What Is Clean Keto? Food List, Meal Plan, and Best Tips

Clean Keto is a variation that puts equal emphasis on the keto macro ratio and food quality. It prioritizes healthy fats and the avoidance of additives and inflammatory oils. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover tips on how to start Clean Keto, its benefits, and a simple meal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Clean Keto puts equal emphasis on strict keto macro ratio and food quality.
  • Clean Keto encourages the inclusion of whole foods, grass-fed or pasture-raised meat, and organic dairy while avoiding inflammatory oils, highly processed foods, and high-carb snacks.
  • When doing Clean Keto, advanced meal planning, prioritizing healthy fats, choosing quality ingredients, and reading food labels are crucial to ensure adherence.
  • Clean Keto encourages nutrient intake, promotes gut health, and long-term weight loss.

What Is Clean Keto?

Clean Keto is a variation that emphasizes whole, nutrient-rich foods, steering away from processed alternatives. Clean Keto emphasizes using organic produce and grass-fed meat while strictly following the keto macros.

People who follow Clean Keto follow this macro ratio:

  • Carbohydrates: 5-10%
  • Protein: 15-25%
  • Fats: 70-75%

The main goal of Clean Keto is to maintain the state of ketosis, where the body uses fat for energy while encouraging a clean diet free of harmful ingredients.

Unlike Dirty Keto, which allows a much wider variety of food options, Clean Keto is more restrictive, especially with food quality.

Tips to Eat Clean on Keto

clean keto

Plan Your Meals Strategically

Clean Keto’s strategic meal planning involves more than just hitting macronutrient targets. It’s about crafting well-rounded meals that adhere to your nutritional goals and provide a diverse source of essential vitamins and minerals.

Having your weekly meals ready before grocery shopping is always wise for beginners. Focus on menus that fit your lifestyle and are easier to sustain long-term.

This may include considering lists of local produce, your taste and cuisine preference, and your meal plan budget. Setting proper goals and expectations will help make Clean Keto easier and more fun.

Choose Quality Ingredients

Quality is the cornerstone of Clean Keto. Opt for organic, locally sourced vegetables, and prioritize meats from animals raised on natural, sustainable diets. If you prefer getting your protein and fat from fish, opt for wild-caught rather than farmed ones.

When it comes to snacks, choose high-quality keto-friendly snacks that are filling and healthy. Choose natural herbs and spices instead of buying packed seasonings to avoid hidden carbs and additives.

You can always eat your favorite foods while doing Clean Keto: just swap the regular ingredients with healthier alternatives. For instance, instead of eating fast food burger patties, make one at home with grass-fed beef, salt, herbs, and spices.

Prioritize Healthy Fats

When food prepping for Clean Keto, you must always choose healthy fats. Aside from animal fat, avocados, nuts, and seeds are good options. You can use coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, tallow, ghee, and lard for cooking.

You can use MCT oil for your morning coffee, which helps you stay in ketosis. Clean Keto also discourages the use of inflammatory oils and dressings with additives.

Keep Your Fridge Stocked

A well-stocked fridge is a practical asset in Clean Keto. Regularly replenish it with fresh vegetables, high-quality proteins, and healthy fats.

Along with proper meal planning, having your staple ingredients within your reach increases adherence and sustainability.

Read Food Labels

Being discerning about food labels is a key practice in Clean Keto. Look out for additives, preservatives, and hidden sugars that can compromise the nutritional integrity of your food choices.

Keep Clean Keto Snacks Handy

Of course, you can snack while doing Clean Keto, but choosing the right snacks is crucial. Nuts, seeds, and pre-cut vegetables make convenient and healthy options that align with Clean Keto principles.

Benefits of Clean Keto

Gain Ketosis Benefits

Being in the state of ketosis has numerous health benefits, which is why the keto diet has become one of the most popular diets to date.

Aside from weight loss, keto has been proven effective for improving metabolic health.1

Keto’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels,2 decrease insulin resistance,3 and regulate lipid levels helps one have better diabetes control and cardiovascular health.4

Moreover, keto has been proven to improve cognition5 and overall brain health.6 Keto also promotes muscle mass preservation7 and improves satiety.8 

Encouraged Nutrient Intake

Clean Keto inherently encourages a diversified and comprehensive intake of essential nutrients. Individuals following Clean Keto ensure they receive a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients by prioritizing whole, unprocessed foods.

