Your Body Knows Best, So Test!

Nearly two weeks into this guide you should have a basic understanding of keto living, so now’s a good time to learn how to refine your diet to your own, unique body.

Bio-individuality is a buzzword these days, but it’s also an important factor in your keto plan because, as we’ve mentioned, the key to ketosis is not only eating the right types of food in the right portions, it’s also learning which specific foods adversely affect you and then avoiding them. Luckily, you’re armed with a Keto-Mojo meter and testing strips, which are the only tools you need to do some investigative eating!


Trigger Foods
If you’re following a clean keto diet and staying in ketosis, you don’t have to worry about trigger foods. But if you find you’re still not in ketosis or would like to be in a higher state of ketosis for therapeutic benefits, then consider testing some of the foods you’re eating to see if they are suppressing your ketone levels.

There are lots of foods that can trigger ketone dips for people who react to them. Following are common ones:

  • Dairy
  • Alternative sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Prepackaged foods

How to Identify Your Trigger Foods
The only way to tell if you’re reacting to any specific food is to test your ketones and glucose before and after you eat the food in question. It’s a three-test process, but it’s worth the effort because once you know which food(s) are getting in your way, you can eliminate them from your diet and keto on!

Here’s exactly how to test, step by step:

Note: these numbers below only apply if you’re nondiabetic; diabetics (type I, type II, and prediabetic) may have different responses.

Trigger Foods Identification in 3 Easy Tests
To discover trigger foods that may kick you out of ketosis, you will conduct 3 ketone and 3 glucose tests all in one day to see if the food you eat during the test adversely affects your ketone and glucose levels, and thus impedes your ability to reach optimal ketosis.  

Required tools: You will need your Keto-Mojo meter, 3 ketone strips, 3 glucose strips, and 3 lancets.

Test 1: Your Preprandial (Before Eating) Baselines for Ketones and Glucose
The purpose of this test is to get your preprandial (before eating) or baseline reading. You need this so you can compare it to the results you get after you eat the food in question. For accurate readings, take this test at least 3 hours after your last meal (or 3 hours after any food).

Steps:

  1. Make sure you conduct this test at least 3 hours after your last meal.
  2. Wash your hands in warm water and dry them or clean them with an alcohol swab. Clean hands are important for safety and accuracy, plus, if you have food on your hands it can alter your reading.
  3. Conduct a ketone and a glucose test: Insert a glucose strip into your Keto-Mojo meter fitted with a lancet. Prick your finger. Gently squeeze a matchstick-head-size droplet of blood onto your clean finger, then touch the blood to the glucose testing strip. When the meter displays your reading, record the number on a spreadsheet or in a notebook. Next, insert a ketone strip into your monitor and apply the tip to your blood droplet. You can use the same droplet of blood or prick another finger as long as it's been cleaned. (The ketone strip requires a bit more blood then the glucose strip.).

Test 2: The Postprandial Test That Hints at Your Reaction to a Food In Question
The purpose of this test is to introduce a food in question to your diet and see how your body responds to it. It is best to eat JUST the food in question, if possible. The more ingredients mixed with it, the more variables in the equation. For example, if you’re trying to test your response to heavy cream and you add 2 oz of heavy cream to a protein shake, you will get a reading that responds to all the ingredients in the protein shake, whereby if you eat 2 oz of heavy cream by itself, you’re testing your body’s response to nothing but the cream. It’s best to conduct this test 30 minutes after eating the food in question.  

Steps:

  1. Eat the food you are looking to test your reaction to, ideally all by itself.
  2. Wait 30 minutes, then test your glucose and ketones, following the same steps you followed in the prior test. Record your levels with each and be sure to note the food you ate. It’s normal for ketones to decrease and for glucose to increase (by about 10 30 mg/dL) after eating, so don’t be concerned when your results follow this pattern. (There are a few exceptions: MCT oil, heavy cream, and coconut oil, for example, tend to show an increased ketone level due to their high fat content.)

Test 3: The Postprandial Test That Tells You What You Need to Know About the Food in Question
This is the test that allows you to see how quickly your ketones and glucose recover (or don’t) from the food you ate. If the results show your ketones are still low and your glucose is still high, the food you tested is a red-flag food.

Steps:

  1. Wait at least 2, but ideally 3, hours after conducting the prior test.  
  2. Conduct the glucose and ketones tests following the prior protocol and note the results.
  3. Analyze the results: By now, your glucose and ketone levels should have returned to close to your baseline/preprandial levels. If one or both haven’t, consider eliminating the food or drink in question, retesting after eating a smaller portion to see if you get less disruptive results, or eating it in moderation with the knowledge that you are likely to have some level of undesired reaction.

Examples of How to Record Your Test Results

Ketones Tracking for Food Sensitivity

Food

Initial Reading

30 Minute Reading

3 Hour Reading

3 Tbsps erythritol

3.0

3.0

3.1

Bulletproof coffee

3.4

3.7

3.5

Keto Bar

2.6

1.9

2.4

Low-carb gummies

4.1

1.9

3.2


Blood Glucose Tracking for Food Sensitivity:

Food

Initial Reading

30 Minute Reading

3 Hour Reading

3 Tbsps erythritol

78 mg/dL

77 mg/dL

77 mg/dL

Bulletproof coffee

64 mg/dL

73 mg/dL

61 mg/dL

Keto Bar

64 mg/dL

81 mg/dL

66 mg/dL

Low-carb gummies

67 mg/dL

98 mg/dL

77 mg/dL


Taking Direction from the Results
Generally speaking, it’s good to avoid foods that cause your blood glucose levels to increase more than 30mg from your baseline test. Regardless, as we already mentioned, by the 3-hour postprandial mark, you want your glucose numbers back or very close to baseline.

As for ketone levels, you generally don’t want a drop more than 0.5-1 mmol/L, and you do want a return to baseline by the 3-hour mark.

From the example above, the results of the low-carb gummies in the quantity tested is a red-flag because ketones levels dropped and didn’t return to baseline in time and glucose spiked. If gummies or some other food you are testing are important to you, you could retest with a smaller portion to see how your body responds or just decide that gummies are off the menu if you want to ensure you maintain ketosis.

You can allow a bit of leniency on the ketone dropif your blood glucose remains stable or increases very little. And in any case, you’re likely to encounter trigger foods here and there along your journey. When that happens, just learn from the new information and keto on!

Watch a quick and easy video about experimenting to understand your bio-individuality.

Mojo On!
It takes time to refine your eating habits to exactly what works for your body, so don’t sweat it if you don’t become a diet detective overnight. As keto living becomes more familiar to you, it will become easier and more exciting to turn your attention to the small stuff.

 

  

WEEK TWO | QUICK LINKS

The Keto Flu: Facts and Remedies

Butters and Oils: What You Need to Know

Why Are My Ketone Levels Lower in the Morning?

Yes, You Can Eat Chicken Tenders!

The Great Carb Swap

You Deserve a Pancake Breakfast!