Low carb diets such as Dr Noakes Diet could be the cause of that bad breath or the bad taste in your mouth that has been bugging you. Bad breath is distressing for any person because you can never talk directly to anyone with confidence for fear that they may smell the odour and be put off by it. Luckily, there is a solution for bad breath caused by low carb diets.
What is it that causes the bad breath from low carb diets?
It is important to know that bad breath is not just caused by low carb diets. There are many causes of bad breath for example dry mouth, gum disease and even tonsil stones. If your bad breath suddenly started after you began one of the low carb diets then there are two main causes for this. 1) Acetone which is caused by ketosis and 2) an overload of protein produces ammonia in the breath.
1. Bad breath caused by Ketosis (“Keto-Breath”)
By cutting out all carbohydrates our bodies start to use more fat for energy. Molecules which are called “ketones” are produced through this process. Acetone, which is one type of ketone, is excreted in the urine as well as the breath. The smell has been described in two different ways 1) rotten 2) fruity (over ripe apples).
You will be glad to know that keto-breath caused by being on one of the low carb diets is not a permanent problem. Bad breath caused from low carb diets usually only lasts a minimum of a few weeks or up to a few months. For some or other reason (which is still unclear) our bodies seem to adapt to this way of eating and our breath then return to normal. Children with epilepsy who are on low carb diets seemed to have less acetone in their breath as time went on. There are however a few things you can do to help you minimize the impact of “keto-breath” that you get from low carb diets:
– First thing is start drinking more water. Begin with 8 glasses a day, and if it does not help the effect of the bad breath increase the amount.
– Nature is a wonderful source of breath fresheners. Try mint, parsley or other greens, cloves cinnamon and fennel seeds.
– You could try breath capsules. Some say it helps.
– Chew on sugar free gum, but watch out for the carbs in them
2. Ammonia breath caused by Protein
Ammonia is produced the minute the body starts to metabolize the protein. By eating high protein meals the amount of ammonia present in the urine or breath increases. If the ammonia in the breath or urine is very high, your breath will smell very bad.
Our bodies do not need a huge amount of protein. Proteins are used by our bodies to maintain and build muscles, to make enzymes and other structural and chemical needs. When there is too much protein the body will convert the excess into energy and this is where the extra ammonia comes from.
It is up to you to find out how much protein your body needs
Usually people who are afraid to eat more fat load up on the proteins. Because of this it is seldom a good idea to eat a diet that is low in carbohydrates and fats. To eliminate the ammonia breath you have to add more fats into your diet and cut back on the proteins.
It is always a good thing to eat healthy so don’t give up on your diet, rather identify the cause of the bad breath then tackle the problem from there.