Dirty Keto vs. Clean Keto: What’s the Difference?


Let’s be honest: Striving for a healthy body composition is hard. Between the number of diet sabotagers we face on a daily basis to the many eating plans and supplements that saturate social media, it’s hard to know where to start. Sure, you could count calories or phone Jenny Craig — but honestly, when looking to achieve sustainable weight loss, keto has been the only thing that’s worked for me. I know what you’re thinking: “Eating little to no carbs via the ketogenic diet is unrealistic.” A few years ago, I would have agreed. But I’m here to tell you that it works. In fact, many people have found great success in the keto lifestyle, especially when practicing “clean keto.” So, what is the “clean keto diet,” and how is it different from the “dirty keto diet?” I’ll tell you.     

What is the ketogenic diet anyway?

The ketogenic diet (also known as “keto”) is a strict eating regimen that restricts the number of carbs in the diet. On average, macros on a ketogenic diet should be about 55 to 60 percent fat, 30 to 35 percent protein, and five to 10 percent carbohydrates, which forces the body to use fat as its primary fuel source. This triggers the desired biochemical process called ketosis.

Hold up — what’s ketosis?

In short, ketosis is when your body breaks down fat for energy and creates ketones in the process. Ketones are a byproduct of burning fat that is generated in the liver and can be measured in the blood. If you’re going the “clean keto” route, you’ll likely be testing your blood regularly to track your ketones and make sure you’re in the target zone for fat burning. 

What are the benefits of going into ketosis?

Believe it or not, there are a ton of potential health benefits to being in ketosis — here are just a few:

Appetite Regulation

One of the best benefits of reaching ketosis is that hunger is reduced. In fact, research shows that being in ketosis has the ability to suppress appetite. Some studies also show a drop in ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” 

Glucose Control

According to quite a bit of research, the ketogenic diet is an effective strategy for…



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