Many of you have heard about keto diets. Keto diet is a diet under which carbohydrates levels are drastically reduced and they are replaced with fats. Under it, foods are consumed which are low on carbohydrates, but high in fats and proteins (moderate level). For example: foods like- avocados, coconut, meat etc.
The idea behind this diet is to get more calories from proteins and fats and less from carbohydrates. Keto diet shows many similarities with the Atkin diets and low carb diets.
There are many benefits of a keto diet or ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diet foods are said to be helpful in weight loss, diabetes, brain disorders, controlling blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels and other diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and epilepsy. Let’s understand what a keto breath is and what are the tips to get rid of keto breath.
What is keto breath?
First it’s important to understand what keto breath is while doing keto diets before going ahead for the tips to get rid of keto breath. While following the keto diets, there is a drastic change not only in the diet foods and nutrients intake; but also it impacts the lifestyle of a person.
Although it is necessary to meet some well defined goals like weight loss and so on, on the other hand, it comes up with many side effects too. However not every person experiences such side effects and if a few experience, the severity and frequencies of the symptoms vary among those.
There are many side effects of a keto diet like- keto flu, change in urine, loss of appetite, keto breath and so on. Therefore, keto breath is breath with a distinct odour and taste in the mouth. Most of the time, it is different from ordinary bad breath. Some people describe it with a metallic taste and some describe it with fruity-smelling or a strong odour like a nail polish remover.
What causes keto breath?
Before understanding this reason, let’s first understand how metabolism works in our body. There are many ketone bodies found in our body on normal days. These ketone bodies are produced by the liver. They are always found in the blood and their levels shoot up during fasting and prolonged exercise. They act as sources of energy when glucose is not readily present in the body.
Since intake of fats is increased during this diet and intake of glucose/carbohydrates is decreased drastically, the body starts producing more ketones due to the presence of more fats during ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic diet brings our body in a state where more and more fats are broken down into ketone bodies. This metabolic state of the body is known as “ketosis”.
When this happens, our body becomes unbelievably efficient at burning fats for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the body. Some of these ketones include- acetoacetate, beta hydroxybutyrate, and acetone.
Ketones are normally harmless. They are removed from the body through urination and exhalation. Since acetone is a significant ingredient in some nail polishes and nail polish removers, your breath also starts smelling like a nail polish remover. This is also an indication that you have entered into a state of ketosis.
On the other hand, due to the very strong odour, this keto breath becomes a problem for many people. Although not everyone faces the keto breath during keto diets. Some experience it after entering 21 days of the keto diets at least or some may experience it after 10 days of keto diets. Let’s fetch more information about tips to get rid of keto breath. Let’s begin.
Tips to get rid of keto breath:
Here are few tips to get rid of keto breath in an easy way:
1. Increase your water intake
Along with breathing out and releasing CO2 in the air, your body flushes ketones and acetone from your system through the process of urination. These acetones and ketones, when in large quantities, are released in the body, they give rise to keto breath. So, stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day to increase urination.
This helps in flushing ketones from your body and improves your breath. Drinking more water may also be effective in your weight loss goals. This is one of the best tips to get rid of keto breath.
2. Eat less protein
Although protein is a must on a low-carb diet, consuming too much protein can worsen bad breath. Our body produces ammonia while the breakdown of proteins. Ammonia is another byproduct of metabolism in the body that’s eliminated through urine and breath. This ammonia can also help in creating a strong odour on the breath, too.
Therefore, decreasing your intake of protein and increasing your consumption of healthy fats ( e.g. avocados, olive oil,nuts) may enhance your breath without compelling you to go off the diet. This is one of the effective tips to get rid of keto breath.
3. Practice good oral hygiene
As one of the best tips to get rid of keto breath, you should brush your teeth twice a day and do flossing daily. Although this may not eliminate keto breath completely, these practises or habits may reduce the intensity of the odour coming from your mouth.
Harmful germs can accumulate in your mouth and in between your teeth when you don’t brush or floss regularly. Since germs also trigger bad breath, poor dental hygiene can worsen the situation of keto breath for you.
4. Mask odour with mints and gum
You may try with mints and chew gum until your body adjusts to a low-carb diet or a keto diet. Make sure to choose sugar-free mints and gum.
As a caution, be aware that some of the chewing gums and mints contain a small amount of carbohydrates. This is one of the best tips to get rid of keto breath.Since you would be on a low-carb diet. In this situation, if you chew or suck on many pieces of chewing gum throughout the day, this could increase your daily intake of carbs and can kick you out of ketosis.
