Clean Keto vs Dirty Keto Compared – Making The Right Choice

(Last Updated On: November 12, 2018)

The Keto diet is one of the newest dieting trends. There have been some changes as the diet has developed which has to lead to an overall improvement with some of the practices, which means that you are getting one of the best versions of the keto diet if you are starting today. The modifications in some cases add apple cider vinegar and intermittent fasting, which both help you to be able to get into ketosis quicker.

Today there is a new offshoot of the keto diet that is called the “dirty” keto. This is one of the most interesting versions of the diet. First, you should know that the keto diet stands for ketogenic. It is high fat, high protein diet in which you force the body to burn excess fat at a quicker pace. It was originally developed for children who were suffering from epilepsy but has since taken the dieting and fitness world by storm.

Understanding Clean Keto and Dirty Keto

Keto is all about reducing your intake of carbs. In both clean keto and dirty keto, you are going to strive to eat a very small amount of carbs and for very little of your daily caloric intake to come from carbs. While you are reducing carbs, you are increasing the fats in your diet. This actually trains the body to burn fat for energy. This helps to reduce the amount of body fat that you have which ultimately leads to weight loss.

Dirty keto is less specific about where you can get fat from. In fact, you can have fast food and get your fats from highly processed foods and still be on the dirty keto diet. Clean keto focuses more on whole foods and natural food sources for your fats and other caloric needs. Someone eating dirty keto might choose cheese dip and pork rinds, while someone eating clean keto is more likely to snack on avocados and raw nuts.

Clean keto gives you a list of approved keto-friendly vegetables that are valuable sources of fiber for your body. Dirty keto seems not to care if you are consuming vegetables and whether or not those are offering the fiber that your body needs.

types of keto diets

Different Types of Ketogenic Diets

One thing to remember is that there are actually more types of keto than just clean and dirty. In fact, there is the SKD (Standard Ketogenic Diet), CKD (Cyclical Ketogenic Diet), TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet), and the High-Protein Ketogenic Diet. Each one could be adapted to a clean keto or dirty keto style.

  • SKD — Standard Ketogenic Diet — The standard keto diet is a combination of high-fat, low-carb, and moderate-protein consumption. Typically 75% of the calories come from fat, 20% from protein, and just 5% from carbs.
  • CKD — Cyclical Ketogenic Diet — This diet changes and goes through a cycle. You follow five days of strict ketogenic dieting with two days of higher carb foods. Then you simply repeat and follow this cycle. A lot of people find it beneficial to be able to go out and behave as they normally would have over the weekends while eating everything that they should Monday through Friday.
  • TKD — Targeted Ketogenic Diet — The targeted ketogenic diet allows for extra carbs on days where you are going to work out.
  • High-Protein Ketogenic Diet — The targeted ketogenic diet has more protein than the standard ketogenic diet. This diet follows a ration of 60% of calories from fats, 35% from proteins, and 5% from carbs.

Clean Keto

The keto diet is understandably one of the more frustrating and confusing diets that are out there today. It is a trendy diet because you get to eat high fat which makes you feel less deprived and hungry, but overall it is not a diet that most people fully understand or have grasped the concept of. When you are on the ketogenic diet, you will be forcing your liver to produce additional ketones which then allows for you to use fat as energy. You might have heard the ketogenic diet called a few distinct but different names including the low carb diet and low carb high fat (LCHF) diet.

Understanding the science the behind this diet is important to your overall success. When you eat a lot of carbs in your routine diet, your body begins producing additional insulin and glucose. The process to produce insulin is basically done to counteract high levels of glucose that is in the bloodstream. Glucose is very easy for the body to break down and use as energy and it is the body’s natural chosen source of energy because of this fact. When glucose is being used as the main form of energy, you will find that your body stores fats when they are not used. This is what causes you to gain weight. By putting your body into ketosis, your body will stop fueling itself with glucose and will instead fuel itself with fat.

