The keto diet focuses on a lot of healthy fats, adequate protein content, and very few carbohydrates. Besides weight loss, the keto diet benefits many other health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy and PCOS. The main objective of this diet is to achieve ketosis, where the liver digests fat to produce ketones. In this state, your body uses fat stores, rather than carbohydrates, as its primary fuel source.
When your ketone levels are increased, they are measurable in your urine and blood. So, how do you know when you have reached ketosis? That’s when you can utilize keto strips. They will help you check if you are at a standard ketosis level that is sufficient for weight loss.
What are keto strips?
Keto strips check levels of ketone bodies that you produce when you are following the keto diet correctly. They help you get actual feedback about how well your diet and lifestyle choices are working to sustain ketosis. It is recommended to use keto strips either in the early morning or after your last meal of the day.
The two common ways to measure ketosis are with urine keto strips and blood keto strips.
Urine keto strips
Urine keto strips are inexpensive and easy to use. They were originally developed for those with type 1 diabetes to determine, in case, they are at immediate risk for diabetic ketoacidosis. This is the condition where your body overproduces ketones as a result of lack of insulin.
You can find the urine keto strips at your nearest pharmacy, supermarket or online. The kit contains 50 or more strips. Usually, the strips expire within 3-6 months after opening, so remember how often you plan on using them.
Steps to use urine keto strips
- Wash your hands. Take a urine sample in a small container.
- Dip the absorptive end of the strip into the sample and remove after few seconds.
- Wait for the amount of time mentioned on the package for the strip to change colour.
- Match the strip with the colour chart on the package.
- Discard the urine and strip appropriately before washing your hands.
The colour matches the concentration of ketones in your urine, which can range from no ketones to high ketone concentration. Remember, darker the colour, higher your ketone levels are.
Blood keto strips
Another reliable way to measure your ketone levels is by using blood keto strips. They are quite accurate and considered as the ‘gold standard’. However, these strips are comparatively costly.
Blood keto strips can be easily found in pharmacy, supermarket or online. Mostly they last for about 12-18 months after opening which is much longer than urine keto strips.
Steps to use urine keto strips
- Wash your hands and load the lancet with the needle.
- Place a blood ketone strip into the ketone meter.
- Prick your finger to get a small drop of blood using the lancet.
- Let the strip come in contact with the drop of blood and examine the results.
- Discard the strip and lancet as given in the directions.
An ideal blood ketone level for dietary ketosis is 0.5 – 3 mmol/L (9 – 54 mcg/dl).
How accurate are keto strips?
Urine strips are a convenient device to check whether you are in ketosis during the initial weeks of the following keto diet. At this time, your body is adjusting to using ketones efficiently for energy, and so you urinate most of them out.
But as you get used to ketosis, your body becomes familiar with using ketones for fuel and becomes more adjusted in producing them, leaving least unused. Thus, if you are following the keto diet for a long time, you may not have unused ketones in your urine. This can be misleading and you might think you are not in ketosis. But that’s not the case.
In the above case, blood keto strips would be more suitable for you. But you need to keep in mind that these strips are higher in cost and if you want to prick your fingers each time you wish to measure ketone levels. If you are at the beginning of the keto diet, then you can go for urine keto strips.
In either case, the keto strips will help you analyse and modify your diet suitably to get into and maintain a level of ketosis.
At Nucros, we believe losing weight should be fun and not stressful. Our subscription plan for keto diet will give you meals that are healthy, tasty, and combined with the latest science.