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Preventing Ketoacidosis on Keto Diet: Trends you absolutely must try this year!

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Now-a-days, people are more prone towards losing their weight through easy and quick ways like initiating fad diets in their lifestyle and as their dietary habits. Keto diet has gained great significance among people and has become a trending diet for weight loss. The Keto diet has shown excellent results related to weight loss. But, it requires specific modification and variety in diet planning if you are following a keto diet to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis. 

If you are planning to adopt the measures to prevent ketoacidosis while following a keto diet, you can follow these trends:

  • It is recommended to check your glucose levels of blood on regular basis
  • If your blood glucose levels are high, check the presence of ketone bodies in urine and control them
  • Follow a balanced diet having low-glycemic index foods
  • If you are diabetic, follow a diet plan according to the guidelines of your healthcare provider
  • Don’t forget to take your daily dose of insulin in case of diabetes

People often confuse ketosis and ketoacidosis, but both terms are different from each other. Ketosis is the metabolic state of the body in which enough energy is not provided through carbs. The sugar circulated in blood is not consumed properly by the body for energy consumption. Excess blood acids are produced in the body due to ketoacidosis as it is a complication of type-1 diabetes. DKA can be life-threatening and can lead to diabetic coma. It can also be triggered by illness, infections like urinary tract infections, pregnancy, or not following a proper diabetes plan.

Symptoms associated with ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis can be prevented if you are aware of the symptoms that could save a life. If you have diabetes and you observe the following symptoms, then you seek medical attention as soon as possible:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme thirst
  • Polyuria
  • Polydipsia

Diagnosis of ketoacidosis

Level of ketone bodies in urine

Ketone levels

In body

Less than 0.5 mmol/L

Levels range from normal to low

 

More than 0.5mmol/L

This value indicates the beginning stage of ketosis

0.5-3 mmol/L

This is a stage of nutritional ketosis in the body

3-5 mmol/L

This is termed as a starvation mode of ketosis

More than 5mmol/L

This level is indicated as risky ketoacidosis and it is advisable to contact the doctor for medical assistance

 

More than 10mmol/L

This indicates the presence of diabetic ketoacidosis

 

Level of ketone levels in the blood

Ketone levels in the blood

Less than 0.5 mmol/L

Normal to low

0.5 mmol/L

Beginning ketosis

0.5-1.5 mmol/L

Moderate level

1.5-3.0 mmol/L

High level, may be at risk for DKA

3 mmol/L

DKA (Seek medical attention immediately)

Foods to consume and avoid

KETO FRIENDLY FOODS

AVOID THESE FOODS TO ENTER SUSTANIABLE KETOSIS

Meats- fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs

All the food items from grain and wheat group including granola bars, cereals, corn, pasta, rice.

 

Low-carb veggies- spinach, kale, broccoli

All forms of sugar and sweetened products and drinks including sugar sodas, honey, fructose, maple syrup.

High fatty forms of cheese, cream, butter and fats

Most fruits-apples, bananas, oranges

Nuts and seeds-macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds

All sort of food products from tuber groups like potatoes, yams, French fries

 

Fruits like avocado and all sort of berries particularly the raspberries

 

Sweeteners including the stevia and erythritol

 

Fats from healthy category like coconut oil, avocado and olive oil

 

How to replace carbohydrate rich foods with the Substitutes suitable for keto diet?

You might think that most of the food items are on a restricted list then what should we eat now? It is not so. There are still many food items and beverages that can be consumed for minimizing the texture and flavor to optimize your health.

Here we’ll discuss some simple food swaps which you can implement in your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert option. 

How to swap the wheat and all-purpose grain group with substitutes like almond and coconut flour?

All-purpose flour is used in almost all food items, including bakery goods such as loaves of bread, pasta, cereals. You can still enjoy these products on the keto diet by swapping the all-purpose flour with almond or coconut flour. You can make the low-carb version of your favorite food items like bread, pizza crust, pancakes, and waffles to enjoy them.

