ketone strips feature

Ketone Strips: are they legit?

Ketone strips fall into two distinct categories that dictate the accuracy of the test you are taking. These two categories are urine and blood.

The degree to which ketone strips help you to successfully monitor your blood ketone levels will be greatly affected by which of these you use. Think of a urinalysis as the book jacket version, and a blood test as the entire Moby Dick novel in regard to detail.

Depending where you are on the commitment scale, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right test for your needs. Below, we’ve listed the various types, brands, and benefits/detriments of each of the ketone strips. Check them out, and see which one suits your needs best, and most importantly, helps you remain in ketosis.

Ketone Strips: Urine Analysis

Using urinalysis to test for ketones is simply getting a “30,000 foot view” of the ketones in your system.

The body regularly emits anywhere from 3 to 15 milligrams of ketones a day. Increased amounts of ketones in the urine (acetoacetate) can show you that there is in fact an excess of ketones your system, however ketone strips that evaluate the urine will not report the amount of ketones in the blood – ketonaemia – which is where the real work is done.

The benefit of using the urinalysis ketone strips at the beginning of your ketogenic diet, is that you’ll save money of the bat in case you choose not to pursue the diet later on.
And, as your body initially gets into ketosis, you’ll find value in the measurements. But once your body adapts to ketosis, your readings will lessen, and it will be necessary to level up to blood testing.

In short, you’re going to get the amount of excess ketones your body isn’t using, but you’ll have no idea of what’s going on in your bloodstream.

Brands/Types of Ketone strips for urinalysis

Smackfat’s Ketone Strips

  • Amazon’s most popular choice for urinalysis ketone strips
  • What you get: 100 strips for $10.95
  • Best and Worst Reviews
    Best: 5.0 out of 5 starsAccurate for Early Ketosis
    By BrainDoc on April 20, 2015
    Verified Purchase
    There are three main ketone bodies that are excreted from the body during ketosis. Acetoacetate is one of the ketones that is produced early in your nutritional ketogenic diet and can be easily and accurately measured in the urine by these strips. Be aware that you tend to produce this kind of ketone more so later in the day. Consequently, you will get a darker reading in the evening. If you continue on your ketogenic quest, your body will eventually stop excreting this kind of ketone in the urine and produce more of the ketones found in the serum and breath. This process is called kept-adaption, whereby you have switched your body over to burning more of your own fat as the main fuel source rather than glucose (sugar). This means that the further and more adapted you are in your diet, the less helpful these strips will be. This may cause you to become discouraged with the diet. If you never plan on being in the leto-adapted state you can continue to use these strips. However, most people will have keto adaption as the desired goal and will need to stop using these strips when adapted. You will then need switch to either blood or breath testing to monitor proper nutrition ketosis. The blood test for ketones is very accurate, but the machine and especially the strips, are very expensive. I chose to use the only breath ketone tester currently available at this time – the KETONIX breath tester, which was available on Amazon at one time. Good luck on your health quest – I hope this was helpful.

    Worst: Maybe I just got a lemon.
    ByAmazon Customeron February 22, 2016This might have been a dud batch but this product doesn’t work at all. After a month of eating virtually ZERO carbs, this test detected no trace of ketones.

Healthy Wiser Ketone Strips

  • This brand of ketone strips has received solid reviews, and also comes with resources like an alkaline food chart and keto recipe ebook.
  • What you get: 100 strips for $9.45
  • Best and worst reviews:
    Best:5.0 out of 5 stars… Healthy Wiser Ketone Test strips on time and in perfect condition. I frequently use the urinalysis reagent strips …
    By Susie Goal on May 20, 2016
    Size: 1 Verified Purchase
    I received my box of 100 Healthy Wiser Ketone Test strips on time and in perfect condition. I frequently use the urinalysis reagent strips when I do a low carb diet as it helps me to know if I am taking in too many carbs and I am not burning fat optimally. I especially like these strips as they react quickly (in about 15 seconds) and as a plus it came with two PDF downloads. One was an Akaline Food chart and the other was a keto recipe ebook (with recipes for vegans if desired, a seven day meal plan, a grocery list and diet guide. You are sent an email and they are easy to download and print out. I’ve purchased ketone test strips whenever I have dieted in the past but never gotten a bonus like this before and really appreciate it and it was at no extra cost. The bottle is a dark brown plastic that helps preserve the strips and comes with a color coded testing chart right o the bottle for your convenience. I only test once or twice a day so the 100 strips last a long time for me, are good up to 24 months and extra long so you can pass them directly though the urine stream without any fuss or mess. As an added bonus for me they are part of my Amazon prime account which means free two day shipping which means you don’t have to wait long for the product to arrive. They also come with a manufacturers 60 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with this product.

