How To Know If You Are In Ketosis Without Strips.
To know whether or not you’ve entered ketosis you can measure your blood ketone levels. But how to know if you are in ketosis without strips? Well, we’re already mildly ketogenic after an overnight fast. 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. If we’re not adapted, then our brain and muscles won’t be able to put those ketones into use. Nutritional ketosis begins if our blood ketone levels are over 0.5mMol. To indicate that, you can use either urine strips like Ketostix. There are also breath takers. The most optimal range for ketosis is between 0.5 and 3 mMol. Ketoacidosis occurs over 10mMol, which is quite hard to reach. It usually happens with people who are diabetic or after excessive alcohol consumption. But there are a few problems with measuring ketones. Having elevated levels of ketones doesn’t mean you’re in ketosis. These urine strips are expensive and taking several measurements a day is very costly. That’s why there’s another way how to know you’re in ketosis without strips. Like said, elevated ketone levels doesn’t necessarily mean ketosis. It might even be the opposite. If we’re not putting ketones into use, then we’re probably urinating it out. That’s why urine strips are not ideal. What we want to know as well is our blood sugar levels. Glucose and ketones are contradicting fuel sources. If one is elevated, then the other has to be decreased. If we have high blood sugar levels, then we won’t be able to use fat for fuel. We definitely won’t be in ketosis. Quantifying is great because it gives us an accurate interpretation of our condition. However, we shouldn’t get stuck with the dat Continue reading >>
A Quick Primer On The Ketone Test Strips...
A Quick primer on the Ketone Test Strips... Questions about ketones, ketosis, KetoStix, and its implications and misconceptions have always been one of the most common querries at Low Carb Luxury. We'll try and clear up some of those mysteries here. So... what are they? You'll hear them referred to as KetoStix (the original brand name), Urine Test Strips, Reagent Strips, Ketone Testing Strips, and Lipolysis Test Strips. Depending on the plan you follow and whether you are new to this way of life, or an old timer from the 70's, you'll be referring to them as one name or another if your plan calls for being in Ketosis. Please note, we're not here to debate the merits of Ketogenic vs non-Ketogenic diets here, so don't send me mail of disagreement. For me personally, being in Ketosis is my ideal state and keeps my body's systems at their best. The Ketosis we're talking about here is what Dr. Atkins refers to as "Benign Dietary Ketosis" (or BDK), and should never be confused with Acidosis — a dangerous state for diabetics and those in advanced starvation where acetone builds in the blood and tissues. People will sometimes tell you that producing ketones is dangerous for the body. This is simply misinformation. They're confusing ketosis (the state from a Ketogenic diet) with ketoacidosis (or acidosis) which occurs in uncontrolled diabetes and/or starvation. Ketones? Ketones are incompletely burned carbon fragments. The very fact that they are less efficient as fuel is what makes them give you that 'metabolic advantage.' Some of the calories burned are not used to their full capacity... hence the person can eat more calories when in ketosis than when not, and still lose the same amount of weight. Ketoacids are short (four carbons long.) It's important because in that way the Continue reading >>
What’s The Deal With Ketostix?
This is a summary/extract from The Ketogenic Diet by Lyle McDonald. Whether correct or not, many ketogenic dieters tend to live or die by the presence of ketones in their urine. The presence of ketosis, which is indicative of lipolysis can be psychologically reassuring […]. However it should be noted that one can be in ketosis, defined as ketones in the bloodstream, without showing urinary ketones. Although up to 100 grams of carbohydrate will allow ketosis to develop, it would be rare to see ketones excreted in the urine at this level of intake. Since the only measure of ketosis available to ketogenic diets are Ketostix ™ carbohydrates must be restricted below this level of ketosis is to be measured. As a general rule of thumb, dietary carbohydrates should be below 30 grams per day for ketosis to be rapidly established and for ketones to be lost in the urine. However, this value varies from person to person and depends on other factors such as protein intake and activity, which allows individuals to consume relatively more carbohydrate without disrupting ketosis. After adaptation to the diet, it appears that individuals can tolerate relatively greater carbohydrate intakes without disrupting ketosis. Although not completely accurate, Ketostix ™ can provide a rough measure of how many carbohydrates can be consumed while still maintaining ketosis. As long as trace ketosis is maintained, carbohydrates can be gradually added to the diet. Since Ketostix ™ only register relative concentrations, rather than absolute amounts, changes in hydration state can affect the concentration of ketones which appear. A high water intake tends to dilute urinary ketone concentrations giving lighter readings. Ketones in the urine simply indicate an overproduction of ketones such that Continue reading >>
What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?
