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If you’ve ever been on the keto diet, you might have noticed your breath smelling pretty nasty for the first couple of weeks.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
“Keto breath” is normal, actually it is a super common side effect of eating high-fat, low-carb meals.
And while it might be very unpleasant, it’s actually a sign that your body is in ketosis, the fat-burning state that is the goal of the keto plan.
This condition is often accompanied by a foul metallic taste in the mouth.
In this article we will discuss everything that you need to know about keto breath and most importantly – How to get rid of it.
Symptoms of Keto Breath
Keto breath produces a distinct taste or odor in the mouth that’s different from ordinary halitosis or bad breath.
Some people describe keto breath as having a metallic taste.
In addition to a funny taste in the mouth, keto breath can be fruity-smelling or have a strong odor that’s similar to nail polish remover.
What Causes Keto Breath?
When your body breaks down fat for energy instead of carbs, it converts the fatty acids into chemicals called ketones.
It then disposes of the ketones through both exhalation and urination.
One type of ketone, acetone, is an ingredient in some nail polish removers, which is why your breath may smell like this familiar scent.
As annoying as the smell may be, it’s an indication that your body is in ketosis and that your keto diet is working.
How long does keto breath last?
The good news is that Keto breath is only temporary. It’s more noticeable at first because of the big shift the body is going through.
Within a few weeks, as your system adjusts to eating way fewer carbs, your breath should return to normal.
And moreover, Some people on the ketogenic diet never experience keto breath.
Tips on How to Get Rid of Keto Breath
Tip #1. Drink More Water
As we mentioned before, one way your body gets rid of ketones is through your urine.
So the more you hydrate, the more trips to the bathroom you will make , and the faster those ketones will leave your system.
Drinking water may also help flush out bacteria in a person’s mouth that could be causing bad breath.
Tip #2. Eat Less Protein
Although protein is important on a low-carb diet, eating too much protein can worsen bad breath.
When the body metabolizes protein, it produces the chemical ammonia, which might be another reason your breath may become more pungent on keto.
Decreasing your protein and increasing your consumption of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and olive oil may improve your breath without forcing you to go off the diet.
Tip #3. Frequently brushing teeth
The minty odor of toothpaste will help mask the smell of keto breath.
Also, brushing the teeth will help dislodge pieces of food in the mouth and teeth that can smell as they break down in your mouth.
Tip #4. Use mints and gums
You may want to chew on mints and chewing gum until your body adjusts to a low-carb diet.
Make sure you choose sugar-free mints and gum.
Since chewing gums and mints contain a small amount of carbohydrates, make sure that you don’t chew too many in a day.
Tip #5. Increase your carb intake, just a bit
You can also try upping your carb intake just a tiny bit, by about 5 grams or so, which will lower the level of stinky ketones your body produces.
Then, use a ketone breath analyzer to measure your ketone level.
Monitoring your ketone level is key to knowing whether you’re still in ketosis after increasing your carbs.
Can you prevent keto breath?
Keto breath is a side effect of ketosis and a low-carb diet, and there doesn’t appear to be a way to prevent the odor.
What you can do, however, is use a ketone breath analyzer to determine the most carbs you can eat without being kicked out of ketosis.
If you can add more carbs to your diet and eat less protein, this might be enough to keep your breath fresh.
A low-carb diet can help you lose weight faster, but keto breath is one side effect that you can’t always ignore.
If you’re determined to turn your body into a fat-burning machine, don’t give up on the diet.
With mints, gum, and drinking more water, you might be able to mask the odor until keto breath subsides.
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