How to Combat Bad Breath while Dieting

how to combat bad breath from dietingNobody wants bad breath.  Bad breath can be embarrassing and problematic–especially if you have a social occupation!  So what do you do about the bad breath that often accompanies dieting?

First of all, it helps to understand what causes your bad breath.  When dieting, bad breath is normally caused by the metabolic state of ketosis, in which the body burns fat more efficiently. Ketones are released during this metabolic process into the urine and the saliva. The good news is that if you have bad breath while dieting, you are probably doing a good job sticking to your diet and losing weight.  The bad news is that bad breath caused by these ketones gives breath a heavy fruity or acidic odor–not good for those of us who like to carry on a conversation.    Also, increased acid in the stomach that is not buffered by food can also add to the unpleasant breath odor.

So, what do  you do about bad breath while dieting?  Keep in mind that this is not an oral hygiene problem.  No amount of brushing or flossing will help bad breath caused from dieting.  So, we must address the source of the problem.   If the bad breath is caused by the ketones released while burning fat, one of the most effective ways to treat this is to dilute your saliva by drinking lots of water.  You may also try munching on parsley or other pleasant spices like cloves.   If your bad breath is caused by extra stomach acid, then you may find success in eating foods that are more alkaline.  Alkaline food can help neutralize the amount of acid in your stomach.  Additionally, eating Tums can help neutralize the odors and supply you with extra calcium.  Finally, chewing digestive gum will aid in proper digestion of your food and ward off odors caused by indigestion.

In summary, here are some tips to combad bad breath while dieting:

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Munch on parsley or cloves.
  • Eat alkaline foods such as milk, beans, lentils, kale, celery, and tofu
  • Chew digestive gum


-MD Diet Staff

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