Best Ketone Blog » ketoacidosis
One of the most common questions I get is “what should my ketone levels be?” This is a great question. You’d obviously want to know what the optimum level of ketones in your blood should be. Getting and keeping your ketones at the right level is important when looking for weight loss, increased insulin sensitivity, increased energy, lowered blood sugar, lowered blood pressure and all the other benefits of a ketogenic diet. I’ve created an easy to use visual that will help you figure out where you are at and where you want to be.
In short, .5 mmol/l is the beginnings of ketosis. At this stage you will start to feel many of the benefits of a ketogenic diet. It may take a few days to get over the shock to your system but once you are fat adapted it will feel great. The major goal that most people shoot for is 1.5 mmol/l. At that range you are in the optimum fat burning zone. Once you hit 3.0 mmol/l you won’t have any additional fat burning by going higher, but it isn’t dangerous to go above that level. Many do go higher, especially if they are on an extended fast or if they are new to the ketogenic diet. A word of caution. You can see the ketoacidosis at the far end of the scale. That is a very rare occurrence and really only experienced by those with diabetes. It is marked by a very high blood sugar rate as well as a high level of blood ketones. If you happen to have very high ketone levels, getting up into the 9.0 + mmol/l level, go ahead and check your blood glucose as well just to make sure you are on track.
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The ketogenic diet has its fair number of supporters and detractors. People who are avid supporters of the diet include scientists, doctors, nutritionists, fitness experts and people of all ages and levels of health who have found benefits in maintaining a ketogenic diet. With that said, there are equally qualified and educated individuals who don't recommend the ketogenic diet. This is often a matter of preference, as some feel the diet is difficult to maintain or has unpleasant side effects.
Some "experts" cite lack of research and use isolated cases when discussing the dangers of the diet, or refer to extreme versions that leave out necessary nutrients. Other arguments against ketosis include unfounded fears that the individual will find themselves in ketoacidosis, however this is unrealistic and will simply not occur with the use of ketone test strips. Even without monitoring, a standard or even strict ketogenic diet will not cause this result.
The ketogenic diet was developed by Russel Wilder in the early 1920's as a treatment for epileptic seizures. While the "keto diet" is often referred to as a fad diet with no scientific backing, this is far from the case. Ketosis has been studied at length under a variety of conditions and for a variety of reasons for decades. The diet involves limiting carbohydrates and increasing the amounts of fats and protein in the diet.
Ketogenic Diet For Weight Loss
While much of the research surrounding the ketogenic diet has been for the treatment and management of medical conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's disease, it has also been found to be an effective method for weight loss. While weight loss is inevitable and often rapid with the keto diet, there are often other benefits, such as increased energy, mental clarity and reduced inflammation.
The standard Western diet is full of sugar and carbs. When you are dependent on carbohydrates for your energy and your diet is full of simple sugars, you are far more likely to overeat and experience sluggishness, cravings and even increased anxiety, irritability and brain fog. Reducing carbs and sugars and increasing fats keeps you full longer and eliminates sugar-crash cravings.
The reality is that people on the keto diet love it because they don't have to starve themselves or eat unsatisfying foods in order to experience weight loss and other benefits.
As far as long-term dangers, there is no reason to believe that ketosis is dangerous in the long-term. People have been observing this diet over the years, whether temporary or long-term, with no documented dangers provided the individual is monitoring their levels of ketosis and consuming needed vitamins and minerals, which is easily done on the ketogenic diet. Monitoring ketosis is also easily done through regular testing. Using ketone test strips is a simple way to monitor ketosis and keep you in the optimum range for your goals.