Studies show that grass-fed beef contains more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin E levels9 than grain-fed ones. Wild-caught fish also have a higher omega-3 content10 than farmed ones.

Better Gut Health

The emphasis on whole foods and avoidance of artificial ingredients in Clean Keto contributes significantly to a healthy gut microbiome.

Studies suggest that long-term intake of additives such as emulsifiers and stabilizers11 can lead to epithelial loads and the development of inflammation, and sweeteners may change the composition of the intestinal microflora, causing intestinal blockage.

On the other hand, foods rich in fiber,12 vitamins,13 and minerals, support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. This, in turn, enhances digestion,14 absorption of nutrients,15 and overall gut health.

Promotes Sustainable Weight Loss

There are two reasons why Clean Keto results in sustainable weight and fat loss: ketosis and satiety.

Clean Keto induces ketosis, where the body mainly uses fat as the main energy source, resulting in weight and fat loss.

Moreover, keto-friendly whole foods are highly filling, good for decreasing hunger,14 and low in calories. Coupled with strict implementation of high fat intake, Clean Keto is an excellent method for sustained weight loss.

Clean Keto Food List

  • Healthy Fats and Oils: Avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, cocoa butter, duck fat, flaxseed oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, tallow, lard, unprocessed cheese, MCT oil
  • Grass-fed Meat: Beef, pork, goat, lamb, venison, bison, organ meats
  • Poultry and Eggs: Chicken, quail, duck, turkey
  • Seafood: Catfish, cod, lobster, mahi-mahi, shellfish, salmon, scallops, trout, tuna
  • Vegetables: Arugula, artichoke, asparagus, bok choy, all lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, collards, chard, cucumbers, garlic, green beans, kale, mustard greens, mushrooms, onions, radishes, spinach, romaine lettuce
  • Fruits: Avocado, blackberries, blueberries, coconuts, lemons, limes, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pepitas, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds
  • Beverages: Water, tea, coffee, mineral water, coconut milk (unsweetened), almond milk (unsweetened), bone broth
raw foods are essential for a clean keto diet

Foods to Avoid

  • Processed Meats: Hot dogs, sausages, deli meats
  • Low-Quality Dairy Products with added sugars: Certain flavored yogurts, sweetened condensed milk
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, saccharin
  • Trans Fats: Margarine, partially hydrogenated oils
  • Highly Processed Oils: Vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, rapeseed oil, peanut oil, palm oil
  • Low-Nutrient Snacks: Chips, cookies, sugary snacks
  • Processed and Packaged Keto-Friendly Products: Bars, shakes, and other processed snacks
  • High-Sugar Fruits: Grapes, bananas, mangos, pineapples, apples
  • Carbohydrate-rich Foods: Grains, starchy vegetables, legumes, bread,
  • Artificial Additives, Colorings, and Preservatives: MSG, artificial food colorings

Clean Keto Meal Plan

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
MondayScrambled eggs with spinach cooked in olive oil, avocado slicesGrilled chicken salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and an olive oil and lemon dressingBaked salmon with roasted broccoli and cauliflower
TuesdayKeto-friendly smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, and berriesTurkey lettuce wraps with cucumber and avocadoZucchini noodles with shrimp cooked in coconut oil, topped with a lemon-garlic sauce
WednesdayOmelette with mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers cooked in gheeCobb salad with grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, and a low-carb dressingBeef stir-fry with broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas in coconut oil
ThursdayFull-fat Greek yogurt with a handful of mixed berries and slivered almondsEgg salad lettuce wraps with a side of sliced bell peppersRoast chicken with Brussels sprouts and a side of mashed cauliflower
FridayKeto-friendly chia seed pudding made with unsweetened almond milk and topped with raspberriesTuna salad stuffed in avocadosGrilled lamb chops with asparagus and a mint-infused olive oil drizzle
SaturdayAvocado and smoked salmon on arugulaCaesar salad with grilled shrimp and a creamy Caesar dressingPork chops with sautéed kale and garlic in avocado oil
SundayCoconut flour pancakes topped with sugar-free almond butter and sliced strawberriesCaprese salad with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and a balsamic vinegar glazeBaked cod with a lemon herb crust, served with steamed broccoli

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What can I drink on clean keto?

