Best Ketone Blog

  • Do Exogenous Ketones Help with Ketosis?

    Posted on by Adam Lawrence

    For many people who truly want to do everything they can to stabilize blood sugar and achieve a healthy weight, following a strict ketonic diet is one way to achieve results quickly. When followed closely, steady weight loss is the reward. Some people have trouble giving up their favorite carbs and readily embrace exogenous ketones as the magic pill that overcomes the occasional (or not so infrequent) slip up.

    Proponents of EK supplements say the proof is in the keto test strips. If you follow ketone testing protocol, checking your levels 30 minutes to an hour after taking the capsules, you'll probably see evidence of ketones. But, do these supplements really work?

    Understanding the Importance of Nutrition & the Role of Supplements

    Anything you ingest will show up in a lab test. That doesn't mean that your body is gaining positive benefits. Nutritional ketosis, eating to force the body to convert stored fat to energy, keeps your body in a fat burning state 24/7. While supplement may temporarily boost blood ketone levels, they don't block carbs or boost weight loss without consistent, properly balanced nutritional intake.

    When you eat carbohydrate dense foods every day, an EK supplement won't help you lose weight, or manage blood sugar. There is some evidence that adding exogenous ketones while strictly adhering to a well-balanced ketonic diet, will lead to faster weight loss. The key is making sure you are eating for success, and not relying on those magic pills to erase bad food choices.

    Benefits of EK Supplements

    While there is no magic pill, EK supplements have some positive benefits for people who commit to following their diet regime closely, and monitoring their ketone levels with ketosis blood test technology.

    Maintain Energy While Dieting

    For one thing, many people report a boost of energy while taking high-quality supplements. This may be highly beneficial during the transition period from eating whatever to eating to achieve nutritional ketosis. With any dietary change, many people notice their energy level plummets. Supplements, especially those formulated with salt binders – magnesium, sodium, calcium and potassium – balance electrolytes, increasing energy, mental clarity and a general sense of well-being.

    Control Appetite

    Another benefit is that EK formulas offer a way for people control appetite surges, which benefits people who choose to increase exercise and workout regimens as part of their new healthy living plan.

    Restart the Metabolism

    There is also some evidence that suggests adding exogenous ketones helps people get over those bothersome plateaus that we all face during a lengthy weight loss journey.

    Bottom line, nutritional ketosis is the goal. Eating properly to fuel your body with excess fat is the goal. While EK may produce positive results on the keto test strip, that doesn't mean you're going to lose more weight, or lose it faster, by adding supplements. Set realistic goals, and by all means taking some EK if you want, but remember eating high-quality, nutrient-dense food is the path to success.

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  • Foods You Didn't Know Were Keto-Boosters

    Posted on by Adam Lawrence

    Finding the perfect keto-booster foods is often challenging, especially during the first few days, or weeks, of adjusting to a ketogenic diet. You know it is important to achieve ketosis, but it is equally important to get all the macros your body needs to thrive while losing weight.

    If you're struggling to add a variety of great tasting foods that meet the 70-25-5 ratio, the following super foods will help you get there.

    Chestnuts

    You've probably already learned that nutrient-rich, fat-dense nuts deliver a protein boost that satisfies your cravings. The most popular varieties – pine nuts (2.7 grams), macadamia (1.5 grams) and walnuts (1.9 grams) – make it on almost everyone's shopping list.

    But, don't avoid the carb heavy nuts, like chestnuts, which come in at 13.6 grams. Used sparingly as a salad topper or garnish, chestnuts provide rich, nutty flavors and textures that please the palate and drive ketosis. Instead of ¼ cup serving, sprinkle a few diced nuts on your scrambled eggs. You'll see the results on your ketone test strips, and smile every time.

    Combination Power Foods

    Topping a cup of diced cucumbers with 10 large Kalamata olives is a delicious way to get make sure your sodium levels don't plummet as you shed pounds. As an added balance beyond achieving ketosis, the extra salt supports healthy bowel function and guards against electrolyte imbalances.

    Another combo that delivers a healthy boost of sodium is the bread-less deli sandwich, which consists of one large dill pickle wrapped in a thin slice of fresh deli meat and an ounce of Gruyere cheese.