5. Increase your carb intake
Since the diet is all about reducing the carbohydrates level and increasing the fats level drastically. If you are feeling the keto breath regularly, slightly increase your carbohydrate intake to get rid of keto breath. If you don’t want to lose your state of ketosis, try to increase your daily amount of carbohydrates by a small fraction. Thus, it is one of the best tips to get rid of keto breath.
Let’s say you’re consuming 17 grams (g) of carbohydrates per day. Try to increase your intake to 20 g per day to see if your bad breath is eliminated or not. You can measure your ketone levels by using a ketone breath analyzer. Monitoring your ketone level is the key to know whether you’re still on the track of ketosis after increasing your carbs or not. This is one of the effective tips to get rid of the keto breath.
6. Change your source of protein
The amounts and type of fatty acid can vary in different protein sources. Therefore, try to eat fish one week and chicken the next week. When these proteins and fatty acids are digested, they can completely change the ketone bodies produced. This can really help you out as it is considered to be one of the most effective tips to get rid of keto breath.
7. Increase your fat intake
Since this keto diet is all about eating more and more fatty acids and lowering down the carbs. As you eat more fat, it can limit ketone stink by controlling the creators like ammonia and acetone. A 2014 study suggested that increasing dietary fat intake (and cutting back on protein) released less ammonia and acetone. Therefore, it is one of the proven tips to get rid of keto breath.
8. Take a look at your macros
Since during the keto diet, you bring your carbs down to a super low level. It becomes imperative to look whether you are taking the right ratio of fat to protein? Consuming an inappropriate amount of fats to proteins causes the body to produce more ammonia, which results in stinkier and unpleasant breath, research has shown.
A perfect keto diet should have 60% to 80% of the calories coming from fat, 15% to 35% from protein sources, and 5% from carbs. If you are feeling stinky keto breath, don’t let the protein levels increase above 35%. This is one of the effective tips to get rid of the keto breath.
9. Use some probiotics
Researches have shown that the probiotic bacteria like- Streptococcus salivarius can boast antimicrobial activity in the body that could help fight bad and stinky breath. For better benefits and better results, try to pair a probiotic supplement with an antimicrobial mouthwash. The combination of probiotics and an antimicrobial mouthwash could help in getting rid of your breath around in as little as three days. Therefore, it is one of the proven tips to get rid of keto breath.
10. Change your toothpaste
Try to substitute your current tube of toothpaste with another toothpaste that contains tea tree oil or baking soda. Tea tree oil enhances antimicrobial agents that have been shown to help kill off bacteria responsible for the bad smell of your mouth, while toothpastes with high amounts of baking soda can help block stinky sulfurous compounds found in saliva and plaque. Therefore, they can be one of the best tips to get rid of keto breath. Do not try to put tea tree essential oil straight into your mouth, since ingesting it can be toxic.
11. Chew xylitol gum
Gum chewing usually causes your mouth to produce more saliva, which in turn helps rinse away stinky and smelly bacteria from your tongue, gums, and teeth. This is one of the effective tips to get rid of keto breath.
12. Snack on crunchy veggies
While chewing fruits and vegetables, a good quantity of saliva is produced, while the crunchy texture helps in “scrubbing” plaque and food particles off of teeth. There are many veggies which are crunchy for teeth as well as are virtually carbs free. For example-celery, cucumbers, lettuce leaves etc.
Studies have also confirmed that these veggies lowered the concentrations of smelly breath compounds by 50% for up to 30 minutes after chewing. Therefore, they are one of the most effective tips to get rid of keto breath.
The Bottom Line:
Everything comes with some pros and cons. If a keto diet is able to help you achieve your goals like weight loss, controlling blood sugar level etc; on the other hand it comes with some side effects like keto flu, keto breath and so on. If you are continuing on a keto diet, it is important to keep checking on these symptoms simultaneously on a regular basis.
“Keto breath” is a common side effect of eating high-fat, low-carb meals during a keto diet. If on one hand, it might be very unpleasant, it’s actually a sign that your body is in the state of ketosis, the fat-burning state that is one of the goals of the keto diet plan.
But with the help of above mentioned tips to get rid of keto breath, you can surely overcome it. For proper guidance under an expert and nutritionist during your keto diet plan, you can also consult on LivHeal.
If practised rightly, keto has a lot of benefits, including weight loss and improving cognitive function. Unluckily, keto breath is also part of the deal. It’s not only about the mouth odour that the keto might cause; some keto diet followers have complained of a foul vaginal odour after starting the plan although science is trying to explain that claim.