The ultimate goal of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into ketosis so that the liver can break down the fat to fuel itself. When you do this right, you are going to find that you do not have to starve any longer to lose weight. In fact, you can eat as much as you want to and still lose weight in most cases.

clean keto diet

Clean Keto — About the Diet

The clean keto diet is also known as just the keto diet. This is the original keto diet, and it focuses on improving health and living a healthy lifestyle. The first thing that you should understand is that it can take different amounts of time for the body to enter ketosis. Depending on the diet you were eating before the keto diet and other factors like your overall health, you might find that there is a lengthy adjustment period before you start to see the results of burning fat for energy.

If you would like to reach ketosis the quickest way possible, then it is imperative that you restrict your carbohydrates. Eating less than fifteen grams of carbohydrates is what you will have to do. In addition to drastically limiting your carbohydrate intake, you want to make sure that you are getting the carbs from the right sources.

Clean Keto Tips for Success

Eating a new diet is hard in the beginning for everyone. Even if you are starting a new lifestyle due to health reasons, you might find that it is nearly impossible to feel as though you are going to be successful. Don’t worry, sit back, relax, and get ready to rock your new keto lifestyle with some of these helpful tips to keep you on the path to success.

5 Easy Tips for Success with Clean Keto Eating

  • Know What to Focus On — One of the biggest misconceptions of people who are starting any diet is that they always have to focus on the same things. While calories do matter with keto, you are not going to have to focus on them as much as you would with other diets.
  • Stay Away From the Foods That are Not Allowed — There is an extensive list of foods that are not allowed, but basically, you are avoiding all carbs. Stick to this or you are not going to have success and you will likely have weight gain because of the excess fat that you are eating.
  • Learn How to Track Macros — Being able to track your macros is one of the best tips for success on the ketogenic diet. There are some different programs that you can use to learn how to track macros, or you can simply download an app to your tablet or phone.
  • Don’t Get Stuck in a Food Rut — If you are always eating and doing the same things that you did before, you are going to be more likely to get stuck in a rut. If you choose to explore new places and change up your food environment by not having processed foods in your home, then you will be more successful.
  • Seek Support From Others Who Are On The Keto Diet — One of the most significant resources that you will have is support from friends, family members, and acquaintances that eat keto as well. Basically, you can exchange recipes, discuss options, and even discover more knowledge about the diet or the processes by talking with others.

You can be successful with keto. Everyone can be successful with keto. To have the best chances at success, you just need to apply yourself and find the tips and tricks that allow you to maintain your clean keto lifestyle.

Clean Keto Allowed Foods

Eating any new diet can be challenging. Learning what foods you can and cannot have is something that can be overwhelming. We are trying to take the guesswork out of the keto diet for you by offering you some help with understanding the foods that are allowed and not allowed.

What To Eat

  • Fish
  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Pork
  • Other Meats
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Other Leafy Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Other Above Ground Vegetables
  • Hard Cheese
  • High-Fat Cream
  • Butter
  • Other High Fat Dairy
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Other Nuts and Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Other Low Glycemic Berries
  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Monk Fruit
  • Other Low Carb Natural Sweeteners
  • Coconut Oil
  • Fish Oil
  • High Fat Salad Dressing
  • Saturated Fats
  • Other Fats

Obviously, this is not a complete list of what you can eat, but it does give you a really good idea about the types of foods that you should be eating and how these goods are classified for their nutritional content.

Clean Keto Foods That Are Not Allowed

Of course, you should also know what foods are not allowed when you are eating clean keto. This is important so that you can make sure that you are sticking to the plan in order to get the maximum results.

What Not to Eat

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Cereal
  • Bread
  • Other Grains
  • Honey
  • Agave
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Other Sugars
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Other Fruits
  • Potato
  • Yams
  • Other Tubers

While this list is pretty extensive, you will find over time that your body gets to the point that it no longer likes to have these foods. If you slip up and eat something on the what not to eat list, you are likely going not to feel well and slip out of ketosis.

