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What Should My Ketone Level Be

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

5 Ways to Measure Your Ketones A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. Research has demonstrated that this nutrition plan improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation throughout the body. This leads to greater fat metabolism and muscle development as well as a reduced risk of chronic disease. (1, 2). I get asked all the time how to measure the state of ketosis. There are several major ways and we will discuss those in this article. Measuring Your Ketones There are three types of ketone bodies: Acetone, Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxybutryate (BHB). Each of these three can be tested as acetone is a ketone released through the breath, acetoacetate is a ketone released through urine and BHB is (although not technically a ketone it acts like a ketone) in the blood stream and used by the cells for energy. 1. Blood Ketone Meter This measures BHB and is considered to be the most accurate way to measure ketone bodies. These have the ability to determine the ketone level in your blood precisely but they are also pricey and invasive. Personally, I freak out every time I have to prick my finger!! The Precision Xtra blood glucose and ketone meter is a good buy at $28-$30. The expensive part is the ketone test strips here which can cost $4 each. If you are looking at testing yourself every day it is going to cost you $120 a month and the $30 meter. Here is a starter kit you can get on Amazon Most people will enter into a light nutritional ketosis (between 0.5-1.0 mmol/L on the meter) within two or three days. It typically takes 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 >>

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>

Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?

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 >>

Ketosis & Measuring Ketones

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 >>

Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Lose Weight By Achieving Optimal Ketosis

Do you want to lose weight? Here’s number 16 of my 18 best tips. All of the published tips can be found on the How to Lose Weight page. Before we get started, here’s a short recap of the tips so far: The first and most crucial piece of advice was to choose a low-carb diet. The next were eating when hungry, eating real food, eating only when hungry, measuring progress wisely, being persistent, avoiding fruit, beer and artificial sweeteners, review your medications, stressing less and sleeping more, eating less dairy and nut products, stocking up on vitamins and minerals, using intermittent fasting and finally, exercising smart. This is number sixteen: 16. Get into optimal ketosis Warning: Not recommended for type 1 diabetics, see below. We’ve now arrived at tip number 16. If you’re still having trouble losing weight, despite following the 15 pieces of advice listed above, it might be a good idea to bring out the heavy artillery: optimal ketosis. Many people stalling at weight plateaus while on a low carb diet have found optimal ketosis helpful. It’s what can melt the fat off once again. So how does this work? A quick run-through: The first tip was to eat low carb. This is because a low-carb diet lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume less calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight. Several of the tips mentioned above are about fine-tuning your diet to better this effect. Video course Do you know exactly how to eat a low-carb and high fat diet (LCHF)? This is required for ketosis. If not the easiest way is watching this high quality 11-minute video course on how to eat LCHF, and the most important things to think a Continue reading >>

How To Measure Ketones And Optimize Ketogenic Diets

How To Measure Ketones And Optimize Ketogenic Diets

The problem with diets is that we think that one diet should be good for everyone. But research and N=1 experiments show that’s not the case. Learn about measuring ketones and ketosis to understand how your low carb or high fat diet is really affecting you. If there is one area of our bodies that is debated to extremes, with literally hundreds of differing strong opinions on it, it’s nutrition. For many, beliefs about nutrition and diet are tribal. We put ourselves in different camps and we war agains the other camps. Whether it be paleo, low fat, low carb, Atkins, high fat, low protein, vegan, raw vegan and so on. It’s exactly this sort of area where I see data as essential. Without data we have no hope of cutting through the maze of opinions to get to what really works. Part of the problem with nutrition and diets is that we tend to think that one diet should be good for everyone. But increasingly, research and N=1 experiments, are showing that that isn’t the case. And this is exactly why you should pay attention to today’s show. Today, we’re looking at what has relatively recently become the fastest growing nutrition or diet trend. The high fat diet. Also known in different guises as the ketogenic diet, or the low carb diet. And specifically how this can affect our different individual biochemistries, how we can measure “Ketosis” and other biomarkers to understand how our specific biology is reacting to it… and allowing us to troubleshoot and course correct when it isn’t getting the desired results we’re looking for from it. Today’s guest is Jimmy Moore. In 2004, Jimmy, at 32 years, weighed 410 pounds. Since then he has transformed his own biology, shedding all that additional weight with low carb and ketogenic diets. He has also interviewed n Continue reading >>

Why Am I Getting Low Ketone Readings On A Ketogenic Diet?