Clean keto allows water, tea, coffee (no sugar), coconut water, and bone broth. You can also try checking out keto drinks with no additives.

How many carbs can you have on clean keto?

To maintain ketosis, you must stick to a 5-10% daily carbohydrate intake. Calculate your macros based on your target weight for a more accurate estimate.

Can you eat sausage on clean keto?

The answer is yes and no. You can eat sugar-free sausages with no artificial additives such as fillers and preservatives, but you must be mindful of highly processed sausages.

What are the best clean keto meats?

The best Clean Keto meats are grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, and free-range poultry. 

References

1Dhillon KK, Gupta S. Biochemistry, Ketogenesis. [Updated 2023 Feb 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493179/

2Alarim, R. A., Alasmre, F. A., Alotaibi, H. A., Alshehri, M. A., & Hussain, S. A. (2020). Effects of the Ketogenic Diet on Glycemic Control in Diabetic Patients: Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Cureus, 12(10). https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10796

3Paoli, A., Bianco, A., Moro, T., Mota, J. F., & Coelho-Ravagnani, C. F. (2023). The Effects of Ketogenic Diet on Insulin Sensitivity and Weight Loss, Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg? Nutrients, 15(14). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15143120

4Dyńka, D., Kowalcze, K., Charuta, A., & Paziewska, A. (2023). The Ketogenic Diet and Cardiovascular Diseases. Nutrients, 15(15). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15153368

5Altayyar, M., Nasser, J. A., Thomopoulos, D., & Michael Bruneau, J. (2022). The Implication of Physiological Ketosis on The Cognitive Brain: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030513

6Jensen, N. J., Wodschow, H. Z., Nilsson, M., & Rungby, J. (2020). Effects of Ketone Bodies on Brain Metabolism and Function in Neurodegenerative Diseases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(22). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228767

7Paoli, P. A., Cancellara, P., Pompei, P., & Moro, T. (2019). Ketogenic Diet and Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy: A Frenemy Relationship? Journal of Human Kinetics, 68, 233-247. https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2019-0071

8Samra RA. Fats and Satiety. In: Montmayeur JP, le Coutre J, editors. Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2010. Chapter 15. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53550/

9Daley, C. A., Abbott, A., Doyle, P. S., Nader, G. A., & Larson, S. (2010). A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal, 9, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-9-10

10Nichols, P. D., Glencross, B., Petrie, J. R., & Singh, S. P. (2014). Readily Available Sources of Long-Chain Omega-3 Oils: Is Farmed Australian Seafood a Better Source of the Good Oil than Wild-Caught Seafood? Nutrients, 6(3), 1063-1079. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6031063

11Jarmakiewicz-Czaja, S., Piątek, D., & Filip, R. (2022). The impact of selected food additives on the gastrointestinal tract in the example of nonspecific inflammatory bowel diseases. Archives of Medical Science : AMS, 18(5), 1286-1296. https://doi.org/10.5114/aoms/125001

12Aljuraiban, G. S., Algabsani, S. S., Sabico, S., AlShammari, S., Aljazairy, A., & AL-Musharaf, S. (2023). Types of fiber and gut microbiota composition and diversity among arab females. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 30(9). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2023.103767

13Pham, V. T., Dold, S., Rehman, A., Bird, J. K., & Steinert, R. E. (2021). Vitamins, the gut microbiome and gastrointestinal health in humans. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 95, 35–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2021.09.001

14Barber, T. M., Kabisch, S., H. Pfeiffer, A. F., & Weickert, M. O. (2020). The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre. Nutrients, 12(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103209

15Barone, M., Brigidi, P., & Turroni, S. (2022). Gut microbiome–micronutrient interaction: The key to controlling the bioavailability of minerals and vitamins? Biofactors (Oxford, England), 48(2), 307-314. https://doi.org/10.1002/biof.1835

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

Click on the links above to visit his author and about me pages.

Leave a Reply