What The Heck Is Ketosis, And Is It For Me?
You've probably heard of the ketogenic diet by now. Maybe you've even tried a few keto recipes. I mean, everything should be bacon-wrapped and topped with avocado, right? I never recommend jumping into a diet without understanding the ins and outs — you need to know what a diet is all about before you can decide if it is a good fit for you. The keto diet, for example, gets its name from the metabolic state called "ketosis." Fans of the keto diet say that getting your body into this state of ketosis can help you improve body composition (lose fat while retaining lean muscle), increase your energy throughout the day, and even boost your sex drive. Sounds pretty good to me. Let's take a deep dive into the world of keto to find out what ketosis is, how to achieve it, and if it's right for you. What Is Ketosis? When you follow a keto diet, your goal is to be "in ketosis." So, how do you get to the magical land of ketosis? The keto diet requires you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake (some people go as low as five to 10 percent of their daily calorie intake) while substantially increasing your fat intake, and keeping your protein intake at a moderate level. Sadly, this doesn't mean butter and bacon at every meal. You will be swapping out your bread, oatmeal, cookies, crackers, sweeteners (even natural ones), potatoes, and most fruits for avocado, olive oil, nuts, fish, eggs, meat, green veggies, a little bit of full-fat dairy, and a few berries. So, instead of oatmeal with peanut butter and banana for breakfast, you may have an omelet with bacon, kale, and tomatoes. By shrinking your carb intake, you are also slashing the level of glucose in your bloodstream. Glucose is your body's preferred energy source, but, in its absence, your body will use up fat stores as en Continue reading >>
- Reversing Type 2 Diabetes with Nutritional Ketosis
- Caffeinated and Decaffeinated Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and a Dose-Response Meta-analysis
- Insulin, glucagon and somatostatin stores in the pancreas of subjects with type-2 diabetes and their lean and obese non-diabetic controls
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 >>
What Is Ketosis, And How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural state of the body in which it is fueled almost solely by fat. This happens when a person fasts or adheres to a very low carbohydrate diet. The exciting thing about ketosis and ketogenic diets is that you can lose a lot of weight while eating a normal quantity of food. You don’t have to suffer through skimpy portions. There are other benefits of keeping a ketogenic diet as well. These will be explained in the following article. An Explanation of Ketosis The root “keto” in the word ketosis comes from the type of fuel that the body produces when blood sugar is in low supply. The small molecules that are used as fuel are called “ketones.” If you consume very few carbohydrates and only a moderate amount of protein, then the body begins to produce ketones. Ketones are made by the liver from fat. Both the body and the brain can use them as fuel. The brain cannot directly function from fat. It must convert the fat into ketones. Legionella Testing Lab - High Quality Lab Results CDC ELITE & NYSDOH ELAP Certified - Fast Results North America Lab Locations legionellatesting.com When you go on a ketogenic diet, your body almost solely runs on fat. Your insulin levels become rather low as well. Since you are burning so much fat, this is a great way to lose weight. Studies show that ketogenic diets result in greater weight loss. The fastest way to get into ketosis is by fasting. However, you cannot fast for very long, so you need to start a low carb diet. The Brain and Ketones Many people think that the brain needs carbohydrates to function. This is not really true. The brain can work well simply by burning ketones. The reality is that many people feel like they have even more energy and focus when they are fueled by ketones. Benefits of Ketosis There ar 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 >>
Urine is usually made up of excess fluids and waste products that are filtered from the body by the kidneys. Oily urine can occur due to a number of causes such as dehydration, chyle, and increased vitamin intake, etc. But the main cause of oily urine is ketones in urine. Causes of Oily Urine Some of the common causes of oily urine are discussed below: 1. Ketones in Urine One of the main causes of oily urine is ketones in urine. Ketones are generally not found in urine; it gets released due to metabolism of fat, which in turn is caused due to the inability of the body to produce energy from carbohydrates, or due to starvation, or due to intake of a protein-rich diet or a carbohydrates deficient diet. Thus, oily urine caused by ketones in urine typically affects people who have endured starvation or fasting for prolonged periods, those with uncontrolled case of diabetes, and those following an abnormal and strict diet. Ketones are acidic in nature and hence harmful for the body. Increased ketones in urine can trigger ketones in urine that can then worsen and lead to development of ketosis, a condition characterized by varied symptoms like weakness, nausea, exhaustion, and elevated sweating. As mentioned above, ketones do not occur in healthy urine. Ketones levels in urine up to 20 mg/dL is classified as small; between 30 and 40 mg/dL as moderate; and over 80 mg/dL as large. Ketones in urine associated oily urine may be caused due to: Low food consumption Diabetic ketoacidosis or mismanaged diabetes Bad diet High fever due to an infection Strenuous workouts High stress levels Starvation, fasting, or nil food intake for more than 18 hours Eating a diet that is low in carbs or high in fat Use of fats by the body to produce energy instead of glucose Loss of carbohydrates due Continue reading >>
Fellow Low-carbs, How Yellow Is Your Urine?
