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 >>
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 >>
Ketosis symptoms are a result of the way the body gets rid of the excess ketone bodies which build up in the blood stream when a person eats a low carb, ketogenic diet. In short, the body has three ways of dealing with excess ketone bodies: First, the muscles liver and brain can burn them for energy in the cells. Second, the body can breathe ketones out through the lungs. And third, the body can flush ketones out through the kidneys and urine. Legionella Testing Lab - High Quality Lab Results CDC ELITE & NYSDOH ELAP Certified - Fast Results North America Lab Locations legionellatesting.com The ketosis symptoms associated with the benign dietary ketosis caused by eating a low carb, ketogenic diet are not dangerous. They may differ for each individual, with the most common symptoms being: Ketosis breath, which has a fruity odor, and the person in deep ketosis may feel a sort of slight burning in the nose and a slight smell of ammonia. Dry mouth, which is alleviated by drinking more regular tap or bottled water. (Reverse osmosis water will make this worse.) In the first week of beginning a ketogenic diet, most people experience frequent urination followed by fatigue, as insulin levels come down, and the kidneys release extraneous water stores. Minerals such as sodium, magnesium and potassium are also lost with excreted urine, and it is the mineral loss that causes the fatigue. This can be offset by eating more salt, drinking more fluids, and increasing the intake of magnesium and potassium containing foods. (Dairy foods and avocados are high in potassium, and you can drink broth for more sodium.) A slight headache at first which goes away in a few days. This is usually a sign of not getting enough salt. Ketone bodies become detectable in the urine. Ketone bodies are molecu Continue reading >>
What’s Up With My Pee?
Sometimes new ketonians think of the strangest things to ask about on the Ketogenic Success Facebook group. One thing that just seems to keep coming up, again and again, is the question regarding changes to their urine stream. (I always want to remind people that there are over one hundred forty thousand users in the Ketogenic Success group, and maybe this isn’t a question they would ask in front of a crowd that large, but clearly, the question is on a lot of minds!) So let’s look at a couple of changes you may notice in the toilet after emptying your bladder. Change in Color You may find that your urine is changing color. Frequently folks report it getting lighter. This is totally normal. When you pass more water through your body, the urochrome that gives your urine its yellow color is diluted and your liquid waste may shift in hue to become straw colored. This happens as your cells release their retained water, as well, so this sight is commonly paired with a ‘whoosh’ in weight loss as inflammation decreases in your body. If your urine becomes nearly clear, or entirely transparent, you may be drinking too much water. Don’t force yourself to drink water if you’re not thirsty (unless you are dehydrated, more on that in a moment). If you are continuously drinking water and your pee is clear, be sure to replace your electrolytes with each serving (easiest thing to do is add Himalayan salt to your water bottle, or even pop a couple of H Salt crystals with each new glass of water). You can also replace electrolytes by drinking a shot of pickle or olive brine (just make sure it’s high quality, without unnecessary chemical ingredients). If your urine gets darker, on the other hand, you are likely not drinking enough water. Sometimes when we are dehydrated our b Continue reading >>
Can A Low-carb Diet Make One's Urine Smell Bad?
Urine usually has little odor to it, so you may be puzzled if yours smells stronger than usual. A restrictive low-carb diet can put you into a state of ketosis, a side effect of which is a fruity-smelling urine. Moderate low-carb diets are unlikely to give your urine an unusual odor, however, so consider other causes and, if still not sure why your urine smells, consult your medical provider. Video of the Day It's unlikely that you'll reach the state of ketosis with moderately low-carb diets. You'll need to follow a restrictive plan, such as the Atkins 20™ diet, which only allows 20 grams of carbs per day, with virtually all high-carb foods off your plate. You focus on moderate amounts of protein and large amounts of fat. No added sugar, fruit, grains or starchy vegetables are allowed in a ketogenic diet. Meals consists of meats, cold-pressed oils and leafy, watery vegetables. Nuts, eggs and cheese serve as snacks. After several days or weeks of following this extremely low-carb plan, your body starts to produce ketones. You don't have enough carbs for energy, so, to fuel activity, your body becomes efficient at burning fat and the liver produces ketones to fuel the brain. This production is normal, but not regularly experienced by people that consume the 225 to 300 grams of carbohydrates recommended on a standard American 2,000-calorie diet. Benefits of the ketogenic diet include stabilization of blood sugar and insulin levels and the weight loss that results from your body reaching into your fat stores for energy. The diet may also help alleviate symptoms of a number of diseases, including neurological conditions and some cancers. Your Urine on Ketosis One of the first signs that you've reached a state of ketosis is frequent urination. As the diet stabilizes your in Continue reading >>
The Low Carbohydrate Or Ketogenic Diet
