Does The Keto Diet Really Give You Bad Breath?

The keto diet promises many things, including weight loss, more energy, and the mourning over the loss of a giant bowl of pasta for dinner, to name a few. And while there have been many people to share their keto diet success stories, the tales of some of the diet's more uncomfortable side effects are less advertised. 

And we understand why. Nobody wants to overshadow their weight loss triumph with the admission of bad breath. That's why we are here to set the record straight. Though it is temporary (thank the dieting gods), the keto diet has been known to cause some pretty stinky breath, also known as 'keto breath,' claims VeryWell Fit. Here's what that is.

Cynthia Sass, RD, explains to Health that keto breath can smell like nail polish remover and leave a metallic taste in your mouth. "One type of ketone, acetone, is an ingredient in some nail polish removers," she says. "Which is why your breath may smell like this familiar scent."

You also risk having your breath smell like rotting apples or ammonia

And it's not just salon-scented breath that you might experience. According to VeryWell Health, your slightly off-scented exasperated sigh can change in smells according to which byproducts of protein and fat metabolism are created. If it is excess protein metabolism, then your breath could resemble the scent of ammonia. And if it is acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate, then the smell could be likely related to the aroma of bruised or rotting apples.

None of these odors are ideal, but luckily, the bad breath is a sign your body has kicked into a state of ketosis and the diet is working, explains Health. This means you are now burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

Before you are permanently dissuaded from trying this diet plan for fear your breath will smell disgusting, know that it is only temporary. "It's more noticeable at first because of the big shift the body is going through," Sass shares with Health, saying further that your breath should return to normal after a few weeks. And luckily, there are treatments. Medical News Today recommends drinking more water, increasing the amount of carbs you are consuming, and good oral hygiene.