    WorstNot great performance and misleading characterization of bonus materials, June 27, 2016
    By
    R. Ned
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Ketone Strips + BONUS Alkaline Food Chart PDF & Keto Recipe eBook, Professional Grade Ketone Urine Test Strips for Use in Atkins Diet, Ketogenic, and Paleo Diet, Urinalysis Test Strips 99% Accuracy (Health and Beauty)
    The strips themselves seem to work OK, though just the center of the square has been changing color and not the whole test square. I’m not sure if this is an issue with the strips being old or just lower quality than other strips I’ve tried. My biggest issue is with the bonus materials that buyers get. For one, I was not initially sent mine and had to contact the seller to receive them. Then, when I read them, I realized that the “Keto Recipe eBook” is actually an ALKALINE diet recipe book, and the two are very different. Almost all the recipes in it are useless for someone on a keto diet, as many foods allowed and encouraged on the keto diet are not included in the recipes because they are classified as acidic according to the emailed acidic-alkaline chart (e.g., eggs, cheese, cream, beef and other meats, etc). So, the alkaline recipes are filled with lots of fruits and starchy veggies that are off limits on a keto diet (making the recipes too high in net carbs) and are devoid of keto-encouraged foods. I decided on this brand of ketone strips because of the great reviews and the added bonus materials. I am disappointed in both the strips and the materials.

    UPDATE: The seller acknowledged a mistake and sent to me a KETO recipe ebook (containing 11 recipes). However, the entire thing is vegan, which means many have ingredients like vegan eggs, tofu, vegan cheese and mayo, etc. Many of the recipes are unappealing. For the few that do seem interesting, I’d revise them by using real eggs, mayo, bacon, etc. Which means I have to completely recalculate the nutritional info. So, in the end, this was disappointing as well. The seller should add to the description that the recipe book is vegan.

Blood Ketone Strips

Ketone strips for blood will give you the real-time, microscopic view of the makeup of your blood.

You will not only know how much acetoacetate is in your system, but you’ll discover how much BoHB is in your system – also known as β-hydroxybutyrate. Β-hydroxybutyrate is the important ketone body that your body converts from acetoacetate to fuel the muscles and brain.

To ensure consistent results, it’s important that you test at the same time each day. Many experts suggest that testing first thing in the morning – since you’re in a fasted state from sleeping – is the optimal time of day to check your ketone levels. If you’d like to see how your diet is affecting your ketone levels, however, it’s a great idea to also test before bed.

A successful test with blood ketone strips will look like this: results with “light” ketosis will read 0.5 – 1 mmol/L, while optimal ketosis will be somewhere in the 1.5 – 3 mmol/L range.

Brands/Types of Ketone strips for blood analysis:

Precision Xtra Ketone Test

  • A great starter kit that comes with the meter, case, 10 test strips, 100 lancets, 100 alcohol pads, and lancing device – all for $108.99
  • Best/Worst Reviews
    Best:
    Meter is fine, strips are obviously overpriced everywhere
    ByForrest Mon February 28, 2016
    Meter is fine, strips are obviously overpriced everywhere. Really make sure that you saturate the sensor bit of the strip with your blood otherwise the reading will fail. I used enough blood to make Genghis Khan cringe so that I wouldn’t waste 10 bucks.

