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Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

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 >>

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

Why ketogenic diet? What is it? Dr. Mercola emphasizes a version of this diet for those with Protein nutritional type (P-type); especially for those who have gone astray with too many carbs so that they have insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome). People like me. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that relies on fat and protein for energy, instead of carbs. If you have been a carb-eater for a long time, you need to retrain your body to burn fat for energy - fat in the form of ketones. This diet is NOT a high-protein diet, but rather moderate in protein and high in fat. I suspect that the type of fat is very important. Fats from pasture-raised livestock and dairy, wild fish, olives and coconuts are the best and together include a good mix of saturated, mono-unsaturated and omega-3 polyunsaturate. The Atkins diet is a type of ketogenic diet, but is designed for weight loss, rather than changing your metabolism. Not all people on a ketogenic diet will lose weight, but their health will improve. If you want to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, you must reduce your fat consumption enough that your body will burn stored fat. But remember that if you reduce dietary fat, you must also reduce dietary carbs and proteins to maintain the same dietary percentage: 5% carbs, 20% protein, 75% fat calories. Do not be tempted to eat Atkins-endorsed processed foods as this will likely make matters worse. Another important aspect of the Ketogenic diet has to do with when you eat what you eat. (from Dr. Loscalzo (4)). •There should be a 12-hour break (or ‘fast’) between dinner and breakfast; then your breakfast is truly a ‘breaking of the fast;” •Stop eating 3 or more hours before bed; e.g., if you go to bed at 11 PM, don’t eat/snack after 8 PM. •Avoid high-carb foods (su Continue reading >>

Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)

Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)

Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may Continue reading >>

50 Days To Nutritional Ketosis

50 Days To Nutritional Ketosis

blog for the honour of featuring thisas a guest post.] I began practicing Nutritional Ketosis (NK) 50 days ago. It has been an enlightening experience. My goal was to get my blood ketones up to between 1.5 and 3 mmol/L. I wanted to be fueled by fat as opposed to just eating low carb. In these 50 days, there were mistakes and challenges but by the last day, my health and body composition had improved immensely. When I saw last summer that Dr.Eenfeldt had a toy for measuring blood ketones I knew I had to have one. I was also watching how Jimmy Moore was having great success from “testing blood ketones as a means for attaining the proper level of nutritional ketosis”. After a year and a half of eating low carb, and getting my weight down from 184lbs to 154lbs, I loved the idea of having a tangible measurement of how “fat adapted” I was. I also saw this as a way to address my frustration with long stalls in my weight loss. The first time I measured my blood ketones it was heart breaking to see it was only 0.1. I could not believe that I, a person who read all the books, listened to all the podcasts and who was eating very low carb and high fat, was not producing ketones. I started tracking my food on My Fitness Pal (MFP). This was the first time I had measured the macronutrient composition of my diet. Lowering carbs and protein while increasing dietary fat would be key to achieving NK. First I tracked what I ate after it was eaten, only to regret the 1/3 of a cup of tomato sauce or the one single bite of sweet potato (each having about 11 carbs). Before starting this experiment I believed I have been eating less than 100g or less of carbs a day – boy I must have been way off. Then I began tracking the food before I ate it, to plan my intake more precisely. MPF is Continue reading >>

Fasting, Ketosis And Fat Loss

Fasting, Ketosis And Fat Loss

“…..in sixteen days, I lost 6.6 kilograms or 15 pounds…..” “….my blood sugar went down to 49 mg/dl, a dangerously low level by most medical standards…..” haha Fasting is defined as an act of willing abstinence from food for a prolonged period. The objective of a fast is to give the body a break from digesting food, though allowing the natural repair processes within the body, to take place. When food intake stops, the body is compelled to live of the energy it has stored, primarily body fat. The main purpose of having body fat is to temporarily store it as an energy source. If we did not have this storage capability, we could not sleep through the night between dinner and breakfast, without having to wake up and snack every few hours. Because body fat is the main energy source during a fast, this time period can be very effective in reducing body weight that is carried in the form of excess fat tissue. haha Within the first twenty four to forty eight hours of fasting, the body enters into a state known as ketosis. This is a natural condition where compounds called ketones start to be produced in the liver, from body fat being mobilized for energy. All of our body’s muscles and organs, aside from the brain, can use fat directly as energy. hahha haha haha hahah ah ah aha h ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah hh The only way fat can fuel the brain is when it gets converted into Ketones. Once blood sugar starts to drop, as it inevitably does during a fast as the glycogen (sugar) stores gradually become depleted, then Ketones become the only other alternate source of fuel for the brain. Ketosis is a completely natural state and an essential bodily function, especially during a fast. haha On the 12th of January 2015, I embarked on an extended fast. The main Continue reading >>

