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The Truth About Keto Breath

Perhaps the worst side effect of the keto diet is the bad breath (known as ketosis or keto breath) that comes with it, as the body adjusts to the rising keto levels because of an increase of protein. Below is everything you need to know about it.

It may be common, and often times unpleasant and embarrassing side effect, but the most important thing is to not worry. Keto breath is temporary and tends to go away once the body has keto-adapted. First, to understand why this happens you should know that the ketogenic diet is low in carbs, so the body is forced to use its fat storage for energy once the glucose stores have been depleted. According to Healthline, ketosis happens when the body breaks down fat for energy.

According to Kiss My Keto, some people notice an ammonia smell on their breath, others report that their breath smells fruity or of acetone and often leaves a metallic taste in the mouth. This usually happens days, or weeks, into the new diet, but it won’t last long. Once the body uses ketones efficiently, and fat as its primary fuel, Kiss My Keto reports that the unpleasant smell will subside. Although this could take several weeks.

However, there are some ways to help combat the smell, and these include chewing sugar-free gum, which can mask the smell. But Perfect Keto notes you should be wary of sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners which are not zero-carbs.

Drink more fluids (namely water) throughout the day is also beneficial. According to Healthline, drinking water can help flush ketones from your body, through urine, and improve the breath.

You should also pay close attention to your oral hygiene, and Perfect Keto reports that flossing, tongue cleaning, oral rinses, and oil pulling can benefit your breath (although not get rid of it entirely, as it’s not caused by poor oral hygiene).

Healthline also suggests slightly increasing your carbs by a very small amount (eating 15 grams of carbohydrates to 20 grams per day). This gradual increase can lower the side effects of ketosis. Or, lowering your protein intake, as too much protein can worsen the breath because protein causes ammonia.

And sometimes you cannot get rid of keto breath and just need to wait it out.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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