    Hummus

    Many people are surprised to learn their ketosis blood test results demonstrate success after consuming hummus. After all, chickpeas are a carb-dense food. The trick to enjoying hummus on the ketogenic diet is making sure you aren't consuming unnecessary additives. The reason you can eat hummus, and not just a bowl of garbanzo beans, is that the olive oil and tahini buffer insulin spikes. Make sure you are eating your dip with veggies and not pita or bread chips. Look for hummus (or make your own) that only has these ingredients:

    • Olive oil

    • Tahini

    • Chickpeas

    • Lemon juice

    • Garlic

    • Sea salt

    Pesto

    While you can't enjoy a huge plate of pasta on the keto eating plan, you can enjoy some of the delicious flavors. Making a batch of pesto to flavor your chicken or fish dishes is a great way to be sure your ketosis blood test shows you are on track after every meal.

    Start with high-quality ingredients – fresh is best. Make sure you have the following ingredients on hand. Then, blend ingredients in a food processor or immersion blender, adding the oil slowly.

    • 1 ½ cups fresh basil

    • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

    • ¾ cup grated Parmesan

    • 2/3 cup olive oil

    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

    • 2 teaspoons tomato paste

    • Salt and pepper to taste

    The key to weight loss success and blood sugar management on a ketonic diet is keeping a close watch on ketone levels. With a ketone test strips subscription service that offers deep discounts, you'll always have a supply on hand so you can test often (and accurately) to monitor your progress.

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  • Everything You Need to Know About Artificial Sugar Substitutes

    Posted on by Adam Lawrence

    In 2015 diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. During that same year, over 100 million Americans either had diabetes or prediabetes. Thankfully, for individuals who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the disease can usually be controlled by losing weight and eating foods that help to control blood sugar levels.

    Some foods that are especially important for those trying to control their sugar levels include low-carb vegetables, greens, whole-grain foods, protein, and natural fats. Many people who suffer with diabetes try to avoid consuming too much sugar, but in doing so, end up using artificial sugar substitutes. These man-made sugar products can be just as damaging, however. In fact, just like sugar, artificial substitutes have been linked to diabetes.

    For those hoping to prevent diabetes or to cure it, it's best to avoid both sugar and artificial substitutes, which is the goal for those who are on the ketogenic diet. Those who are on this diet need to determine when they reach a state of ketosis, which can easily be done with a ketosis blood test or ketone test strips.

    Artificial Sugar Substitutes

    Most people are aware of the negative effects of eating too much sugar, which is why artificial sugar substitutes were invented. However, despite the fact that these man-made forms of sugar are calorie-free, their side effects are just as bad, and in some cases, even worse than natural kinds of sugar.

    Some examples of artificial sugar substitutes include:

    • Saccharin
    • Acesulfame
    • Sucralose
    • Neotame
    • Aspartame

    Artificial sugar substitutes lead to weight gain, primarily because they change how the body processes fat and gets energy. Besides leading to weight gain and diabetes, other negative effects of ingesting too much artificial sugar include an increased risk for other diseases such as metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease. These sweeteners are also highly addictive, plus they create a craving for more sweet-tasting foods.

    Because they are not a healthy alternative to sugar, those on a ketogenic diet, and those who need to do ketone testing on a regular basis, should avoid consuming artificial sugar substitutes.

    Avoiding Artificial Sugar Substitutes

    Avoiding artificial sweeteners isn’t as easy as avoiding those pink little packets that are found in the grocery store and on most restaurant tables. There are many food items that contain artificial sugar substitutes, including certain diet foods, and other kinds of foods that seem like a healthy choice.

    These foods include:

    • Light whole-wheat bread
    • Light yogurt
    • Microwave popcorn
    • Low-carb ice cream
    • Sugar-free jam

    Artificial sweeteners are also found in certain condiments, such as reduced-sugar Ketchup. Many drinks contain sugar substitutes as well, including natural-flavored Crystal Light, Pedialyte, diet sodas, low-calorie Gatorade, and light juice drinks.

    For those who are trying to reach a state of ketosis, and are using keto test strips to determine whether or not they have reached ketosis, it is important to read food labels, which can increase awareness of artificial sugar substitutes.

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  • What is the Keto Flu Like?

    Posted on by Adam Lawrence

    Does it seem like everywhere you look, someone is talking about the keto diet? Or maybe you have friends or relatives who are eating low amounts of carbs and high amounts of fats. Even celebrities like Halle Berry, Megan Fox, and Kourtney Kardashian are embracing the keto diet. Once considered a cure for those struggling with epilepsy, the ketogenic diet is now also recommended for those who have diabetes, along with others who need to lose weight for health reasons.

