The keto diet is a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fats with moderate protein. This combination changes the way your body uses energy. The abundant fat is converted into ketones and fatty acids in your liver. Since your body is low in glucose, it will turn to ketones for energy.
So, you’ve been on the keto diet for a while now, and you might have gotten use to weighing your food, etc. And at some point along the way, you thought you’re pretty good at judging what you eta, so you stopped tracking your food. So how do you know you are still in ketosis?
Unless you track, you are probably not in ketosis. It is as easy as that.
There are ways to measure your ketone levels. You can measure them with a breath-test, a urine test and a blood test. I guess it depends on how much money you are willing to spend. I bought the urine test strips, but they are actually pretty expensive.
Then, at some point, I decided to buy a breath-tester. So I went online, looked at the testers available and decided that I am not going for the top of the range tester, the prices are astronomical. So I went for one that was $29. That doesn’t break the budget, and is cheaper than the strips, so I thought I’ll give it a go.
This tester was advertised as a ketone tester. Can you imagine my disappointment when I received it, and it was a normal alcohol Breathalyzer. But after some research I realized that you can actually test ketones with a BAC tester. At that stage I new my fat/protein ratio was not perfect (or anywhere near perfect) and I was probably not in ketosis.
Then one day I decided this is it, back on track for me, 100% effort. And after a few days I got a positive on the breathalyzer. Now, I have to add that I do not consume any alcohol at all. So any positive results I get on the breathalyzer can only be caused by ketosis.
Since that first positive test, it’s been positive ever since. The first test was 0.03% BAC. The latest test was 0.07% BAC. So now you think, wow…. This is going to be a serious issue if I get pulled over by the coppers for a routine breath test. And you are right…
No, you are not drunk. No, you don’t feel drunk either. But a false test can cause some issues for you, especially a reading that is over the legal limit.
This test was done at 5 pm, immediately after I got home from work.
Your heart, brain and muscles love ketones and use them to carry out their tasks. But they can only use so much. This applies to other organs in your body as well. So what does your body do when your tissues are full of ketones? It gets rid of them through your kidneys (urine) and lungs (exhaled air).
Unfortunately, the ketone acetone that is exhaled from the lungs is converted into isopropanol. Isopropanol is a cousin to the alcohol found in your alcoholic drink, ethanol and like ethanol it can be detected in your breath.
If you’re on the keto diet, you might have a problem. Older models of breathalyzers aren’t able to distinguish between ethanol and isopropanol. You may register positive for alcohol (false positive) on old breathalyzer models and get arrested for driving under the influence, even though you haven’t had any alcohol at all. Some police officers out there are already using newer models that are able to differentiate ethanol from other types of alcohol.
When stopped for a breathalyzer test, be upfront with the officer and tell him that you are on the keto diet. Maybe he is enlightened and aware of this problem. Maybe not. If the test is positive, go for a blood test if possible.