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How to cure keto breath (Hint: breath mints)

by Mark Miller 3 min read

Keto diet

So you're on a keto diet, and you're losing weight and eating some great-tasting foods. But your partner tells you that you have a problem: bad breath.

Yes, the low carbohydrate, high-fat, moderate protein diet that can help you burn body fat can also cause metallic breath.

Your breath odor may not be as funky as regular halitosis, but there probably aren't many people who want to smell like nail polish remover.

What is the keto diet?

On the keto diet, you try to achieve something called ketosis, a state where your body burns fat stores instead of the carbohydrates it would normally burn for energy if you were eating carbs.

The body takes energy from protein, fat and carbs.

Dr. Oz explains the Ketogenic Diet.

Since you stop eating carbs on the keto deit, the body turns to its fat stores to burn energy. The people who designed the ketogenic diet know that the human body first breaks down carbs or glucose, then fat.

You need to eat about 70 percent high-quality fat foods, 20 percent protein, and 10 percent carbohydrates. This may not be sustainable over the long term, but it can help you lose weight in the short term.

Foods you eat include nuts, fish, cheese, eggs, vegetables, and olive oil. Avoid most fruits.

Why do you get bad breath on keto?

The body converts fatty acids into ketones. These natural chemicals are produced when you metabolize fat. The chemicals include acetone, acetoacetate, and hydroxybutyrate.

When you breathe, the body releases some of these chemicals from your mouth, resulting in the nail polish odor. You may notice the odor when you urinate, too, as the ketones are released in urine.

Not everyone gets keto breath, but if you do experience it, it means you may be in a state of ketosis, that is, your body is burning fat stores. At least you know your diet is working.

The good news is the keto breath should go away in a few weeks when your body adjusts to the new diet. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to reduce keto breath.

Here's what do do if you get keto breath

Healthline has some tips if you get a strong chemical odor to your breath from ketosis [1]:

  • Remember when we said you also urinate ketones on the keto diet? One trick is to drink plenty of water so the ketones get flushed when your urinate. Drink water as the day progresses. The water will improve your breath, as will the ketones flushing when you pee. Getting plenty of water can also help you lose weight.
  • You might have to eat less protein because it can make bad breath worse. When the body metabolizes protein, ammonia is produced. Ammonia, which also has a strong odor, also gets eliminated in your breathing and when you urinate. Instead, eat healthful fats in foods like nuts, olive oil, and avocados. If you get enough of these instead of proteins, you may not need to go off the diet.

  • Bad dental hygiene can exacerbate bad breath of the regular variety. Brush your teeth after meals and floss them at least once a day to eliminate the possibility of bacteria forming. Brushing won't necessarily totally eliminate keto breath, but it may help.
  • Another trick is to suck breath mints.Try someViter Energy Mints [2].

    The mints have 40 mg of caffeine, are sugar-free (and carbohydrate-free), and freshen the breath. Plus they contain invigorating B vitamins.Buy Viter Energy Mints at the link above or on ourAmazon.com page [3]. (See our blog on the benefits of peppermint [4].)

  • If your breath gets really bad, trying taking in some carbohydrates, at least temporarily. Do not take too many carbs because you want to remain in ketosis. Go from 15 grams of carbs to 20, for example. Use a ketone breath analyzer to see if you're still in ketosis.


Some people might be willing to put up with keto breath if it meant they could lose some weight and fat. It's up to you, a personal decision, but just follow our steps above and you very well may get the benefits of the keto diet without the keto breath.


[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/keto-breath#how-long-it-lasts

[2] https://www.goviter.com/collections/viter-energy-mints

[3] https://amzn.to/3jb7Gwg

[4] https://www.goviter.com/blogs/viter-energy-blog/peppermint-benefits

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