Dirty vs. Clean Keto: All You Need to Know

by shelbymiller

With a clean, whole foods approach to keto, the benefits feel endless. After all, everyone can use more energy, better sleep, and a balanced mood. But, what about dirty keto? Does it offer the same benefits? All your questions are answered here with Dirty vs. Clean Keto: All You Need to Know.


Dirty Keto vs. Clean Keto

What’s the Difference Between Clean Keto and Dirty Keto?

With a quick Google search of “keto diet,” one will quickly discover that there are millions of resources out there. 139 million, to be exact. However, many of those searches may also include the word “dirty.” 

Although you wouldn’t expect to hear the word “dirty” in any sort of diet title, the dirty keto diet is rising in popularity and is taking the keto word by storm.   

Everyone has questions: What is it? Is it healthy? How is it different than a regular keto diet? Is it easier? 

So, here it is! Dirty vs Clean Keto: All You Need to Know.

keto food spread

The Scoop on Dirty vs. Clean.

The difference between the standard clean keto diet (we’ll call it CKD for short)  and the dirty keto diet (DKD) is that with the dirty version, pretty much anything goes if it’s labeled as low-carb and keto.

Where the CKD promotes eating clean, whole, nutrient-dense foods, the DKD allows for anything that’s low in carbs and fits into your allotted macros. 

But, just because something is keto, does that mean it’s healthy? Nope!

To see the sustainable, long-lasting benefits of the keto diet, eating clean, whole, nutrient-dense foods should be a priority. Here’s why.

gril at farmer's market

The Clean Keto Diet Explained

The clean keto diet focuses on not only consuming low-carb foods, but also going for real, whole, natural, organic options. Clean foods and ingredients are nutrient-dense, healthy, and sustainable for the long term.

When you eat a clean keto diet, you know what’s in your food. There’s no question surrounding whether your meat is filled with antibiotics and chemicals or whether your cheese was made with artificial coloring.

Everything is real. It’s whole. It is what it says it is and you can recognize every ingredient on the food label!

Whole food options are much better for your long term health, and they’re attributed to keto’s long list of health benefits. 

By feeding your body foods of the highest quality, you are providing the nutrients that it needs for all of its systems to function optimally.

On a clean keto diet, you enjoy high quality protein, healthy fats, and tons of organic low-starch veggies.

Check out our full Clean Keto Food List here.

The Dirt on Dirty Keto

Fast food, low-quality meats, processed snacks, diet sodas… these are all foods that the dirty keto diet says are a-okay! 

But, the DKD has its name for good reason.

These foods are in fact, very much “dirty.” 

Diet drinks are filled with artificial sweeteners, low-quality meat is factory-farmed and full of  antibiotics, hormones, and steroids, processed snacks are made with artificial ingredients and chemicals, and all of the above contain little to no nutritional value. 

say no to processed foods

Check Out This Recipe You Can Enjoy on Keto

So… Why All The Hype?

People don’t like complicated. They want things to be as easy as possible.

Many quit new ways of eating because they’re too complicated or hard to follow.

At the surface, dirty keto is appealing, because you can head to your local fast food restaurant and order a double burger with no bun and a large diet soda.

While technically this is low-carb, eating all these processed foods is not improving your health.

And at the end of the day, your health and wellness should be priority #1!

The Dirty Health Effects 

In the long run, a diet high in “dirty” keto foods can be quite detrimental on the body.

Since these foods are typically void of much nutrients, deficiencies could very likely pop up.

Also, the chemicals and additives in these foods can lead to chronic inflammation, leaky gut, a weakened immune system, and more. 

With dirty keto, don’t expect to see all of the benefits that keto has to offer.

Though you may lose a few pounds, without healthy, whole nutrients, you’re unlikely to see better sleep, better digestion, clearer skin, more energy, or any of the other keto benefits. 

It’s Time to Get Clean

Clean keto is sustainable and made for the long-term. It’s what works. 

Our Clean Keto Lifestyle philosophy is rooted in the ketogenic principles and designed to get you into and/or maintain ketosis, while at the same time filling your plate with whole foods.

That's right – nothing processed, no artificial ingredients, no chemical additives. 

In fact,  we have made it my mission to make sure all our recipes and meal plans on this website taste incredible, are full of flavor, and keep you satisfied! 

How to Get Started with Clean Keto

If you’ve been wanting to transition to a Clean Keto Lifestyle but feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start, our CKL 21 day program is perfect! 

Kickstart the first three weeks of your journey with our Ultimate Keto Accelerator Plan. With this program, enjoy delicious keto recipes, weekly meal plans, grocery lists, prep instructions, easy-to-follow guidelines, and more.

Keto takes some getting used to, but it’s by no means impossible. In fact, once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite simple! It just takes a bit of learning. With our program, the information is presented to you in easy, actionable steps.

There’s nothing dirty about it. With CKL 21, keto is easy. Let’s get started.

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