Clean Vs Dirty Keto

If you are just starting the ketogenic diet then clean/dirty keto are two terms you may have heard about. But how do they differ and which style is right for you? This blog will go through the key elements of both versions and some benefits and negatives of following them. 

Clean Vs Dirty Keto


What's the difference between Clean and Dirty Keto?

In short, the clean keto diet mainly consists of whole, nutrient dense foods such as grass-fed beef, olive oil, free range eggs, fresh seafood and non-starchy vegetables. Where as dirty keto has more processed/packaged foods and ingredients.

Dirty Keto 

People who follow 'dirty' keto (aka lazy keto) suggest that the macronutrients are more important than the foods themselves. Therefore, as long as you are sticking to your target of low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein, you can eat whatever you want. Although this is correct to achieve ketosis, you aren't receiving the overall benefits of following the keto diet and may only see weight loss as your main result. Many will see this as the main goal of the keto diet and be satisfied. However, the high levels of sweeteners used in these products can spike your blood sugar levels and kick you back out of ketosis. Along with this they are usually calorie dense so you may find yourself struggling to loose weight due to a high calorie intake. 

What Foods/Ingredients are considered Dirty Keto?

  • Processed oils: Canola oil, vegetable oil and partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats - these are often found in fast food and pre packaged food. 
  • Processed meats: Bacon, hot dogs , deli meats - often high sodium factory-farmed meats. 

  • Diet soft drinks - high quantities of sweetners used 

  • Excessive factory-farmed dairy

  • Fast food  

Clean Keto 

As mentioned earlier clean keto is much more focused on the food you are eating and not just the macros. This then means people following a clean keto diet have a much higher intake of vitamins, minerals and fibre and are therefore more likely to avoid health issues and keto flu symptoms. This is then why following a clean keto diet can give you other health benefits such as, reduced blood sugar levels and a lower risk of certain cancers, compared to just loosing weight.   

What Foods/Ingredients are considered Clean Keto? 

  • Healthy fats: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, MCT oil
  • Low-starch vegetables: Zucchini, cauliflower, green beans, etc.
  • Berries: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries (all in moderation)
  • High fat protein sources: grass-fed beef, chicken thighs, salmon and tuna (or for vegetarians and vegans: Tofu, nuts, pulses, nut butters, etc.)
  • Beverages: Water, Green tea, Coffee, Protein shakes, milk alternatives and vegetable juice. 

NB - bulletproof keto coffees are a great beverage to boost fat content in the diet. 

Coconut oil

Why do people eat dirty keto?

When following a clean keto diet you have a much higher intake of vitamins and minerals making you and your body feel better and have more energy. You even have less cravings of high carb foods due to the lack of sweetners in the diet not spiking your blood sugar levels. So why do people eat dirty keto? Often foods and ingredients in dirty keto are cheaper, require less preparation and the less restrictive style allows for more dining out. For some this can make dirty keto the only option due to their busy lifestyle. 

However, eating clean doesn't always have to mean that you spend all your time prepping meals and buying expensive ingredients. Simple changes and carefully chosen prepackaged foods can help you on your clean keto journey. Our Nespresso compatible Keto coffee pods provide high quality, clean ingredients - coffee and MCT oil - in an convieninet coffee pod. With our pods, a bulletproof coffee can be made at the push of a button and help start your day in the right way. 

Bulletproof Coffee


 By Alex Warmisham ANutr - Nutritionist at Rejuvenation Water 




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