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Keto Diet, Ketosis and Keto breath!

Everything comes with a price, even diets -KK

Ketogenic Diet (or keto diet) is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet designed to help you achieve ketosis. 

What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that occurs when the body is forced to resort to burning fat stores as a source of energy due to depleted glucose stores (the main source of which are usually derived from carbohydrates). Healthy persons normally experience mild ketosis during periods of fasting, overnight or following strenuous exercise.

With the consumption of ketogenic diets becoming popular as part of weight-loss regimens all over, several theories on how ketogenic diets promote weight loss have been proposed including decreased food cravings due to the high-fat diet, reduction in the appetite stimulating hormones, promotion of fat loss secondary to low insulin levels and increased burning of calorie from fat conversion to produce energy.

Medically speaking!

Historically ketogenic diets have been prescribed to reduce epileptic seizures in children with difficult-to-treat epilepsy. This is possible because with little carbohydrate remaining in the diet and the liver converting fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. This ketone bodies pass into the brain to replace glucose as an energy source resulting in reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.

Around half of children and young people with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet.

Ketogenic diets have also been tested and used in closely monitored settings in diabetics, Alzheimer’s disease, polycystic ovary syndrome and cancer patients

Despite the various medical and weight loss benefits of ketogenic and other low-carb diets. One of the characteristic indications of ketosis is however the “keto breath”, call it an unwanted side effect if you like. Keto breath or odor is different from halitosis or the normal bad breath. It is more of a distinct metallic, fruity smelling, nail-polish remover-like, strong odor or taste in the mouth.

Why the Keto breath?
With the body breaking down fat to produce energy, fatty acids are converted into ketones, which are natural chemicals your body produces when you burn fat for energy. These include beta hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone (an ingredient of nail polish).

Though ketones are usually harmless and released from the body through exhalation and urination, your breath smelling like nail polish-remover in particular, as unpleasant as that may be is a good indicator of ketosis.

What to do?
A few things can probably help in reducing the bad odor, including practicing good oral hygiene, masking the odor with mints, increasing your water-intake, eating less protein or unfortunately, if it's really bad… just stopping the diet! 

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