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What is Dirty Keto and Is It Good For You?

Dirty keto has been called a lot of things, but is it right for you? In this article we will explore your options.

The ketogenic diet has been linked to weight loss since it encourages the body to burn fat as fuel. The diet itself minimizes the carbohydrate intake and focuses more on the consumption of healthy fats and moderate proteins. The keto diet also keeps track of macronutrients consumption. About 60 to 75% of calories is obtained from fat while about 5 to 10% of calories comes from carbs. This diet has been successful as a weight loss diet, but it also has numerous health benefits

The mechanism of the keto diet is also simple. To get the benefits of the diet, the aim is to put the body in ketosis. Before the body reaches ketosis, it has to stop using glucose as fuel. Instead of using glucose or sugar, the body now makes use of fat. Although the keto diet may look simple, it is not always easy to make permanent changes to eating habits. Is there an alternative low-carb diet where one does not have to let go of some favorite foods just to shed pounds?

An unhealthy twist of the keto diet is becoming increasingly popular. Usually, this type of diet does not consider the quality of food that is consumed. The source of the food and nutrient content also does not matter. The goal of this diet is to reach the required macros on keto, not considering the source of these macros. Some people have bought this idea and are convinced that it is still possible to achieve weight loss using this approach. This article explains what dirty keto is and whether or not it is good for the body.

What Is Dirty Keto?

Dirty keto follows the same pattern as the regular keto diet with regards to calorie intake. However, the significant difference between the two is that the calories can come from any source on dirty keto. The goal of dirty keto is only to reach or stay within the required macronutrient ratio. On dirty keto, it is also important to keep carbohydrate consumption restricted as much as possible. This allows the body to enter ketosis and start burning fat for energy.

Dirty keto has gained popularity for several reasons. One reason for this popularity is that some people feel it is easier to adhere to the requirements of dirty keto. When starting a low-carb diet like the keto diet, the kind of food to eat and meal planning is usually stressful without proper guidance. With dirty keto, this is not the case since it encourages eating anything as long as the daily carb limit of 50 grams is not exceeded. Pre-made packaged foods are preferred over whole meals in this diet, and consuming vegetables is not emphasized.

Many people have reported success with dirty keto, especially in the aspect of weight loss. Since carbs are still restricted, the body can still get into ketosis, and weight loss can be achieved. But what type of foods can those on dirty keto eat? The answer is quite simple: dirty keto dieters can eat pretty much anything. From cheese, fast food, cured meat, and bunless burgers, the type of food consumed on dirty keto hardly matters.

Dirty or Clean?

Why Dirty Keto Should be Avoided

Although dirty keto gives similar results as the regular keto diet, several nutrition experts think that this diet does not benefit the body. According to one health expert, dirty keto is tempting, but there is a catch – important micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are missing on this diet. These micronutrients are required for several functions in the body. On the one hand, they are useful in fighting off harmful free radicals and strengthening the immune system. Some have also been implicated in promoting strong bones.

While weight loss may still be achieved with dirty keto, the results are usually not sustainable. This is another good reason why this unhealthy diet should be avoided. Foods eaten on dirty keto may contain bad fat that can lead to further health problems. The chances of being obese are higher due to the quality of food eaten on dirty keto. In fact, depression, inflammation, and cancer have since been linked with the consumption of processed foods. Since processed foods are an option for dirty keto dieters, the risk of developing these health conditions also increases in such individuals.

Using dirty keto for weight loss may also significantly increase the symptoms of the keto flu. Some of the foods allowed on dirty keto may contain a large amount of sodium. This may cause bloating and constipation and may also increase the occurrence of other symptoms of the keto flu. Remember also that when water weight is lost at first, usually at the start of the keto diet, essential electrolytes may be flushed away from the body together with the water. Since vegetables are not prioritized on dirty keto, it may not be possible to replenish the lost electrolytes.

Healthier Ways to Achieve Weight Loss Without Dirty Keto

Unlike dirty keto, the regular keto diet is healthier with much more health benefits. While it is still possible to lose weight with dirty keto, the consequences, in the long run, are not worth it. With the regular keto diet, sustainable weight loss is achieved, one that may continue long after the diet is stopped. This will only be possible provided healthy eating habits are maintained. If dirty keto is the choice of an individual, it is essential to look for healthier food to consume in place of the unhealthy options available on dirty keto. Remember that it is still possible to reach the macronutrient target while eating healthy foods.

Incorporating intermittent fasting with a keto diet can also help an individual eat clean on keto and achieve weight loss. Vegetables too should be prioritized in the diet. Eating non-starchy vegetables can provide fiber and essential vitamins. In summary, regular keto is a healthier way to achieve weight loss; however, the quality of food consumed should also be taken into account. Healthy fat consumption paired with moderate protein and low carbohydrates is the key to a successful keto diet.

One good thing to note about the keto diet is that meals consumed are not complicated. Besides that, they also require reduced time to prepare, and ingredients can be sourced locally. If an individual finds meal planning and preparation to be complex, it may be best to stick to keto cycling when making a transition to this diet. Instead of eating any unhealthy food, having one or two cheat days may be helpful. This helps the body to adapt to limited carbohydrates slowly but is still a healthy option.


With the rising popularity of the keto diet, some people are continually searching for new ways to enjoy the benefits of the diet without having to go through the stress of meal planning and food restriction. Presently, a modified version of the keto diet called “dirty keto” is also becoming popular. On this new diet, individuals are allowed to consume any food from any source. The idea behind this diet is that as long as the macronutrient and calorie target is reached, there is no need to care about the quality of the food consumed.

While there are reports that some were able to achieve weight loss using dirty keto, it is not advised to make use of this diet. Rather than settle for a diet that does not produce sustainable results, it is best to stick with the regular keto diet and enjoy lasting health benefits. Before starting any diet, it is necessary to speak with a health professional.

Michael Jessimy
Michael Jessimy is a qualified Pharmacist with over 10 years experience dealing with a range of both prescription and alternative remedies. He is also an amateur heavyweight bodybuilder and loves spending his spare time hitting the gym. He strives to help others build the best body possible through fitness, health and nutrition consultation and has several published books under his name.