Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?
Many people following keto diets want to be in ketosis, a natural state in which the body burns fat for fuel. For this reason, people are curious about whether they are doing enough (via carb restriction) to achieve this state. As a result, ketone strips are a popular tool that numerous people use as a way of measuring ketosis. However, just how accurate are they? And how do they compare to alternate methods of measuring ketones? What is Ketosis? Anyone following a standard high-carbohydrate diet will be burning glucose for energy. However, the body can use both carbohydrate and fat for fuel (1). When carbohydrate intake is very low, the body switches to burning fat for energy. As this happens, our body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural biological state during which our body burns fat for fuel. While we are “in ketosis,” our blood levels of ketones—a by-product from the breakdown of fats—rise. Measuring these ketones (also known as ‘ketone bodies’) can, therefore, provide a hint as to how deeply our body is (or isn’t) in ketosis. For this reason, ketone strips—which measure the level of ketones—have become increasingly popular in recent times. Key Point: Ketosis is a biological state where the human body burns fat rather than carbs. What are Ketone Test Strips? For people who want to know if they’re in ketosis, ketone test strips are a cheap and simple way of detecting ketone levels. They are otherwise known as ‘ketone sticks’ and work by urinalysis to tell us the volume of acetoacetate in our urine. If you don’t know what acetoacetate is, then let’s start at the beginning. First of all, there are three types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Acetoacetate is one of the two main ketone bodies, and it is present in urine. We can test f Continue reading >>
Ketosis & 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 >>
How To Maintain Ketosis
The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now, and more people are learning about the benefits of ketosis on their health and weight loss goals. However, there’s still some confusion around the process itself and the correct ways to maintain ketosis. This information will help you maintain a steady state of ketosis safely and efficiently, no matter your needs. Getting into Ketosis First things first. Before we can maintain ketosis we have to get understand what is ketosis and get into this primal metabolic state. Ketosis occurs when the body has little to no access to carbohydrates, its normal source of fuel, and begins breaking down and burning fat for energy instead. The ketosis process can have many benefits including: Curbed hunger and faster weight loss Improved blood sugar regulation Enhanced cognitive performance Better mental focus Less chance of inflammation Reducing risk for conditions like type II diabetes When the body’s in ketosis, fats are broken down and ketone bodies, or “ketones,” are created for the body to use for energy. Three Main Ways of Maintaining Ketosis Long-term Short-term Cyclical The way you use the ketogenic diet depends on your specific needs, but what’s important is making sure you maintain a state of ketosis during the full time you’re on keto. This is not the same as simple going low-carb, and it requires some extra effort and tracking. However, the results are worth the extra work! Short-Term vs Long-Term Ketosis Just as it sounds, the only difference between short- and long-term ketosis is the amount of time you properly follow the ketogenic diet. The standard version of the ketogenic diet involves eating around 20-50 grams of net carbs per day to keep the body in ketosis, although the exact amount depends on each person. C Continue reading >>
Ketones are a beneficial product of fat metabolism in the body. When carbohydrate intake is restricted, it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. As insulin levels fall and energy is needed, fatty acids flow from the fat cells into the bloodstream and are taken up by various cells and metabolized in a process called beta-oxidation. The end result of beta-oxidation is a molecule called acetyl-coA, and as more fatty acids are released and metabolized, acetyl-coA levels in the cells rise. This causes a sort of metabolic “feedback loop” which triggers liver cells to shunt excess acetyl-Coa into ketogenesis, or the making of ketone bodies. Once created, the liver dumps the ketone bodies into the blood stream and they are taken up by skeletal and heart muscle cells at rates of availability. In addition, the brain begins to use ketones as an alternate fuel when blood levels are high enough to cross the blood brain barrier. Testing Laboratory Microbiology - Air Quality - Mold Asbestos - Environmental - Lead emsl.com There are three major types of ketone bodies present in the human blood stream when the metabolic process of ketosis is dominant: Acetoacetate (AcAc) is created first β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is created from acetoacetate Acetone is a spontaneously created side product of acetoacetate In times of starvation, or a low carbohydrate intake resulting in low insulin levels, ketone bodies supply up to 50% of the energy requirements for most body tissues, and up to 70% of the energy required by the brain. Glucose is the main source of fuel for neurons when the diet is high in carbohydrates. But when carbs are restricted, ketogenesis becomes the primary fuel process for most cells. During fasting or low carbohydrate intake, levels of ketone bodies in the blood stream can Continue reading >>
Understanding A High-fat Ketogenic Diet—and Is It Right For You?
