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Dirty Keto vs. Healthy Keto

By January 19, 2022March 30th, 2022Nutrition Education, Weight Loss

Dirty Keto vs Healthy Keto

One of my clients, Twila, was featured on the cover of Women’s World magazine for losing 245 pounds! Click HERE to see more inspirational client testimonials! 

What I found really interesting is how they wrote she lost 254 pounds on “Ultra Keto!”

To me, keto is eating whole foods, no sugar, no processed oils.

If you want to have Ultra Success like Twila and all of my clients, I am listing a few things that will set you up for success by doing a list of Dirty Keto vs Healthy Keto.

There is a lot of bad info about keto spreading through the community. I have always tried to focus as much on healing as I do on weight loss. In order to promote healing there are some principals I suggest following:

  1. Eat the most nutrient dense, whole foods (think twice if it comes out of a package)
  2. Limit carbohydrates and get enough protein (get your personal macros HERE)
  3. Get at least 8 hours of sleep (click HERE for more help on sleep)
  4. Cut out harmful ingredients including the dirty keto products I list below
  5. Bonus Tips: Get outside in nature, add in cold therapy, cut out coffee!

These principals are great for enabling the body to heal. Weight loss is just a bonus.

Sticking with these principals enables the body to reverse the inflammation and disease processes that are holding so many people back from their best health. The most important component of this is the nutrient dense whole foods and especially animal protein!

I am not trying to pick on any of these companies. My purpose is to show all of you products that will keep you from seeing the benefits of a healthy keto lifestyle.

Too often clients tell me they tried my Protein Sparing meal plans but didn’t see the benefits. Once I dive into their diet, they were using dirty keto products like the ones listed below. Especially when clients make my Protein Sparing Dutch Baby Pancakes and smoother it in ChocZero syrup, they will not see fast weight loss and healing! ChocZero is NOT GOOD!


To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t even want my kids to eat these dirty keto item and I hope you avoid them too!

1. Dirty Keto Bread

I can’t express my disgust for this dirty keto bread from Natural Ovens enough!  Do not be fooled by “net” carbs. If you want success on your healthy keto diet, always count total carbs. Something that you must pay attention to that is more important than the carb count are the ingredients. They are terrible. They also have keto buns with the same junky ingredients. I would eat NOTHING in the ingredients. Wheat Starch, wheat gluten, oat fiber, wheat protein isolate, soybean oil, yeast…. I do not know how they can claim this as “keto!”

Dirty Keto products like these are ruining the reputation of the keto diet.


For a healthy Keto Bread option I highly suggest my protein sparing bread, click HERE to find!

2. Dirty Keto Crackers

I have been seeing a lot of keto people post photos of these keto crackers and I am here to tell you these crackers are not healthy.

There are more dirty ingredients than healthy ones! Sure these crackers are gluten free, but I do not think they should be labeled “Keto” nor healthy. Brown rice flour is higher in carbs than white flour. Brown rice flour is 120g per cup and white flour is 95g per cup.

Not only that, these keto crackers contain tapioca flour (another unhealthy starch), Inulin (another carb to raise blood sugar), flaxseeds (an estrogenic product that shouldn’t be consumed as a food) and crispy brown rice (another starch).

So, if you see these at Costco…. walk on by!

Healthy Keto Crackers

Click HERE to find a few of my healthy keto cracker recipes. Click HERE to find Carnivore Crisps which is a very healthy crispy carnivore cracker!

3. Dirty Keto Tortillas

Have you seen these Siete Tortillas at Costco? Stay away from them! You will not see results like my clients do! Tapioca Flour is not recommended. Click HERE to read why Flaxseed is so harmful. Almond Flour should be a rare treat. I personally never eat it.

Joseph’s Wraps and Tortillas should also be avoided completely. They contain vital wheat gluten, oat fiber, corn starch, soy flour, soy protein, soybean oil, enriched wheat flour, and flaxseed. ALL of those ingredients should be avoided if you want to see results.