How to swap the pasta with substitutes like home-made keto-friendly noodles?

Pasta is all a flour-based food item, so creating a keto-approved version using low-carb flour is not recommended. The easiest keto hack for this is the julienne or pasta noodle size zucchini, eggplant, or cabbage.

How to swap the sugar and artificial sweeteners with keto-friendly items like stevia?

You can create a sweet taste in your keto-friendly foods without worrying about excess calories by using stevia, monk fruit, or Erythritol. They provide a balanced sweetness making a perfect keto-friendly sugar substitute.

Replace cereals, oatmeal with the low-carbohydrate options like nuts, seeds and sweeteners which are sugar-free.  

Instead of consuming high sugar-based cereals, high-carbohydrate snacks and oatmeal, you can make a healthy and keto-friendly cereal bowl using an appropriate amount of nuts, seeds and keto-friendly sweeteners.

Replace rice with cauliflower rice

You might be thinking that this swap option is not for me. But, you’ll be amazed to know that even if you are not a cauliflower fan, you can still consume it by cooking it in the form of a delicious dish.

Replace chips with baked cheese crisps or rinds

You can swap the chips and other munching snacks with cheese crisps and rinds. Potato chips, either in the form of packaged or fried, are full of carbs. So, you can swap it with these products.

How to swap the yogurt with keto-friendly coconut milk yogurt and other options

Yogurt is packed with carbs, sugars, or milk sugar. But it does not mean that you cannot eat yogurt on a keto diet. You can consume low-sweetened full-fat Greek yogurt or low-carb yogurt. Other than this, you can also add low-carbohydrate nuts and keto-friendly granola bars.

How to replace the high sugar ice-cream with keto-friendly sweetener and coconut milk

If you are a massive fan of gelato but are not consuming it due to high-fat keto ingredients, here is the solution. You can make your own heavy cream using coconut milk as a base for it and can add keto-friendly natural sweeteners.

Replace High-PUFA Oils with Avocado or coconut oil

Instead of high PUFA oils and spreads, you can try to initiate the substitutes like coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil for cooking purposes. Other cooking oils are high in PUFAs including peanut, canola and vegetable oil.

Replace salad dressings with MCT Oil-based dressing and Avocado oil

For optimal health and nutrition, use MCT oil and avocado oil products as high PUFA content. They are more prone to damage when they are exposed to high light and air. This kind of situation is seen in the preparation of dressings and mayonnaise.

Replace sugar condiments and sauces with sugar-free products and keto alternates.

Make sure to read the label on the sugar condiments and sauces before purchasing them. Typical sauces and dressings packed with sugar include jam and jellies, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, maple syrup, ketchup, and tomato sauce.

Keto-friendly drink swaps

You can replace your high-carb and sweet drinks and beverages with keto-friendly drink options. Try these simple alternatives instead of water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea. You can replace regular soda with zero-carb soda like zero-sugar virgils. Sweetened coffee and tea drinks can be replaced with heavy cream and natural keto-sweeteners. Sweetened margaritas and traditional beer can be replaced with unsweetened dry wine and low-carb beer.

Be cautious with these products.

Here we will discuss the range of some products which you can use as substitutes as low-carbohydrate products.

  1. Artificial sweeteners

If you are selecting artificial sweeteners, then carefully have a look at the pack and manufacturing labels. It has been seen that sugars are sometimes mentioned on artificial sweeteners in hidden form or with some other names like maple syrup, fructose syrup etc. Beware with such tactics and consume the sweeteners in their pure form and select those products which are free from any additives.

  1. Maltodextrin and dextrose

 These two ingredients should be kept in consideration as they are not keto-friendly options. These two ingredients break down rapidly into glucose and are absorbed in the mainstream. These ingredients can increase the sugar and insulin levels in blood and can lower the ketone levels in body.

  1. Artificial flavors, colorings, and preservatives

It is recommended to consume these products in lower quantities as their health effects are still not well-known. It is recommended to avoid the artificial flavors and preservatives.