    If you are considering this type of diet, there are some things you should know before you start. 

    The Keto Flu

    You may have heard that for people who start the ketogenic diet, they end up getting something called the keto flu. Also called the carb flu, this is the body's way of adjusting to the low amounts of carbs (usually less than 50 grams per day) that the body is getting.

    The withdrawal symptoms feel a lot like a typical case of influenza and include:

    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Headache
    • Irritability
    • Muscle soreness
    • Weakness

    You may also experience digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea. Some people on the keto diet have more severe symptoms than others. These symptoms can begin within just a few days of starting the diet and can last for up to one week. The keto flu may deter you from continuing the diet. However, there are some effective ways to lessen the severity of the symptoms and stay focused on your keto goals.

    Because the keto diet can actually increase the risk of dehydration, one of the best things you can do is to drink plenty of water. This is especially true if you are experiencing diarrhea. By getting enough water, you can reduce fatigue and prevent your muscles from cramping. Along with drinking water, you should also ensure you are replacing electrolytes. Green leafy vegetables, avocados, and coconut water are excellent ways to balance your electrolyte levels.

    Along with staying hydrated and replacing electrolytes, you should also avoid strenuous activities. While you want to stay active, you should avoid doing things like lifting weights or running until your symptoms have passed. Two more important things you can do to curb keto flu symptoms include getting enough rest and eating enough healthy fats, which are what provides fuel for your body.

    Unfortunately, for some people on the keto diet, symptoms persist for several weeks. If this is the case for you, be encouraged that as your body adapts to converting ketones into energy, the symptoms will eventually disappear.

    Ketone Testing

    As you begin your keto diet journey, you will want to make sure you are doing a keto test in the evening before bedtime and first thing in the morning. This can easily be done with ketone test strips. A ketosis blood test is also a way to test your ketones. No matter how you do it, testing is especially important if you have a diagnosis of Type I diabetes.

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  • Tips for Making Ketosis Easier

    Posted on by Adam Lawrence

    If you are hesitant to try the keto diet because you think it will be too hard, take heart. While maintaining a ketogenic diet has its challenges, people tend to make it  more complicated and difficult than it needs to be. The following are some tips to help you get into ketosis and stay there far more easily than you thought.

    1. Plan For Success

    Just jumping into a ketogenic diet with no planning isn't wise. You may get discouraged or find yourself unprepared and end up going off your eating plan. It's important to know what you're going to eat and stick to it. This is easier said than done when you're busy, so set aside some time for planning. Create a shopping list and budget extra time for meal prep. And don't forget about ketone testing - make sure you know your blood ketone levels with a ketosis blood test and keto strips.

    2. Find A Buddy

    Depending on your previous diet, the first couple weeks of keto may be particularly challenging. You may experience the "keto flu" or have cravings. It's important to have support, so find an accountability partner to help keep you on track and cheer you on.

    3. Drink Lots Of Water

    Not staying hydrated is a common mistake for those new to the ketogenic way of eating. Drink lots of water and be sure you are getting enough salt, too.

    4. Use A Keto Test

    A keto test with keto test strips can save you lots of guessing and help you stay the course. Testing yourself can help you pin down your ideal carb intake and inform you right away when you are not at optimal levels.

    5. Keep Lots Of Keto-Friendly Snacks At Hand

    One of the best ways to throw yourself off is by not having the right foods at hand when hunger or cravings start. For example, on a day when you have lots of errands to run it's a good idea to pack some snacks or a lunch to ensure you don't get hungry while you're out. Being hungry makes you more likely to head to a drive-thru or convenience store. 

    6. If You Fall Off The Wagon, Get Back On

    So you caved and ate the breadsticks. Don't let a setback cause you to quit. Remind yourself why you are doing this and get back on your eating plan. Help yourself out by keeping your home free of foods that tempt you. Stock up on plenty of healthy fats like nuts and seeds, avocados and other foods rich in nutrients. Make up some tasty fat bombs and if you have a craving for a sweet treat, try some blackberries or raspberries instead of processed foods or fruits high in sugar.

    The ketogenic diet is easy and satisfying once you get used to it. Make it easy on yourself by planning meals, doing regular ketone testing, and getting support. You'll see results quickly with this diet, and build momentum quickly.

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