There’s a lot of talk about keto lately— particularly about the downfalls of it— and in many cases, I couldn’t agree more. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a die-hard keto enthusiast— and I’m not reniging just because keto is on blast. But when folks are parading around calling Chick-fil-A clean keto— that’s when I’m busting out the rebel yell.
Let’s not get carried away here. A clean keto diet does NOT involve fast food my friends.
The key to clean keto lies in its formulation. A properly formulated ketogenic diet is not only in-line with our Paleolithic past, it’s also scientifically backed, and a hell of a lot healthier than the Standard American Diet (SAD) loaded with chemical this and artificial that.
Clean keto is about eating nutrient dense, whole foods. Period. Leafy greens, consciously sourced proteins, and unprocessed fats. It’s really that simple. But just in case it’s not that simple, here is a list of the Top 10 Foods Killing Your Clean Keto Diet.
Ok, specifically garbage mayo. Admittedly, I’m a midwest gal who loves her Hellmans. And honestly, it took a fair share of palate training to make the switch to healthier varietals such as Primal Kitchen or Coconaise. For me, the health benefits far outweighed the flavor. The thing is, traditional mayonnaise is made predominately of trans fats (canola, corn, soybean oil, etc.). This also includes traditional variations claiming to contain olive or coconut oil (read the ingredients list).
According to Harvard Health, trans fats have no known health benefits and there is no safe level of consumption. What’s more, the American Heart Association suggests we give thanks to trans fats for raising our bad cholesterol (LDL), and lowering our good (HDL). Beyond that, trans fats contribute to inflammation which increases our risk of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes (among other chronic conditions).
2. Coffee Drinks
So Starbucks is going “keto-friendly” with their Keto Frappe, or that Keto Pink drankk. Don’t be mistaken, that doesn’t mean these drinks are healthy. In fact, this isn’t just about Starbucks— this includes everything from Java Monster, to Bulletproof coffee. The issue isn’t with the coffee— it’s with all the BS that added to it— specifically, the artificial sweeteners and the conventional creamers. I’ve found, the majority of commercial creamers are composed of low-grade, hormone-pumped dairy. Woof. As for artificial sweeteners, currently the FDA is in serious debate with the scientists. More studies need to be conducted, but many scientists believe that there is a serious relationship between artificial sweeteners and a slew of health conditions such as cancer, chronic fatigue, autism, Alzheimer’s and more.
3. Protein Bars
You pump iron. Which means, you need to eat more protein in order to repair and rebuild your muscles. Plus, you’re SUPER busy and looking for quick on-the-go fuel— a protein bar should suffice.
Solid disguise guys.
If you’re seriously into health and fitness you should know that the vast majority of protein bars on the market are trash. Maybe I just love to hate ’em— but they make it so easy with all of their “healthful” claims (meanwhile containing all sorts of unsavory fellows such as whey protein isolate, soy lecithin and sucralose).
I see right through to your chemical shit storm!
4. Fast Food
I feel like it goes without saying that fast food is NOT clean keto. However, if you hashtag #cleanketo on Instagram you’re guaranteed to find all sorts of horseshit claiming to be clean.
C’mon ladies, we’re all aware of the health ramifications of eating fast food, and “keto-friendly” fast food is no exception. Trans fats, poor sustainability practices, antibiotics, hormones— fast food runs the gamut.
5. Sugar-Free Treats
For the record— I’m SUPER guilty of this one. I never used to participate in artificial sweeteners at all— that is before I went keto. I was always an advocate of natural sweeteners (in moderation of course). Nowadays, I find myself buying into the claims that naturally derived artificial sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit are not only “keto-approved” (meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar), they’re also supposably free from consequence.
I’m still skeptical tho. Anything that claims to be 300x sweeter than sugar (yet healthy), raises a red flag. I’m not saying DON’T participate in erythritol, stevia or monk fruit, I’m just saying, do it occasionally.
6. Cold Cuts
Cold cuts are super easy, super convenient, and also, super loaded— nitrates, hormones and antibiotics (to name a few). Did you know that most deli meats are pumped full of preservatives and additives in order to extend their shelf-life? I don’t know about you but I’d rather not. You’re much better off taking the time to prepare protein in mass quantities (over a glass of wine ;), store it in the fridge and eat it cold the following day. You’re not doing yourself any favors by consuming conventional, deli-sliced cold-cuts.
7. Low-Grade Condiments
So what do I mean by low-grade? I’m talking about traditional, processed, chemical-laden condiments such as ketchup, bbq, and salad dressing (often the biggest offender). The problem here is that even when they’re naturally sugar-free (which they’re often not), condiments are generally filled with all sorts of trans fats, chemicals and preservatives. No thanks.
8. Shredded Cheese
Sure, pre-shredded cheese is convenient. However, it generally contains some sort of stabilizer such as potato starch or modified cornstarch (which all of you keto enthusiasts know is not so keto— or at least, not so clean keto). Beyond that, pre-shredded cheese is processed as hell— meaning you’re ingesting all sorts of garbage byproducts with your delicious dairy fix.
I totally understand if you’re unwilling to cut out dairy altogether (I’m not either), but do your best and stick to unconventional and unadulterated dairy products (meaning raw, organic, and sustainably sourced).
9. Diet Beverages
Where do I begin with diet beverages? First of all, they taste awful! And if you’re in disagreement, you’ve been conditioned to appreciate the flavor of gut-deteriorating chemicals. Either that, or you actually believe that diet beverages are saving your waistline— in which case, stop the madness! Diet beverages are pretty much the devil. Think about it. If companies are taking a product that’s supposed to be sweet and eliminating the sugar they’re going to have to replace the flavor with some sort of artificial additive. And trust, they’re not in it for your health! Which means, that those additives are likely promoting all sorts of metabolic havoc.
10. Beef Jerky
We all know beef is pretty much a free-for-all on the ketogenic diet. But as far as clean keto is concerned, you better make sure your beef is consciously sourced. That way you’ll be sure to avoid the additional corn, hormones and additives associated with the nutritional upcycle. Most beef jerky is not sustainably sourced, meaning the beef is chuck full of all sorts of artificial fillers. Jerky is a great way to meet your daily protein goal while on-the-go, just be sure you’re purchasing from conscious brands such as: Chomps, The New Primal or Belcampo.
If you’re still not sure what clean keto looks like, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with a FREE clean keto guidebook.
Whether you’re well-versed or brand spankin’ new to keto life and looking for some help, you should check out Katie’s coaching program. Coach Katie lives keto all day, errryday. She keeps up to date on the latest science, so you don’t have to. But more importantly, she addresses your specific goals to help you achieve ultimate success on your keto journey. And it’s always better to have someone in your corner, guiding you along. So if you’re ready for total life transformation and ultimate keto success, schedule your FREE initial keto consultation today!