Convenience Foods for Clean Keto

Snacking and packing foods when you are on the go is one of the biggest challenges with any diet plan. Eating keto is no different, but don’t worry. There are easy to pack snacks that are convenient that you can take advantage of to keep yourself on track.

keto foods on the go

20 of the Best Keto Foods on the Go

  1. Pork Rinds (pro tip — homemade if you are eating clean keto!)
  2. Salted Nuts (pro tip — be sure to check the label and ensure that there are no added carbs)
  3. Hemp Seeds
  4. Cacao Nibs
  5. Nut Butter
  6. Canned Sardines
  7. Homemade Healthy Trail Mix
  8. Cherry Tomatoes
  9. Pickles
  10. Dark Chocolate (pro tip — higher cocoa content and lowest sugar is your best option)
  11. Salami Sticks
  12. Protein Shakes (pro tip — watch the sugar and make sure that you pick a keto friendly one)
  13. Veggie Sticks (pro tip — just be sure that they are keto approved veggies)
  14. Jerky Sticks
  15. String Cheese
  16. Protein Bars (pro tip — watch the sugar on these and choose bars that are approved for ketogenic diets)
  17. Hard Boiled Eggs
  18. Sausage Rolls
  19. Homemade Fat Bombs
  20. Olives

What You Can Expect with Clean Keto

When you are eating clean, you are ultimately going to feel great. Adopting a clean keto way of eating is not only going to push your body into ketosis for losing weight but will also help you to rid the harmful toxins that are in your body. Clean keto is an excellent way of life for many people, but if you are just considering it, you might want to know exactly what eating a clean keto diet can do for you.

  • You will feel it — You might not understand this first one yet, but eventually, you will feel it. After you have been eating keto for a while, even one small amount of sugar is going to leave you feeling bloated, tired, and all around cruddy.
  • Reduce your risk of cancer — When you eat keto, your risk of cancer is lowered.
  • Expect to lose weight — People lose weight quickly once their body is in ketosis. The big thing with that is to make sure that you do not get out of ketosis for too long or you risk gaining back the weight and even gaining additional weight.

You are going to have energy and feel great once your body goes into ketosis. It can be hard but you will find success, and you will do a great job.

Pros

  • Reduces insulin levels
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Leads to weight loss
  • Eating more fat in your diet
  • Detox from sugar quickly and easily

Cons

  • Hard to follow
  • A challenge to eat healthy fats vs. unhealthy fats
  • Long-term weight loss is not proven
  • Not enough fiber in your diet

clean keto diet result

Thoughts About Clean Keto

The keto diet is a popular choice today. Sometimes when things are trending, it might make you question the overall health factors and if those things are actually going to help you to live a better and healthier life. With keto, you no longer have to worry about this because you are going to be healthier.

There is a wide range of benefits that will come from eating a keto diet. They include:

  • Being able to lose weight — Many people who have struggled to lose weight, find that the weight seems to fall off once they are eating a ketogenic diet.
  • An increased energy level —  Once you get through the initial phase and your body starts processing ketones completely, you are going to find that you have more energy than you did before.
  • Helps to control blood sugar — The keto diet can help you to control your blood sugar levels. If you are a pre-diabetic or if you have type II diabetes, you can find numerous benefits by changing to a ketogenic lifestyle.
  • Gaining mental focus — You will be able to think more clearly, and some people even swear that eating ketogenic helps them with disorders like ADHD and ADD. Studies are now showing that fatty acids are necessary for the brain to operate and function completely.
  • No hunger pains — If you have ever felt like you were starving and thought of nothing but food when you are on a diet, you know how freeing it can be when you are eating in a way that makes you feel full. Keto never leaves you wanting more food and helps you to feel full for longer.
  • Treating epilepsy — Children and adults who have epilepsy are able to get some relief and an improvement in symptoms by eating the keto diet.
  • A decrease in cholesterol — While it might be surprised that you can have a lowering in cholesterol while eating high-fat foods, it is what happens when you eat keto. Your body actually improves its cholesterol as you increase the healthy or HDL cholesterol and reduce the amount of unhealthy or LDL cholesterol.
  • Healthy insulin ranges — Your body is going to have healthier insulin ranges when you are eating keto. This reduces your chance of developing type II diabetes.
  • No more breakouts — Your skin is going to look and feel better as well. If you suffer from acne, one of the most amazing benefits that you are going to have is that you will see a reduction in the appearance and occurrence of acne.

With so many benefits, it is clear that the ketogenic diet can be a healthy way to lose weight and improve your health without having to work too hard. So many people feel like they cannot be successful in weight loss and this is one of those diets that will allow for you to find success, no matter who you are.

