Hi, friends! I mostly just post recipes and talk about vegan keto foods and rarely talk about my own experiences, but I had the opportunity to try out the FORA 6 Connect Multi-Function Monitoring System (mostly to monitor my blood glucose & ketone levels, though it also can measure total cholesterol and uric acid) and wanted to post this review!
I don’t really mention it often, but I check my blood sugar levels pretty often. I’m not diabetic, so I don’t need to do it quite that intensely, but diabetes runs rampant in my family, and prior to starting a vegan keto diet, I would fluctuate constantly between being hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic. To this point, my own poor blood sugar regulation was actually one of the factors that led me to trying out ketogenic diets back in 2012. So, I do test my blood sugar pretty regularly in the mornings, and then when I’ve eaten something new, to see how it impacts me. If a particular food spikes my blood glucose too much, then it doesn’t make it into my regular rotation. I test ketone levels in a similar way – when trying out a new food I’m unsure of. Occasionally, I’ll also test ketone levels when establishing a new carb target, particularly if I’m also changing around my workout routine.
So, when my trusty old blood glucose monitor died recently, I started looking for a new one. My hope was that I would find one that was easy to use, but still had all the features I was looking for. As if by fate, the awesome people at FORA Care happened to reach out to me that same week and sent me the FORA 6 Connect Multi-Function Monitoring System to test out. It actually has far more features than any meter I’ve owned before. And truly, more features than I ever imagined a blood glucose monitor could have. They were also kind enough to give me a code (LIZXFORA) so you guys can get 10% off your purchase!
How Do I Use My FORA 6 Connect Blood Sugar Meter?
I use my blood glucose monitor for two main reasons: regular monitoring and testing new foods. If I’m eating and exercising in the same way that I always do, I will test my fasting glucose every other day a bit after waking up, but before coffee/tea.
I also use the monitor to test out how a new food impacts my blood sugar. There are so many “low carb” or “keto” foods out there that use ingredients that impact different people in different ways. So, I like to cut to the chase and see whether a “low carb” food spikes my blood sugar so I know whether to add it to my regular rotation. This is mainly for keto snacks and more specialty foods. I just posted a video to my instagram testing a keto cereal I impulse bought!
How Do I Use The FORA 6 Connect Ketone Meter?
While I mostly use the blood glucose strips to check my blood sugar levels, there are times when I want to check my blood ketone levels to see if I’m in ketosis! Blood tests are far better for testing ketone levels than urine strips. While the urine strips test the level of ketones that were previously circulating in your body, the blood meter gives a current reading. This is far more useful when trying to determine if a certain food will kick you out of ketosis!
As you may have guessed, I tend to use this ketone meter to check how a certain food has impacted my ketone levels. In other words – I test to see if a specific food will kick me out of ketosis. I tend to do this with products like keto candy, which more often than not turn out to to be less than keto-friendly! Like with the glucose tests, I usually wait about 2 hours after a meal/snack to see if the particular food impacted my ketone production.
Every once in a while, I’ll do a little “check-in” to see if I’m still in ketosis, especially if I’ve gotten lazy with tracking my macros! I’ll also test ketone levels after a high-carb day to see when I’m back in ketosis. So, while I do use these strips, it’s not nearly as often as I use the glucose meter!
How Do I Use the FORA 6 Connect Uric Acid & Cholesterol Meter?
When I first found out that this meter tested for both uric acid and cholesterol levels, I was intrigued – I didn’t even realize that you could test either of those things at home! My cholesterol levels are always great at my annual exam/labs and I don’t eat any foods that contribute to high serum levels of uric acid, so I wasn’t really concerned about these metrics. However, I recently learned that levels of uric acid in your blood can have a genetic component, and since I have a close relative with gout…I realized I should at least know what my levels are!
As for cholesterol, so many people ask me about their cholesterol levels when starting a vegan keto diet. Despite the fact that plant foods do not contain cholesterol, many people have concerns. And this is totally understandable! Serum cholesterol levels are not only governed by dietary cholesterol. In fact, very little of the cholesterol you consume actually makes it into your blood stream. Your cholesterol levels are mostly determined by your genetics and the mix of carbs and fat you eat. Learn more about this from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health here.
