It seems like the Ketogenic Diet and Ketosis is all the rage right now and you might want to understand what Ketosis is and how it all works, what are Ketones? Ketone bodies or “ketones” are basically a reaction from your body, which scientifically are called “metabolic products”. Ketone bodies are structurally made from three molecules: acetoacetate, acetone & B-hydroxybutyrate, these are created in your liver from fatty acids. Our bodies make these naturally when we take carbohydrates and sugars out of the equation, that is when all the magic happens.
Why your body produces ketone bodies/ketones
Your body reacts and creates ketones to send a message. It sends the same message for many reasons:
low food intake
carbohydrate & sugar restrictive diets
long periods of extreme exercise
untreated type 1 diabetes
Understanding Ketosis – Ketogenesis
This is when your body reacts and produces ketone bodies. Ketone bodies create energy from fat we eat instead of from glucose/sugar. I like to call these little guys “soldiers” because they do all the work for you. As they enter your blood stream they act as fuel for our bodies.
Once our bodies realize the glucose or sugar is not plentiful it will start to run on fat instead, which is why weight loss occurs. This phase is popularly known as “ketosis”. Ketosis helps us regulate our weight, controls our blood sugar, potentially can reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes and so much more. The new research coming in from recent studies has shown to be very beneficial in many areas, much more than initially realized. In fact I have written an article on the benefits of the Keto lifestyle you might find interesting.
Many studies show Ketosis improves heart disease, inflammation and even blood pressure. In other studies there have been significant improvement of mental clarity, depression, sleeping problems, brain fog and so much more. This is because the brain uses our little soldiers for fuel now, and can make things like “brain fog” and concentration problems a thing of the past.
I myself have improved my blood pressure readings and don’t have to take medication anymore.
Ketones can be measured in three different ways: by our urine, by our breath and by our blood. There are many products out there to help you with this process, such as the Keto Mojo. I have this product and I love the accuracy it provides you with. The company that produced the Keto Mojo has many specials and it has a life time warranty, they go above and beyond accommodating you.
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One reason you should test the levels of ketones in your body, is to confirm that you are in ketosis or fat burning mode. Another reason is to ensure your not making too many, as this can be potentially hazardous. If this happens it is most likely due to an underlying health problem such as type 1 diabetes. In which you can still live a ketogenic life style, You just need to adjust your carb intake and consult your physician before any new diet or life style change.
Testing levels of ketones with your urine is as easy as purchasing the ketone urine testing strips and finding some privacy. There are many brands to choose from, like the one from Perfect Keto. The best time of the day to test is either early morning or after dinner. You can either urinate directly on these strips or collect your urine in a container and dip them in. Once you have done this you just wait the allotted time on the instructions and compare your strip color to the colors on the side of the urine tester box or container.
Something to consider if you choose to go with urine testing. If you are dehydrated, the concentration of your urine will be stronger and could result in a false positive. Also if your drinking a lot of water it could dilute your urine and you could get a false negative.
You might prefer a breath meter such as Ketonix, because it is less invasive and you can test anywhere conveniently. One thing to keep in mind when using a breath meter is that alcohol and water intake can affect the reading you will get. Breath meters are reusable where as urine strips are disposable. They are easy to use and most are smart device ready. The device is also color reflective like the urine testing, minus the need for privacy.
This meter, measures the amount of acetone in your breath. That is why some people explain a different taste in their mouths when they’ve entered Ketosis, it gives off a fruity scent. Studies have shown that acetone in your breath is a good indicator that you are in ketosis and your converting fat into energy.
Testing this way is the most accurate reading you will get for ketones. This device will give you a number rather than a coordinating color and most can test for glucose levels as well. The ketone meter is much like a glucose tester in that it takes strips and tests a drop of your blood. Yes that means you need to prick your finger with a needle. So for those of you who are scared of needles or the site of blood, you might want to choose either the breath meter or the urine strips. There are also many brands of ketone testers such as the “keto mojo“ which is the one I have and I love. The small prick to the finger is nothing compared to having the accuracy I desire.
Regardless of which method you choose, you do find out if your in a ketogenic or fat burning mode. Ketones are you friend in moderation like most everything else. Again I would always advise speaking with your Doctor before embarking on this grand adventure. I myself have been following this way of life and it personally suits me fine. My blood pressure levels have come down so I don’t have to take medication for it anymore. My energy levels are up, I don’t feel bloated anymore and my concentration levels are better than ever. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish you luck in any direction you take.