If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, then you’ll know that it can be really tough to figure out if you’re doing keto right. Am I eating too many carbs? Too much protein? Should I still be feeling tired? When is the fat burning supposed to start? It’s confusing, and one of the most confusing aspects is what your optimal ketone levels are supposed to be. Unlike most other diets, the ketogenic diet is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis in order to get your body to start burning ketones instead of the glucose that it usually burns when you eat a high carb standard American diet (SAD). But to know whether you’re in ketosis and whether your body has enough ketones circulating for you to use as energy instead of glucose, you have to measure your actual ketone levels and then determine whether they’re high enough for you to be reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet. If you’ve tried searching for this information already, then you’ll know that there’s some controversy depending on which expert you follow. So in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what the different experts are suggesting are the optimal ketone levels as well as give you recommendations for what ketone levels you should be aiming for depending on your goals with a ketogenic diet. A Few Quick Notes Before We Start… If you’re looking for signs other than testing your actual body ketone levels as to whether you’re in ketosis or not, then please check out this article instead that provides you with signs you’re in ketosis. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, then this article is not for you and the optimal ketone levels suggested below are not applicable to you. Please check out the tons of other ketone level articles on the web to ensure your ketone levels do not reach 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 >>
Keto-adapted, But No Ketones?
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to measure ketones is to use ketone test strips, e.g. Ketostix. Ketone test strips use a chemical reaction to measure acetoacetate (see below), usually in urine, though the same method can be used for blood. (Not to be confused with the blood strips used at home for beta-hydroxybutyrate.) However, acetoacetate test strips are of limited usefulness. For one thing, urine concentrations are affected by dilution, which means that they are affected by how much you drink. But the problem is deeper than that. Acetoacetate is only one of the three ketone bodies (see below). Initially, when you start a ketogenic diet, acetoacetate will make up about half of the circulating ketones , but when you are keto-adapted, it makes up only about 20% of the ketone bodies in circulation (see below). Morover, the sensitivity of the strips is a little lower than optimal for our purposes. They register negative unless the concentration is quite high. So, it is not uncommon for a keto-adapted person to measure negative for acetoacetate. Different ketone bodies occur in different amounts There are three compounds grouped together as ketone bodies: acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. In keto-adapted people, acetoacetate levels are relatively low even though beta-hydroxybutyrate is high. Typically, beta-hydroxybutyrate levels are 4–5 times as high as acetoacetate. (Acetone makes up only about 2% of total ketone bodies .) The graph above shows that in the ketosis of fasting, the proportion of acetoacetate (the top, white part of the bar) is much smaller than that of beta-hydroxybutyrate (the black part). In the study here, after 21 days of fasting, the average level of blood acetoacetate was 1.04 mmol/L, while the beta-hydroxybutyrate level 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 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 >>
Someone Tell Me The Truth About Ketosis
Is it true or isn't it true that the color of the strips doesn't matter? I realize the blood test way is the most accurate but holy crap, they are way out of my budget. Should I consider myself in trouble if the sticks read "trace"? If I don't feel tired then isn't that evidence that I am making sufficient ketones, i.e. my glycogen stores are empty and I'm using ketones for energy? My friend says that if it's purple, that means your body is burning more fat. I repeat what I heard (I need to personally research this) that it doesn't matter what color it is as long as it's registering at least trace. How do get a good understanding of the fundamentals of ketosis? P.S. I am losing 2 lbs weekly and have lots of energy, yet am rarely purple. 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 >>
Don’t Feed The Keto-stix Pusher!