Because gout (caused by excess uric acid in your bloodstream) and high cholesterol run in my family, I started testing these when I got my FORA 6 Connect. I don’t have a schedule for these tests worked out yet, but definitely won’t be testing more than monthly for now, as everything looks peachy so far.
Review of the FORA 6 Connect Monitoring System
Okay, so now to review this system, and it really is a whole system. This one little meter tests for so many things! It might sound like I’m being a little too enthusiastic about this, but as someone who is as almost as passionate about collecting data as they are about health and wellness – this meter and I are a perfect pair. But, I want to be totally objective to try and help you figure out whether this meter is right for you and your needs.
The Pros of the FORA 6 Connect
We’ll start off with the pros, because I like positivity. It pretty much boils down to the following:
- Ease of use
- Phone App!
- Great blood glucose monitoring features
- Multi-stat monitoring
In terms of ease of use – this meter is really simple to use. It defaults to reading the glucose strips, and all you need to do to use a different strip (ketone, total cholesterol or uric acid) is insert the little code strip so the meter knows what’s coming before testing. Aside from that, you really don’t need to do anything other than lance your finger and insert the strip.
For those of you who are like me and have Raynaud’s (or just generally bad circulation) – you don’t have to prick your finger! There is a special top for the lancing site that allows for alternate site testing. I always do this because my circulation is bad enough that my fingers often do not produce enough blood for a reading, so I just use the part of my palm right above my wrist, on the pinky side. It’s a small convenience to include the second top, but I’ve never had a monitor come with a lancing device that made this easier and it’s such a nice touch that shows that FORA is aware of the needs of their customers. After all, diabetics are known for poor circulation.
This is the first monitor I’ve had for blood glucose and ketones that has an app for your phone to go with it! I really like using the app, as it keeps everything in one place on a device you use constantly. The app uses bluetooth to connect to the meter, so you don’t have to manually input the data.
As for the glucose monitoring features – this is definitely the best monitor I have used. As I mentioned before, I’ve only had two other monitors, but neither one gave options for how to differentiate between fasting levels and post-meal levels. The FORA 6 Connect does! So, I can just press a button to change my reading from fasting to post-meal, or I can choose to just leave them on “general.” This makes looking through past entries a breeze, especially when communicating numbers to my doctor.
Finally, I can’t talk about the pros of this multi-stat monitoring system without mentioning the other stats! I mostly use this meter for taking my blood sugar readings, so I’m inclined to focus on that aspect, but it does so much more! In addition to ketone monitoring, which can be so helpful in determining whether or not you are actively in ketosis, and which foods help to keep you there, this system also helps you track total cholesterol and uric acid levels. So, for those who have personal or familial history of high cholesterol, heart disease or gout, this is a real win.
The only cons I came up with while using this monitoring system over the past two weeks are the same as with any ketone monitoring system – it’s not cheap. Ketone test strips (not to mention total cholesterol and uric acid strips) are really not affordable enough for most of us to use every day, which is why I use them sparingly as mentioned above, and unless you need to monitor your uric acid or serum cholesterol (I have a few family members who do this to help manage their own high cholesterol), the cost can add up.
I will note that this is far less expensive than having lab work done though, so if you want to measure your cholesterol to see how a ketogenic diet impacts you, it’s going to cost around $75-100 at most walk-in clinics per test. Using the FORA 6 Connect is an absolute bargain in comparison!
That said, while having the complete system is really cool for those of us health data nerds, you don’t have to go all-in. Just monitoring glucose and ketones is fine for most people and FORA offers different monitors and systems to meet the needs of almost everyone.
Final Thoughts on the FORA 6 Connect Multi-Function Monitoring System
So, if you’ve made it this far, you definitely care about your health and at the very least, monitoring blood glucose and ketone levels. You probably also know where this section is going – I clearly enjoyed using this system over the past two weeks and will continue to use it in the future. I already regularly tested my blood glucose levels and occasionally checked in with my ketone levels, but this system has made it far more convenient. Between the app, and the easy switch between tracking fasting glucose and most-meal levels, I will definitely be sticking with the 6 Connect. And as silly as it seems, I just really appreciate that this company specifically includes a cap for the lancing device for those of us who can’t test on our fingertips.
If you have any questions about blood glucose/ketone meters (either this model or just use in general!), I’d be happy to answer them – just ask me in the comments section below this post! And don’t forget, if you want to order your own meter, use the code LIZXFORA to save 10%!