First, decide if you need to check ketones.  Amy Berger of Tuit Nutrition has a great post here to help you decide.  If, after reading that, you still want to check your ketone levels, there are several ways to check them. You can buy Bayer ketone stix, and check the levels of ketones in your urine. Or you can use a blood ketone meter.  The Precision Xtra has been the one to use until just recently. The problem is that this meter is hard to find, as the manufacturer Abbott keeps changing the name. The strips are even harder to find and buy.
This is why epilepsy patients have to get prescribed diets from profession nutritionists. Without getting into true ketosis, dieters risk ingesting an enormous amount of fat—and potentially a lot of saturated fat, if you’re eating animal meat—without any of the fat-burning effects of ketosis. "The fat is the thing that's problematic for a lot of people on keto," Fung says. "They basically give a pass for any types of fat and a lot of the recipes encourage saturated fats like butter." Dieters who are careful to focus on healthy, unsaturated fats like those in avocados may not have issues, but again Fung notes that you end up with a fairly monotonous diet that way, and thus a lot of people end up eating more saturated fats. "To me as a nutritionist, that's pretty scary."
The diet gets billed as a miraculously enjoyable diet—eat all the fat you want, just cut out the carbs. But the ketogenic diet (also called keto) was never supposed to be fun. It was supposed to treat severe epilepsy. And as a medical treatment, it was only intended to be administered under the supervision of trained nutritionists and physicians. The professionals would be able to monitor patients for potential problems and ensure that their diet was actually keeping them in ketosis—a metabolic state where your body switches from using glucose as energy to using ketone bodies, which come from body fat. They needed those checkpoints because staying in true ketosis is exceptionally challenging for adults.
As is in the case of GABA, the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) hypothesis works against the hunger-suppressive role of KD: it has been demonstrated that the hypothalamic ROS increase through NADPH oxidase is required for the eating-inhibitory effect of insulin (Jaillard et al., 2009); moreover it has been demonstrated that there is a ROS-dependent signaling pathway within the hypothalamus that regulates the energy homeostasis, and that activation of ROS-sensitive mechanisms could be sufficient to promote satiety (Benani et al., 2007). On the other side, KBs decreases mitochondrial production of ROS by increasing NADH oxidation in the mitochondrial respiratory chain (Maalouf et al., 2007).

The SS providing information to the brain mainly send information to the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). These signals are generated in the GIT and abdominal viscera, as well as in the oral cavity and provide information about mechanical and chemical properties of food. The information is transmitted via vagal and spinal nerve to the NTS. The ASs arrive to the median eminence through ARC or through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). All these afferents are integrated in a complex and not fully understood network.

