Are you new to the Ketogenic Diet?
If so, one of the most common questions is: How do I check the level of ketones in my blood?
For help walking through this process, here is your four-step guide to:
Purchasing the correct urine test or blood ketone meter,
How to properly administer the blood test,
How to save the most money on ketone test strips, and;
How to read and interpret your urine or blood ketone meter test results.
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1) PURCHASING THE RIGHT BLOOD KETONE METER
Not all blood ketone meters are created equal!
For this reason, the only meter I recommend is the FreeStyle Optimum Neo Blood Glucose & Ketone Monitoring System – the industry standard to quickly, safely and accurately measure the level of ketones and glucose in your blood.
I recommend having both (blood meter and urine strips) available, as discussed in section three below.
2) HOW TO PROPERLY ADMINISTER A KETONE BLOOD TEST
First, it’s important to note when testing your ketone levels via blood test or urine, make sure you always test at the same time of day and under the same conditions.
For example, if you test first thing after waking up vs. following a meal, your test results will vary considerably, and you won’t establish a reputable base line.
Personally, I prefer to test my ketone levels first thing in the morning before eating or drinking. This ensures the exact same conditions are present each time I test, giving me a consistent baseline.
WHICH TEST TO USE: URINE vs. BLOOD
If just starting out, basic over-the-counter ketone urine strips work fine.
They’re not as accurate as a blood test, however, will still tell you whether or not you’re in ketosis.
These urine strips are relatively inexpensive, usually 100 strips for $10.
If you’re looking for more precise measurements, the blood ketone meter is the only way to go, as outlined above.
3) HOW TO SAVE THE MOST MONEY ON KETONE TEST STRIPS
Once you have your blood meter, it’s time to purchase your FreeStyle Lite Test Strips.
Test strips are notoriously expensive! For this reason, I don’t test my blood every day, rather every 3–4 days, and instead use urine strips on days where I don’t administer a blood test.
I’ve searched high and low to find the best possible price on test strips. Here’s the secret to getting the best possible price:
Sign-up for Ebates. It’s completely free to join and offers cash back rewards on all your online shopping. Click the button below to learn more and sign up…
Once you’ve signed up for Ebates, open eBay from the Ebates store directory. Click the ‘Shop Now’ button to begin shopping. At the time I’m writing this, eBay is currently paying 10% cash back!
Once on eBay, search for “Abbott Blood Ketone Test Strips” and look for a package like this…
Click the button below to see a list of approved sellers on eBay:
You’ll notice sellers in the United States and Australia.
Even after the cost of shipping, I’ve found test strips for as little as $1.00 per strip! (regular $2.60).
4) How to read and interpret your blood ketone meter and Urine test results
Ketone levels are measured in mmol/L (millimoles per litre).
Depending on the type of test (urine or blood) here are your optimal ketone levels:
Personally, I’ve found the best results (optimal fat burning and mental energy) around 1.5mmol/L for my blood test, or 3.0mmol/L for my urine test. However, everyone’s optimal zone will be slightly different.
As you can see, getting too high will put you into a state of ketoacidosis – bad news!
Unless you’re fasting for multiple days at a time you likely don’t have to worry about getting into a state of ketoacidosis.
If fasting longer than 48 hours you should certainly keep an eye on your ketone levels using a blood test. Otherwise, save your money and opt for urine strips.
If your ketone levels get too elevated it might be time to break your fast.
Ultimately, if you’re attempting a longer fast, please do so under the supervision of a doctor.
I hope this helps!
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