You may have heard of “dirty keto,” the version of ketosis that involves eating whatever you want as long as you stay under your carb limit. Sounds convenient, right? You can hit the drive-thru (just skip bread and fries), or you can pick up a snack at the gas station, and still stay within the bounds of your diet.
It works for a time, then it catches up to you in a big way. You lose some weight, but then you find that your progress comes to a screeching halt. That’s because dirty keto triggers diet-induced inflammation, and that makes you feel weak, you don’t think as clearly, and you hold onto body fat.
You don’t have to give up your favorite things. Here are some foods that cause inflammation to ditch, and what to eat instead.
Dirty keto swaps to make ASAP
Ditch: Drive-thru bacon burger, no bun
Fast food restaurants aim to produce food as cheaply as possible. That translates to low-quality ingredients and artificial flavorings (read: chemicals) that make it taste good. Not to worry — bacon burgers are totally Bulletproof if you do it right.
Eat: Keto hamburger salad
Ditch: Charcuterie plate, hold the baguette
Sure, you can stay in ketosis after you’ve had a salty plate of Italian cured meats. But, how will you feel afterward? Conventionally-raised pork and beef that are loaded with nitrates probably won’t power you up like clean snacks would. Plus, meats like capicola, prosciutto, soppressata, and other charcuterie-style meats are typically aged for months which opens them up to mold growth.
Eat: Keto snack plate with rocket and basil pesto
You won’t miss a thing with a platter of free-range, salt-cured prosciutto, veggies, olives, and an arugula-basil pesto for dipping. If you’re sharing with friends, make extra — it’s a party favorite.
Ditch: Coffee with sugar-free vanilla creamer
The second ingredient on the leading brand of sugar-free creamer is corn syrup, with a disclaimer that it adds a trivial amount of sugar. Sneaky. You’ll also find inflammatory franken-oils like soybean and canola, along with gut-destroying gums and emulsifiers and two different types of artificial sweeteners. There’s a better way to start your day.
Drink: Bulletproof Coffee
When you blend high-quality coffee with the right fats, you get an incredible drink that crushes cravings and gives you laser focus without the caffeine jitters and the sugar roller coaster. Pick up some Brain Octane Oil and follow the above recipe for the best cup of coffee of your life.
Ditch: Egg bites from the coffee shop
Egg bites that you find in coffee shops are packed with energy-sapping ingredients like cheese, and “natural flavors” which could be any number of chemicals, gums, and binders. They also contain emulsifiers like carrageenan that can destroy your gut lining. Egg bites taste great, but you deserve better.
Eat: Cauliflower and Bacon Crusted Quiche Bites
These mini-quiches are just as portable and convenient as coffee shop egg bites, and they power you up, not down. Plus, they freeze well, so you can make a bunch for grab-and-go mornings. Bonus: they taste a million times better than the store-bought stuff.
Ditch: Cheese-crust pizza
Dairy overload spells trouble for a lot of people. A crust made of cheese plus cheese-heavy toppings is a recipe for digestive troubles, skin flare-ups, and straight up misery for people who don’t digest milk proteins (that’s most of us). You don’t have to swear off dairy forever, though. Here’s your guide to dairy without the inflammation. To get your pizza fix in the meantime, make this pizza with a belly-friendly cauliflower crust…
Eat: Gluten-free Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
A good gluten-free pizza crust is hard to find, and this recipe nails it. You can get creative and pair this crust recipe with your favorite clean keto pizza toppings.
Ditch: Packaged low-carb sandwich bread
More often than not, low-carb packaged breads fall into the “dirty keto” category. That means you’ll see inflammatory ingredients like soy, gut-destroying binders and gums, wheat protein and vital wheat gluten (which is the pure form of the protein that makes gluten intolerant people sick), and unidentified ingredients like “natural flavors” and “dough conditioner.” What is that, even?
Eat: Keto collagen bread
Instead of buying a pre-sliced science experiment in a bag, whip up a batch of gut-friendly bread that’s full of high-quality protein like collagen and pastured eggs. This low-carb bread is up to the tasks of normal bread: make a sandwich, toast it, smear it with grass-fed butter.
Ditch: Low-carb protein bars
Typical low-carb protein bars contain inflammatory ingredients like artificial sweeteners, soy, conventionally-raised dairy, and other things that wreak havoc on your body. Plus, they taste terrible.
Eat: Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars
Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars serve up 13g of protein in a convenient, on-the-go bar, without the troublesome ingredients that you typically find in low-carb protein bars. You’ll feel like you’re indulging with satisfying flavors like Apple Pie and Mint Chocolate Chip. Bonus: collagen protein sourced from grass-fed cows is great for your skin, hair and nails. Get yours here.