Experiment: Optimal Ketosis For Weight Loss And Improved Performance

Experiment: Optimal Ketosis For Weight Loss And Improved Performance

Can measuring ketones help you lose weight and improve performance? Let’s try to find out. Today my ketone experiment reached goal #1: achieving stable optimal ketosis*. After getting my blood ketone meter I’ve eaten a stricter LCHF diet than I usually do. More fat, less carbs. No bread, no potatoes, pasta, rice or fruit. Instead I’ve eaten meat, fish, vegetables, egg and extra large amounts of high-fat sauces and butter. In the mornings coffee with plenty of butter/coconut fat in it. I’ve occasionally cheated with some nuts, root vegetables, berries, cream and a little wine. After just a few days I entered light nutritional ketosis (over 0.5 mmol/L on the meter). But it took a full three weeks to achieve stable optimal ketosis (1.5 – 3 mmol/L) in the mornings. It was also interesting that it was much quicker to get high ketone readings during daytime and in the evenings (data not shown in the chart above). I’ve also tested keto sticks for measuring urine ketones (cheaper and simpler). In my case the results so far track the blood ketones reasonably well, even if urine ketones is a more inexact and unreliable test. So what do you think I’ve noticed? Does it feel different? What do you think happened to my weight & waist measurement (I started at a normal satisfactory weight) and training/mental performance? Answers are coming up, but feel free to guess in the comments! Ketosis */ Ketosis is a natural state where the body is almost only burning fat.The secret of ketosis is to eat very low amounts of carbs and only moderate amounts of protein. Then add fat to satiety. Some less informed people still confuse natural ketosis with the pathological state ketoacidosis. The latter has completely different causes, usually extreme insulin deficiency in type 1 diabet Continue reading >>

Glucose Ketone Index (gki) – What Ratio Do I Need For Nutritional Ketosis Benefits?

Glucose Ketone Index (gki) – What Ratio Do I Need For Nutritional Ketosis Benefits?

Generally these blog posts are a result of scratching my own itch (answering my own question), and this post is no different. At the time of writing this, I’m doing a 5-day fast, and wanted to understand the readings I’m getting for my blood glucose and blood ketone levels. Initially I thought that blood ketones were all that mattered, and certainly a lot of people only talk about that reading. But looking at Dr Thomas Seyfried’s paper on treating brain cancer (glioblastomas). It suggests that its important to take into account blood glucose also. In their study, they acheieved optimal results when their patients maintained what they called ‘nutritional ketosis’. And as part of the paper, they included a formula for what this means. The chart below describes visually what they mean by nutritional ketosis, and how it affected the tumour growth. The red is an increase in ketones as a fictional patient goes deeper into ketosis. The black line represents blood glucose, that decreases to a plateau, as carbohydrate sources are removed from the diet, and glycogen stores decrease. So that sweet spot they reach at the end is an optimum level of nutritional ketosis. Now… obviously in our case we are (hopefully) not trying to slow the growth of a glioblastoma. But by getting into ketosis we’re hoping to achieve a number of benefits including: Reduced IGF-1 Immune system rejuvenation (perhaps mainly lymphocytes) Increased cellular autophagy Reduced inflammation (often measured by improved C-reactive protein levels) The extent of these benefits will depend if you’re eating a keto diet, or doing a water fast/fast mimicking diet. But all 3 should improve the biomarkers such that you have a reduced risk of major diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disea Continue reading >>

How Do Ketone Testing Strips Work?

How Do Ketone Testing Strips Work?

Ketones and ketosis are no mysteries thanks to ketone testing strips. They are called KetoStix (the first brand name), Urine Test Strips, Reagent Strips, Ketone Testing Strips, or Lipolysis Test Strips. Quick look at ketosis and ketones During ketogenic diet program, glucose is by design in short supply; in this state the liver switches to breaking down the ingested and stored fats as alternative energy source. This metabolic state is called “beta-oxidization.” Ketoacids are the product of beta-oxidization process in our liver. During beta-oxidization the stored or ingested fatty acids are broken down in our liver into our alternative energy source. Our fat stores accumulate fat as “long” fatty acids called triglycerides. While sugar (glucose) is in short supply, the triglycerides are broken down into “short” ketoacids. These short molecules are able to penetrate our cells as fuel. These ketoacids are utilized (burned) by many of our tissues, including the brain. The brain operates just as well on a diet of ketoacids as it does on glucose. What’s left (the incompletely burned fragments) are called ketones. They are what spill into the urine to be removed from the body. Being in ketosis simply means that we’re burning our fat stores and using them as our primary source of fuel. How do ketone test strips work? The test strips provide a quick, private and cost effective way to determine if we are in ketosis at any given time and at what rate. Most of us feel more secure with such a simple way to test, and get instant answer. All we need to do is to simply dip the reagent end of the strip into our urine specimen and remove immediately. Alternatively we can wet reagent area of the strip in our urine stream. We check the color of the reagent area within 10-15 Continue reading >>

