If you have been thinking about starting Keto or have been spending time in Keto facebook groups then you have likely run across comments telling others to eat clean keto. Keto and clean eating have started to become linked in many people’s minds and a lot of people feel that this is the only proper way to do Keto. Is this true? That’s for you to personally decide but this article should help you out!
Keto and Clean Eating. The Facts You Need.
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What Is Clean Eating?
Clean eating is a phrase that has been showing up frequently in regards to diets and eating habits. While this is a relatively new buzzword this way of eating was actually made popular in the 1960s as part of a natural health food movement.
But what exactly is Clean Eating? At its core, this way of eating stresses eating whole, unprocessed and healthy foods. People who follow a clean eating way of life attempt to avoid foods with additives or artificial ingredients, seek to eat food that is less refined and eliminate overly processed foods.
People following a clean eating way of life tend to eat at home more often and choose a wide variety of fresh,in-season produce and organic, grass-fed meats to work with.
What is Keto?
We have covered the basics of Keto and the different types of keto many times on this blog and you are more than free to follow the above articles for a more in-depth look but we’ll cover the bare basics here for those who are unfamiliar!
Keto is a way of eating which takes advantage of a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is achieved when your body switches from using carbohydrates for fuel to using fat. To achieve this state most people need to stay below 20g of net carbs (Carbs – fiber = Net Carbs) per day. Considering that the average American consumes between 200-300 grams of total carbs a day this can be difficult to achieve but well worth it in terms of various health benefits.
Is Keto a Clean Eating Diet?
Since both Keto and clean eating have become popular there seems to be some confusion about how they are related. This is especially true of people who follow a very strict version of keto. Can Keto be a clean eating diet? Yes! Although some modifications will have to be made.
Most clean eating programs encourage you to eat a variety of whole grains and a wide variety of plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables which are undoubtedly far healthier then our typical food choices but which make achieving ketosis challenging if not impossible. However, there is no harm and actually a lot of benefits in choosing organic grass-fed meats and fresh low carb vegetables and berries while following your keto diet.
Choosing to follow a clean eating form of keto can be healthy but might make your journey more challenging to continue long term as you won’t be able to use many of the sweeteners or convenience products being developed. Not that this is a bad thing, there are pros and cons to each and choosing the best path for you is highly personal.
Does Keto HAVE to be Clean Eating? Generally, no. As stated above ketosis is a metabolic state. If you have no medical issues or food sensitivities then feel free to use those low carb tortilla shells and sweeteners that make your life easier. Even those following a stricter form of keto don’t necessarily have to follow clean eating.
Clean Eating Realities
While it is always good to choose the healthiest foods that we can the reality is that for many of us eating completely clean, no matter what way of eating we choose to follow is impossible. Organic grass-fed meats are expensive and some places lack access to good quality produce. Clean eating can be a wonderful goal but if you want to give keto a try then rest assured that keto and clean eating do not necessarily have to go hand in hand.
When it comes to starting a healthier diet then I feel that we should all do the very best that we can. Buy the best quality food that your family can realistically budget for but don’t stop yourself from making smaller healthy changes just because you can’t afford to go all the way. It’s perfectly fine to eat those cheaper meats and vegetables.