The Atkins diet and other low-carbohydrate diets are still popular. Understanding the concepts behind these diets will help you lose weight in a safe, responsible manner and avoid certain pitfalls. Force your body to burn fat On a low-carbohydrate diet, your body is forced into burning its second choice for energy, fat. Normally, your body prefers to use carbohydrate for energy. Any time you eat carbohydrate-rich foods (starch, sweets, bread, etc.), your body first burns the carbohydrate for energy. Excess carbohydrates are then stored as glycogen (a form of sugar in the liver). Once your carbohydrate stores are full, extra carbohydrate is stored as fat. When carbohydrate calories are plentiful, your body never has to use its fat reserves for energy. Only when your carbohydrate intake is limited will your body reluctantly begin to burn fat. The key to dieting success Controlling your appetite is the key to controlling your calorie intake. When dieting, most people can't stand that "starving" feeling and quit after a very short time. Normally, foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, causing an increase in blood sugar, which triggers insulin secretion. Insulin pushes sugar from the bloodstream into your body's cells and liver, and keeps the blood sugar stable. Simple carbohydrates, such as pasta, breads, and most sweets get into the bloodstream too quickly, triggering a large release of insulin from the pancreas. This flood of insulin causes your blood sugar to drop quickly, triggering hunger and stress hormones to bring your sugar back up. If you try to lose weight with a high carbohydrate, low protein, low fat diet, you will constantly be fighting insulin spikes and resulting hunger. Low carbohydrate diet stops insulin spikes A low carbohydrate diet helps Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- The interpretation and effect of a low-carbohydrate diet in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
- Pre-diabetes goes into remission on higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet (Zone diet balance)
The Ketogenic Diet For Fat Loss & Much More
In this article you will learn: What Ketosis is and how it relates to fat metabolism. How to structure your diet in such a way as to create a healthy state of ketosis for fat loss, massively improved energy levels and many other health benefits. To put it simply, ketosis is the metabolic state wherein your body is burning predominantly fat to produce energy. Ketones are the energy substrate your body makes from fats you eat and from your own bodyfat. Getting into ketosis (fat burning mode) is a highly sought after state for anyone who desires to lose bodyfat. There are a few things that can get in the way of being in fat burning mode and we will review them in this post. For a more elaborate definition of ketosis, here is an excerpt from wikipedia: Note: when glucose is available for energy then the body will generally not produce ketones (i.e. will not burn fat). Glucose can come from eating foods that contain carbohydrates and it can also come from protein through a process mentioned above called gluconeogenesis (the production of glucose from protein.) That means that if you are eating carbohydrates often or too much protein, it can keep you out of fat burning mode. Before you jump into trying to follow a ketogenic diet you have to first determine if your body will be able to run primarily on fats for energy. The ketogenic diet is very high in fat, which means you need to be able to digest fat very effectively if you are going to thrive on this diet. Effective digestion of all the fat you eat on a ketogenic diet require your liver and gall bladder to be working well - i.e. producing and effectively secreting sufficient amounts of bile. Bile is an alkaline liquid soap/salt that your liver makes and your gall bladder stores and concentrates. When you eat any meal, the 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 >>
Color Of Urine Strips For Ketosis
Ketosis occurs when the body runs out of carbohydrates for energy. As a result, the body begins to process dietary and bodily fat to carry out necessary functions; the presence of ketones in urine thus indicates the metabolism of fat. Ketone testing strips evaluate the presence and concentration of ketones using a urine sample. Ketosis is evidenced by the a chemical reaction on the testing pad, which will change colors based on the concentration of ketones. Presence of Ketones The presence of ketones in urine may be surmised by a simple urinary test. Some test strips offer further evaluation of the presence of glucose, proteins or other material in urine. However, in testing for ketosis, strips need only to test for the presence of ketones. Use of Test Strip Urinary ketone test strips (or reagent strips) are simple to use. The testing pad, on one end of the test strip, is exposed to urine; it can be passed through a urine stream or dipped into a urine specimen. The testing pad contains a chemical that reacts in the presence of ketones, changing color depending on concentration. Ketone Readings For utmost accuracy, ketone readings should be conducted exactly 15 seconds after exposure to urine. On the testing bottle will be a small selection of colored squares demonstrating (in ascending order) what colors the test pad will turn in the event that ketones are present. Test Strip Readings Ketone test strips generally have five categories associated with ketone concentration in blood. A negative reading indicates no ketones are present in urine. Trace (5 mg/dL), small (15 mg/dL), moderate (40 mg/dL) and large (80 to 100-plus mg/dL) are the four positive ranges, indicated by a pale pink (trace) through deep burgundy (large) color on the test pad. Accuracy The testing pad may 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 To Use Ketone Strips To Stay In Ketosis
