Dirty Keto vs Clean Keto – What is the Difference and Which One’s Better

The keto diet has two approaches you can take: neat and clean or messy and dirty.

Fresh is the best – source

Both of these have their pros and cons, but there is definitely a right choice if you want the maximum benefits from a keto diet.

Different Between Dirty Keto and Clean Keto

There are many foods you can eat when on a keto diet.

But there are two ways to go about keto, dirty or clean. Keto is simple with both, when you know what to avoid that can kick you out of keto too.

So what’s the difference?

Dirty keto is less wholesome and more processed. This is a busy person’s keto.

The idea is that as long as you hit your macros for keto, you can eat anything.

This includes any quality of meat, diet drinks, and processed foods. While you may be able to get into a state of ketosis this way, the health benefits are not as high as clean keto.

Clean keto focuses on whole, natural foods. Ideally, this would be organic or sustainably raised.

A bit more costly, but a lot healthier. It requires more home cooking and meal prep, hence more time, but it is very nutritionally dense.

Each meal provides max nutrition for the body.

Dirty keto is popular because it’s fast and cheap.

Processed snack bars, drinks, meals, etc., are options in dirty keto. Even if these products are keto, they are made with a variety of additives, preservatives, and low-quality ingredients.

Meat with additional additives (such as nitrates, benzoates, and regular salt) can contribute to inflammation and nutritional deficiencies.

The Burger Example

If you take just the bun from a fast food place and eat that, you may consume the right amount of fat and protein for a meal, hitting your keto requirements, but it is not nutritionally dense.

The oil used to make it is potentially overused, burnt, and oxidized. The meat is probably full of chemicals and preservatives.

The cheese itself may contain dyes and additives as well. It is overall not a nutritious meal.

If, instead, you make your own beef patty, grass-fed (with grass-fed beef containing more omega 3 and linoleic acid, which is protective against cancer, obesity, and diabetes).

This paired with frying it in avocado oil (full of antioxidants) and adding a slice of homemade low-carb bread makes this meal highly preferable and nutrient-rich.

Finding a Balance

A homemade beef patty is not accessible to everyone, whether it’s due to price or time.

A combination of dirty and clean keto can make life much easier. Splurge for grass-fed beef but don’t buy organic vegetables this week.

Eat out less, and take time once a week to meal prep.

With either, make sure to watch out for hidden sugars, as an excess of this ingredient can kick you out of keto, and lower wellbeing.

Remember, foods are the building blocks your body uses to stay well. What you spend now can save you the trip to the hospital in the future. It pays to invest in your health.

The Takeaway

Try to eat a clean keto diet whenever possible.

The benefits of keto (such as lowering inflammation) are reduced when you eat processed foods with harmful ingredients.

Make sure to listen to your body and do what feels right. Every person’s body is an ecosystem we must maintain and care for.

Eating a clean keto diet will have immense benefits on your health, especially for your microbiota.

This can even lead to mental wellbeing as microbiota health and mental health are closely linked.

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