A lot of people imagine keto to be lots of bacon, eggs, butter, and cheese, but for Keto to be healthy and sustainable, gut health needs to be looked after by incorporating plenty of vegetables and fiber. The whole aim of Keto is to get the body into a state of Ketosis where the body uses fat as it’s fuel instead of carbohydrates, which can be achieved with both the clean and dirty form of Keto, the problem is, that one of them is not very good for your health.
Dirty keto is a pithy way of referring to the ‘fast and dirty’ practice of using premade, packaged foods instead of homemade food created from whole food ingredients
When most people begin Keto they start with the ‘dirty’ approach, they follow the right macro balance with high fats, low carbs, and moderate proteins but miss the whole foods needed to keep your belly happy. One of the downsides to starting Keto is the ‘Keto Flu’ which includes symptoms like feeling hazy and lethargic, much like the regular flu, and when following the dirty Keto route it’s much worse when it’s fueled by junky, processed, fatty foods.
The fact is, vegetables are in fact pretty much mainly carbs, small amounts of protein and next to no fat, so how do they fit into the Keto diet? Your body still needs the vitamins and minerals that come from plant-based foods. This is when Net Carbs are an important element to factor in. A net carb is the number of grams of Carbohydrates minus the number of grams of Fiber. For example, a cup of spinach has 1.1g of carbs (which is pretty low already so a great green to add to your diet) and 0.7g of Fiber, so it in fact only has 0.4g of Carbs.
I often incorporate ‘free’ or ‘unlimited’ low carb veggies into meal plans for clients on top of what I’ve already planned, they are so low in net carbs and the nutritional value of them is huge. They are also a great way to fill up, and if you top them with something cheesy or a healthy oil dressing they fit the Keto balance perfectly.
A properly formulated Ketogenic diet is very much plant-based and ‘clean’ Ketogenic diet is a great way for Vegetarians to become fat-adapted. Although you may lose weight eating dirty keto, the quality of the food we eat impacts us beyond our weight
What Dirty Keto might look like:
- Processed foods
- Hamburgers with bacon and cheese (no bun)
What Clean Keto might look like:
- Plenty of Low Carb Vegetables
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Protein, fats and salad
- Treats like keto breads, fat bombs and keto pancakes.
Low Carb Fruit and Vegetable to include in your diet:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Green Beans
- Bok Choy
- Brussel Sprouts
- Snap Peas and Snow peas
- Blackberries and Raspberries.