The ketogenic diet is gaining in popularity as it heals people from epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Many people are using the ketogenic diet for weight loss and having excellent results. So, what are the ketogenic diet test strips that are discussed on Facebook and in support groups and how should you use them?
Ketone Test Strips
The ketogenic diet test strips are a way to measure the ketones in your urine. This is to determine if you are producing more ketones. The ketone test strips are simple enough to use. You simply urinate on the end of one of the strips and wait for it to change color.
Some people on the ketogenic diet use ketone test strips to test if they are sensitive to certain foods that may be ketogenic diet friendly but still have a negative impact on their weight loss. One of the common culprits that people discover during their keto diet is dairy.
Once the ketone test strip has changed color, you can compare the color of your test strip to the color chart on the bottle and get an idea of roughly how many ketones have been excreted in your urine. This will give you a better idea of if your body is producing ketones.
Cost of Ketone Strips
Ketone strips are a relatively inexpensive item to purchase and can easily be purchased from Amazon.com or your local grocery or drug store. They cost between $5-10 for a bottle of 100 strips. If you use the strips daily, you will have 3 months worth of urine analysis. That is very affordable for most people.
Effectiveness of Ketone Strips
Ketostix, Uriscan and other urine detection strips are not as accurate and may not work for some people. They only show excess ketone bodies excreted via urine (acetoacetate) but tell you nothing about the level of ketones in your bloodstream (BHB) which is most probably higher.
Once your body becomes fat adapted, ketone test strips will only show the excess ketone bodies that are excreted through your urine. These excess ketones are wasted calories. However, there are many different reasons for different levels of ketone bodies in your blood and urine.
One of the downsides of ketone test strips is that they don’t measure all of the different types of ketones your body produces. There are three types of ketones, acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxubutyrate. Ketostix only measure acetoacetate. Based on your duration in ketosis, your body produces different types and amounts of ketones and you may not be able to detect actoactate once you become fat adapted.
It is important to keep in mind that after three to four weeks on a ketogenic diet, you may show high blood ketones and low or no urine ketones.
Fluctuations in your state of hydration will impact the concentration of ketones. A high water intake may dilute the concentration of ketones in the urine. It is very important to stay hydrated while you are measuring your readings. Make sure that you are also measuring and recording your fluid intake.
You ketone levels can fluctuate throughout the day based on your activity level and whether you have just eaten or not. When you are measuring your ketones, make sure that you are doing it consistently at a certain time each day.
Should You Use the Ketone Strips with the Ketogenic Diet?
My recommendation is to skip it unless you have a more serious medical condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes. I personally don’t track ketones because I am fairly close to my ideal weight. I do not want to stress out about the fluctuation in ketone levels. A day with erratic ketones won’t break your results on the ketogenic diet. I view the ketogenic diet more or less as a marathon rather than a sprint. You will develop healthier eating habits over time. For me, this would be the equivalent of stepping on a scale everyday and stressing out over the water weight fluctuation.
However, if you have hit a stalling point in your weight loss or can’t seem to get the improvement that you were seeking for your health, ketone test strips can be a helpful tool to give you a better idea of how the different foods that you are eating are affecting you.