Got the hankering for dirty keto? Find keto-friendly meals at these popular fast food and casual restaurant chains. Use the links or the dropdown menu to begin your search for low-carb foods.
What is dirty keto?
“Dirty keto” refers to a keto diet that mainly consists of processed foods. This includes foods consumed at restaurants and pre-packaged goods (except for frozen vegetables that aren’t mixed with other preservatives).
Benefits and drawbacks of dirty keto
The benefit of dirty keto is convenience. Simply scan the grocery shelf for products, order food at a restaurant or from a food delivery service; if the food is keto-friendly (serving size or full servings fall under 25g net carbs), then it’s technically ketogenic. But since you didn’t cook it yourself, the eat falls under dirty keto.
There are drawbacks to dirty keto. You don’t always know how an item is prepared. Most packaged goods and restaurant foods are full of saturated fat and unnecessary carbohydrates. Plus, some cooking oils are healthier than others. Cooking the same meal yourself allows you to control which ingredients and cooking oils are used, and allows for bigger portions without added carbohydrates. Plus, lowering total carbohydrates can lead to less inflammation and faster weight loss. If you’re a fan of organic food, or you are combining the keto diet with Paleo, you definitely want to avoid dirty keto.
Tips for dirty keto
- Grilled foods most likely avoid heavy usage of cooking oil while still containing enough fat and protein to satiate your appetite.
- Fried foods might consume your entire daily carb quota, plus the cooking oil can contain trans fat and lots of saturated fat. Rotisserie and baked foods are usually keto-friendlier alternatives.
- On product food labels, find the ingredient list and scan it to find out which cooking oils are used. The healthiest cooking oils are olive oil, almond oil, virgin coconut oil, ghee, and butter. You can learn about healthy and unhealthy cooking oils by clicking here to read more.
- Keep your carbs limited to leafy green vegetables such as spinach and lettuce; they usually have up to 3g net carbs per serving. Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and okra usually contain between 5-7g net carbs per serving. Avoid peas, corn, and carrots.
- Energy bars might advertise low sugar amounts but still contain lots of carbohydrates with little dietary fiber. Read the nutrition label carefully and monitor your carb intake for the day.