Continuous glucose monitors are becoming all the rage

News

I looked into getting a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) before. Not because I have diabetes but because I was experimenting on myself with taking a more strict low carb diet. It turns out you need a prescription to get one. I don’t know why since I was able to get a ketone and glucose test kit from Keto Mojo. These kits do pretty much the same thing as a CGM except you have to test on demand rather than test continuously.

Scarcity may be driving part of the demand. Because it’s a medical device, the Food and Drug Administration regulates the continuous glucose monitor, so it requires a prescription. If you’re not diabetic, insurance almost certainly won’t cover it. Many doctors won’t prescribe it.

Wall Street Journal

If I can use an on demand type test where I have to prick my finger and put a drop of blood on a test strip why can’t I get a CGM? Why does this need a prescription? I’m not ingesting anything. All I want to do is see how quickly my body reacts to certain types of food.

Some doctors are against it. They think people are nuts for doing this.

Still, some experts object to widespread monitoring, like Dr. David Slawson, professor of family medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There’s been no rigorous research to show it improves quality of life for healthy people and may lead to anxiety and depression, he says. “It looks very cool and the graphs are great and glitzy, but the reality is it doesn’t improve anything,” he says. “We are nuts to be doing this.”

Wall Street Journal

I don’t see how this will lead to anxiety and depression. If you’re already susceptible to eating disorders or other addictive type behaviors knowing your blood sugar levels isn’t going to change that in my opinion.

My metabolism is different than my wife’s. I’m able to eat a higher level of carbohydrates than she can without gaining weight. What I would like to know, however, is what is really happening in my body? Is my blood sugar spiking anyway but somehow I’m able to burn the glucose faster than she can? I think it would be good for her too so she knows what foods to avoid if she’s looking to lose or maintain weight. Diet and exercise are very personal and we all react a little different to food and training.

“People say, why don’t you just read a book and eat low carbs,” says Dr. Casey Means, co-founder and chief medical officer of Levels Health.”The problem is you and I can eat the exact same banana, and my glucose might go up 100 points and you go up 10. One-size-fits-all nutrition recommendations really fall short,” given new understanding of biochemical individuality, she says.

Wall Street Journal

Hopefully one day it will over the counter so I can just pick one up and monitor my own health the way I want.

Image by Pamula REEVES-BARKER from Pixabay

What’s the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis?

Keto, News

One could kill you and the other is the ideal metabolic state. That’s the long and short of it. Ketoacidosis, without treatment, can kill you while being in ketosis means that your body will turn to burning fat for fuel versus glucose in your blood.

If you’re new to the world of the ketogenic diet, you’ve probably heard the word ketosis thrown around, but might be unsure of what it actually what it means. You might’ve also heard of ketoacidosis – yes, it sounds similar, these are two very different things. While one is related to a trendy weight-loss method, the other is potentially fatal.

Body + Soul

For athletes, supplementing with ketones is different than simply being on the keto diet

Keto, News, Opinion

I didn’t think this was in dispute. I don’t recall reading anywhere claims being made that simply being on the keto diet will enhance athletes’ performance. I do recall reading how simply being on the keto diet and becoming fat adapted will enhance the athletic performance of regular people. But, these are normal people who aren’t doing competitive athletics. I think the jury is still out on pro athletes and going strictly keto. There may be times when pros bodies require a quick hit of carbohydrates to perform at their peak.

The keto diet is often not the performance boosting mechanism it is claimed to be, according to an expert who plans to set the record straight at NutraIngredients’ Sports Nutrition Summit next month.

The three-day event is set to investigate some of the biggest trends in the industry and answer burning questions on how different diets influence sports performance and how industry players can best meet the needs of these athletes.

Dr Mark Evans, postdoctoral researcher at University College Dublin, will explain how the keto diet has been touted as a way to take of advantage of the body’s large fat stores to fuel exercise for longer and improve exercise performance, however, it’s important to consider how intense that exercise is going to be.

nutraingredients.com

Tracking ketones and GKI

Keto, News

As I’ve said before, I’ve been living the Intermittent Fasting and Keto Friendly lifestyle for over 2 decades and fell into this lifestyle quite by accident. It’s only recently that I learned that it’s the latest diet craze (hopefully not a fad). As such, I have never measured my blood sugar or ketone levels (never knew ketones existed until several years ago). In the creation of this blog and my Instagram account I have run across people that are actively measuring their blood glucose and ketone levels to make sure they are in Ketosis. So, I became curious about my own levels.

This is the glucose/ketone meter I purchased. This is an Amazon Affiliate link.

I had a theory that I slip into ketosis rather easily after consuming loads of carbohydrates and that’s what has allowed me to maintain a stable weight without watching what I eat. Keep in mind that I do not have a sweet tooth so I don’t normally eat cookies, candies, chocolates, cakes, and other sweet desserts. It’s not that I don’t like them when I’m eating them it’s just that I never crave them. I think that is a major contributing factor as to why I go back into ketosis easily… or so I theorize.

I decided to put it to the test by buying a glucose and ketone meter and testing myself daily from July 15th through August 6th. That’s 3 weeks of daily testing. Before July 15th I consumed carbohydrates in the form of white bread and it set me up to start out of ketosis and I thought that would be a good baseline. At the end I also consumed a slightly elevated level of carbohydrates in just the food I ate. No bread or pasta or sweets but just an over abundance of carbs in regular food.

On August 6th I went to NYC to attend my granddaughter’s 1st birthday. I was gone for 2 weeks and decided to just eat anything and not monitor my glucose or ketone levels until I return. Upon my return I would resume my standard daily diet that is mostly low carb and begin testing again to see how quickly I could get back into ketosis. While in NYC I ate everything. I had rice, popcorn, potato chips, donuts, soft drinks, cake, tacos, etc. In other words I consumed food with little thought. I simply enjoyed myself and my granddaughter’s birthday.