Healthy Keto Tortillas

I suggest to make my healthy keto, protein sparing tortillas (click HERE to find!)

or purchase egglife wraps if you do not want to make your own.

4. Dirty Keto Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza sounds healthy, but think again. It is filled with rice flour which is higher in carbs and calories that white flour! It also has other unhealthy ingredients such as tapioca starch, rice starch, brown rice, dextrose, sugar to name a few!

Healthy Keto Pizza

I suggest to make my protein sparing pizza crust! My kids beg for this healthy keto pizza all the time! Click HERE to find! 

5. Dirty Keto Cereal

Catalina Crunch claims to be a keto cereal but I do not recommend. The main ingredients are potato fiber, corn fiber, chicory root fiber and tapioca flour! That is a lot of starch in a little bowl!

Healthy Keto Cereal

Click HERE to find many of my healthy keto cereal recipes! 

6. Dirty Keto Granola

Just because something is organic, doesn’t mean it is healthy! Organic Coconut Sugar should be avoided just like regular sugar.

I also would stay away from chia seeds because of the estrogenic properties (as well as damaging the gut).

Another frustrating aspect to these dirty keto products is that they all assume that if they add processed MCT oil, that makes it keto. You do not need to add fat in order to be in ketosis. And in fact, if you add fat to a bunch of carbs (like nuts and seeds), that is a great way to GAIN weight! And not muscle weight. You gain fat with a lot of fat plus carbs together. Plus, MCT oil is a refined oil that is devoid of nutrients (sugar actually has more vitamins than MCT oil!

This keto granola found at Costco has tapioca syrup and 8g carbs per 1/3 cup is a lot!

Do not be fooled by the “Keto” title.

Healthy Keto Granola

Click HERE to find my healthy keto granola, but if you are trying to lose weight, I would skip all nuts and nut flours.

7. Dirty Keto Breakfast Sandwiches

This breakfast egg sandwich claims keto but even the eggs includes corn starch, the turkey patty includes potato starch as well as sugar and American cheese is not a healthy cheese to consume.

Healthy Keto Breakfast Sandwich 

If you are looking for a delicious healthy keto breakfast sandwich, I highly suggest getting The Art of Fat Loss! 

8. Dirty Keto Brownies

These keto brownies have Tapioca Fiber. What most people do not realize is that the tapioca fiber might as well just be sugar. If you are Type 2 diabetic, it will spike your blood glucose EXACTLY like sugar. I’ve seen this with my clients all the time!

Healthy Keto Brownies

If you are craving chocolate, click HERE to make my easy flourless chocolate torte!

9. Dirty Keto Muffins

These Keto Muffins found at Costco have a lot of ingredients that pose a red flag… corn fiber, corn starch, sugar, more corn starch, and flaxseed; all of which should be avoided! Do not be fooled by the word Keto on the box and those of you who love Weight Watchers, do not be fooled by the Weight Watcher Points as only being 3 points!

Healthy Keto Muffins

If you are craving a healthy keto muffin, click HERE to find my very popular keto pumpkin muffins!

10. Dirty Keto Pancakes

Do not kill the messenger but steer clear of this pancake mix! I see people making these dirty keto pancakes all over Instagram and I am here to warn you that I do not recommend them. These keto pancakes are high in starch! Tigernut flour contains 19g carbs per 1/4 cup! That is a lot! Cassava flour should be avoided at all costs. And almond flour and coconut flour should be avoided for weight loss.

Healthy Keto Pancakes

If you are craving healthy keto pancakes, click HERE to find my pancake recipes! Click HERE to find the Art of Fat Loss which has protein sparing pancakes (perfect for weight loss!) The Art of Fat Loss also has meal plans perfect for fast weight loss!

11. Dirty Keto Syrup

I’m sorry to tell of you who use ChocZero that their products are not healthy nor keto in my mind.  Corn fiber should be avoided at all costs. My clients who have tried it see their blood sugar rise too the 400’s after using this “keto” syrup!

Stay away from Choc-Zero products with soluble corn fiber. They claim it is a fiber, it is not absorbed! But check this out!

Healthy Keto Syrup

Click HERE to find my healthy keto syrup recipe! Or click HERE to find an allulose based syrup.

12. Dirty Keto Chocolate 

Steer clear of this dirty keto chocolate! It is sweetened with “organic” cane sugar!

Be careful when using “sugar-free” chocolate chips. I see WAY too many keto dieters on Instagram using Hershey’s Sugar Free chocolate chips. These are NOT a good option and the malitol in them will cause high blood sugar and a lot of bloating and gas!

I also do not recommend ChocZero Chocolate! The main ingredient is Soluble Corn Fiber. Check out what happened when Dr. Ann Childers ate a piece of ChocZero chocolate!

Healthy Keto Chocolate 

If you are craving chocolate and do not want to make one of my healthy keto chocolate recipes, you should try The Good Chocolate! Click HERE to find!

13. Dirty Keto Snacks

Here is another dirty keto item to stay away from! These keto snacks have cane sugar, brown rice syrup, flaxseeds and agave fiber! Nothing but a blood sugar spike in this bag!

Healthy Keto Snack

For a healthy keto snack, I highly suggest my protein sparing bread Chex Party Mix (click HERE to find)! My whole family LOVES them!

Focus on protein if you need a snack! Click HERE to find my favorite healthy Keto Snacks.

14. Dirty Keto Egg Wraps

When I heard of these egg wraps, I got VERY excited! Until I read the ingredients! Brown rice flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, long grain rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch! Not good!

Just because the wrapper claims to not have carbs per wrap, do not think “It fits in my macros” so you can have them and still expect results like my clients do.

Healthy Keto Egg Wraps

The healthiest keto egg wrap option would be to make my protein sparing tortillas, click HERE to find my recipe! Or you can purchase egglife wraps (click HERE to find).

15. Dirty Keto Protein Bars

If you own these keto protein bars, throw them away! I don’t like a lot of the ingredients but the dirtiest ingredients is soy protein which is a very harmful protein.

Soy protein isn’t the health food it claims to be! About 20 percent of babies in the United States are now fed soy formula, but the estrogens in soy can cause long term harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health that is irreversible. Babies consuming soy formula ingest about 5 birth control pills worth of estrogen every day.

  • 1. THYROID ISSUES: Phytoestrogens are estrogen like. Mega consumption of these isoflavones are found in soy burgers, milk, soy butter and are very harmful for thyroid function.
  • 2. CANCER: The estrogenic and toxic effect is linked to breast, uterus, and thyroid cancer.
  • 3. INFERTILITY: Soy is linked to growth disorders, thyroid problems, infertility, and tumors.
  • 4. TIRED TOXIC LIVER: Soy has toxic chemicals that clog up the liver and can’t be metabolized, unless fermented.
  • 5. MINERAL DEFICIENCIES: Soy has anti-nutrient properties that block absorption of minerals from intestines (which in turn slows the thyroid).
  • 6. DIGESTION: Contains enzymes inhibitors that reduce protein digestion.

Healthy Keto Protein Bars

Click HERE to find healthy protein bars and keto snacks!

16. Dirty Keto Shake

AH! SlimFast joined the keto bandwagon and created this dirty keto shake! Just because it has MCT oil in it doesn’t make it a healthy keto product! MCT oil is a processed oil that is devoid of nutrients.

Also this dirty keto shake has dextrose which is just another name for sugar! I also do not recommend whey protein for weight loss. Whey protein is the quickest absorbed protein which may happen to be great for a body builder BUT someone with blood sugar issues or someone who wants to lose weight, this isn’t good news. Also whey protein is dairy. Most of my clients, as well as myself, need to cut out dairy in order to lose weight.

17. Dirty Protein Shake

Ensure doesn’t claim to be keto, but I wanted to include this to show you just how unhealthy this protein shake is, despite being pushed by many doctors to their patients!

Just look at these terrible ingredients! Corn maltodextrin has a glycemic index of 110; sugar has a glycemic index of 52! The next ingredient is sugar, followed by harmful vegetable oils and soy protein! I would avoid this chemical drink like the plague and I would tell your family members to stay away from it too!

Healthy Keto Protein Shake

I personally recommend chewing your food instead of drinking your calories if weight loss is your goal. Chewing signals satiety and registers hormones that drinking does not. However, if you are in a situation where you can’t chew (Craig had cavitation surgery for Lyme disease and couldn’t chew food for a week!), I have a great weight loss protein shake in The Art of Fat Loss!

Or try my hard boiled egg chocolate pudding! 

18. Dirty Keto Fats: Vegetable Oils

Too many people are trading healthy animal fats for harmful vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil and corn oil. Instead of eating healthy saturated fats, people are eating fats that release toxic chemicals called aldehydes that have been linked to dementia, cancer, and heart disease. Vegetable oils also contribute to weight gain because they block the enzymes used to help break down fat for energy.

These oils are found in most mayonnaise, salad dressings, restaurant eggs and omelets, fast food burgers, coffee creamer, protein bars/keto bars, frozen keto meals. Read more HERE. 

Be careful when purchasing oils that seem healthy, like this coconut oil which also has canola oil in it!

Healthy Fats

There are a lot of great healthy fats to use. I love duck fat, lard, tallow, bacon fat, coconut oil, avocado oil and if you can do dairy, butter and ghee.

19. Keto Flours and Baking Products

Stay away from anything with Vital Wheat Gluten! Other ingredients to steer clear from are flax, inulin fiber, tapioca starch, tapioca flour, oat fiber.

This Dirty Keto Bread Mix is really really unhealthy!

Healthy Keto Flours

Click HERE to read more on healthy baking products.

20. Dirty Keto Candy

Want to really see your blood sugar sky-rocket? Eat these keto gummy candies!

The main ingredient is corn fiber; which causes the same blood sugar spike as shown above with the ChocZero syrup. Another ingredient to be concerned about is the isomalt. Isomalt has about half the calories of sugars and does raise your blood sugar levels.

Healthy Keto Candy

Click HERE to find my healthy keto candy and gummy recipes!

21. Dirty Keto: Sugar Free Jell-O

I was shocked when a DOCTOR recommended sugar free Jell-O as a healthy dessert! The ingredients in sugar free Jell-O is not healthy!

INGREDIENTS: Gelatin, Adipic Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Maltodextrin, Fumaric Acid, Aspartame (Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine), (Sweetener), Contains Less than 2% of Artificial Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium (Sweetener), Salt, Red 40.

Maltodexterin has a glycemic index of 110! Sugar has a glycemic index of 52.

Not to mention how aspartame has been found to “eat” tiny holes in our cellular membrane.

On top of that, synthetic food dyes cause hyperactivity because it is an excitotoxin, where it over stimulates our dopamine production, but then we don’t produce enough; which causes a deficiency. ADD is a symptom of a dopamine deficiency.

Healthy Sugar Free Keto Jell-O

Click HERE to find my easy and healthy keto Jell-O

22. Dirty Keto Sugar Free Pudding

INGREDIENTS: Modified Cornstarch, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Maltodextrin, Disodium Phosphate and Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Contains Less than 2% of Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt, Aspartame (Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine) and Acesulfame Potassium (Sweeteners), Mono and Di-Glycerides, Xanthan Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Artificial Color, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2.

The modified cornstarch in this sugar free pudding has a glycemic index of 77. Sugar has a glycemix index of 52. Make sure to skip dirty products like this that contain aspartame, which has been found to “eat” tiny holes in our cellular membrane.

Healthy Keto Pudding

Click HERE to find my healthy keto chocolate pudding (that even Halle Berry loves!)


This post is not intended to be the “Keto Police.” My intention is to help you transform your life like my clients have. There are too many mixed messages and false advertising about keto and I am here to help you filter all of the lies.

My goal is to have you find success and transform your life by switching from the dirty keto products, to the healthy keto products! Happy eating my friends and don’t forget to take a before photo!

Please pass on this information to your friends who are trying the keto lifestyle and need to know the truth!


“Together we’ve lost over 200+ pounds! We’ve been following Emmerich Keto for 4 years. And as of July 2021 have become one of Maria Emmerich’s’ Certified coaches!!

And my whole family feels the same about you guys! 

If it weren’t for your Personalized Health Assessments & recommending certain lab-work we never would’ve known about my middle daughter’s thyroid issue! So…what a blessing YOU are Maria!

I also have a 12 year old son that wanted your Sugar Free Kids cookbook just because of your boys helping in your YouTube videos!” Mandy 

Most people I consult are doing keto totally wrong. Get fast results with the my Mind-blowing Keto School!

Click HERE to check out my supplement plans!

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Lisa McAllister says:

    I have been wondering about the keto products. Thank you!!

  • Harri says:

    I do use the Slimfast Keto shake (vanilla) but not in the way it’s supposed to be used. I mix it with cream, blend it well and it thickens the cream up into a spreadable paste that goes super well with your protein-sparing bread, made slightly sweet with allulose, as a once in a while treat. Spread it on like butter. I am in the UK, here it does not contain dextrose.

  • Linda A. says:

    I found this article to be very helpful. Thanks for including images of the product’s nutritional information. I’ve tried the ChocZero syrups and didn’t like them so I’m glad they’re not recommended!

  • Pattie says:

    Thank you Maria for this post. As a long time follower, I sometimes slip and this was a good reminder. I like that you gave specific reasons to avoid these ingredients and explained why they aren’t good for us. I have enjoyed those brownies you mentioned as a treat, and figured a little tapioca fiber wouldn’t hurt as the other ingredients are clean. I need to get back to reading the labels much more carefully. One question about MCT oil. I use it in your recipes. You said it’s nutritionally void as it’s processed. Still ok to use in salad dressings and such or have you changed your position on it? Thanks for all the education and knowledge you share.

  • Bobbi says:

    Is there a printable list of the ingredients to avoid? Something I could have a a quick reference when I’m at the store? Most of the time of I’m not sure, I don’t buy it. But a couple of the things you listed were not on my radar at all. I have a hard time recalling info when I need it so having a quick reference would be nice. Ty

  • Nicole Z. says:

    I love this list! It is sooooo helpful. I bought the ChocXO Keto chocolate when I first started keto a few months ago. Glad I know now! I just placed my second order of The Good Chocolate the other day. I made your chocolate cookies with one of their bars today.

  • Caroline says:

    Wow! Eye opener! Thankyou Maria….so grateful for the heads up on real food. So done with garbage ingredients. Makes me stronger and more committed.💕

  • Jill says:

    THANK YOU for this GREAT explanation!!! I literally have so many of these products in my pantry and NOW IN MY TRASH!!! I think this info is sooooo valuable!!! Please do more!! If there is a “snack” that is easy to take while traveling I would love to know what we can buy just to have in urgent times. I cannot make pancakes or pudding while traveling—LOL. xoxo

  • Delvina says:

    Thank you so much! I’m so tired of seeing these products in every grocery store and in huge bags or boxes in Costco!

  • Maria Rivera says:

    Thanks for posting this Maria, there are so much “keto” junk out there. Was wondering whats your opinion on the hlth code protein shakes from Dr Bikman.

  • Adrienne says:

    I really allowed a LOT of these products to “take over”.. Before I knew it Katalina crunch for breakfast, low carb tortilla for lunch or dinner. Recently, I have noticed a huge stall and even some weight gain and new inflammation- now I know why. I stepped away from clean ingredients. I am making a better effort to go back to my clean ways. Thank you for this post. It’s bringing me back to where I started!

  • Vicki says:

    Thanks for the tough love. I needed it. I’m throwing this stuff away♥️

  • Gina says:

    Thank you Maria!! I only use one of these products, but have vital wheat gluten, oat fiber and flax in my pantry. Getting rid of them today!!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you Maria! I had some of these products in my pantry as well. Time to reign it in.
    Thank you!

  • Eliz says:

    Wow! You really worked hard on this for everyone! God Bless you! Elizabeth (a Great Gran in MN)

  • Kim says:

    Thank you Maria! I had some of these products in my pantry as well. Time to reign it in and clean out.
    Thank you!

  • Lori says:

    When I see stuff like that, I am like “🤔”, would Maria approve of these? I had my doubts and don’t buy them. They aren’t real food!
    Thank you for clarifying. There is a website that talks great about Organic Canola oil. It’s in one of the “certified organic” creamer I love. I can’t have dairy so oat milk is what I use. The product is Sown.
    Let me know your thoughts.
    Thank you for working for us! ❤️

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      I don’t recommend oats or oat milk. For dairy intolerance almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk and hemp milk are better options 🙂

  • Maria says:

    Do you have any recipes with rabbit? Raising meat rabbits is a new trend among homesteaders, especially in the last couple of years.

  • Jenny says:

    Maria, do you have recommendations to eat clean keto as a vegetarian? I have not eaten meat or fish since I was a small child and found out what meat really was. All I could see on my plate was green hills covered with cows, sheep, and pigs. I do eat eggs and cheese, but the thought of eating meat is too much for me.

    Thank you,


    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Choose organic dairy, pastured eggs and low glycemic vegetables and fruits. Meat (beef specifically) is the most bioavailable food for humans, so in its absence getting as much quality dairy, eggs and produce as you can is best 🙂

  • Katherine Garza says:

    Very informative! Thank you 😊

  • Vidya says:

    Hi Maria – Thank you for the information. I tried reading through your articles but couldn’t find the specific issues with insulin. just wanted to verify what the problem with inulin is?

  • Noelle Harsanyi says:

    I found out about Choc Zero by doing a blood sugar test with it. I ate two “bark” pieces and went from 84 to 206. Shocking and telling.

  • DMarie says:

    My husband and I have been eating low carb for just under 10 years now (I don’t call it “keto” because I don’t think we are strictly keto and don’t want the further worry of whether we are in ketosis all the time.) I know we are much healthier for it (in our mid-sixties and not on any meds). I feel the bottom line is, yes, you can still have most of your favorite foods such as pizza, ice cream, even marshmallows, BUT you have to make them from scratch. This is very time-consuming as you well know. I spend a good deal of my free time doing just that. So it is very tempting when a convenience food comes along. Unfortunately, the “safe” ones are very expensive. I can see how this type of diet would be very difficult for a family with young children, if not impossible time-wise. It can also be a lonely path, as you can’t join others in having pizza etc out in a restaurant. (we do not know of even one other person who eats the way we do) We originally dropped several pounds but hubby especially has put it back on through the years, and I’m assuming that it’s because of all the baking with mostly almond flour. He likes to have a bit of dessert each day and I hate to eliminate that completely, so I’m guessing, Maria, that you would recommend a different type of dessert such as a pudding or ice
    cream? And I often make a “cereal” with nuts and seeds, but think I’ll have to cut down on that too.

    One other comment I want to make is that in almost 2 years of dealing with the covid situation, prevention through a healthy lifestyle is never mentioned! (at least not by mainstream media) You always hear about being vaccinated, but nothing about how obesity, diabetes and other preventable risks can be managed. It really irks me! I can’t be the only one with this observation??

    Thank you for your hard work in educating us, Maria. I know if you endorse something, it’s got to be healthy!

  • Gina says:

    The term “dirty keto” bothers me. It’s just a term for unhealthy processed foods. I don’t see anyone saying, dirty low carb, dirty carnivore or dirty vegan.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      I completely agree. But these companies have forced me into the position of having to find a way to distinguish between the two. That is why in all honesty I do not like the term “keto.” It has been misinterpreted and demonized for far too long. I prefer to say I eat a whole food diet free from sugar and processed ingredients instead 🙂

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