How to keep my ketone level around 1.5 and other questions


I don’t want to have very high ketone levels? How can I make sure? Is for example eating too little something that can increase your ketone levels? I’ve heard being around 1.5 is fine. I’m thinking about buying a breathalyzer to check (can’t get the blood tester in my country it seems)

Is it ok to just eath coconut oil or drink extra virin olive oil with nothing added?

Is it really ok to have 10gr of salt each day? It sounds insane.

(Joey) #2

Can you please elaborate on why you are concerned about your ketone levels going too high? Who told you that “being around 1.5 is fine”? … since that’s a puzzling suggestion I haven’t heard before.

Yes, it sounds insane, right? So I would encourage you to read “The Salt Fix” by Dr. DeNicolantonio. The science concerning salt intake, much like the “science” on carbs and fat, has suffered from a good bit of misinformation. He does a rather fine job of sorting out the actual clinical trial-based science from the unscientific beliefs out there.

If anyone is concerned about the appropriate amount of salt they ought to consume and why, his review of the research certainly helps one make a more fully informed set of choices.

Best wishes!

(Cancer Fighting Ketovore :)) #3

Its perfectly fine if your ketones go over 1.5. I’m actually trying to get mine to 3 or 4 daily, more or less sustained. I don’t really trust the breath ketone measuring tools, as I have trouble getting consistent and accurate readings.

Also, there is a difference between salt (table salt, Sodium Chloride) and plain sodium. This was already explained on another thread for you. To get enough sodium from table salt you have to have a large quantity of table salt.


I just sounds extreme somehow. Somehow I don’t want to be in too extreme ketosis. But maybe it is basically either/or. I was chatting with a friend who told me he always tried to stay above 1.5 so I assumed that would be a fine goal, no need to go higher.

I also saw from here (a breathalyzer I’m thinking about) this list:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

Eat a ‘well-formulated’ ketogenic diet. Keep your carbs sub-20 grams per day (less is better). Everything else will take care of itself. Don’t worry about specific numbers on a meter. I would not purchase the breathalyzer you’re considering. Ketonix and Levl are the only BrAce analyzers of any usefulness. Anyone who says: “Readings over 5.0mmol/L: in too much ketosis” and “Readings over 7.0mmol/L: in ketoacidosis” does not know what they’re talking about. They’re just looking at Phinney and Volek’s chart and misinterpreting it.

(mole person) #6

It’s actually difficult to maintain ketones over 1.5 so you shouldn’t even worry about it. People who want high ketones work hard to get such numbers. Eating little is something that raises ketones as does a diet with a really high percentage of dietary fats.

If you’re not fasting and your fats are below 75% then you likely have ketones well below 1.5.

(Cancer Fighting Ketovore :)) #7

I may have to start measuring again…but even when my fats were high my ketones were still under 1.2 or so. I’m planning on supplementing, but then again, I’m not doing this for weight/fat loss. I’m pretty sure my fats are above 75% though.

(Joey) #8

Ok, now I think I understand.

With all due respect, “it sounds extreme somehow” is not a wise basis on which to decide how to proceed when it comes to significantly changing your eating habits. Nor is “chatting with a friend” the best way forward for most people to get the reliable guidance they require.

I strongly encourage you to read a whole lot more about the science and research available on these topics. Reading a forum like this can be interesting, thought-provoking, and even emotionally encouraging at times if you need it. But it is also full of viewpoints that might either be irrelevant given your own situation - or, worse yet, even dangerous. Hey, it’s the internet - right?

Having said this, there are lots of valuable links to access real peer-reviewed research to be found here. That’s worth a lot.

But in the end, you must do your own research.

Otherwise you will likely feel confused, overwhelmed, and ultimately dissatisfied with what starts happening with your body once you embark on this journey. Changes will occur - and you will then need to be confident in your own understanding of what’s happening and why.

To offer an analogy: Before you set out on this trip, get yourself a map of where you’re heading. And study it. You will be much better off.

Best wishes to you.


I understand. But my problem is that I can’t find my way back to the harbor. Because of extreme reactions when I try to quit the Keto diet. You know what I mean? It’s like I’m stuck with Ketogenic Diet.

