Keto testing sticks


Hey all,

I’m attempting keto again after having done it for a year around 9 years ago.

I’m eating plenty of fats, meats and veg with some almond milk in coffee and some cream cheese, mayo and/or mustard, few spices for flavour and around 2 litres of water a day.

Today, is my 3rd day, I have some nausea. Energy levels have been OK although a tad tired today
I decided to try a keto test today.

My measurement indicated I’m somewhere between 4.0mmol/L and 8.0mmol/L.

Is this OK? Should it be lower for optimal weightloss?

Thanks x

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #2

Hi Bee and welcome :blush:

Yes, that’s a pretty good range. Though the urine sticks tend to be less accurate later on. That was my experience.
Also the nausea is normal, I had the same. It should pass. The tiredness should pass and be followed by improved energy. Don’t forget to add salt.
But update us soon with any changes.


Hey Pjam,

Thanks for the welcome and reply!

That’s reassuring, I’ll keep an eye on it and yes!! Salt!! I’ll add more, I haven’t added any extra on my meals today. Thanks for mentioning that!


(Bacon enough and time) #4

Welcome to the forums, and good luck this time around!

Just a couple of random thoughts from your post, not intended to be criticism, but rather things to consider. First, almond and soy milk usually have quite a bit of sugar in them, so be careful with them. Second, don’t overdo the water, as that can disrupt electrolytes. Drinking to thirst is sufficient; you don’t need to force fluids. And while we’re talking about electrolytes, be sure to get plenty of salt, as eating low-carb lets the kidneys excrete sodium rather than retain it. So increased salt intake may help with any fatigue you might be experiencing, as well as with headaches, lightheadedness, and/or constipation.

Nausea can possibly be caused by eating too much of the wrong kinds of fats. Avoid the industrial seed oils, which are very high in polyunsaturated fats, and stick more to animal sources, such as butter, bacon grease, lard, tallow, and the like. Coconut oil and olive oil are much lower in polyunsaturates, too.

The urine strips were originally designed to warn Type I diabetics that they were edging into diabetic ketoacidosis. If your pancreas is producing any insulin at all, diabetic ketoacidosis is not a concern. The value of such strips when we embark on a ketogenic diet is that they are a cheap way of making sure that our liver is producing ketones, which means that insulin has dropped sufficiently to put us in fat-metabolising mode. While the ketones are valuable in themselves, it is the assurance that we are metabolising fat that we are really looking for.

All in all, it sounds as though you are doing well. Just keep your carb intake low, and keep ketoing on! :+1:

(Eve) #5

Re the keto sticks, l have noticed that the actual colour/ ketone value, is very dependent on hydration. So, if l haven’t drunk as much water as usual, l have a noticeabley higher value - so l don’t rely too much on the number any more,. just whether l am in ketosis or not


I only had nausea in the very beginning of carnivore when my fat intake was unusually much for the volume of my food but even that doesn’t last long (and I just ate less fat for a while, no way I suffer nausea if I can help it!). But I was used to plenty of fats as I ate high-fat all my life, no wonder it was no problem on my original keto where all the vegs “soaked it up”… I possibly would get nausea from too much added fat too… Though it probably would depends on the kind? Hard to imagine having a problem from butter :smiley: Once I made a meal of it, no problem :wink: But greasy food, nope. It’s different when it’s part of my meat and other items.


I never had much success with the urine strips. I found that the blood ketone strips to be more accurate than the urine strips and in the beginning I wanted all of the data. Not so much now. Plus I was also able to get them super cheap. I used them every morning for the first month and then every other day for another 2 months and then stopped. Periodically testing after that when I felt the need.

(Bob M) #8

I think the urine strips can be useful initially, as long as you don’t care about the values. The values change based on many variables, and as long as you’re looking at some number of ketones, you should be good.

Over time, they aren’t as accurate as blood or breath testing though. But initially, they are fine.

(Allie) #9


Hey Paul,

Thanks for the welcome and super thanks for your informative reply.

For almond milk, I have a splash a day but thanks for pointing out the sugar, I didn’t actually take note of that before you mentioned it. I’m a sucker for white coffee in the mornings so will continue but with caution.

I’m going to bump my salt up today, I maybe having less on my food. I have electrolyte capsules I’m taking too but I think there’s room for me to add more on my food for sure.

I’m just using olive oil and salted butter for my cooking at the moment. I have some ghee on order but I’ve never cooked with that so it’ll be interesting to see how that works out.