I'm in Ketosis constantly and I notice that my urine, especially in the morning, is SUPER deep yellow. Like multivitamin-runoff yellow. I hydrate myself at the watering hole (my kitchen) in the morning. I try to sip water or ginger tea throughout the day. Since ketosis is obviously dehydrating (lose all that water weight), I replace lost water by drinking regular filtered water with a pinch of sea salt (my own version of Gatorade) or coconut water. But for the most part, when in ketosis, my pee never really gets as watered down as when I'm not in glycolysis. Continue reading >>
Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?
I can’t remember what appetizer she pointed to, but the woman sitting to the left of me said this so casually, and several folks at the table knew exactly what she meant, confirming what I’d long suspected: Ketogenic diets have officially gone mainstream – or recognizable at a party mainstream at least – in 2017. Let’s back up and demystify ketosis, which simply means you’re utilizing ketone bodies – more commonly called ketones – rather than glucose as your body’s primary fuel. Just like your car uses gasoline, your body needs fuel. That usually means glucose. But let’s say you’re on a very-low carbohydrate, higher-fat diet. Your body doesn’t get a lot of glucose, which primarily comes from carbohydrate and to a lesser degree protein. That means your liver’s backup glucose (glycogen) also becomes in short supply. Unlike your car, your body doesn’t just shut down. Thankfully, you have an alternative fuel source called ketones. Ketones are organic compounds your liver always makes. You’re cranking out ketones right now as you read this. During starvation or (more likely) when you restrict carbohydrate and increase fat intake, your body uses ketones as its primary fuel. In other words, when your body doesn’t receive or can’t make enough glucose, it shifts to this alternative fuel. Almost every organ can utilize ketones except for your red blood cells (which don’t have ketone-metabolizing mitochondria) and liver. Your liver, in fact, does the heavy lifting. This hardworking organ metabolizes fat into three ketone bodies: acetoacetate (ACA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone.(1) BHB is the first substrate that kicks ketosis into action. Among its benefits, BHB reduces chronic inflammation and restores healthy inflammation levels. In Continue reading >>
How To Tell If I’m In Ketosis? Signs And Symptoms
One of the questions we most often get from the Keto Diet Living community is How can I tell if my body is in ketosis? Or How can I check my ketones? If you have just started keto or have been on your keto journey for months, you probably know that when your body changes from relying on carbohydrates for energy to metabolizing fats, it produces molecules called ketone bodies. Following a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet will reduce insulin and increase the breakdown of both consumed fat and fat stores on your body. When this occurs, your liver begins creating vast quantities of ketones to supply energy to the cells throughout your body and brain. Ketosis usually happens when ketone levels are present at 0.3 to 0.5 mmol/L and can happen in as little as just a few days. Becoming fully keto-adapted often takes longer and of course, varies for everyone. If you are unfamiliar with the symptoms or how to test for ketones, it can be difficult to know whether you’re “in ketosis” or not. Rest assured there are some telltale signs and symptoms to tell if your carb cutting efforts have been sufficient enough to result in ketosis. First, let’s take a look at some signs you may see that don’t require testing for ketones with the various blood, breath, and urine testing methods available. Is your breath smelling fruity or metallic tasting? If so this may be a good sign that you’re in ketosis. This change in breath is pretty common on the keto diet especially when starting out and is caused by elevated ketone levels specifically