Dirty Keto

The latest of the dieting trends that have been associated with the ketogenic diet is dirty keto. This new trend is quickly taking the world by storm because it is simply easier than the original ketogenic diet.

dirty keto diet

Dirty Keto — About the Diet

The dirty keto diet is the newest and trendiest version of the ketogenic diet. It focuses on the same overall principles as the original or clean keto diet. However, it has a stronger emphasis on the macronutrients that you need. This is where you figure out how to obtain the calories that you are eating. You will want a diet that is high in fat where 60-75% of the calories in the diet come from fat. Your additional dieting needs will be met with 5-10% of your caloric intake coming from carbs and 15-30% coming from protein.

The true origination of dirty keto is not really trackable. I looked and tried to discover it, but I could not find anything. It appeared to have been developed by people who were dedicated to the lifestyle of living keto and looking for alternatives to make their lives a little easier while still achieving maximum results.

Dirty Keto Tips for Success

Dirty keto is a little less disciplined than clean keto. You can still use all of the tips that you can use for success with clean keto, but you have some additional tips that will help you as well.

5 Tips for Success with Dirty Keto

  • Use the Right Meal Plan — One of the hardest things about the dirty keto lifestyle is knowing when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat. If you have the right meal plan then it is going to do all of the work for you. A good rule of thumb is to find one that outlines the meals that you should be eating and gives you specific choices so that you do not have to think about it at all.
  • Stick to the Plan Before Modifying the Plan — Even if you are not seeing immediate results in the beginning, stick to the plan and give it a few weeks or even a month’s time to see if you can have the ultimate results that you are looking for.
  • Make a Plan and Don’t Go Crazy with Purchases — Sure, we all want to find a plan that is going to work for us and one that is going to be easy too. So, you might be tempted to purchase a bunch of materials. If you can take just a little bit of time and conduct a full internet search, you will be able to find most of what you want without struggling to afford everything that you want. Just make one plan and stick to that one plan. This is what will help you see the most success.
  • Try to Get the Bulk of Your Calories from Homemade Foods — Even if you are happily eating the dirty keto version that allows for you to eat out and pick up more processed foods, make sure that you are cautious and that you are still getting the majority of your calories from meals that you are at least partially preparing. This will really help to benefit your overall health.
  • Understand the Concerns and Prepare for the Keto Flu — In the beginning, when you are pushing your body to change and accept a new diet, it is important that you are well prepared for the effects that this is going to have on how you feel. Preparing for the keto flu can make the entire process easier.

Dirty Keto Allowed Foods

Dirty keto features a lot more processed food than clean keto. One of the favorite approved foods of dirty keto is cheese, and another popular choice is pork rinds.

What You Can Expect with Dirty Keto

You can expect to lose weight with the dirty keto diet. You could eat sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches (without the bread product) from a fast food restaurant, and cheeseburgers (without the bun) and ice cream for dinner and you would still lose weight when on the dirty keto diet.

Your body is going to be put into the ketosis state. This is the process by which your body is going to use fat for energy instead of using sugars. It will lead to incredible weight loss because your body is literally going to burn the fat first. While you might think that this gives you a free for all, you are wrong. In fact, most people who eat dirty keto should be eating between 1800 and 2400 calories per day. This is the maintenance standard. If you want to lose weight, simply subtract 500 calories off of these totals, and you will be at a great caloric intake to maximize weight loss.

Many people believe that dirty keto simply promotes weight loss and not good health. So, whether or not this is a healthy lifestyle for long-term periods is unknown at this time. Chances are that eating dirty keto for an extended period of time could actually be damaging to your health. Most people think that it is an option for a temporary fix, but overall it is not a good choice for those who are trying to make long-term lifestyle changes or for those who actually care about being able to get healthy.

Pros

  • You can eat fat
  • You can lose weight quickly
  • The keto diet reduces the insulin levels in the body
  • Reducing carbs can be good for your overall health

Cons

  • Too many processed foods can be harmful to your health
  • It is hard to cut all of the carbs from your diet
  • You could have digestive issues
  • You will gain weight back quickly if you stop eating keto
  • Since you’re not allowed to eat fruit, dairy, grains or legumes, you miss out on essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients

dirty keto thoughts

Thoughts About Dirty Keto

Dirty keto overall seems to be a diet that is really not that healthy. You are going to be eating a lot of processed foods with dirty keto. We all know that processed foods are not as healthy as natural foods and that they can cause long-term health problems like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. There is a chance that you would still have these issues and problems, but appear to be in better shape as you are still going to lose weight with dirty keto.

