Are you starting the keto diet? This popular diet program requires your body to go into a state of ketosis. This causes the body to get energy by burning fat, which can result in weight loss and other health benefits. A keto monitor can make sure you’re in ketosis. This is critical because we usually get energy from calories and only get it from fat as a Plan B. The keto diet hacks the body’s system and since it’s low-carbs sends the body into a state of ketosis. There’s a caveat—the diet only works when you’re in that state because the liver has produced more ketones.
So, it’s important to make sure that’s the case so you can turn your body into a fat-burning machine. You can find kits on the market that include items like monitors and glucose test strips to test whether you’re in ketosis. And yes, there’s an app for that. There are actually multiple ways to measure your ketos. Some work better than others so it’s important to find the most effective one. This diet is different from most others since it’s not just about cutting calories. So, it’s important to make sure you’re following the low-carb, high-fat guidelines to get the best results.
What Is the Ketogenic Diet?
Before we talk about monitors and other devices to check ketos it’s important to have a basic understanding of the diet. What’s it all about?
Today you can find many low-carb diets like Atkins. The difference with the ketogenic or “keto” diet is that interestingly it’s also high-fat. In fact, based on various studies it seems to help with weight loss and various health benefits like lower rates of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.
The keto diet requires you to do major carb-cutting then replace them with fat. Yes, that’s right! The result is your body goes into a metabolic state known as “ketosis.”
The body then becomes ultra-efficient at fat-burning for energy. Another benefit of this diet is in the liver fat gets converted into ketones. That results in your brain getting an energy supply.
You can also follow different variations of the keto diet. They include:
- Low-carb (5%), moderate protein (20%), and high fat (75%)
- High-carb/low-carb periods (e.g. 5 days/2 days)
- Higher protein (e.g. 5% carbs, 35% protein, and 60% fat)
Which one should you pick? In general, these variations are used by athletes or bodybuilders. It’s also worth noting that most studies have involved the standard and high-protein versions of the keto diets.
One of the main benefits of the ketogenic diet is weight-loss. In fact, 20+ studies have revealed this diet’s benefits including losing weight.
In theory, this isn’t really surprising since it’s low-carb. What’s most interesting is the way the keto diet helps you lose weight through high fat and low/moderate protein. In fact, some studies show that this high-fat diet often produces better results than low-fat diets.
In terms of calories, one of the main problems with many of today’s diets is they require calorie-counting. This can be a hassle when you have to track everything you eat. Fun Fact: water is the only natural 0-calorie food.
When following the ketogenic diet, it’s important to monitor your body to determine whether or not it’s in a state of ketosis. Here are some options for that monitoring:
1. Keto Diet Apps
You can find various free and paid mobile apps for your iOS/Android phones or PC/Mac. These apps help to track if you’re consuming low amounts of carbs that usually range from 20g to 25g/day.
You can find many diets and keto-specific apps that can track different factors for various foods including:
- Saturated Fat
- Minerals (e.g. calcium and potassium)
- Vitamins (e.g. Vitamin K)
Many of these apps are free while some only offer access to premium features by making weekly/monthly payments. You should do some research to find the best apps for your needs.
2. Glucose Strips
These tests offer a convenient method for testing urine for glucose/ketones and work with monitors. The ketones are actually something called “acetoacetic acid” that is often referred to as a “ketone body.”
Here’s how the tests work. When dipped in urine they change color based on how much glucose/ketone it contains. The results help to determine if you’re in a state of ketosis and whether or not you need to make tweaks.
3. Ketone Monitor
These are stand-alone devices that are used to monitor your body’s ketone level and glucose. The tools are effective for monitoring your body’s boost in ketone levels.
Based on the results you can then make tweaks to your diet to get better results. This diet is based on the ability to keep your body in a state of ketosis. So, it’s critical to monitor your ketone levels in particular. This makes sure your body is producing enough during your low-carb, high-fat diet.
Diabetics also use these monitors to track their type 1/2 diabetes. The monitors that inform patients when it’s time to check their ketone levels.
Key Features of a Keto Monitor
When picking a ketone monitor here are some of the features to weigh:
These monitors are a niche among health monitors so it’s important to research some of the biggest manufacturers in the industry. As always you should consider name brands instead of generic brands.
Branded products will provide benefits in terms of quality, features, service, etc. Meanwhile, if you pick an off brand you could end up with a lemon and have problems with issues like warranties and returns.
Make sure to consider you’ll need the keto monitor plus the glucose strips. You could buy them separately but a better deal is keto kits that include both the monitor and strips. They’re pricier than just the monitor but you’ll be saving money in the long run.
A big factor in terms of the unit’s price is the number of features it has. If you want the Rolls-Royce of keto meters then you should expect to shell out more money.
This is a critical issue since you’ll be checking your body’s ketones and glucose. If the reading isn’t accurate then it will affect data that determines whether or not you’re in ketosis. This could cause many problems including results from the keto diet.
This is a key feature to consider when picking a keto meter. While you’ll want precise readings you probably won’t want to deal with monitors that are tough to use or have a cluttered user interface (UI). The key is to look for units that are accurate with high ease-of-use.
It’s important to consider the built-in features for data collection/processing. Do they display average ketone readings? How many readings can be stored? Is the software and strip port cable bundled with the unit or do you have to buy them separately from the keto monitor?