The keto diet is now a household name and it seems like everyone — even your great aunt Judy — is proclaiming that the ultra-low-carb diet is the cure for everything from diabetes to social anxiety.
And if keeping your carbs to a bare minimum wasn’t hardcore enough, certain people are taking the keto diet even further by adopting the all-meat, all-the-time carnivore diet. Some people on the keto diet, however, are going with a more relaxed approach to the low-carb lifestyle known as dirty keto.
What is the dirty keto diet?
While the keto diet is focused on eating high-fat, high-protein whole foods from quality sources — like organic grass-fed beef and extra virgin olive oil — dirty keto enthusiasts aren’t as hung up on where their food comes from and eat low carb foods that are processed and low in nutrients.
The "ideal" keto diet includes getting about 60-75 percent of calories from fat, 15-30 percent of calories from protein and the rest from carbs. Dirty keto — also known as lazy keto — is more about keeping carb amounts low enough to stay in ketosis.
Is the dirty keto diet healthy?
"Will dirty keto technically help to keep you in ketosis? Maybe," Dr. Josh Axe told PopSugar Fitness, referring to the process where the body burns fat for fuel instead of stored glycogen.
"Will you lose weight while eating crappy, albeit low-carb, foods? Possibly," he said. "Will dirty keto support a healthy body? Absolutely not."
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It also might make the dreaded keto flu — or the feeling people get after first reducing carbs — feel worse.
"It’s a temporary fix at best," Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, told Women’s Health of the "dirty" diet, adding that it’s also "a really good way to lose lean body mass that is difficult to get back and aids in maintaining a high functioning metabolism."