How to Use Ketone Test Strips while on a Low Carbohydrate Diet?
A low carbohydrate diet focuses on avoiding the consumption of foods with high carbohydrate content such as starchy vegetables, fruits, and grains. Instead, these diet plans emphasize on foods high in fat and protein. Low carb diets are most commonly used these days for weight loss. However, some of these diets are also known to reduce the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Over the years, we have heard about the harmful effects of fat on the human body. As a result, the health and fitness markets around the world have been flooded with low fat diet products. However, the latest studies have confirmed that the natural fats cause very little harm to us. A low carbohydrate diet allows us to consume all the fat we need while minimizing the intake of starches and sugar. These diet plans typically comprise of poultry, meat, eggs, fish, and vegetables with low or no starch.
A healthy human body derives nutrition from the consumption of macronutrients and utilizes glucose as its primary source of energy. This glucose comes from different types of carbohydrate-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, pasta, bread, legumes, soda, etc. While following a low-carb diet, this mechanism gets disturbed because has a limited or no supply of carbs. In this state, the energy demand of the body is met by an alternative strategy. In the absence of carb, the body starts burning fat for the generation of energy. Naturally, this is an extremely desirable state for individuals looking to lose fat.
As the body starts metabolizing fat for energy, ketone bodies or ketones are created. Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate, and acetone are the three types of ketones created by the liver while fat is burnt for energy. Most of the cells in the human body, including the brain cells, are capable of using ketones for energy. Once ketones in the blood reach a certain threshold, the body is said to be in Ketosis. A healthy individual can achieve this state in just 2-3 days by limiting the consumption of carbs to less than 20 - 50 grams a day.
While following a low carbohydrate diet, it is extremely important to ascertain whether the body has switched to ketosis. This can be done in many different ways, but the most convenient alternative is the use of ketone test strips. These inexpensive testing strips are used to measure ketones in urine.
Ketone test strips are small paper strips that can change color when they are brought in direct contact with urine. The changed color indicates the ketonic state of the body, which can be found color chart provided with the product.
In addition to using ketone test strips, breath ketone analysis and blood tests are also performed for the measurement of ketones in the human body. However, urinalysis strips are extremely popular amongst individuals following different types of low-carb diet plans because they are inexpensive, reasonably accurate, and easy to use.