The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein diet. On the keto diet, achieving ketosis is a crucial goal. In ketosis, the body converts stored fat into fatty acids and ketones that replace glucose and supply needed energy. Dietary ketosis increases ketone levels, which can be detected in urine and blood. It can, however, be challenging to tell whether the diet needs to be adjusted to achieve and maintain ketosis. This is why many people use ketone test strips to monitor ketone levels in urine. Keto strip testing is an alternative to blood ketone testing.
What is a Keto Strip?
Ketone tests, similar to pregnancy tests, are pee strips that measure acetoacetate levels, a kind of ketone, in the urine. Acetoacetate levels in urine closely match levels in the blood, allowing one to measure their level of ketosis. When blood ketones reach 0.5 mM/dL, the person is “in ketosis.”1.5 to 3.0 mM/dL is the ideal range for maximal fat burning. Strips and sticks are the two types of ketone testing. They’re wrapped with a unique paper that changes color when exposed to ketones.
Who Needs Keto Tests Apart from Diet Practitioners?
Apart from monitoring ketones during Keto Diet, people who have diabetes also need to keep an eye on their ketosis level. Ketones in the urine can result from various medical illnesses or lifestyle patterns. People who have the following reasons can take ketone test strips to monitor ketone levels-
● Breastfeeding or being pregnant
● Prolonged diarrhea and vomiting (e.g., illnesses, morning sickness, eating disorders)
● Not eating for an extended period (e.g., fasting, eating disorders)
● Alcohol consumption
● Serious injuries, infections, or diseases (e.g., burns, sepsis)
● High temperatures
● Thyroid hormone overproduction (hyperthyroidism)
● Consuming few (or no) carbs
How To Do Keto Strip Testing
It’s pretty easy to use the ketone test strips. Usually, ketone strips or sticks come with a color chart to determine ketosis levels. Strips do not provide a numerical measurement, like a blood test. The deeper the color, the higher the level of ketosis. To use it, one needs to urinate to collect a sample in a clean container and then carry out the following steps:
- Place the test strip in the sample (or one can hold the strip under the urine stream).
- Gently shake the strip.
- The strip will change color (the instructions in the kit will explain how long this will take)
- Compare the strip color to the chart included with the test kit to see the ketone level.
Urine testing for ketones is less accurate than blood testing. Depending on how diluted the urine is, the results may differ. The testing kit’s expiration date should always be checked. A kit that has expired could produce incorrect results. Test strips should be kept with the lid securely closed. The strips won’t work correctly in the presence of moisture or prolonged exposure to air. The best times to check for ketones in the urine are after dinner or in the morning.