Our Educational Content is Not Meant or Intended for Medical Advice or Treatment
Congratulations, you decided to try the keto diet! But are having keto Bad Breath?
You went keto for the weight loss, improved energy, and reduced insulin and blood sugar levels. You did the research, and you're convinced a low-carb diet will improve your health.
And it’s working! Your weight is melting away faster than a snow cone in Phoenix. At your recent checkup, your doctor was thrilled with the drop in your insulin and blood sugar. You have so much energy you had to cut back on coffee.
This is what you signed up for, right? The outstanding health benefits of eating the low-carb diet with moderate protein and high fat.
There’s just one catch:
Breath so bad even the dog bolts when you get near.
You must be wondering what on earth is going on. What is this terrible side effect of bad breath?
Keto breath actually is one of the common side effects of a low carb ketogenic diet, with a simple cause and, fortunately, equally simple ways to improve it.
Let me explain.
Why Keto Breath Happens
Take heart: your bad keto breath isn’t caused by lousy oral hygiene. You didn’t stop brushing your teeth and gargling with mouthwash, and somehow not notice. Going keto wasn't a mistake, even though others cringe when you open your mouth to speak.
Keto breath usually happens because you’re excreting the ketones your body produces when your body is burning fat as its main energy source instead of sugar. Your body breaks down the fat for energy, and in turn, ketones are formed.
There are different types of ketones, but rather than go all hard-core science on you, let’s dive into the causes and their simple solutions.
Fruity Breath and Acetone Breath
When you switch to a low carb diet, you start burning ketones as your body’s fuel. Usually, ketones give off a fruity odor. But because there are several types of ketone bodies, if you’re burning more of the type of ketones called acetones, your breath will smell like nail polish remover.
This happens because your body isn’t yet efficient at burning ketones. In other words, it's not yet fat-adapted. Enough ketones are being excreted in your breath to cause these odors.
About now you might be wondering if the weight loss and other benefits of keto are worth the price of bad breath.
I understand! And I promise, you can get your good breath back even on the low carb keto way of eating.
Here’s how to solve the problem of either fruity breath or nail varnish odor:
- Increase your vegetable intake to 7-10 cups daily. I recommend this amount as an integral part of my Healthy KetoTM plan for a variety of reasons. Improving bad breath on keto is just one of the beneficial side effects.
- Realize that over time, as you get more efficient at fat burning, there will be fewer ketones excreted in your breath. (Ketones are also excreted in your urine. This is why people who use urine sticks to measure their ketones get concerned when their ketone levels drop - they haven’t realized a reduction in ketone levels happens naturally as your body uses them more efficiently.) So the problem of keto breath is mostly self-correcting over a few weeks, but if you want to speed it up be sure to increase your vegetable intake.
- If you gag at the idea of eating so many vegetables, try this smoothie recipe.
You don’t have to wait for someone to recoil from your keto breath to know that you have it, though. Often you’ll know by the distinctive taste in your mouth that’s different from typical bad breath. Some people describe keto breath as having either a metallic or somewhat sweet taste.
Ironically, having keto breath is a positive sign that your body is in ketosis - which is what you want. But I’m sure you’ll agree that the bad breath has to go before you go broke buying air freshener to protect others from your halitosis.
You’ve probably heard of people who go crazy eating double bacon cheeseburgers (without the bun) or platefuls of bacon and eggs cooked in butter on the keto diet. After years of being warned away from saturated fat because of the health risks, it seems almost too good to be true to be able to chow down on these goodies, experience weight loss, and support your health.
While eating enough healthy saturated fat is indeed good for you, the problem is the amount of protein that comes along with foods like bacon, eggs, and cheese. Here’s how it affects you:
If you’re consuming excess protein, your breath will take on an odor that’s more like ammonia than fruity or acetone-like.
And not just a harmless ammonia smell; to be frank, the odor is like old urine. To add insult to injury it’s not only your breath! The smell could come from your skin or under your armpits. Which I know you'll agree is pretty disgusting!
Can you guess what I recommend to eliminate this ammonia odor? You got it: reduce your protein intake.
If you’re doing 8-10 ounces or more of protein at each meal, drop it to 5 or even 3 ounces per meal until you no longer have the ammonia breath issue. Trust me, your loved ones will thank you.
Bacteria Gone Haywire
The third kind of odor I’ll address is one that smells like sulfur. It’s like a rotten egg smell. This final kind isn’t typically associated with the keto diet - but a ketogenic diet can aggravate it. The smell is caused by an overgrowth of what’s called volatile sulfur compound (VSC)-producing bacteria in your body, which can occur when your liver is congested.
I know no one wants to walk around smelling like rotten eggs, so here's how to improve this particular kind of breath:
I recommend using my product called effective microbes. It’s a type of probiotic that contains a synergistic blend of friendly yeast, bacteria, and mold. Though I know many people cringe at the thought of yeast, bacteria, and mold, don’t worry! These particular ingredients are truly good for you.
Not only are effective microbes an inexpensive and simple way to improve rotten-egg breath, but they’ll also support your gut health.
Kick Keto Breath To The Curb
When you take these simple steps, you’ll notice an improvement in your breath while you’re on the keto diet. You can relax, knowing it's not your fault. Your oral hygiene is just fine. Your toothpaste and mouthwash didn't suddenly stop working.
You'll wake up one day and discover your mouth tastes fresh! People no longer shy away from you when you're speaking. When you check your breath, you feel confident it's ketone odor-free.
That’s when you know you’ve kicked keto breath to the curb.
Sounds pretty good, right?