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 >>
What Are Ketone Test Strips?
When your blood sugar runs high for an extended period of time, your body turns to fat reserves in order to get the energy it needs. The byproduct of this process is ketones, which show up in your blood and urine. Ketones can indicate hyperglycemia, which can be a serious situation if not treated properly. Ketone test strips can help determine the level of ketones in either urine or blood. Testing ketones with a blood-based test strip that you insert in a meter is just like testing your blood sugar. Testing with a urine strip means you either collect a small sample of urine or urinate directly onto the strip. Though testing with blood might be more accurate, it is also much more expensive. That's why so many of those with diabetes chose to go with urine ketone test strips. Understanding ketone test strip results Urine ketone test strips are looking for acetoacetic acid in the urine. This acid reacts with nitroprusside, a chemical in the strip, to produce a color. This color corresponds with a chart that comes packaged along with your test strips, usually on the outside of the vial. Typically, the results include negative, trace, moderate or large ketones. Negative ketones are a good sign. Trace ketones mean you should treat your high blood sugar as you normally would. Moderate or large ketones mean that your blood sugar has been too high for a while. Take the test a second time to confirm, then give your doctor a call. Options for ketone test strips When choosing urine ketone test strips, keep in mind how often you will use them. Test strips in a vial must be used before the expiration date, which is typically within six months after opening the package. Test strips that are individually packaged in foil cost a bit more, but will last much longer than those in a vial. I Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Ketosis & Ketone Test Strips
Discuss this article! By Doreen EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT KETOSIS ... 1. What are ketones? 2. How will ketosis help me to lose weight? 3. But, isn't ketosis dangerous? 4. How do the ketone test strips work, and where do I get them? 5. I'm following Induction strictly; why won't my strips turn purple? 6. Will I lose weight faster if the strips show dark purple all the time? 7. Does caffeine affect ketosis? 8. Will drinking alcohol affect ketosis? What are ketones? Ketones are a normal and efficient source of fuel and energy for the human body. They are produced by the liver from fatty acids, which result from the breakdown of body fat in response to the absence of glucose/sugar. In a ketogenic diet, such as Atkins ... or diets used for treating epilepsy in children, the tiny amounts of glucose required for some select functions can be met by consuming a minimum amount of carbs - or can be manufactured in the liver from PROTEIN. When your body is producing ketones, and using them for fuel, this is called "ketosis". How will ketosis help me to lose weight? Most reducing diets restrict calorie intake, so you lose weight but some of that is fat and some of it is lean muscle tissue as well. Less muscle means slowed metabolism, which makes losing weight more difficult and gaining it back all too easy. Ketosis will help you to lose FAT. Being in ketosis means that your body's primary source of energy is fat (in the form of ketones). When you consume adequate protein as well, there's no need for the body to break down its muscle tissue. Ketosis also tends to accelerate fat loss --- once the liver converts fat to ketones, it can't be converted back to fat, and so is excreted. But, isn't ketosis dangerous? Being in ketosis by following a low carbohydrate diet is Continue reading >>
What 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 >>
Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes. In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed. For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>
Source Many low-carbohydrate dieters utilize ketosis strips as a way to determine whether their body is reacting to the low-carb or low glycemic diet appropriately. The small strips test urine and measure whether or not you have achieved ketosis. Ketosis and Low-Carbohydrate Diets The father of the low-carbohydrate diet, Dr. Robert Atkins, brought the concept of ketosis to the popular consciousness when he penned his first book, Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, in 1972. At the time, Dr. Atkins suggested that in the process of a low-carbohydrate diet, the body achieves a process known as ketosis. When you are in ketosis, your body is burning stored fat as its primary source of fuel, causing ketones to enter your urine. Ketosis strips allow you to measure whether you are in ketosis. If you aren't in ketosis when low-carbohydrate or semi-low-carbohydrate dieting, then you may need to reduce carbohydrates further or look for hidden sugars in the foods you're eating. Signs of Ketosis Aside from using ketosis strips to test for ketosis, you may also notice other signs indicating you have entered this metabolic state, including: Bad breath Metallic taste in your mouth Increased energy, or even jitteriness Increased thirst and urine output Is Ketosis Dangerous? Many people fear ketosis is a dangerous physical state. It isn't. It merely means your body is utilizing its own fat as its primary source of fuel. The result is weight loss. Ketosis Strips Ketosis strips, also known as Ketostix, are small plastic strips that have a chemically-reactive indicator pad on the tip. You use the strips to test your urine to determine whether you are in ketosis. How to Use Using ketosis strips is relatively easy. You can either hold it in the flow of urine and take a reading after about 15 seconds, Continue reading >>
Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?
