiology - Air Quality - Mold Asbestos - Environmental - Lead emsl.com What are ketones? First things first – a quick 101 intro on what ketones actually are: Ketone bodies (or ketones) are produced by your liver during the break down of fatty acids when your body is low on glucose. Your body then uses these ketone bodies as fuel. You see, your cells can’t directly use the fatty acids in your fat stores to produce energy. And that’s because those fatty acids are unable to pass through the membrane which surrounds your cells. And if they can’t get inside? They can’t be used as fuel. So there’s an extra step to the process: First, the fatty acids travel to your liver where they’re broken down into ke 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
3 Common Ways To Measure Ketone Levels
When you transition from burning glucose to using fat as a fuel (and consecutively, ketones), you will notice a number of changes in your body. There are many signs to tell that you are in ketosis. However, if you’d like to know for sure whether you’re in ketosis, there are three ways to measure it with relative certainty. #1. Using Urine Strips The cheapest method is to use urine strips (Ketostix or a similar product), which will detect whether there is a spill-over of ketones in your urine. Urine strips that measure ketones were initially designed for diabetics to allow them to check for signs of ketoacidosis (a state that is very different from nutritional ketosis), however, a lot of people from the keto community have resorted to using them in order to check whether they’re in ketosis. The way to use them is to either pee on a strip or pee in a cup and dip the strip in it. You need to wait for a few moments (usually 15 seconds, check the strips’ label for detailed instructions). If the strip changes colour, this means you’re in ketosis. Higher readings are not necessarily better for weight loss and might mean that you’re dehydrated, in which case you need to make sure that you’re drinking enough water. Urine strips are not very reliable for people who have been in ketosis for a while, as they measure only excess ketones that the body is getting rid of. As your body becomes fat-adapted, it will become more efficient in using the ketones it’s producing, and as a consequence the ketone levels in your urine will decrease, to the point of giving you false negatives. #2. Using Blood Ketone Meters As their name suggests, blood ketone meters measure the ketone levels in your blood. They are much more accurate than the urine strips, as they don’t measure on Continue reading >>
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 >>