Another mechanism that could be involved in food-regulation during KD is the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate regulation. Wu et al. demonstrated that GABAergic signaling from the NPY/AgRP neurons to the parabrachial nucleus (located in the dorsolateral part of the pons) is involved in many regulatory sensory stimuli including taste and gastric distension, regulate feeding behavior. GABA signaling seems to prevent animals from anorexia when AgRP neurons were destroyed (Wu et al., 2009). These findings are yet another contradictory aspect of KDs and food behavior; ketosis should increase the availability of glutamate (via diminution of transamination of glutamate to aspartate) and therefore increase GABA and glutamine levels; moreover, in ketosis, the brain imports a huge amount of acetate and converts it through glia into glutamine (an important precursor of GABA) (Yudkoff et al., 2008). The result of these mechanisms, together with the increased mitochondrial metabolism and flux through the TCA cycle, is an increased synthesis of glutamine and a “buffering” of glutamate. These results are not consistent with the well-documented anorexigenic effect of KDs, and therefore the GABA hypothesis cannot be taken into account despite the mild euphoria often reported during a KD that is probably due to the action of BHB (Brown, 2007) and can help to reduce appetite.
The keto diet is one of the most effective that I’ve come across and one of the more straightforward (as opposed to easy!) to follow. In a nutshell, when you’re on a keto diet, you eat a very low-carb, high-fat diet. That means goodbye pasta and bread, hello cheese and oils. It’s pretty much the opposite of what we’ve been taught our entire lives. But it works if you follow the keto diet food list. Plus, you can make many favorite recipes keto-friendly.
Two comments: first of all, I’ve only discovered your site recently because (a) I. no longer eat refined sugar, and (b) after a year of no ice cream, I bought an ice cream maker and am making maple syrup sweetened ice cream, with varied success, which brings me to my comments/questions: first, this recipe calls for xylitol or erythritol, and as a person with three dogs, may I just mention that dogs can be killed by consuming xylitol. For this reason, I don’t use it, because they adore ice cream, and I can’t resist giving them a little occasionally…and I might forget. This is important!! Second: I keep reading coconut milk ice cream recipes (and others as well) that jump up and down and insist that these recipes makes this amazing, creamy ice cream, and….it doesn’t. I have made ice cream with coconut milk (full-fat) And coconut cream and it is usually icy, if delicious. Not creamy. Same for my one or two forays into making dairy ice cream to see how that would work. All of it is full of ice crystals and while it may be delicious, creamy it is not, although ice cream made with cashews and plant milk does pretty well. My theory is that commercial ice cream is filled with chemicals and stabilizers and the like, and is therefore what we call creamy. All the ice cream I have made with my Cuisinart ice cream maker freezes hard as a rock, and again–while it may be delicious, it is NOT creamy. Is it possible that I’m doing something wrong? I can’t see that I’m doing anything differently from the various vegan and/or dairy recipes I’ve seen. I’ve used both maple sugar and maple syrup for sweetening, as well as occasionally coconut sugar. My most successful ice cream has been made with plant milk and maple syrup. Getting everything as cold as possible before freezing helps, of course, but it is NEVER creamy. Thoughts?
Ally, We haven’t tried this recipe with another cooking method, but it should actually be pretty easy! The objective is to cook the chicken (any way you like, poached, baked, grilled, or even rotisserie) until it can be shredded, and then mix the shredded chicken with the creamy sauce. To cook the creamy sauce on the stovetop, we recommend crisping the bacon in a saucepan and then removing it and adding the water and spices. Once the water is simmering, add the cream cheese a bit at a time (slightly softened would probably work best), whisking until it’s incorporated. Cooked this way, you may need to add a splash more liquid (water or broth, if you prefer) to the sauce, because some of the liquid will evaporate off as the cream cheese melts down. Finally, stir in the cooked shredded chicken and shredded cheddar, and serve! If you try it this way, please let us know how it goes!

Since this is my full-time job, donations really help me keep afloat and allow me to post as much to the website as I do. I really appreciate any donation you want to give, but you can change the price yourself. I’ve added in $15 as the suggested price. I think that’s a very fair price considering other websites are charging in the hundreds of dollars, and I’ve seen what they are like on the inside.
Note that urine measurements may not reflect blood concentrations. Urine concentrations are lower with greater hydration, and after adaptation to a ketogenic diet the amount lost in the urine may drop while the metabolism remains ketotic. Most urine strips only measure acetoacetate, while when ketosis is more severe the predominant ketone body is β-hydroxybutyrate.[36] Unlike glucose, ketones are excreted into urine at any blood level. Ketoacidosis is a metabolic derangement that cannot occur in a healthy individual who can produce insulin, and should not be confused with physiologic ketosis.
Under these circumstances, as soon as the body’s limited reserves of glucose starts to run out, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost completely on fat. The levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically. You thus get easy access your fat stores, and can burn them off. This is great for losing excess weight. Studies prove that keto diets result in more weight loss, faster. There are also more potential benefits.
Yvette, Oh no, sorry to hear about the chicken not being cooked! Was the chicken frozen to start with? If so, be sure to add 5 minutes to your Instant Pot cooking time (on manual high pressure). When we tested this, we literally just put everything into the IP (nestled down into the liquid, of course), and let it do its thing. The cream cheese softened, and when it was done cooking we removed the chicken to shred it, and the sauce stirred together nicely.
Achieving optimal ketosis hinges on finding the right balance of macronutrients (or “macros” in keto-speak); these are the elements in your diet that account for the majority of your calories, a.k.a. energy—namely, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. By the way, it’s often “net grams” of carbohydrates that are counted toward your daily intake; “net” deducts the amount of fiber in a food from its carbohydrate total.

Ariel Warren is a Registered Dietitian, Diabetes Educator, graduate from Brigham Young, and was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 4 years old. Ariel understands diabetes and enjoys working with clients to improve their blood sugar management, healthy eating, weight loss, fitness, and pregnancy. For coaching from a T1D Dietitian, you can contact Ariel directly, through her website: arielwarren.com.
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