    Worst:
    Highly disappointed as I was looking forward to testing upon product …
    ByJanna Morrisonon December 6, 2016
    Highly disappointed as I was looking forward to testing upon product arrival. However, the ketone test strips listed in the product description were not included. This is incredibly frustrating as it accounts for more than half the unit cost/retail. I will be returning and purchasing elsewhere, I suppose.

active1st Bayer Contour Next Diabetes Testing Kit

active1st ketone strips

  • Kit includes 100 Test Strips, 100 Lancets, Lancing Device, Control Solution, Owners Logbook, Reference Guide and Manual all for $40.95
  • Best/Worst Reviews:
    Best:
    .. received my glucose metering kit from Bayer it looked like so many others I have had or had seen, August 30, 2016
    By fiddlefootn
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: active1st Bayer Contour Next Diabetes Testing Kit with 100 Test Strips, 100 Lancets, Lancing Device, Control Solution, Owners Logbook, Reference Guide and Manual (Health and Beauty)
    When I received my glucose metering kit from Bayer it looked like so many others I have had or had seen. Consequently, I took a rather mundane approach towards my new meter. The shape, the strips, the case all were of the standard fare, but then again why change something that works, right? It is always good to read the manual, which I did, so new surprises crop up without some kind of preparedness. However, what I wasn’t prepared for was the ease of use that that the Contour Next afforded. I doesn’t seem as it could be any different that so many others, but it was. Those “standard fare” items (except for the case of which I am not a fan … More on that later) proved to be quite a pleasant surprise. It was very nice to see a small bottle of control solution packaged in the kit. That was something that was missing from my previous meters. Thank you Bayer. The finger pricker (call it what you may, it is what it is) was very nice to use,especially the dished out cupped portion of the business end. It nestled over my finger for a secure contact and the depth of puncture was very adjustable and very accurate. The strips, oh yes the strips, easily collected the droplet of blood with out hesitation or fuss. It was amazing and it also meant that one did not need a large droplet in order to acquire a reading. It was so smooth. No fiddling around trying to get the strip to suck up the blood sample. A true vampire. Also, the strips are reasonably priced which was one of the two attributes I was looking for in a glucose meter. The other being accuracy. I have not tested the accuracy to that taken in a professional setting, but the readings are consistent and the control solution registered at 120, so I am confident in its ability to give excellent feedback. The case? I have never been happy with these type of cases especially the slick nylon that is used, but I understand the economic and durability issues so I’ll endure it or find a replacement. It is nothing to quibble over, just a personal preference.

    So there it is, a very nice product that does what it does and does it well at a good price making it an excellent value. I am extremely glad that I purchased the Bayer Contour Next Complete Diabetes Kit. It is always a pleasure to find something that meets both your expectations and needs and will around for a long time. I hope this review helps you in your quest. I wasn’t sure when I ordered it, but I am sure now.

    Worst:
    All Over the Board, October 6, 2015
    By DonSutt
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Diabetes Testing Kit (Bayer Contour NEXT EZ Meter + 50 Bayer Contour NEXT Test Strips + 50 Active1st 30g Lancets + Lancing Device + Control Solution + Owners Manual/Log Book) (Health and Beauty)
    I bought TWO of these, one for work, one for at home. I have a Precision Xtra but the strips are very expensive compared to these and I wanted something cheaper as I experiment with how various foods/meals effect my blood sugar. For the record, I am not a diabetic, I do not have diabetes. I am however in ketosis (keto dieting – high fat, very low carb) and I am by my blood measurements and breath measures currently in a state of ketosis. I have been for about 8 weeks now.

    These Contour NEXT meters read all over the board with the calibrating solution and with my blood. Each draw is a different reading on both meters. I did a comparison using the same finger prick at almost the same time and there was a 24 point difference between the two pulls. I hit the same prick twice with two different test strips on the NEXT and it was a 8 point difference between pricks.

    I did the calibration thing last night with their solution. The first calibration was well outside of the spec by 12 points. I did a second as per the manual’s direction and it was 12 points lower and in spec. The spec is a range too!?!? It’s not +/-10 points, it’s 25 point range.

    Frustrated with this I did a similar test with the unit I had at work. Same results. I checked my blood sugar twice on the same prick and it was 9 points different and 10 points difference. I do not have these inconsistencies with the Precision Xtra. Perhaps I’m ignorant to blood sugar testing but I’m not exactly sure how diabetics rely on these devices with such inaccurate accuracy.


Getting serious about the ketogenic lifestyle involves the task of quantifying the chemical makeup of the energy your body is using.

You can’t know if your body is in ketosis by feel, or guessing. It’s essential to see what is going on inside of your veins with ketone strips. Depending on where you are in the ketogenic diet, and financially, you can make the choice of it you want to start with urinalysis or with blood testing. The important part is that you get started.

We hope that this article helps you understand what the various ketone tests can do for you, and that this information helps you on your journey to the ketogenic lifestyle.

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