Why Am I Getting Low Ketone Readings On A Ketogenic Diet?

75 Comments Even having finished and printed The Keto Reset, the quest for deeper understanding continues. I keep researching, thinking, revisiting, and discussing the science and practice of ketosis. My writing partner, Brad Kearns, and I maintain a running dialogue on all things keto. The latest conversation revolved around two very common questions or “problems” that keep coming up in the ketogenic community. Why do some people on a keto diet blow high numbers of ketones while others eating the same way blow low numbers? and this one… Is ketosis glycogen-sparing or glycogen-inhibiting? I won’t offer definitive answers fit to etch into stone. I will offer my exploration of the research, some educated speculation, and actionable advice you can ruminate on. And by all means get back to me with your take on the questions and my explorations, please. Dialogue is essential to understanding. Why do some people on ketogenic diets produce low ketone readings when they test? One theory is that some keto-adapted people are so adapted to producing and burning ketones that they don’t leave any extra to spill into the urine and breath. They make only as many as they can use and their cells gobble up almost every ketone they produce. Under this argument, low ketone numbers on a ketogenic diet are a reliable sign of full ketone adaptation. This sounds plausible, but I haven’t seen any empirical evidence that it’s the case. Another theory is that the keto-adapted have built so much fat-burning metabolic machinery in their muscles that they can burn free fatty acids directly and don’t require much additional fuel from ketones. They make enough ketones to fuel the brain, since our brain can’t run on fatty acids directly, but your muscles no longer require as many. Man Continue reading >>

When And How Should You Measure Ketosis?

When And How Should You Measure Ketosis?

If you are following a low carbohydrate diet that is based on the ketogenic principles then measuring if you are in ketosis may be an important goal for you. There are times when measuring the specific ketone level may not be required. When is measuring ketosis really needed? My advice to people is if you are following a ketogenic diet for a therapeutic reason (such as epilepsy, cancer, MS, diabetes etc.) then measuring the ketogenic level will be important for you. This is because from the evidence that we have to date, we can see some correlation that in order for the ketogenic diet to be effective, the ketone bodies need to be consistently elevated. If you are someone that is following a ketogenic diet for weight loss, then measuring ketosis through objective ways (I will go over them below), really may not be necessary. There is still this notion that I see online form various Keto Coaches that having a high ketone level in the blood or breath will automatically mean you will lose more weight. I want to say categorically that this is NOT the case. “High blood ketone levels do not automatically mean you will experience a fat loss”. In the next few weeks I will detail in a weekly email exactly why this is the case but for now back to the topic of how to measure ketosis. How to measure ketosis? Subjective Measurements: There are several ways in which you can detect if you are in a ketogenic range. The first way is looking at more subjective measurements. What I mean by this is measurements that focuses more on how you are feeling. In the beginning, you can experience certain symptoms including: nausea, headaches, fatigue, bad breath and weak legs. These symptoms are a sign that your body is now switching from using glucose to using fat for energy. Another subjectiv Continue reading >>