The chart below shows my Glucose Ketone Index (GKI), which is better explained here on keto-mojo.com. It starts on July 15th where I’m out of ketosis right after the weekend where I consumed bread. Then it shows my GKI throughout the rest of July and how quickly I went back into ketosis and stayed there until I left for NYC.

Ignore the dates from 8-08 through 8-18. Those were auto created by Excel

When I returned on August 19th I tested myself that evening after arriving home. I drove from NYC to Chicago and did not eat anything on the drive and only consumed black coffee. Obviously I was out of ketosis, as the ketones were too low to measure, but my blood sugar level was below 84 mg/dl so I think that shows I was already starting to turn the corner towards ketosis just by not eating anything all day long. For good measure, in the evening on the 19th, I had a couple slices of Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza and a salad as my only meal that day. I figured that would ensure my test was valid and keep me out of ketosis for at least the next day.

Yesterday, on August 20th, I tested my blood as normal in the middle of the day and my GKI was 16.48. Still out of ketosis. But, ketones in my blood had returned. The test showed 0.3 mmol/L and my glucose was 89 mg/dl. I resumed my normal eating patterns. I had my one meal, which was a decent sized salad with one hard boiled egg and half the chicken breast from a Costco rotisserie chicken, and a snack later that night of some salami slices, provolone cheese cubes, roasted almonds, and roasted peanuts.

Today, August 21st at around 1pm, I tested my levels and bam! Just as I theorized. I’m back in a moderate level of ketosis with a GKI of 4.03. My ketone level returned to 1.2 mmol/L and glucose remains below 90 at 87 mg/dl.

This confirms, in my mind, that because I’ve been living this way for so long that I’m well adapted to burn fat. That has allowed me to do things like eat the occasional carb meal or snack and then return to fat burning to get rid of what I just ate. It’s kept my weight stable for a long long time. Who knows how this applies to other people. Everyone has a different body chemistry and different metabolism.

Hopefully this post and experiment on myself helps someone to stay on the low-carb path so they can get to the weight they desire. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer!

Here’s a link to my Excel spreadsheet on which the chart above is based.

Here’s one more link to the Keto-Mojo Glucose/Ketone meter I used in this test. This post is not sponsored in any way by Keto-Mojo. This is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Are MCT and BHB supplements necessary?

Keto, News, Opinion

I’ve never tried any supplements of any kind because I’ve always found them unnecessary… for me. I can understand why some people might want to or might need to take supplements to get the results they want. It’s just never been something I’ve needed to explore.

Part of the reason I don’t need them is I find because I’ve been living this way for so long that I can get back into ketosis within a day even after I’ve consumed a lot of carbs over the course of a few days. My normal way of eating is what’s considered Intermittent Fasting so I believe once the glucose in my system has been used up my body goes straight back into ketosis and I can start buring any fat that may have accumulated.

There is still some good information here if you’re considering supplements.

The keto diet, which restricts carbohydrates and trains the body to burn fat as fuel instead, has gained attention for potential benefits like weight loss, increased focus and energy, and even as treatment to certain illnesses.
And while the diet remains controversial among health professionals, marketers are eagerly stepping up to cash in on the interest with supplements billed to fill gaps in the diet and help dieters “get into ketosis,” or when the body is forced to switch its energy source from carbs to fat.
Read more: The popular keto diet can help you shed weight, but it comes with some serious side effects
INSIDER talked to a nutritionist and a keto follower to learn which products may be helpful for some people, which are simply expensive and unnecessary, and which may actually set people back in their goals.

Insider.com

Find out which ketone meter is right for you

Keto, News

DietDoctor.com recently reviewed the four top ketone meters on the market. They ran them through some rigorous testing to determine which ketone meter does the best overall job.

Knowing your blood ketone levels can be powerful feedback. It’s objective. It’s motivating. And it is the kind of information that lets you know where you are and whether you need to make a change to reach your goals. Many people experience the most benefits when blood ketone levels get above about 1.5 mmol/L. Are you there yet? A ketone meter gives you this objective feedback as often as you decide to test.
If you are ready to invest in a blood ketone meter, which one should you buy? I wondered, too, so Diet Doctor bought the four most prominent meters available on Amazon (US), and I ran them through our testing protocol.

DietDoctor.com

Here are links to all four meters in the test.

Things you need to know about keto test strips

Keto, News

Are you or are you not in ketosis? The most accurate way to know is to use keto test strips. I know a lot of people on Instagram have used these strips to know if they’re in or out of ketosis. I’ve never used them before but I’m seriously considering giving it a try. Here’s some good information.

There are two ways you can measuring ketones using strips: through urine or blood. Both are fairly simple to use. The urine tests are similar to pregnancy tests except they measure acetoacetate, a specific type of ketone, says Ashley Cuellar Gilmore, M.D., gastroenterologist and program director for IU Health Medical Weight Loss.
Typically, you’ll dunk the strip into a cup of urine for a set amount of time. Strips are made with a type of paper that reacts to ketones by turning a different color, Women’s Health reported. You’ll then match the color on your stick to an accompanying color chart that offers an estimate of your level of ketosis. Usually, the darker the color the deeper you are into ketosis.
Cuellar Gilmore explained to Women’s Health that urine levels are generally indicative of the levels found in blood. Blood ketones should measure 0.5 mM/dL at a minimum, but numbers between 1.5 to 3.0 mM/dL, are optimal, she said.
Blood keto strips are similar to urine except they require pricking your finger for a blood sample.

Men’s Health