I feel better today than yesterday. Its day 4 now… I can’t wait for this fatigue and nausea to pass and to get to having all that good energy I had my first time round.

Thanks again!


Ahh I see, OK, well I’ll defo not look too much in to keto measures via the sticks. I think what we’re all saying is, the sticks ar ejust to confirm ketones presence rather than amount! Got it! Thanks :slightly_smiling_face:x


Ahh, great! Well I’m glad you got past it. I’m hoping this will pass in the next few days or so. :hugs:


Yeah, I’m figuring that I don’t need to worry about the measure displayed on them now. I have been overly checking them while I start this diet just to see how long it took for ketone to become present and then I started thinking about the measures it was showing. I had ketones present on day 2 and I just didn’t even expect that :rofl: but anyway, I think I’ll like you, im gonna cooloff of them. I have some weightloss/waterloss today so I think I’m on the right track :hugs:


Thanks, I’m definitely going to just check them occasionally going forward to see I still have ketones rather than worrying about the measure. :hugs:

(Bacon enough and time) #15

Many of us go for heavy whipping cream/double cream/HWC in our coffee, because it tastes good and is sugar-free. (I tried it for a while, but I’m a renegade and prefer my coffee and tea black, lol!)

A couple of recent studies have shown that people tend to be healthiest when their sodium intake is in the range of 4-6 g/day, which translates to 10-15 g/day of sodium chloride. Mind you, this is sodium from all sources, so don’t go bonkers with the table salt if you’re already taking electrolytes. As long as the salt tastes good, go for it; but if it starts tasting bad, you’ve had more than enough. Myself, I go by whether I’m constipated and headachey (too little salt) or tending to loose stools or diarrhoea (too much). Usually it’s the former, for me. And don’t forget to drink to thirst. No need to overhydrate (that advice comes from sport drink manufacturers trying to sell product), but do be sure to get enough liquid.

Sounds as though you are on the right track. Keep calm and keto on!

(Bob M) #16

The highest values I ever got (for sticks) were after biking long distances. Not sure if that’s because of the biking, I was dehydrated, both, or what.

But I’ve tested with blood, breath, and urine, and after a while, I gave up testing. Even blood samples, which I think might be the most “accurate”, didn’t tell me much over time. Unless you feel better with higher ketones, or there’s some reason to shoot for higher ketones, the levels usually don’t matter.


I found the blood strips gave me the positive reinforcement that I needed. Same with weighing myself every day. With my food journal, I could see what helped and what seemed not to help. I would plot my ketone levels, weight, water consumption, protein intake, and carb intake. I would do this on a spreadsheet and then see how potential patterns play out. Too much information for the average, but I love the data. Over time, my ketone levels were much lower than when I first started testing. One interesting thing that I tested was that after I had plateaued, I increased my carb intake by an extra 50 grams per day and restarted the fat loss.


Unless you overdo it, it shouldn’t be a problem. Most of us use cream, it has as much sugar as almond milk according to the data I have found* (both contains little but it may be significant in bigger amounts or if the other part of the diet goes close to the limit) - but the cream is richer and you may or may not need less of it. Of course, dairy isn’t good for everyone so it isn’t the right choice for everyone. And anyway, as long as you fit your items into keto and get your results and the carbs are worth it, I say it’s fine :slight_smile:

*There are probably some variation, look at the package :slight_smile: My whipping cream has 3.6% sugar, I haven’t the foggiest idea of almond milk, if I drank that, I would make it from water and a tiny bit of almond (almond milk has something like 1% almond, mine probably would be richer), the sugar content would be negligible. And I would figure out which works better for me, the two substances are nothing like each other…


Thanks Paul, appreciate the advice! It’s so helpful!

I’ll try the double cream, it sounds yummy :yum:

So far I’ve been lucky to have just one headache.
It’s a few days in and I’m now feeling even more tired today, kinda lethargic.
I’m aiming for 2litres of water a day, anymore tends to be difficult for me so thanks for stating I don’t need to push for it beyond my comfort zone. It’s been hard for me to just drink water at all so even 2litres is a big adjustment.

I think I’ll start measuring the salt so I know when I’m not having enough. Maybe that’s a little low, given I’m so tired :tired_face: :rofl:


Thanks! I think I’ll reduce the hype on testing once I’m in a good keto routine for sure :hugs: