What is Lazy Keto and how does it compare to Dirty Keto?
Strict ketogenic diets are difficult to follow, especially in regards nutrient tracking. As a result, there are many new hybrid ketogenic diets being introduced. Typically, these follow the same macro concepts, but are usually easier to follow. While they may be easier to follow, the changes also makes it easier to fail.
Two of the newer ketogenic diets that fit this description are Lazy Keto and Dirty Keto. Both are very similar in design and both make ketosis more attainable to the populous.
Consequently, they are becoming more popular despite the warnings of nutritionists and doctors. Before getting into the details of specific concerns, let us look at what they are.
Lazy Keto is a version of the ketogenic diet where those on the diet count the grams of carbohydrate intake, but do not really worry about the other macros. This is the more traditional of the two and really does not deviate much from the regular ketogenic diet in theory. In practice, it is also very similar, although the lack of focus on fat and protein may make ketosis more difficult.
This is particularly the case when there is more protein intake and less fat intake. There is a real risk of falling in and out of ketosis due to lower fat intake and excessive protein. That being said, many people that are on ketogenic diets are probably actually doing a Lazy Keto diet to some extent if they are not actively monitoring all of the macros.
Dirty Keto is similar to Lazy Keto in that the only macro actively tracked is carbohydrate intake. The big difference is what type of food counts as Dirty Keto. The reason nutritionists and physicians are becoming acceptant of ketogenic diets is the focus on whole foods.
However, Dirty Keto is not concerned with whole foods or clean foods, ONLY macros. Dirty Keto does not distinguish between saturated fats like butter or polyunsaturated fats like soybean oil. In terms of Dirty Keto, fat is fat.
There is some truth to the fact that it does not matter what kind of fat you eat when it comes to getting into or staying in ketosis, but it DOES matter to your overall health and how long you can stay on the diet.
It also means that Dirty Keto meal planning includes fast food and what is generally considered junk food, as long as you keep carbs low. Whereas Lazy Keto can meet the nutritional requirements for people on the diet, it is doubtful one could sustain Dirty Keto without some nutritional deficit.
This assumes that one stays in Dirty Keto the whole time and does not take into account that someone may do Lazy Keto most of the time, but drift into Dirty Keto on occasion.
While Dirty Keto may not have the nutrient density that Lazy Keto or Standard Keto may have, there are some advantages of the diet, at least from an accessibility standpoint. For more information on the types of ketogenic diets, click HERE. One of the more difficult aspects of the ketogenic diet is the need for ongoing access to low-carb food.
While carbohydrate restriction is not easy in itself, it is increasing difficult for those that do not cook their own food or those who do not have access to fresh vegetables and other whole foods. This has been an issue with the Western diet for ages and has not changed just because carbohydrates are being restricted.
In fact, we are seeing just the opposite where fast food establishments are now marketing food with questionable nutritional content to customers on low carb diets.
From a nutritional standpoint, Lazy Keto is by far the safer option for long-term dieting and weight loss. That being said, many times people use the names interchangeably, so it is difficult to make that distinction.
In fact, I would argue that many people doing a ketogenic diet are probably doing some level of Lazy Keto as it is. They may be watching fat intake and protein intake, but the focus is mainly on carbs.
While carbohydrate restriction is a requirement for ketosis and can be measured to verify if they are being adequately restricted, the other two macros’ impact cannot be easily measured unless they are “off” enough to drop the dieter out of ketosis.
The reason Dirty Keto is not as safe for long-term dieting is three-fold. One, without careful monitoring of micronutrients, there is a very good change that the diet will not meet all nutritional needs.
This goes in parallel with the concerns about the Western diet in general (fast food and processed foods being a large part of the diet). In that sense, people are trading one subpar diet for another.
In my opinion, one of the reasons Dirty Keto is catching on is because it is very similar to the typical Western diet, only with carb restriction and the resulting fat loss above what can be achieved without carb restriction. Nutritionally, it is not really better or worse, but it is more effective for fat loss.
Secondly, Dirty Keto is harder to restrict carbohydrates on because of the fact that food is prepared by others or highly processed and carbohydrates can be “hidden”. Because carbohydrates are cheap, they are frequently used as fillers that add no nutritional value.
In terms of a regular diet, those fillers may not account for much in terms of wasted calories, but in regards to ketosis, they are significant. In terms of processed foods, companies are getting better and better at hiding carbs in order to say they are sugar-free or no sugar added.
Finally, Dirty Keto is at an increased risk for unintentional ketosis cycling, where the dieter goes in and out of ketosis without noticing. There is anecdotal evidence (based on preliminary, small scale research) suggesting that spikes in glucose while on ketogenic diets can damage blood vessels in additional to just kicking you out of ketosis.
While this is still very early to say anything definitively, this could be a concern if frequently going in and out of ketosis. This would be the case for all ketogenic diets that include cheat days as well. If this truly is the case, we would need to look at harm-reduction options to minimize the impact. This could be accomplished with botanicals that enhance ketosis.
In conclusion, even though Lazy Keto is very similar to the standard ketogenic diet, the main difference is the lack of focus on macros other than carbohydrates. This may decrease its effectiveness compared to the standard ketogenic diet, but probably not by much.
Dirty Keto, on the other hand, is quite different from either the standard ketogenic diet or the Lazy Keto diet in that the quality of food does not matter as much as just strictly following carbohydrate macros. Only considering carbohydrate intake can lead to nutritional deficiencies, especially micronutrients, and is not recommended as such.
All questions sent to Q&A@herbaladjunct.com will be answered by a Certified Ketogenic Nutrition Specialist for the most accurate information possible.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.