While food trends come and go, high-fat diets—lauded for their weight-loss potential and brain-function benefits—have proven to have some staying power. Functional medicine M.D. Sara Gottfried contributes frequently to goop on the topic of weight-loss resistance. She’s spent the past two years rigorously studying the ketogenic diet—high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein. Named for ketones, which Gottfried explains are “the energy source made by the body when there’s not enough carbohydrates to be burned for energy demand,” the goal of the diet is to get the body to burn fat instead of sugar. Gottfried recommends the keto diet (as it’s commonly called) to help with a range of brain and focus issues—she finds ketones to be “very efficient fuel for the brain”; she also says it works well for some patients (not all) who want to lose weight but have trouble kicking sugar cravings. We talked to her about who the keto diet is right for (and whom, or when, it isn’t); the nutritional ins and outs of mastering it; and which keto-friendly meals are healthy for practically everyone, regardless of what diet we do (or don’t) practice. A Q&A with Sara Gottfried, M.D. Q What is ketosis? A In most circles, ketosis refers to nutritional ketosis, an optimized state in which you burn fat instead of sugar. Nutritional ketosis has been used to treat epilepsy since the 1920’s and its popularity for mental acuity and weight loss has surged recently. More technically, ketosis refers to a metabolic state in which most of your body’s energy comes from ketones in the blood, as opposed to glycolysis, in which energy supply comes from blood glucose. Ketones are the energy source made by the body (in the liver) when there’s not enough carbohydrates to be burned for energ Continue reading >>
Jimmy Moore’s N=1 Experiments: Nutritional Ketosis Day 1-30
Before I went on the 2012 Low-Carb Cruise last month, I started reading a book that my low-carb research friends Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Steve Phinney had written as a follow-up to their fantastic 2011 release The Art And Science of Low Carbohydrate Living (listen to my interview with Dr. Phinney about this book in Episode 479 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show”). The sequel is called The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance and was written specifically to share the latest science behind ketogenic diets for athletes who are keenly interested in optimizing their exercise performance with fat and ketones serving as their body’s primary fuel source once they reach what Dr. Phinney refers to as “keto-adaptation.” But the information these low-carb stalwarts provide in this handy dandy little book goes much deeper than that as you will read about in this blog post. Most low-carbers have traditionally been using urine ketone sticks under the brand name Ketostix to measure their level of ketones being produced by color (from pink to dark purple) as a result of their low-carb diet. But as I previously shared in this YouTube video, this can be a frustratingly inaccurate way of measuring whether you are producing enough ketones in your blood to see the kind of results you are hoping for on your low-carb lifestyle change. But thanks to the cutting-edge information provided by Volek and Phinney in The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance, we now have a new and better way to measure the actual ketones that are in your blood which determines whether you have become keto-adapted and burning fat and ketones for fuel. They refer to getting into this state as “nutritional ketosis” to obviously distinguish it from ketoacidosis which is only an issue Continue reading >>
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 >>
How To Increase Fat Burning During Ketosis
Ketosis is also known as the body's process for generating energy by producing ketones when insufficient carbohydrates are available in the diet. In other words, a low-carb diet is called ketogenic because it forces the body to use fat for energy. Ketosis is a very effective means of burning fat, but there are certain techniques for increasing fat-burning through exercise and nutrition. How many carbs should you eat per day? When is the best time to eat them? What kinds of carbs are best? And what natural supplements prevent muscle loss caused by extreme ketogenic diets? Follow a few basic rules to answer these questions and achieve your fat-burning goals. Video of the Day Take in 30 to 50 g of carbohydrates per day, depending on your individual metabolism. Typically, this carb-depletion phase lasts five days and is followed by two days of carb-loading. For example, having 100 to 200 g of carbs per day for two days. This carb-cycling strategy helps to prevent dieting plateaus in which the body stops burning fat in response to what it perceives as starvation. Stack your carbohydrates around your workouts. Carbs are needed for two reasons: muscle recovery and energy. One good strategy is to take in half of your carbs before your workout and the other half after. Some people choose to take all of them before or after. Either way, taking in your carbohydrates in the morning will allow the body to switch into ketosis during the day, burning more fat. Limit resistance training workouts to 60 minutes to control cortisol levels. The stress hormone cortisol, part of the fight-or-flight response, slows down fat-burning and metabolizes muscle tissue. After about an hour of training, muscle-building hormones plummet, and cortisol increases significantly. Sometimes, training harder Continue reading >>
