What are Ketones? - Fit Life Geek

What are Ketones?

By Jessica | Keto Diet

Jul 15

With the slow recovery of low-carbohydrate diets in the past couple of years, the term “ketone” has been thrown around for several times. But regardless of that fact, many of us are not aware what exactly ketones are.

However, there are lots of misrepresentation regarding the factual answers. Either way, if you want to know more about ketones, then keep reading this article. Rest assured, after you read this article, you will have a better understanding about ketones.

Ketones: What are they?

Actually, everyone has ketones, whether you are a diabetic person or not. Ketones, on the other hand, are chemicals created in the liver. Also, you can generate them if your body doesn’t have sufficient insulin.

However, ketones or also known as ketone bodies are the by-products of the body breaking down fat that come about when the carb intake is extremely low. But for an individual with diabetes, ketones are the result of insulin deficiency as well as persistently high blood pressure.

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Ketone bodies also serve as an alternative source of energy for the human body. However, even though sugar (glucose) is considered as the main source of human energy it isn’t important for survival.

Types of Ketones

1. Acetoacetate

This type of ketones in normally produced from the breakdown of fatty acids. Also, Acetoacetate converts to acetone or beta-hydroxybutyric.

2. Beta-hydroxybutyric Acid or BHB

Even though it is not a true ketone, BHB or beta-hydroxybutyric is still deliberated one due to the way in which it functions. BHB, on the other hand, is formed from acetoacetate and it is being used by the brain for fuel. Either way, BHB acids are usually the source for several ketone supplements.

3. Acetone

This third type of ketone is produced as a by-product of an acetoacetate, and in fact it breakdowns easily. In addition, acetone also makes an extremely distinctive smell from your breath.  Either way, it is considered as the simplest ketone.

How to Test Ketone Levels?

Excess ketones that are not used by your body can be spilled over in various ways. It can be tested by means of breath, blood, and urine.

On the other hand, many individuals who are following keto diet tend to perform regular test so that they will be able to know their levels of ketosis and ketones.

However, there are several ways to test the levels of your ketones. You can visit a laboratory or better yet, you can try the more affordable and quicker alternatives.

Either way, let us now find out the different ways for testing ketones.

  • Urine Testing

In this method, you need to pee in a urine strip and you will be able to determine the level of your ketones based on the color. However, there are some urine strips that come with a chemical that is specifically designed for testing ketone levels.

  • Blood Testing

In this method, you will need to press a lancet pen of your fingertip and pull a small volume of blood. After which, the blood should be smeared on a test strip and monitor it using a blood glucose meter.

  • Breath Testing

If you want to test the amount of acetone present in your breath, you can make use of Ketonix breath meter.

Either way, the levels of ketones in the body can be anywhere from zero to high. Also, they are measured in mmol/L or millimoles per liter. Listed below are the common ranges, however, you should always keep in your mind that the test results may possibly differ.

  • Less than .6 mmol – Negative ketone level
  • Between .6 to 1.5 mmol – moderate or low ketone level
  • 6 to 3 mmol – high ketone level
  • More than 3 mmol – very high ketone level

What happens if You’re Ketone Levels Became too High


Ketone bodies can make blood acidic. And acidic blood can lead to DKA. However, the most serious effects of DKA take account of:

  • Death
  • Diabetic coma
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Swelling in the brain


Generally speaking, ketone are very important for our well-being and health. Better yet, ketones offer an excellent fuel source especially when carbohydrates are not available. Aside from that, they can aid in the fat loss progression.

On the other hand, there are also lots of evidence suggesting that ketones can reduce the possibility of cancer and delays the aging process.

However, you should also remember that when testing for ketones, blood sampling is generally the best method, simply because there are lots of ways to alter the result.

Nevertheless, once you have confirmed that you are producing enough amount of ketone bodies, you do not need to check it regularly.


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