Is Keto dangerous?

So, what is Keto? The short and most direct answer is that Keto is being in a state of ketosis. The Keto way of eating gets you into ketosis and keeps you there. This is very different then being in ketoacidosis. Let’s address what ketoacidosis is first.


Ketoacidosis occurs mostly in people with type 1 diabetes and results from a severe deficiency of insulin. In this setting, blood glucose is typically quite high, while ketone levels rise above 7 mmol/L (and usually above 10), causing the blood to become more acidic and placing the individual at tremendous risk.2 and
American Family Physician 2013: Diabetic ketoacidosis: Evaluation and treatment

To look at this from a normal person’s perspective, most cases of ketoacidosis occur in Type 1 Diabetics. What it means is that their ketone levels rise above 7mmol/L (if you are using a Ketone meter, like Keto Mojo, that would be 7.0 or higher. It could happen to anyone, whether you are on a Keto way of eating or not. I was talking to a former nurse one day, and she was driving herself to the hospital because she wasn’t feeling well, and they found her passed out in the hospital parking lot. They ran tests and she was in ketoacidosis. She is not a Type 1 Diabetic and she was not eating Keto. So, it could happen to anyone, at any time. But rest assured, it is rare.

Having addressed ketoacidosis, let’s talk about Keto and being in nutritional ketosis. To be in ketosis, your ketone level should be 0.5mmol/L or above, preferably lower than 5mmol/L. If you are at 0.5mmol/L or higher for a day, you are in ketosis. If you are at that level for more than a day, you are technically in nutritional ketosis. This is where it is important to be aware of your macros and what you intend to do with this way of eating.

A couple of things to be aware of specifically. Just because your ketone number is higher, does not mean that you will lose weight faster. It just means that your ketones are higher. Each persons body handles this differently, but generally speaking, between 0.5 and 1 are perfectly fine. Secondly, you do not have to check your ketones all the time, or even at all. If you wish, there are several ways you can check:

  • Urine strips – This is the least expensive way to test. The urine strips check for acetoacetate which is removed from the body through your urine. The strips can be good for the first few weeks of eating Keto, but after that, they are not as much help.
  • Breath meters – This is the next least expensive way to test. The breath meters check for acetone in your breath. They can be unreliable. Diet Doctor tested multiple breath meters, and this particular statement stood out to me:
    “LEVL cautions against testing within 60 minutes of the following: Alcohol, breath mints, chewing gum, cough drops, throat lozenges, tobacco and e-cigarettes, lip balm, smoking, mint or green tea, mouthwash, non-sugar sweeteners (e.g., Sorbitol), toothpaste, water enhancers.” (
  • Blood tests – This is the most expensive way to test, but likely the most accurate. Probably one of the most popular testers is Keto Mojo. You test your ketones as you would test your blood sugar level. You prick your finger, and measure a drop of blood on a strip. It’s pretty simple, but more expensive. The nice thing about Keto Mojo is that it also has the ability to test your blood sugar, so if you are a diabetic, you can use the one machine, however you will have to test twice as it does not combine the information in 1 test.

But remember, you do not have to test for ketosis. Simply put, if you keep your carbohydrates to 20g or less per day, you will be in ketosis. That’s it, and you will start to feel the difference pretty quickly.

But what about high fat? You don’t necessarily have to be high fat to be Keto. Maria and Craig Emmerich from and Mariamindbody advise to focus on getting your macros correct, keep your carbs at less than 20g, and make sure to get your proper amount of protein. Depending on if you want to lose weight, maintain your weight, or gain weight, will determine how much fat you eat with your meal. They have a great calculator on their website, for free, to help you determine what those numbers are.

Next blog, I’ll talk about how to track your macros, more specifically, how to track your eating to see where your macros are.

The importance of movement

Why is movement important? Well, we can speak to the obvious, movement keeps your muscles and joints strong. This is logical, right? By keeping your body moving through daily exercise (even just walking), you keep your muscles from weakening, and helps your joints stay strong.

So, what else does it do. Well, according to the CDC, improving your brain health, weight management, reducing disease, and strengthening your bones. Let’s look at why, shall we?

Brain health: Studies show:

Some of the benefits of physical activity on brain health occur immediately after a session of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (acute effect), such as reduced feelings of state anxiety (short-term anxiety), improved sleep, and improved aspects of cognitive function. With regular physical activity (habitual effect), improvements are seen in trait anxiety (long-term anxiety), deep sleep, and components of executive function (including the ability to plan and organize; monitor, inhibit, or facilitate behaviors; initiate tasks; and control emotions).

So, this leads to improved cognition, quality of life, anxiety and depression, and sleep. When you exercise, even a little, you help improve these things. When you exercise a little more, the improvement is greater.

Weight Management: This is another obvious result, but does bear worth stating. Obviously, when you exercise, you have a better chance of maintaining your weight, and even losing some weight. More importantly, you are able to change your body shape. Remember that muscle does weigh more than fat, so you will gain muscle and lose fat, which allows for a change to your body definition.

Reducing disease: Studies show that exercising helps reduce the risks of certain cancers, including Bladder, Breast, Colon, Endometrium, Esophagus (adenocarcinoma), Kidney, Lung, and Stomach. Please note that exercise will not prevent or cure cancer, the studies show that they help reduce the risks of certain cancers.

Strengthening bone: According to NIH,

bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not. For most people, bone mass peaks during the third decade of life. After that time, we can begin to lose bone. Women and men older than age 20 can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise. Exercising can also help us maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

All these are excellent reasons to keep your body moving and to exercise. Not sure where to begin? If you have not exercised in awhile, start by walking. Just a walk around the block can do so much good. Then, when you are ready, join a gym or a fitness program.

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite is APEX Health & Fitness. I am an affiliate with APEX because I have seen what wonderful things Bronson has done for myself and others. And if you want some inspiration, you should see his mom, Claire. She is my inspiration when I do my workouts. If you are interested, here are the links to his beginner and Functional Fitness programs (affiliate links):

At Home Beginner Program

At Home Functional Fitness Program

You will not be disappointed if you keep moving, even just a little bit. Because the more consistent you are, the stronger you’ll become.