The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating
The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>
In Depth Look At Ketogenic Diets And Ketosis
What exactly is Ketosis? The metabolic state of ketosis simply means that the quantity of ketone bodies in the blood have reached higher-than-normal levels. When the body is in a ketogenic state, this means that lipid energy metabolism is intact. The body will start breaking down your own body fat to fuel the body's normal, everyday functions. What's So Great About Being In Ketosis? Establishing this metabolic state of ketosis even for a short period of time has many outstanding benefits. Benefit 1 The main benefit of ketosis is that it increases the body's ability to utilize fats for fuel, which gets very lazy on a high-carbohydrate diet. When on high-carbohydrate diets, the body can usually expect an energy source to keep entering the body. But in the state of ketosis, the body has to become efficient at mobilizing fats as energy. Benefit 2 Ketosis has a protein-sparing effect, assuming that you are consuming adequate quantities of protein and calories—0.7 grams per pound of body weight per day—in the first place. Once in ketosis, the body actually prefers ketones to glucose. Since the body has copious quantities of fat, this means there is no need to oxidize protein to generate glucose through gluconeogenesis. Benefit 3 Another benefit has to do with the low levels of insulin in the body, which causes greater lipolysis and free-glycerol release compared to a normal diet when insulin is around 80-120. Insulin has a lipolysis-blocking effect, which can inhibit the use of fatty acids as energy. Also, when insulin is brought to low levels, beneficial hormones are released in the body, such as growth hormone and other powerful growth factors. Benefit 4 Another small but very important benefit of the ketogenic diet is that when in the state of ketosis, ketones, alon Continue reading >>
Does Ketosis Cause Kidney Damage?
The ‘Lean for Life’ program is mildly ketotic, and only for a brief portion of the program. It has not been associated with kidney damage or disease in individuals who have normally functioning kidneys. Concerns regarding undue stress on the kidneys are often aimed at very low carbohydrate, very high protein ketogenic diets. Few studies have shown any actual damage, however. (Note: Although the Weight Loss portion of the ‘Lean for Life’ program is mildly ketogenic, it is not considered to be exceptionally “high protein” for most individuals.) Dietary ketosis is among the most maligned and misunderstood concepts in nutrition medicine. Particularly among researchers who don’t actually treat patients, ketosis (the presence of ketone bodies in the urine) is often confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening build-up of ketone bodies due to muscle wasting and dehydration as in states of shock or uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme break-down of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn’t occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered. Whereas patients in ketoacidosis are closely monitored in Intensive Care Units, individuals in ketosis are amongst the healthy, active population. Dietary ketosis is a natural adjustment to the body’s reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved. Blood glucose levels are stabilized within a normal range and there is no break-down of healthy muscle tissue. It would be diffi Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Tweet Ketosis is a state the body may find itself in either as a result of raised blood glucose levels or as a part of low carb dieting. Low levels of ketosis is perfectly normal. However, high levels of ketosis in the short term can be serious and the long term effects of regular moderate ketosis are only partially known at the moment. What is ketosis? Ketosis is a state the body goes into if it needs to break down body fat for energy. The state is marked by raised levels of ketones in the blood which can be used by the body as fuel. Ketones which are not used for fuel are excreted out of the body via the kidneys and the urine. Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis? There is often confusion as to the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis is the state whereby the body is producing ketones. In ketosis, the level of ketones in the blood can be anything between normal to very high. Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, only describes the state in which the level of ketones is either high or very high. In ketoacidosis, the amount of ketones in the blood is sufficient to turn the blood acidic, which is a dangerous medical state. When does ketosis occur? Ketosis will take place when the body needs energy and there is not sufficient glucose available for the body. This can typically happen when the body is lacking insulin and blood glucose levels become high. Other causes can be the result of being on a low carb diet. A low level of carbohydrate will lead to low levels of insulin, and therefore the body will produce ketones which do not rely on insulin to get into and fuel the body’s cells. A further cause of ketosis, less relevant to people with diabetes, is a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Is ketosis dangerous? The NHS describes ketosis as a pote 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 >>