  1. IMO

Isomaltooligosaccharide, also known as IMO, is a new ingredient and is claimed as a dietary fiber. But researches have shown that they readily absorb the sugar in the mainstream and small intestine.

How to determine if food is keto-friendly and healthy?

You can lose weight and improve your health by following an essential keto diet, but you might still not be sure about some food products. In such conditions, you can apply three keto-friendly food principles.

To determine if the food is keto-friendly and healthy, consider the:

  • Net carb content
  • Protein and fat content
  • Health effects

The question that if the food is keto-friendly or not can be resolved if the specific food:

  • It helps you to stay within your carb limit
  • It allows you to meet your fat and protein needs
  • It allows you to meet your macros with that food
  • Improves your health and well-being

Relation of High protein foods and ketosis

Protein consumption is also associated with the production of ketones. It creates much less impact than carbs. The amino acids found in the protein can sometimes increase insulin levels. It can provide substrates to the liver and decrease ketone production, thus potentially kicking out the body from a state of ketosis.

But still, one high-protein meal will not affect your ketone levels in the body. We recommend you to stay within the following range based on your activity level.

  • If your activity level falls in the sedentary group, 0.6g and 0.8g protein per pound of lean body mass are recommended.
  • If your activity level drops in the active state, then the recommended amount for protein is in between range of 0.8g-1.0g per pound of lean body mass.
  • If your activity level falls in the lift weight category, then the recommended amount for protein is in between range of 1.0g-1.2g per pound of lean body mass.

Blood ketone level chart

Ketosis level

Blood ketone range

What does this mean?

Sugar-burning mode

<0.2 mmol/L

Your body has enough sugar, so ketone production is inconsistent.

Transitional phase

0.2-0.5 mmol/L

Your body is likely starting to produce ketones consistently.

Light ketosis

0.5-0.8 mmol/L

Consistent ketone production

Experiencing the benefits of ketosis

Ideal for everyday dieting

Medium ketosis

0.9-1.4 mmol/L

 

Deep ketosis

1.5-3.0 mmol/L

Might help promote weight loss

Might confer more neurological benefits

Therapeutic ketosis

3.0-5.0 mmol/L

Only recommended under close medical supervision for the treatment of certain medical conditions

Extended fast ketosis

3.0-5.0 mmol/L

May only be reached during extended fasts or extreme caloric restriction

Achieving this range consistently is unnecessary and indicative of a poorly-formulated keto diet

Sign of ketoacidosis

>10 mmol/L

Usually only occurs as a result of uncontrolled diabetes or alcoholism

Related questions

Can you achieve ketoacidosis state on a keto diet? High fat may induce ketoacidosis. Other than this, lactation can also aggravate the condition and can trigger you into ketoacidosis.

How can we prevent ketoacidosis? We can prevent ketoacidosis by following these measures:

  • Managing diabetes and following a healthy eating and physical activity plan.
  • Monitor the blood sugar level regularly.
  • Adjusting the insulin dose as needed.
  • Checking the ketone levels.

Can ketones be high on a keto diet? Healthy people can develop high ketone levels on a ketogenic diet. Keto diet promotes the weight loss and encourages the body to make more ketones to burn fat.

Which is the fastest way to get rid of ketones?

 If ketones are detected in your blood or urine, you should drink a plenty amount of water to flush out the ketones from body. Other than this, take insulin to bring the blood glucose level to normal range and check the ketone levels after every three to four hours.

What is the most common cause of ketoacidosis? The common causes of diabetic ketoacidosis includes the missing insulin, illness, infection or a clog in an insulin pump.

 

Dn.Zainab Naeem is Hosting and Content Writing Head of SDNO. She is a freelance nutritionist and writer, and also a self-taught calligrapher, artist and chef.  She can be reached at @xayni_de_artista.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended as sound medical or nutrition advice for your particular illness; health condition or goal; rather, it is meant to increase awareness of common health and nutrition issues. Before implementing any recommendations made in this article or choosing a treatment plan based on its contents, you should always speak with a qualified healthcare professional.

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