Healthy Keto vs. “Dirty” Keto

In basic terms, a ketogenic (keto) diet is one in which in which the body converts fat stores to energy and releases ketones in the process. Ketones are then burned for fuel in place of glucose. The keto diet, with a macro-nutrient profile that is high in fat and low in carbs, has gained a lot of attention and popularity due to its many proposed health benefits. Weight loss and managing diabetes are two of the most notable potential benefits. However, keto sometimes gets a bad rap for being known as the “bacon and butter” diet. At Grateful Snacking Co™, our approach to keto is a more health focused program, not the “dirty” or “lazy” way. And while it does take a little more time to plan and prep, we believe the benefits are worth it.

The approach we take consists of nutrient dense, quality whole foods, such as grass-fed beef, wild caught seafood, healthy oils (olive, coconut, avocado), full fat Greek yogurt and non-starchy vegetables (spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli). High carb foods such as rice, potatoes and breads are not a part of our clean keto program. Processed foods are minimized. An example of a clean keto meal would be our Grilled Salmon with Guacamole, Miracle Rice and Zucchini Fritters. And of course our crisps and granolas are a nutritious and tasty addition to a clean keto diet!

A “dirty” keto diet is a take on the low carb diet but with an unhealthy twist focusing on less nutritious food options. Dirty keto allows unhealthy processed food high in sodium, too much bacon and too few healthy vegetables. On dirty keto, as long as you are consuming your macro nutrient goals, there is a disregard for the quality of nutrients- which over time can be an unhealthy way of reaching ketosis and losing weight. For example, as part of a dirty keto diet, you could have a bacon cheeseburger without the bun or scrambled eggs smothered in butter and loaded with cheese. Yes, these are low carb, high fat options, but they are missing the quality nutrients and the healthy benefits found in the clean keto approach.

So, while you may experience weight loss, “dirty” keto could have some long-term health risks. Therefore, it is best to avoid this version of a ketogenic diet.