How to Eat “Clean Keto” vs “Dirty Keto”

Remember how everything used to be about low fat everything? Well, the tables have certainly turned! Now we have the Keto diet – and it’s all about HIGH fat.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Keto diet recently in the news: what is it? is it safe? is it healthy? who’s for it? who’s against it?

We say…if you feel mentally and physically better eating a certain way, it’s certainly looking into. (With your doc’s expertise, of course!) Looking at most keto recipes will have you shaking your head, though. Bacon cheeseburgers with avocado? Eggs with extra butter? Is this really a healthy way to eat?

What we learned is that there is a difference between eating “dirty keto” and eating “clean keto”. A double-bacon cheeseburger is dirty keto. A salad with avocado, a little oil, salmon (or chicken), and fiber rich veggies is clean keto. See the difference? Eat high-quality, nutrient dense foods when possible – not fast food without the bun. Processed foods will zap your energy levels and make you feel sluggish. That’s the opposite of what you want, right?

Make sure your keto diet builds on three things: veggies with fiber, fat, and protein. In that order. Vegetables are good for you and you need fiber in order to, well, you know. Plus, fiber fills you up, so stir fry a ton of broccoli and kale in a healthy fat and add in some protein. Wah-la – clean keto for lunch.

As a general rule, keep carbs under 50 grams or under 25 net grams. Net grams is when you take the total carb count and subtract the fiber carb count, kapiche? So if a serving of broccoli has 4 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber, the net carbs would be 2 grams.

Fat calories need to make up the bulk of your diet. There are a ton of articles on why this is good and how it transitions your body to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose. The process is called ketogenesis – look it up!

So what should you eat and what should you avoid? Most of the “avoids” you probably don’t eat much of anyway, and if you do eat them, you need to cut back – ahem…Diet Coke drinkers? Ha!


  • Mayonnaise
  • Cream Cheese
  • Meat with sulfites (like hot dogs and deli meat)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Fruit (can eat some berries)
  • Potatoes
  • Soda/Juice


  • Meats
  • Eggs
  • Veggies growing above ground
  • Good fats: olive oil, avocado oil, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, etc…
  • Berries (in moderation)
  • High fat cheese (in moderation, and only if it doesn’t upset your stomach)
  • Nuts (in moderation)

Visit our Pinterest “clean keto recipes” board here.

Let us know what you think. Do you do a special diet or just try to eat “healthy”? What’s your secret? What’s your struggle?



Author: Jen Adair

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