Maybe “keto breath” isn’t such a bad thing after all.
A new device called Keyto, uses the aromatic funk to help devotees of the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet know if they are actually in ketosis — which occurs when the body burns fat instead of glucose.
While scientifically testing for ketosis can get complicated — the process usually involves analyzing blood or urine — makers of the Keyto breath analyzing device claim it, plus the accompanying smart phone app, can make following the keto diet simpler and more intuitive.
“No painful finger pricking or gross pee strips necessary,” Keyto’s website explains. “Keyto removes the invasive, inaccurate, expensive and painful barrier for tracking your ketosis.”
The device, which is available for $99, measures the breath for acetone, a ketone that the body excretes as it burns fat. The device can then confirm whether a body is in ketosis, and the app will give advice for how to achieve it of not.
But the technology is not perfect in terms of immediacy, according to Ray Wu, one of the co-founders of Keyto. Wu told Business Insider that the test may not register high-carb foods right after they’re eaten, and also that various factors can affect the device’s reading.
“People shouldn’t think that, ‘Oh, okay, I just ate one bite of carbs and then 10 seconds later it will reflect in the ketone level,’ ” Wu said. “There’s many things, from the environment, to what you ate, to when you ate, to if you exercised — just so many things that can affect every single breath.”
The keto diet has many celebrity fans, including Kourtney Kardashian, Jenna Jameson and Al Roker, who have all experienced major weight loss. But critics of the diet exist as well, such as trainer Jillian Michaels and doctor of integrative medicine Andrew Weil.
Weil told PEOPLE in June that he does not think that cutting out carbohydrates is a good long-term weight loss strategy.
“[It’s] an abnormal state; it’s a starvation state” he said. “You’re eliminating carbohydrates — it’s not a good idea to cut out a whole macronutrient. I think there’s a risk of getting serious deficiencies.”
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