For control-freaks like me, beginning with LCHF brought an unexpected pleasure. You could buy little strips and dip them in your urine and get a color-coded answer how many keton-bodies were in there. A dark red meant you were doing well, a pale pink meant something in your diet needed tweaking. I went through more packs of keto-sticks in my first LCHF-year than I am comfortable admitting. But gradually the dark red went away, and I was stuck on the little-or-no-ketons pink. No matter how much I tweaked my way of eating, lived on steak, egg and butter, nothing. Pretty in pink all the way. In this situation, there are three ways of reacting: worry yourself sick, keep tweaking or simply not give a damn. So, of course, I found a fourth way – research and check the facts. It so happens that what the ketosticks measure is not whether you’re in ketosis or not. They only measure the amount of keto-bodies in your urine. Which in turn means that if you’re so adapted to running your metabolism on fat, you’ll use up your ketons and nothing spills over into the urine. Which means little or no result from your stick, no matter how many times you bring however many sticks into the bathroom… Every single person, even inveterate carb-browsers, will be Buy Cialis in ketosis during the night. This is how your body keeps your blood sugar level up when you’re between eating food that raises your blood sugar. The trick isn’t to enter ketosis, it is staying there. Ketosis isn’t an absolute science. It depends not just on how many carbs you eat per day, it also depends on how many carbs you eat at any one time. Dr Gregory Ellis suggests that there’s a break-off at 25% carbs of your daily energy intake. As a rule of thumb: eating less than 100g of carbohydrates spread out thr Continue reading >>
Keto Sticks (ketone Test Strips)
Keto sticks I’m often asked if it’s necessary to buy and use keto sticks. They’re small test strips that you dip in urine to see if your body is producing ketones (and therefore indicate if you’ve entered ketosis. I already wrote a post about how to tell if you’re in ketosis but I though this topic deserved a separate post. You can buy some here. What’s a keto stick? Like I said, it’s a small test strip and looks like this: It comes in a small bottle that usually contains 50-100 strips depending on the type you choose. It’s very thin and on one end if it there’s a small square of paper (this is the end you dip in the urine). If there are ketones in your urine the little paper will change colour. The darker it is (light pink up to a purple colour) the more ketones are in your urine. On the bottle there’s a picture you compare the colour of the paper to. How do I use a keto stick? It’s very easy: First of all you pee in a clean and dry cup. For convenience you can buy single use plastic cups in a grocery store and keep them in your bathroom. You take a keto stick out of the bottle and make sure you close it firmly again because any humidity can destroy the remaining sticks in the bottle. This is especially important if you store the bottle in your bathroom where there’s steam from the shower etc. Follow the instructions on the bottle when you dip the stick in the urine. Usually you should only dip for 1 second and shake of the excess urine. Not violently though because you probably don’t want to get pee on your hands. Again follow the instructions to see for how long you have to wait until you can read the results. It shouldn’t be long, probably 30-60 seconds. Compare the colour of the stick to the colour on the bottle. Any shade of pink is usu Continue reading >>
Ketosis And The Ketogenic Ratio – Q&a
Question: Do you still believe in the ketogenic ratio for getting into ketosis? I am having trouble showing ketones. Any tips? Sorry to bother you again but can drinking 2 gal of water per day dilute your urine so you don’t show ketones? Answer: Ok, let me take these on one at a time. In my first book The Ketogenic Diet, I talked about something called the ketogenic ratio (KR) which is an equation/concept used in the planning of ketogenic diets for epilepsy patients. The equation basically gives you the potential ketone producing potential of a given meal depending on the relative ketogenic or anti-ketogenic effect of the different macronutrients. So the KR of a given combination of nutrients can be estimated with the following equation: Protein turns out to be partially ketogenic (46%) and partially anti-ketogenic (58%), reflecting the fact that some amino acids can be made into ketones, while other are made into glucose). Carbohydrate is 100% anti-ketogenic and fat is mostly (90%) ketogenic (the 10% anti-ketogenic is due to the fact that the glycerol portion of triglycerides, explained in A Primer on Dietary Fats, can be converted to glucose in the liver). Quoting from that section of The Ketogenic Diet: This equation represents the relative tendency for a given macronutrient to either promote or prevent a ketogenic state (1). Recalling from the previous chapter that insulin and glucagon are the ultimate determinants of the shift to a ketotic state, this equation essentially represents the tendency for a given nutrient to raise insulin (anti-ketogenic) or glucagon (pro-ketogenic). For the treatment of epilepsy, the ratio of K to AK must be at least 1.5 for a meal to be considered ketogenic (1). Typically, this results in a diet containing 4 grams of fat for each gra 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 >>
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 >>