acetone which is a ketone waste product that exits the body in your breath and urine. The bad breath usually goes away after a while, and you can deal with the issue by drinking lots of water, chewing sugar-free gum, using mouthwash or brushing yo Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state of the body that comes from consuming a low-carb, moderate protein, & higher-fat diet that forces your body to use KETONES as its energy source. By controlling your intake of these macronutrients, you are essentially draining the body of its common energy source (glucose) and in turn it reacts by creating its own energy source from the fat you have stored. In other words, in the absence of carbs & sugar your body will burn FAT for fuel! Specifically abnormally stored fat which lies within the tummy, hips, thighs, triceps, and face! The problem with sugar & carbohydrates is that is spikes blood glucose, which in turn causes an insulin spike. This insulin spike then causes a "crash" - which leads to hunger, cravings, & the need for more fuel. Some people may reach for more caffeine to get them through the day etc. You typically get glucose from your diet by eating carbohydrates like: Sugar Bread Grains Fruit Starchy Vegetables The excess carbs & sugar people consume on a daily basis, over time, gets stored as fat IF you're not burning it off via strenuous exercise. This has no lead us into an obesity epidemic. Currently 71% of the U.S. is overweight or obese! When you burn off excess glucose as your energy source, it is forced to resort to using the stores you currently have, FAT (i.e. preferred energy source of the body), as a source of energy. As that fat is burned it releases your new energy source into your body (ketones) which are measured in both your bloodstream and urine. A popular term when following a ketogenic lifestyle is called the "Keto Flu". Essentially the first several days are miserable. Current research shows it takes a good 5-7 days before you can achieve a state of nutritional ketosis. This causes many people to quit becau Continue reading >>
Ketosis: Definition, Symptoms, Strips & When Does Ketosis Start?
What Is Ketosis? A basic ketosis definition is an increase of ketones in the body caused by a reduction in carbohydrate intake.5 Today, it’s common to hear people talking about “going into ketosis” to lose weight or manage hunger. As one of the latest movements in the health industry, more and more people are looking to achieve this metabolic state. But what does ketosis mean? To explain ketosis, we first need to understand ketones. Ketones are water-soluble molecules produced in the liver. They’re a by-product of the production of glucose (the body’s fuel) from non-carbohydrate sources. In other words, they are produced when the body is short on ready-made fuel.6 Such shortages occur when the body experiences low intake of calories, during extreme exercise, low-carb diets, fasting, or starvation. In some cases, people suffering from alcoholism or poorly treated Type 1 diabetes will have excessive ketone production.6 Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that occurs naturally during short-term periods of fasting, such as sleep. In the body, a small number of ketones are always present in the blood and urine, but are generally undetectable.6 In terms of dieting, ketosis occurs when carbohydrates are severely limited for extended periods of time. The body then turns to stored fatty acids and ketones for fuel.6 This is why it’s popular among people trying to lose weight. How to Get into Ketosis If you are looking to lose weight, it’s important to know how to put your body in ketosis without jeopardizing your health. Fasting will prompt ketosis but is difficult to sustain. Instead, many people follow a ketosis diet. This is a way of eating that severely reduces the intake of carbohydrates. In most cases, carbs make up 5-10% of calories. Protein accounts for 20 Continue reading >>
Why Test For Ketones: Is Blood Or Urine More Accurate?