Many people following keto diets want to be in ketosis, a natural state in which the body burns fat for fuel. For this reason, people are curious about whether they are doing enough (via carb restriction) to achieve this state. As a result, ketone strips are a popular tool that numerous people use as a way of measuring ketosis. However, just how accurate are they? And how do they compare to alternate methods of measuring ketones? What is Ketosis? Anyone following a standard high-carbohydrate diet will be burning glucose for energy. However, the body can use both carbohydrate and fat for fuel (1). When carbohydrate intake is very low, the body switches to burning fat for energy. As this happens, our body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural biological state during which our body burns fat for fuel. While we are “in ketosis,” our blood levels of ketones—a by-product from the breakdown of fats—rise. Measuring these ketones (also known as ‘ketone bodies’) can, therefore, provide a hint as to how deeply our body is (or isn’t) in ketosis. For this reason, ketone strips—which measure the level of ketones—have become increasingly popular in recent times. Key Point: Ketosis is a biological state where the human body burns fat rather than carbs. What are Ketone Test Strips? For people who want to know if they’re in ketosis, ketone test strips are a cheap and simple way of detecting ketone levels. They are otherwise known as ‘ketone sticks’ and work by urinalysis to tell us the volume of acetoacetate in our urine. If you don’t know what acetoacetate is, then let’s start at the beginning. First of all, there are three types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Acetoacetate is one of the two main ketone bodies, and it is present in urine. We can test f Continue reading >>
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 >>
Ketone Strips: Are They Legit?
These days, everyone is a keto dieter, but very few actually know they’re in ketosis. Sure, you can follow the diet and take the supplements, but if it’s all predicated on reaching a certain metabolic condition, wouldn’t you want to know if you’ve achieved it? Ketone strips fall into two distinct categories that dictate the accuracy of the test you are taking. These two categories are urine and blood. The degree to which ketone strips help you to successfully monitor your blood ketone levels will be greatly affected by which of these you use. Think of a urinalysis as the book jacket version, and a blood test as the entire Moby Dick novel in regard to detail. Depending where you are on the commitment scale, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right test for your needs. Below, we’ve listed the various types, brands, and benefits/detriments of each of the ketone strips. Check them out, and see which one suits your needs best, and most importantly, helps you remain in ketosis. Ketone Strips: Urine Analysis Using urinalysis to test for ketones is simply getting a “30,000 foot view” of the ketones in your system. The body regularly emits anywhere from 3 to 15 milligrams of ketones a day. Increased amounts of ketones in the urine (acetoacetate) can show you that there is in fact an excess of ketones your system, however ketone strips that evaluate the urine will not report the amount of ketones in the blood – ketonaemia – which is where the real work is done. The benefit of using the urinalysis ketone strips at the beginning of your ketogenic diet, is that you’ll save money of the bat in case you choose not to pursue the diet later on. And, as your body initially gets into ketosis, you’ll find value in the measurements. But once your body adapts 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 >>
How To Detect Ketosis
How can you tell if your low-carbing efforts have been effective enough to induce ketosis? Learn how to check your ketones! The state of ketosis The state of ketosis means that the body has switched from depending on carbohydrates for energy to burning fats for fuel. This means not only dietary fats (olive oil, guacamole, deep-fried pig ears), but also all the jiggly bits around your waist — clearly a desirable state for anyone looking to shed extra weight. When the body metabolizes fat, it generates molecules called ketones (also known as ketone bodies). As you restrict carbohydrate intake and amp up the dietary fat, more fat is metabolized and a greater quantity of ketones are created. Most of the cells in your body — including those in your brain — are able to use ketones for energy, although many people experience a few days’ adjustment period, often called the low carb flu. One of the varieties of ketones generated — acetone — cannot be used by the body and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and the breath. Conveniently, this makes it very simple to measure whether or not you are in ketosis. Upon entering ketosis, some people report a distinct change in the smell of their breath as a result of the extra released acetone. It could be “fruity” — it’s been likened to overripe apples — or even “metallic.” If you notice this happening during your first few days of changing your diet, it could be a good sign you’re in ketosis. The unusual smell isn’t anything dangerous, but it could be annoying. Drinking plenty of water should help, or get yourself some sugar-free gum. Most people report “keto-breath” diminishing after the first few weeks. Detecting ketones in urine The more accurate way — and the one we recommend — to check f Continue reading >>