If you are new to the world of low carb, you may have come across people talking about ketone strips or “ketostix” to see if they are in ketosis. These are small strips to test your urine to see if you have ketones in it. It is a roundabout way to see if you are in ketosis. Here is a guide to your most common questions about how to use ketone strips and if they are right for you! Ketone Strips FAQ Testing Laboratory Microbiology - Air Quality - Mold Asbestos - Environmental - Lead emsl.com What Are Ketone Strips Used For? Ketostix are used to help track when someone is in ketosis. Sometimes people use them to see how many carbs they can consume and stay in ketosis. For most people this range is from 40-55 net carbs a day. For other, it can be as low as 20 carbs per day. Also, it can be used to help determine what foods may interfering with ketosis. For some people, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, or high fiber foods (giving a high carb content, but low net carb result) will take them out of ketosis. Using these strips can help one figure out what the problem is if they are not staying in ketosis or losing weight. How To Use Ketone Strips: You take a strip and dip it into your urine. Generally it is better to dip it into a cup with urine in it, rather than passing through your urine stream. This is because if your stream is too strong, you could potentially wash all the reagent off of the strip and get a false negative result. Either way, dip it, and remove immediately. Usually the bottle will tell you how long to wait, but as a general rule, you will see your results in seconds. After a minute, the results are no longer valid. How Accurate Are They? They are very accurate at showing if you are passing ketones in your urine, so the rate of a FALSE positive is Continue reading >>
10 Things Your Pee Can Tell You About Your Body: Taking A Deep Dive Into Urinalysis, Dehydration, Ketosis, Ph & More!
See, for the past several days, I’ve been randomly grabbing drinking glasses from the shelf in the kitchen… …and peeing into them. And yes, I realize that now you will likely never want to join me at my home for a dinner party. So why the heck am I urinating into our family’s kitchenware? It’s all about better living through science and figuring out ways to live longer and feel better (at least that’s what I tell my wife to appease her). It’s also about my sheer curiosity and desire to delve into an N=1 experiment in self-quantification with urinalysis. It’s also because I’ve been too lazy to order one of those special urinalysis specimen cups with the cute plastic lid. And let’s face it: with my relatively frequent use of a three day gut testing panel, my wife is already somewhat accustomed to giant Fed-Ex bags full of poop tubes sitting in the fridge, so urine can’t be all that bad, right? Anyways, in this article, you’re going to learn exactly why I think it’s a good idea to occasionally study one’s own urine, and you’ll also discover 10 very interesting things your pee can tell you about your body. Enjoy, and as usual, leave your questions, thoughts, feedback, and stories of your own adventures in urinalysis below this post. ———————– The History Of My Interest In Urinalysis Two years ago, I first became interested in urinalysis when I discovered a new start-up called “uChek”. The premise of uChek was quite simple. People with diabetes who want to check the amount of glucose in their urine would simply be able to download uChek to their iPhone or iPad. Then, after a “mid-stream collection,” (yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like and, in my experience, despite my Private Gym training, can be quite difficult to 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 >>
What Your Pee May Be Trying To Tell You
During your lifetime, your kidneys will work very hard to filter over one million gallons of water. Urine is about 95% water and 5% uric acid, the stuff that your body does not need – including minerals, enzymes and salts that are dangerous if they accumulate in your body. Urine can fluctuate in color and odor depending on what you are eating and drinking, how active you are, the time of day or what supplements you are taking. However, urine color and odor can also be an indication of something more serious. Would you have ever thought that great things could be learned from your pee? Urine should be pale yellow or clear – not glow-in-the-dark yellow or dark yellow. It should not be cloudy or have a knock-you-over odor unless you have been eating asparagus! Anything apart from the clear and odorless could be a sign of trouble. Urine is made up of excess water and waste that your kidneys have filtered. Urochrome, a pigment found in blood, gives urine its natural light yellow tone. Depending on how hydrated you are, you urine color can fluctuate from clear to darker yellow or even orange tinted. Here is a quick pee primer to fill you in on what you should look for and what your pee may be telling you. Super Clear Urine Yep, there is such a thing as urine that is too clear. If your urine is super clear it may mean that you are drinking too many fluids. Be careful not to over-hydrate. The best rule of thumb is to aim for half of your body weight in ounces each day. This means, if your weight is 120 pounds, you should be drinking 60 ounces of water per day. More serious conditions such as acute viral hepatitis or cirrhosis can also cause your pee to turn very clear. However, you will also have other symptoms such as skin yellowing, nausea or vomiting with these condition Continue reading >>
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 >>