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HOW TO OPTIMIZE BHB LEVELS
- Apr 15, 2021 -

Swapping glucose for BHB is extremely beneficial, but our food environment makes it a challenge. 

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These 4 things will help you maintain consistent levels of ketones:

1: FOLLOW A KETOGENIC DIET

Starting a ketogenic diet is the first thing you should do if you’re serious about running on ketones.

Mistakenly, the ketogenic diet is often lumped with other low carb diets, but keto is the only diet that changes your metabolism from burning sugar to burning fat.

Its recommended macros of 70-80% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbs are designed to make your body produce more BHB and AcAc so you can enter and remain in nutritional ketosis.

You can expect your blood ketones to stay between 0.6 and 3.0 mmol/L.

Here’s the gist of what you can eat on the ketogenic diet:

Healthy fats: Avocado, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, olive oil.

Dairy: cream cheese, cheeses, sour cream, butter, ghee.

Cage-free eggs.

Red meats: grass-fed beef, organs, game meat, lamb, bison, pork.

White meats: pastured chicken, turkey, duck.

Fish and seafood: Especially fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, and salmon.

Nuts and seeds: Nut butter, macadamia nuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseed.

Low-starch veggies: Spinach, kale, lettuce, collard greens, zucchini, tomato.

Low glycemic fruits (in small quantities if at all): blueberries, strawberries, cherries.

Keto-friendly snacks: Low-carb cookies, flourless pancakes, keto frappuccino.

Yes, being on keto means you’ll have to brush up on your cooking skills a little bit, but it’s not hard to cook keto meals (few ingredients!) and you’ll feel amazing afterward.

For more info on what to eat, what to avoid, and what recipes to make, read these:

The Ultimate Start Up Guide to The Ketogenic Diet

Full Ketogenic Diet Food List

Keto Fruit: The Essential Guide to Nature’s Candy on a Low Carb Diet

Ketogenic Diet Foods to Avoid: 108 Foods That’ll Slow Your Fat Loss

Keto Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert

Find out your personal macros with the Keto Calculator.

2. DO INTERMITTENT FASTING

Doing intermittent fasting will help you enter or get back into BHB-burning mode quickly.

Unlike regular fasting (not eating for several days), intermittent fasting is done for just a portion of the day, and it gives you the same cognitive and longevity benefits.

There are several ways to do intermittent fasting, but the most common is to eat in a limited window of time during the day and fast the remaining hours. Usually, people fast for 16 hours a day and eat in an 8-hour window.

For example, you could fast from 08:00 pm to 12:00 pm, and eat from 12:00 pm to 08:00 pm.

Fasting this way will:

Increase your BHB levels above 0.6 mmol/L

Activate autophagy (the cleaning up of old cells)

Support healthy weight loss

If you combine a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting, you’ll be able to run on ketones more easily.

3. AVOID HIDDEN CARBS

Our food environment works hard to make us rely on sugar for energy.

Carbs are hidden everywhere, in “healthy” snacks, beverages, and restaurant meals. If you’re not careful, you can surpass the small number of daily carbs you can eat on ketosis, which is around 30g.

Want to know how easy it is to hit or pass your daily carb limit?

A medium banana has 27g of carbs.

A Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey Crunchy Granola bar has 31g of carbs.

A medium baked potato has 37g of carbs.

One small buttered popcorn has 37g of carbs.

A grande mocha Frappuccino with regular milk has 61g carbs.

If you eat too many carbs, your body will switch back to burning glucose, not BHB, and you will miss out on all the metabolic and cognitive benefits of ketones. Bummer.

You can avoid eating excess carbs by:

Sticking to real food. Avoid packaged snacks and drinks as often as possible.

Always reading labels at the supermarket.

Cooking at home more often.

Googling what doesn’t have labels. If possible, check the nutrition facts for the places you frequent.

Avoiding fast food restaurants altogether.

4. TAKE BHB SALTS

Of course, you could save yourself a lot of work and boost your BHB levels effortlessly by taking exogenous ketones in the form of BHB salts. They will:

Raise your BHB levels wickedly fast.

Save you the 12+ hours it takes your body to increase BHB levels from scratch.

Help you avoid the keto flu if you’re a beginner.

BHB salts are completely safe and a total game changer if you want to reap the full benefits of ketosis.

When you combine a ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and BHB salts, running on BHB is extremely easy.

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