The Basic Ketogenic Diet

The Basic Ketogenic Diet

Note: Please note that if you are interested in a Ketogenic Diet used to treat Epilepsy or Pediatric Epilepsy, please start at Johns Hopkins who are the pioneers in this field. The wikipedia page for the Ketogenic Diet diet also has information on the diet as it relates to treating epilepsy. The diet below is simply for rapid and effective weight loss and uses a 1 to 1 fat to protein ratio rather than the 4 to 1 fat to combined protein and carbs ratio of the Ketogenic Diet pioneered by Johns Hopkins used to treat epilepsy. [wp_ad_camp_3] Disclaimer: I am neither a doctor nor self proclaimed nutrition expert so please consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any action that affects your health and wellbeing. After finishing Gary Taubes latest book, which seems to have rapidly become the cornerstone of a new approach to nutrition, I’ve become very interested in the Ketogenic diet. The speed of weight loss I’ve seen is incredible and my energy level has remained high. The science behind a ketogenic diet is solidly backed up by Taubes research published in “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why we get fat“. According to Taubes’ research, it may also be the only way for people who have become severely insulin resistant, to effectively lose weight. The Ketogenic diet has always lived on the fringes of diet lore and has been seen as extreme. But the reality is that the low glycemic index diet (Low GI Diet) is effective because it is close to, but not quite, a ketogenic diet. Other diets like the South Beach Diet are also only effective because of the reduction in carbs and consequently insulin levels. The science behind this diet looks solid and it is part of the massive shift in nutrition research we’ve seen in the last few years. Prominent sport Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

The Ketogenic Diet And Insulin Resistance

We recently touched on how you can use the ketogenic diet to control symptoms of diabetes such as elevated glucose and triglycerides. In this article, we examine research showing the impact that the ketogenic diet has on levels of the hormone insulin, a key regulator of blood sugar in the body. What is Insulin’s Role in the Body? Before we look at the research, we need to know our main players. Insulin is a protein-based hormone produced by beta-cells located in the pancreas. The pancreas, which is located under the stomach, also produces enzymes that aid with digestion. Insulin’s primary purpose is to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, into a molecule called glucose. This compound can be used by cells to produce energy through a process called cellular respiration. Insulin allows cells in the body absorb glucose, ultimately lowering levels of glucose in the blood stream. After a meal is consumed, blood glucose levels increase and the pancreas responds by releasing insulin into the blood. Insulin assists fat, liver, and muscle cells absorb glucose from the blood, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose. Insulin stimulates liver and muscle tissues to store excess glucose as a molecule called glycogen and also reduces glucose production by the liver. When blood sugar is low, the hormone glucagon (produced by alpha-cells in the pancreas) stimulate cells to break down glycogen into glucose that is subsequently released into the blood stream. In healthy people who do not have type II diabetes, these functions allow levels of blood glucose and insulin to stay in a normal range. What Is Insulin Resistance and Why Is It a Problem? Unfortunately, for many Americans and other peopl Continue reading >>

Biohacking: Using The Glucose Ketone Index

Biohacking: Using The Glucose Ketone Index

Looking for a way to measure metabolic health? One technique is to look at the ratio of blood glucose to blood ketones. The idea is to reduce carbohydrate intake which will result in lower blood sugar and higher ketone levels. The chart below explains the ideal ratios. The glucose ketone index is simply a way to measure the relationship between your ketone levels and your glucose levels at any moment in time. It is measured by dividing your blood glucose level (mmol/L) by your blood ketone level (mmol/L). The result is a single number we can use an indicator of one’s metabolic state. The index has its roots in brain cancer treatment, where researchers using metabolic therapy found best results when glucose and ketones maintained a very precise relationship in the patient [1]. Since there are many aspects of daily life (stress, exercise, nutrition etc.) that can upset glucose or ketone levels in the body, thereby throwing off the optimal glucose-ketone ratio, the index was developed to ensure both metrics (glucose and ketones) are maintaining the ideal ratio for optimal treatment outcomes. [ … Read More … ] I tend to stay in a solid level of ketosis most of the day and cycle out for just two hours. Using my numbers from the photo above look like: Convert Blood Glucose – 85 mg/dL / 18 = 4.72 mmol/L Divide Glucose by Ketones – 4.72 mmol/L / 1.6 mmol/L = 2.95 GKI No Comments No comments yet. Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time. Continue reading >>