(Joey) #10

@thejohn While I’m not entirely clear on why you’re trying to find a way to eat more carbs, I have just looked at your previous posts and I am beginning to grasp the extent to which you’re feeling anxious about your current situation. I sincerely wish I could be of more help.

It also looks like you’ve already received some solid guidance. I would encourage you to review those exchanges again and do your best to relax, removing as much stress over such things as you can.

Again, wishing you the very best!


Hmm. That sounds really interesting. My urine strips are sometimes very dark though. I guess eating very little can get the Ketones very high. Is that correct?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

@thejohn How long have you been eating keto? Urine sticks measure ketones, mostly acetoacetate, that are excreted as ‘waste’ rather than utilized as fuel. So what you’re observing on your keto stix is unused ketones. Most/many folks find that ketones excreted via urine slowly diminish over the course of several months as the synthesis of ketones by the liver gets more in synch with the demand for energy from cells and organs. Also, many cells and organs can utilize fatty acids directly and the transitional need for ketones diminishes over time as they adapt to burning fatty acids instead. Also, see this.


For a month now. But I have taken a few very short breaks(3 I think). When I go out of ketosis (according to the urine strips) I get very anxious and uneasy, like horribly.

(actually I have been measuring successful keto diet with the Urine strips, if the urine strips show good color I assume I’m eating low enough carbs. But I haven’t made a good balanced diet yet)

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #14

Thanks. You can expect some interesting stuff to happen for a few weeks or months as your body slowly adapts to utilizing ketones and fatty acids for fuel and transitions away from glucose. One of the most important things at the beginning is to stay consistently in ketosis.

Think about it like this. You ate SAD for years, until a month ago. Your metabolism adapted to burning glucose pretty much exclusively. Taking that away and replacing it with ketones and fatty acids is a big change! The tendency to relapse is strong initially but diminishes over time. If you remain in ketosis consistently, you will force the adaptation to occur more rapidly than if you don’t. You will also gain multiple health benefits just by being in ketosis that otherwise don’t happen.

Finally, if you let yourself get out of ketosis, even for a day or possibly even a single meal, you could undue days or even a week of good stuff. A so-called ‘cheat meal’ or ‘cheat day’ is really just a ‘cheat myself’. Some people mistakenly give themselves a ‘day off’ each week and undo everything they’ve accomplished in the previous six days. They’re essentially beginning again every week! After a few months of perpetual carb withdrawal they just give up and claim that keto doesn’t work.

(mole person) #15

Urine strip only have one use on a keto diet and that’s to give you binary information about whether or not your in ketosis. Having very dark strips doesn’t mean that your ketones are actually high, it just means that they are concentrated in your urine. That can happen for multiple reasons the most common of which is just that you haven’t been drinking enough water. Try drinking way more water through the day as a test. I guarantee the color on those strips will get way paler.

(mole person) #16

Does supplementing have any value for cancer though? I’d expect it to actually be a net negative as it will obfuscate your own metabolic condition.


Fairly certain Dom d’agostino is looking into the cancer benefits of supplementation and I haven’t heard of deleterious effects yet.

(mole person) #18

Has he found any benefits though?

Here is why I wouldn’t supplement for cancer without some evidence that it might be helpful.

We know there are positive effects from being in a natural theraputic level of ketosis. The suspicion is that it’s primarily because when ketones are high then the body is starved of glucose and cancer cells can’t grow properly under these conditions. However, exogenous ketones would not cause low glucose. Neither would they cause autophagy. I’m not at all clear on how they would be expected to help.

On the other hand, they would cloud you from being able to test your metabolic state properly since when you tested ketones you would be measuring the exogenous source rather than the marker of your metabolic state.

(Jack Bennett) #19

It really depends on what your goals are. It’s very unlikely to be harmful.

It’s apparently possible to juice up blood ketones with MCT oil since it metabolizes very directly and rapidly into ketone bodies [1]. It’s somewhat similar to adding exogenous ketones. Apparently C8 is your best bet (octanoic acid aka caprylic acid - the one with 8 carbon atoms).

As far as I know, regular coconut oil has too little MCT oil to really move the needle on ketones.

Olive oil will give you fat for fuel. If you like the taste and need the fat for satiety, it might be an easy and low risk way to add some food energy once you’re fat-adapted.

It’s worth experimenting and seeing what happens and seeing if that’s what you want.

[1] see, e.g.