The ketogenic (Keto) diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. Due to its rapid effects on losing weight, it is one of the methods that has become fashionable in recent years.
Dirty and clean Keto are two terms that refer to two ways or types of this diet, but it is not always clear what their differences are.
This article details the main differences between clean Keto and dirty Keto.
What is clean Keto?
Clean Keto is the type of keto diet where nutrient-dense foods are included.
In particular, clean Keto emphasizes the quality of fats and ensures a correct supply of vitamins, minerals, and vegetable fiber.
In a clean keto or clean Keto, foods of natural origin are mainly consumed: avocado, nuts, vegetable oils, and proteins of high biological value. Low-quality fat and ultra-processed foods are restricted.
Why Keto clean? For a beginner on the ketogenic diet, it is essential to know that most carbohydrate foods are off-limits. This includes fruits, vegetables, and grains, all food groups high in vitamins and minerals.
By avoiding these food groups, you risk lacking essential nutrients. Finding foods that contain them is the foundation of a clean Keto.
While the ratio of macros, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is always the same, doing clean Keto consumes more nutritious foods. This is the best way to minimize the potential side effects of the ketogenic diet.
Later we will detail what the foods allowed in clean Keto are.
What is dirty Keto?
Dirty Keto is the keto diet where processed foods, red meat, and cold cuts predominate.
With dirty Keto, you can also get into ketosis, but a lack of certain nutrients is likely to occur, and your harmful cholesterol levels increase.
Although dirty Keto is still considered a very low-carb, high-fat diet, it can be low in some nutrients.
When a person eats more processed foods, cold cuts, meats, bacon, pork rinds, and other packaged foods, they risk increased heart disease and cancer. (2.3)
This is the main reason to avoid dirty Keto.
By choosing processed foods over natural, whole foods, there may be a lack of micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins C, A, D, and K.
Main differences between clean Keto and dirty Keto
The main differences between clean and dirty Keto lie not in quantity but the food quality.
While the clean keto diet focuses on nutritious, high-fat, whole foods with the occasional processed food now and then, the dirty keto version allows for large amounts of processed foods.
For example, on dirty Keto, you could have a cheeseburger with cheddar cheese and eggs, while on clean Keto, it would be a guacamole salad with vegetable oil and a fish fillet.
The diet includes low carbohydrate vegetables and fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, spinach, and kale in clean Keto, while those who use dirty Keto eat neither fruits nor vegetables.
Foods allowed in clean Keto
All naturally sourced low-carb foods are allowed in clean Keto. Green foods low in carbohydrates should be part of every day. The foods allowed in pure Keto are described below:
Protein sources should be mainly bank meats, eggs, and vegetable proteins. Examples of clean keto protein foods are salmon, tuna, eggs, white cheeses, chicken, seafood, Greek yogurt, mushrooms, seitan, and soy protein. Red meat is allowed in low quantities.
Vegetables can be part of the clean Keto; make sure they are low in carbs. And that your net carbohydrates for the day do not exceed 50 g. Examples of vegetables allowed in clean Keto are bell peppers, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, spinach, kale, celery, and cabbage.
Low-carb fruits are also allowed on clean Keto. Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and moderate servings of some citrus fruits like kiwi are also allowed. In addition, some plant milk, such as coconut milk, is also allowed.
- Fats and oils
Healthy vegetable oils like olive oil, coconut oil, chia oil, nuts, avocados, and seeds should be the primary food source in clean Keto. If you have the option of getting MCT oil, it is also a good idea.
The ketogenic diet is a deficient carbohydrate diet effective for weight loss.
While both clean and dirty Keto can help your body burn fat, they can impact your health differently.
The main differences are that in clean Keto, mainly natural and nutritious foods predominate, while in dirty Keto, a large amount is allowed for processed foods.