There are certain situations when ketone testing is needed to reduce the risk of critical complications of diabetes. Options are using plasma blood with a meter to check for ketones or using urine testing kits. We will review which is more beneficial. Let’s first look at the basics of ketones and when they can cause a possible life threatening situation. What are ketones? Ketones are formed when fat is used as an energy source instead of carbohydrates. There are dietary ketones which are formed on a low- or no-carbohydrate diet with a high fat/protein intake; when blood sugars are controlled these ketones are not dangerous. When blood sugars are uncontrolled the carbohydrate source may be available, but with no (Type 1 Diabetes) or little (Type 2 Diabetes) insulin present, the body relies on fat breakdown for energy source; ketones are a toxic by product of the fat breakdown. Ketones circulate in the system as acids and change the PH of the blood, resulting in DKA or Diabetic Keto-acidosis. This is a serious medical situation and must be treated. What is DKA and what are the symptoms? Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that can occur when people have diabetes type 1 and are suffering from illness, excessive stress, or lack of insulin delivery. It can be because of a displaced insulin pump or using expired insulin. Although less common, it can occur in those who have diabetes type 2 when they are ill, have an infection, are severely stressed or prone to ketone production. The ketones accumulate in the blood, eventually go to the kidneys and are released from the body through urine. Ketone production can also occur in pregnant women with diabetes or women who develop gestational diabetes when pregnant. Ketones can form in patients who are switched from exogenous 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 Tell If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips
A ketogenic diet is having a minor resurgence as of late, surpassing low carb diets for fat loss. The idea of keto dieting is to use all of your bodies glucose reserves and burn ketones for energy. The body eventually reaches a state of ketosis from the result of reducing your net carb intake. People who are new to a low carb high fat, ketogenic diet often ask what are the signs, symptoms and how to tell if you are in ketosis without strips. If you’ve never been in ketosis before then you may not even realize you are in it. The human body is quite remarkable being able to switch from burning glucose for energy to ketones. Your body experiences many physiological adaptions, including a decline in insulin and breakdown of fats. While Ketosis may be confirmed by urine ketone sticks and blood ketone tests, it is not always practical or convenient. You may be at work, out to eat with friends and don’t need the hassle of measuring your blood or urine levels of ketones. There are many small signs and symptoms of ketosis which can help your analysis. Sleep and Ketosis No matter what type of diet you follow, after a good nights sleep you are already in light ketosis. While you have fasted for over 8 hours you are on your way to burning ketones. Once our liver glycogen stores have been depleted we begin to produce ketone bodies at an exponential rate. Despite that, it doesn’t mean that we’ll be utilizing them efficiently. We will not be able to effectively use ketone bodies for our muscles, brain, digestive system if we are not keto-adapted. When following a ketogenic diet some people may experience all symptoms of ketosis, some may only feel a few signs or none at all. If you are brand new to low carb high fat dieting then achieving the optimal fat burning state takes ti Continue reading >>
Does Ketosis Cause Kidney Damage?
The ‘Lean for Life’ program is mildly ketotic, and only for a brief portion of the program. It has not been associated with kidney damage or disease in individuals who have normally functioning kidneys. Concerns regarding undue stress on the kidneys are often aimed at very low carbohydrate, very high protein ketogenic diets. Few studies have shown any actual damage, however. (Note: Although the Weight Loss portion of the ‘Lean for Life’ program is mildly ketogenic, it is not considered to be exceptionally “high protein” for most individuals.) Dietary ketosis is among the most maligned and misunderstood concepts in nutrition medicine. Particularly among researchers who don’t actually treat patients, ketosis (the presence of ketone bodies in the urine) is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening build-up of ketone bodies due to muscle wasting and dehydration as in states of shock or uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme break-down of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn’t occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered. Whereas patients in ketoacidosis are closely monitored in Intensive Care Units, individuals in ketosis are amongst the healthy, active population. Dietary ketosis is a natural adjustment to the body’s reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved. Blood glucose levels are stabilized within a normal range and there is no break-down of healthy muscle tissue. It would be diffi 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 >>