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What are Ketones?

Updated: Jul 22, 2019

Dr. Phil's explanation of Ketosis

Normally when our bodies are fed glucose (sugar is the end breakdown of all carbohydrates), the pancreas will release insulin so the excess sugar can be stored in our cells as glycogen. In a situation where one is healthy (following the 5 essentials) and energy is required, our body will extract the stored sugar (glycogen) and convert it into glucose so it can be used as fuel. However, if you are unhealthy, you will develop insulin sensitivities and/or insulin resistance. This basically means your body will no longer produce the correct amount of insulin or it will not work as it is supposed to and therefore glucose will not be stored in the cells properly as glycogen. Instead it will continue to circulate in the blood stream until it is stored as fat in fat cells. This is dangerous as this promotes ALL chronic inflammatory diseases (Heart, Cancer, Diabetes, etc.)! 

Ketones are an energy source from fat.  When enough Ketone bodies are produced, you are considered to be in a state of ketosis.   This is what we want you to do -- to extract fat from fat cells to use as your energy source. Toxins live in fat cells! This is the state you should be in when detoxifying and/or losing weight. Too little ketone bodies in your blood and you will not detoxify (disease and slow death) and too many ketone bodies and this could lead to ketoacidosis (fast death).  This is why it is so important to measure that your efforts to become healthy are going to produce the desired results.  Measuring ketone bodies is a tool you can use to achieve faster, safer and ultimately the best results.

We had a few questions following the event that are very important to those who want to get the best, fastest and safest results with their Wellness plan.

Q:  Should I check my ketones if I am NOT diabetic? A:  Yes, of course! As mentioned during Nutrition 201, when you follow the 5 Fundamentals, specifically the advanced nutrition plan, we would like you to be in a state of nutritional ketosis as it indicates that you are detoxifying and/or getting rid of excess fat. The Advanced nutrition plan (as in the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans book)  is designed to reduce sugary carbohydrates (high glycemic carbs) in your diet, keep your protein in a moderate amount and drastically increase your healthy fats. 

Intermittent fasting is another nutritional strategy for ketosis. The best time to measure your ketone bodies is 2 hours after your meal. If you take your ketone measurement and notice you are not within the ketogenic state, you need to modify your nutrition protocol. Also, after you do a WtW 5 minute or Max T3 workout, you will be more likely to be in a state of ketosis. Again this is important, as you want to be getting rid of fat cells and detoxifying. Max T3 is a powerful detoxifier in it’s own right.  You can check your state of ketosis immediately after you are done your workout.

Q. How often should I check my ketones? A.  This is entirely up to you. This depends on how often you want to know whether you are in a state of nutritional ketosis or not. For example, it may be beneficial to check it if you have started implementing a specific nutrition plan; if you are detoxifying; if you are exercising; if your goal is to lose weight, etc. The WtW team may even check their ketones if they feel they are getting sick, as they want to promote the ketogenic state so they are not “feeding” the bug they are fighting. This is a good objective measure to keep you on track depending on your goals!​ Q: I am confused, how can it be ok for a person without diabetes to have a ketone reading of 3 mM (milliMoles/Litre)  and this is in red or danger zone indicating a high risk of Diabetic Ketoacidosis for diabetics.  A:  Ketoacidosis is rarely seen in people without diabetes.  Ketosis is a healthy normal state and will ultimately help to keep blood sugar in the normal range even for the majority of diabetics.   The key to this is that the only time there is danger is when the blood sugar level is high (hyperglycemic).  Please check with your MD regarding when you specifically should test your ketone levels to avoid ketoacidosis.  Many experts recommend that diabetics are only required to check for ketoacidosis if their blood sugar is 13.9 mmol or higher.   What WtW recommends is that if your blood sugar is above 6.7 mMol/l before a meal or above 7.8 before bedtime, you are developing inflammation and giving disease the opportunity to develop.   Once your blood sugar levels are consistently below these values, you are safe to enter ketosis for the improvement of your health.  Your recommended ketone measurement will range from 0.5 to 3.0 mmol/L.  See graph below:

Our advanced nutrition plan as found in the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans book will allow most people to reach this goal.   We use the term keto-adaptation to describe the conversion of a person’s energy source from sugars to fats.  Some people will need to “tweak” their plan to achieve nutritional ketosis.  Diabetics may have more challenge with this depending on their lifestyle.  Remember though that the original treatment for type 1 diabetes (before the discovery of insulin) was to lower blood sugar with a ketogenic diet.


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