Choosing processed foods does not add much nutritional value to your diet. You might even experience the dreaded keto flu as your body adjusts. This is far more common with dirty keto than it is with clean keto. Instead of adding these highly processed foods to your diet, you can actually gain greater benefits with clean keto because of the addition of vegetables and healthy fats rather than unhealthy processed fats.

Some Helpful Tips for Those Who Decide that Keto is for Them

If you have decided that you want to eat keto, some things can help you stay on track and get the most out of your diet. Here are these tips for a successful ketogenic diet and keeping your body in ketosis even when you are on the go.

Dining Out with Keto

The biggest challenge that you will face with clean keto is dining out. There are some suggestions that will keep you on the path to clean keto.

  • Ban Fast Food — I know that this one is a true struggle and really hard because fast food is convenient food. However, if you are trying to eat clean unless you are going to a specific chain that is known for clean foods (Jason’s Deli, Chipotle, Noodles, and Company — the protein bowls only, or Core Life Eatery) you are probably going to end up eating something that you should not.
  • Say No to Buns and Bread — No matter what you are eating or where you are at, just skip over the processed bread products. Do not eat bread, tortillas, or buns…just say “no!”
  • Do Not Get Potatoes or Rice — Many times with dining out, you will notice that your meal is accompanied with some type of starch. Say no to starches like potatoes and rice. Most of the time you can substitute either a salad or keto-approved vegetable for no additional cost. This will cost a slight amount of money at some restaurants.
  • Remember Not All Sauces Are Ok — Be especially careful when sauces and toppings are concerned.
  • Get Healthy with Your Fats — You can ask the restaurant to provide you with additional fats to help boost your fat intake. Ask for melted butter to drizzle over meats and vegetables. Load up that potato. You can even top your meat with avocado slices, mayonnaise, or guacamole.
  • Forget Dessert — Sadly with keto, there is no eating of dessert. Traditional restaurants load up desserts with tons of processed foods and sugars. It is just not worth the indulgence when you know that it will cause you to blow your diet.
  • Get Creative — Choosing the same thing every time will get boring and will cause you to end up eating things that you should not. Study menus before going to restaurants and come up with keto approved options before you go.
  • Make Special Requests — There are even some special requests that you can make which will offer you keto options without any problems.

Sample Orders When Dining Out and Eating Keto

Mexican

mexican fajitas keto diet

Fajitas (substitute rice and beans with a salad and guacamole)

Italian

antipastro platter keto dietAntipasto Platter (hold the crackers/croutons), Salad (no crackers/croutons), Grilled Chicken, Steak or Fish with Steamed Vegetables

American

burgers keto diet

Burgers (hold the bun, no ketchup), Salad (instead of fries), Chicken Wings (no flour coating), Celery and Carrots and a Cup of Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing

Dips

keto diet dips

Look at the appetizer menu. Many of the dips can be eaten with celery and carrots, Salads, Wings (as long as they are not coated in flour)

Seafood

seafood keto diet

No Starchy Sides, substitute with steamed vegetables or roasted vegetables and a side of melted butter

Japanese

Japanese Food Keto Diet

Hibachi (hold the rice, double ginger salad)

Sushi

sushi keto diet

Hand Roles (hold the rice), Sashimi

Thai

thai food keto diet

Coconut Soup (without tofu), Coconut Curries (hold the rice, no tofu), Larb, Satay (check for added sugar in sauce)

Overall Impression

Getting into ketosis is an admirable endeavor. It isn’t very easy and takes some real discipline. If accessing the benefits that come with being in ketosis offer is your goal, then sticking to a clean keto diet is your best bet. If you are simply trying to improve your diet and overall health, and you are currently not focusing on your diet at all, a dirty keto diet is a great way to start.

Be sure to do your due diligence and research which variation of this popular diet would be best for you at this time and to always keep your diet based on whole, fresh foods!

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