Optimal Ketone And Blood Sugar Levels For Ketosis

Optimal Ketone And Blood Sugar Levels For Ketosis

A low carb helps reduce blood sugars and insulin levels and helps with the management of many of the diseases of modern civilisation (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). We become insulin resistant when our body fat can’t store any more energy. Excess energy is then stored in the liver, pancreas, heart, brain and other organs that are more insulin sensitive. We also see increased levels of energy in our blood in the form of glucose, fat and elevated ketone. Endogenous ketosis occurs when we eat less food than we need. Our insulin and blood sugar levels decrease and ketones rise to supply the energy we need. Exogenous ketosis occurs when we eat lots fat and/or take exogenous ketones. Blood ketones rise, but our insulin levels will also rise because we have an excess of energy coming from our diet. Most of the good things associated with ketosis occur due to endogenous ketosis. Most people following a ketogenic diet over the long term have ketone values lower than what some people consider to be “optimal ketosis”. If your goal is blood sugar control, longevity or weight loss then endogenous ketosis with lower blood sugars and lower ketones is likely a better place to be than chasing higher blood ketones. I have seen a lot of interest and confusion recently from people following a ketogenic about ideal ketone and blood sugar levels. In an effort to try to clear this up, this article reviews blood ketone (BHB), breath ketone (acetone) and blood sugar data from a large number of people who are following a low carb or ketogenic diet to understand what “normal” and “optimal” look like. Many people initiate a low carb diet to manage their blood glucose levels, insulin resistance or diabetes. As shown in the chart below, Continue reading >>

The Glucose Ketone Index Calculator: A Simple Tool To Monitor Therapeutic Efficacy For Metabolic Management Of Brain Cancer

The Glucose Ketone Index Calculator: A Simple Tool To Monitor Therapeutic Efficacy For Metabolic Management Of Brain Cancer

Go to: Abstract Background Metabolic therapy using ketogenic diets (KD) is emerging as an alternative or complementary approach to the current standard of care for brain cancer management. This therapeutic strategy targets the aerobic fermentation of glucose (Warburg effect), which is the common metabolic malady of most cancers including brain tumors. The KD targets tumor energy metabolism by lowering blood glucose and elevating blood ketones (β-hydroxybutyrate). Brain tumor cells, unlike normal brain cells, cannot use ketone bodies effectively for energy when glucose becomes limiting. Although plasma levels of glucose and ketone bodies have been used separately to predict the therapeutic success of metabolic therapy, daily glucose levels can fluctuate widely in brain cancer patients. This can create difficulty in linking changes in blood glucose and ketones to efficacy of metabolic therapy. A program was developed (Glucose Ketone Index Calculator, GKIC) that tracks the ratio of blood glucose to ketones as a single value. We have termed this ratio the Glucose Ketone Index (GKI). The GKIC was used to compute the GKI for data published on blood glucose and ketone levels in humans and mice with brain tumors. The results showed a clear relationship between the GKI and therapeutic efficacy using ketogenic diets and calorie restriction. The GKIC is a simple tool that can help monitor the efficacy of metabolic therapy in preclinical animal models and in clinical trials for malignant brain cancer and possibly other cancers that express aerobic fermentation. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0009-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Keywords: Glucose, Beta-hydroxybutyrate, Calorie Continue reading >>

How To Easily Track Your Glucose Ketone Index (gki) On Your Ketogenic Diet

How To Easily Track Your Glucose Ketone Index (gki) On Your Ketogenic Diet

Tracking ketone levels is a large part of success on the ketogenic diet. It helps you know how far you are into ketosis and where we might need to make changes. But did you know that there’s an even better way to step it up a notch? The glucose ketone index is a simple calculation that allows you to find out how ketosis works best for you individually. Without it, you could be in full, high-level ketosis yet still not getting the full benefits. In this post, we’ll be looking at how to easily track your glucose ketone index for different aspects of health along with your ketogenic diet. Basics of the Glucose Ketone Index Here’s what you need to know about the glucose ketone index (GKI): Researchers have used the index in studies on the ketogenic diet, fasting, and more. Additionally, it has been used for tracking changes and progress regarding weight loss, athletic performance, management of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, and even cancer treatment. Now that we’ve covered the basics of what the GKI does, let’s talk about how you can use tracking it to your advantage. Tracking Your Glucose Ketone Index What’s so special about the glucose ketone index is that it lets you track both glucose and ketones at the same time, taking into account how they work together. It’s a way to know your optimal state for addressing all sorts of health conditions. Tracking this number benefits you over simply measuring ketone levels. That’s because even if you’re deeply in ketosis, you could still have high blood glucose levels that throw things off and affect your health. Essentially, it gives you a more full picture of your metabolic health. The numbers you can expect to target depend on your intentions for being in ketosis. Is your goal weight loss, better overa Continue reading >>

What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?

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 >>

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