An Inconvenient Truth About Ketone Levels

An Inconvenient Truth About Ketone Levels

Too many keto "gurus" make bold, one-size-fits-all claims about ketone levels. Learn how to separate truth from myth! If you've been following a ketogenic diet for a while, or spent any time frequenting forums and blogs dedicated to this way of eating, you've probably figured out by now that nutritionist JJ Virgin nailed it: The human body is not a bank account, where you can make precise deposits or withdrawals and know exactly what your balance will be afterward. If only it were that simple! The success stories and frustrated rants on various keto platforms across the internet point to something that should be fairly obvious: People are different. (Shocking, I know!) Two people can eat the exact same number of calories, in the exact same macronutrient ratios, and even eat the same exact foods, yet have completely different ketone levels, energy, and fat-loss results. The widespread existence of keto myths makes adapting and thriving more difficult than it should be for newcomers to keto. Learn the truth about these four common keto myths to calm your ketone (or lack thereof)-induced stress! Myth 1 Higher Ketones Lead to More (or Faster) Fat Loss If there is one myth I wish would die a fiery, painful death, it's this one. Why? Ketone production is the result of lipolysis (the breakdown of fat)—not a direct cause of fat loss. This applies to blood-, breath-, and urine-ketone levels. To further refute this erroneous claim, think about this: It's possible to have elevated ketones and gain body fat. Trust me, you could mainline mayonnaise and nothing else to the tune of 8,000 calories a day and be in ketosis. I wouldn't place a bet on you leaning out much, though. Fat loss doesn't come from being in deep ketosis; it comes from choosing the right foods in the right amount Continue reading >>

How To Know If You’re In Ketosis: A Guide To Testing Ketone Levels

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 >>

What Are Ketones And Their Tests?

What Are Ketones And Their Tests?

A ketone test can warn you of a serious diabetes complication called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. An elevated level of this substance in your blood can mean you have very high blood sugar. Too many ketones can trigger DKA, which is a medical emergency. Regular tests you take at home can spot when your ketone levels run too high. Then you can take insulin to lower your blood sugar level or get other treatments to prevent complications. What Exactly Are Ketones? Everyone has them, whether you have diabetes or not. Ketones are chemicals made in your liver. You produce them when you don't have enough of the hormone insulin in your body to turn sugar (or “glucose”) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead. Your liver turns this fat into ketones, a type of acid, and sends them into your bloodstream. Your muscles and other tissues can then use them for fuel. For a person without diabetes, this process doesn’t become an issue. But when you have diabetes, things can run out of control and you build up too many ketones in your blood. If the level goes too high, it can become life-threatening. Who Needs a Ketone Test? You might need one if you have type 1 diabetes. In this type, your immune system attacks and destroys cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Without it, your blood sugar rises. People with type 2 diabetes can also get high ketones, but it isn't as common as it is with type 1. Tests can show you when your level gets high so you can treat it before you get sick. When Should You Test? Your doctor will probably tell you to test your ketones when: Your blood sugar is higher than 250 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dl) for two days in a row You're sick or you've been injured You want to exercise and your blood sugar level is over 250 mg/dl Continue reading >>

How To Detect Ketosis

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 >>

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 >>

Ketone Bodies (urine)

Ketone Bodies (urine)

Does this test have other names? Ketone test, urine ketones What is this test? This test is used to check the level of ketones in your urine. Normally, your body burns sugar for energy. But if you have diabetes, you may not have enough insulin for the sugar in your bloodstream to be used for fuel. When this happens, your body burns fat instead and produces substances called ketones. The ketones end up in your blood and urine. It's normal to have a small amount of ketones in your body. But high ketone levels could result in serious illness or death. Checking for ketones keeps this from happening. Why do I need this test? You may need this test if you have a high level of blood sugar. People with high levels of blood sugar often have high ketone levels. If you have high blood sugar levels and type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it's important to check your ketone levels. People without diabetes can also have ketones in the urine if their body is using fat for fuel instead of glucose. This can happen with chronic vomiting, extreme exercise, low-carbohydrate diets, or eating disorders. Checking your ketones is especially important if you have diabetes and: Your blood sugar goes above 300 mg/dL You abuse alcohol You have diarrhea You stop eating carbohydrates like rice and bread You're pregnant You've been fasting You've been vomiting You have an infection Your healthcare provider may order this test, or have you test yourself, if you: Urinate frequently Are often quite thirsty or tired Have muscle aches Have shortness of breath or trouble breathing Have nausea or vomiting Are confused Have a fruity smell to your breath What other tests might I have along with this test? Your healthcare provider may also check for ketones in your blood if you have high levels of ketones in your urine Continue reading >>

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