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Bad Breath and Your Diet

Low-carb diets may help you shed pounds and improve the look and feel of your skin and hair, but if you’re experiencing bad breath while on a low-carb diet, your body is probably giving you a signal that carbs are not the enemy.

You may be aware of the connection between diet and breath odor. But do you know the science behind the smell? Some of today's most common diet plans include low carbohydrate intake. Unfortunately, the high-protein, low-carb diet craze may cause bad breath. This is "low-carb oral malodor", aka LCOM refers to the bad breath that comes with a low-carb diet.

Low-carb diets such as Atkins, South Beach, and even Paleo are appealing for weight loss.  These diets restrict or even exclude carbs from your diet. Low-carb weight-loss diets can also be unhealthy. The body cannot metabolize fat for fuel without enough carbohydrates. Instead, it converts fats to ketones. Firstly, let's understand why this happens. When you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body enters a state of ketosis.

This is the metabolic state wherein, instead of using glucose for energy (derived from carbohydrates), your body starts burning stored fats. As your body breaks down fats, it produces ketones released in your breath and urine. Acetone, a type of ketone, is primarily responsible for the distinctive smell that can sometimes be likened to overly ripe fruit or even nail polish remover. When this happens, your mouth can develop a foul odor.  

However, fret not! This side effect should not deter you from pursuing a healthy lifestyle. There are several ways you can tackle this issue while sticking to your diet:

Hydration: Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Not only will this help flush out toxins from your body, but it can also help reduce bad breath.

Oral hygiene: Regular brushing and flossing are a must. Consider also using a tongue scraper to remove bacteria and food particles that brushing alone may miss.

Mints and gum: Sugar-free mints and gum can help mask bad breath and stimulate saliva production, which naturally helps clean your mouth.

Food choices: Some food choices within the diet can help. For instance, leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables are low in carbs but can freshen your breath.

Breath fresheners: Over-the-counter breath fresheners can help mask the smell temporarily. However, this isn't a long-term solution and should be combined with the abovementioned methods.

The right amount of carbohydrates will help maintain a healthy weight over time. Foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans, are the secret to losing weight.

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Final Thoughts

Diet plays an important role in the battle against bad breath. Making smart food choices combined with good oral hygiene is the best way to combat bad breath. The best way to fight bad breath is with a well-balanced diet with good oral hygiene. When it comes to fighting bad breath, making smart food choices will help a lot.

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