When you take a look at low-carb diets you will see that the term ketone has been thrown around quite a lot over the last couple of years. The problem is that not a lot of people know what ketones are and they also don’t have an idea of what they do to the body either. There is a lot of wrong information out there when it comes to ketones and if you want to find out more then all you have to do is take a look below to find out more.
Ketones are otherwise known as being ketone bodies and they are by-products of when the body breaks down fat. The fat is then used for energy, and it usually occurs when the carbohydrate levels in the body are low. When there is not enough glucose in the body, the glycogen levels are then greatly depleted. Both blood sugar and insulin are then lowered and the body is then left looking for an alternative source of energy. Fat is then burned to try and give the body the boost that it needs.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually have to fast at all when it comes to your diet and it is more than possible for you to put yourself in a ketogenic state without having to fast at all. Of course, if you are starving then this will also trigger ketosis. When the body starts to break down energy like this, the process is known as being oxidation and it is great because it means that ketones are formed to try and help the body and brain. This is known as being ketosis.
A lot of people focus on the benefits of ketosis and they become far less reliant on carbs and much more reliant on burning fat. If you want to lower your blood pressure or if you want to reduce cravings then this is a great way for you to go.
Types of Ketones
There are a couple of ketones available. These are known as being AcAc, BHB, Acetone and more. During the process of ketogenesis, it is important to look at the way that ketones are made and it is also important to look at the way that the acids are broken down as well. BHB is not actually a ketone when you look at the chemical structure but it is a ketone in the way that it works.
Acetone is quite possibly one of the simplest and the least used ketone in the body and it is created spontaneously as a side product. When you look at acetone, you’ll see that if it is not used for energy, it is quickly broken down and removed from the body. This is known as being waste and it is either done through breathing or via urine. Acetone is known for causing a very fruity smell on the breath.
Why Do We Need Ketones?
Ketones have been around for generations and people have been relying on them for energy when glucose wasn’t always around. Ancestors had a lot of periods when food wasn’t available, not to mention that a lot of high calorie foods would have to be prepared far in advance before they were even ready to eat. To this day, our bodies are still great at adapting to the needs of ketones when it comes to burning fat or fuel and it is this survival instinct that is keeping us going.
Functional benefits of ketones include the fact that it can have a huge benefit when it comes to mental performance. Excess ketones that are not used by the body can be used in other ways. Usually they are excreted from the body and they show up in either the urine, the blood or even the breath. Of course, a lot of people who choose to test their own ketone levels will do so by undergoing a procedure but there are quicker alternatives available. You can easily measure the ketones that are in your body in millimoles and this is usually done by the litre. This is a general rule and does not apply to everyone.
Urine Testing for Ketones
If you want to test your urine for ketones then the first thing that you have to do is look at the colour. A lot of ketone suppliers sell urine strips and this gives you the chance to test your urine as well. This will give you a much more accurate measurement when it comes to your own ketone levels and it is a great way for you to find out how efficient your ketone levels are at the moment. You can actually buy these strips for a very low cost, so if you are new to ketosis or if you want to try a ketogenic diet then one way for you to get started would be for you to give this a go. There is one concern when using urine strips and that is some experts don’t believe that they are fully reliable.
This is because the longer the body is in a state of ketosis, the more efficient the body comes at utilising carious ketones and this is especially the case with acetoacetate. For this reason it is more than possible for the test to indicate a level of ketosis that is far lower than what you are actually in. If you have been using ketones for some time then you should have no problem with this as you should be able to know your current levels by tracking your results and by listening to your own body. Another issue is that the readings can be influenced by how many electrolytes are in the body and even how much water you have had to drink that day. If you have drunk a lot more than normal then this could influence your results, so that is something that is very important to look out for.
Blood Testing for Ketones
It is also more than possible for you to test your ketone levels by doing a blood test. All you have to do is use a lancet and push onto your finger. When you do this, you will then need to draw blood and apply some to a test strip. This is an incredibly accurate method and there aren’t many factors at all that can influence the result.
The only problem with this is that it can be expensive and you may find that you can’t afford to do it if you have to test often. A lot of people choose this ketone testing method and they use it alongside standard urine tests to try and get accurate results without having to worry as much about the cost.
Breath Testing for Ketones
There are also ways for you to test for ketones by using a breath tester. When you test your breath this way, the meter will measure how much acetone there is in your breath. This is very affordable to do because you can do it time and time again and you won’t have to worry about using strips or anything else of the sort. The issue with this is that it isn’t the most reliable testing method around and it is a good idea for you to use it alongside other methods if possible.
When it comes to your ketosis in general, you have to make sure that you have the right nutritional value and you also need to make sure that you monitor your diet. You need to have around 20g of carbs a day but it is more than possible for you to have up to 50g a day. The amount that you consume will largely depend on the results that you want to achieve.
You may even need to eliminate the carbs that are in your diet as well and this could include whole grains, candies, refined sugar and fruit. When on a ketone diet, it is also very important that you eat a good amount of protein and very high amounts of fat. This will help to build up your fat burning capabilities and it will also help you to get the best result out of your workouts and your activity levels in general.
Ketone Side Effects
There are many side effects to ketones and if you are just starting a ketone diet then you have to look out for any of the short-term side effects that may be present. If you are starting a ketone diet then side effects may occur in the first week and a lot of these will depend on the diet that you have. Side effects can include feeling foggy mentally, fatigue, headaches, feeling weak and even irritability.
These won’t happen for long and your body will soon adjust to the changes. If you have diabetes then you do need to be aware of DKA, which is when the blood turns acidic. This can happen if you are diabetic and sick, not taking in enough fluids or even injured. DKA is very different when compared to nutritional ketosis and for a lot of people there shouldn’t be a concern at all.
All in all, ketones play a huge role in the body and they can really help you to shed the weight you need. It can also help you to be aware of any changes that are happening to your body as a result of your workouts and it is one of the best ways for you to take control of your body and the diet that you have. If you want to know anything else then why don’t you try and find out more by investing in a ketone testing kit? You could even try ketosis for yourself to find out if there is anything you can do to boost your own results.