Many people that all fruit is high in carbs, which leads them to believe that eating fruit is off-limits. However, there are many kinds of fruit that are low carb and are acceptable to eat on a low carb diet. In particular, on the keto diet, which is a high fat, low carb diet, there are some fruits that dieters love to eat. We talk about some of these fruits in the Body Reboot book, and below we reveal 5 of the best low carb fruits to eat and enjoy.
Well + Good gives us a little bit more background about the carbohydrates in fruit and how it relates to the keto diet. You can have fruit that has carbs, but like anything, it’s essential to monitor your carb intake. Don’t worry; there are plenty of low carb fruits that you can still enjoy.
But staying in ketosis depends on you limiting your carb intake—which is where fruit can get kind of tricky. Generally, most keto plans call for eating 30 grams of carbs per day max. For context, eating just one mango (which has over 50 grams of carbs per fruit and roughly 45 grams of sugar) puts you well over your day’s carb limit. And those extra 20 grams of carbs make a difference. “Entering ketosis usually takes anywhere from three days to a week. Eating too many carbs in one day will bump you out of ketosis,” says Gargiulo.
However, fruits are filled with important nutrients—vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants—that make them well-worth keeping in your diet. Rather than ditching them for good (or being filled with fear every time you see a banana), Gargiulo suggests introducing low-carb fruits one at a time to see how it impacts your body’s ability to stay in ketosis, since she says it can be a bit different for everyone. As for knowing exactly what keto-friendly fruits are out there, Gargiulo shares some of the best options below.
Perfect Keto explains how even though fruit is full of sugar, it’s okay to eat while on a low carb diet. The beautiful thing is that there are still fruits that are low enough carbs to enjoy and get vitamins while on the keto diet.
Fruits are packed with sugar. Sugar, of course, is the carbohydrate you most want to avoid on a ketogenic diet.
In addition to its addictive, disease-promoting effects, sugar consumption causes an immediate spike in blood sugar. This leads to excessive cravings and can immediately halt fat burning — everything you’re trying to avoid on keto.
Research shows that sugar can trigger reward-and-craving areas in the brain — comparable to the effect of addictive drugs. Evidence even suggests sugar can be more addicting than cocaine.
Obviously, processed sugars and carbohydrates play the biggest role in this addiction. But could nature’s candy be triggering some addictive properties as well?
Currently, research is lacking in this area. As far as fruit and keto go, the main challenge is finding fruits with the lowest sugar and carbohydrate content.
Fruits high in sugar — such as apples, bananas, mangos, peaches, and watermelon — are best avoided on the keto diet. Dried fruits and fruit juice, with their enormously high sugar content, should be cut out as well.
Avocados are delicious, and they’re more than okay to consume when you’re on the keto diet. Avocados are also high in fat, which Everyday Health says makes them an ideal fruit to eat regularly.
Can’t get enough of avocados? You now have a great excuse to eat more of them. A ½-cup serving of the creamy fruit has almost 12 g of fat and only 2.6 g of net carbs. Avocados are also low in calories (about 138 for the same serving), making them an ideal snack in between meals. One serving also has about 6.4 g of dietary fiber (25.6 percent daily value, or DV), 404 milligrams (mg) of potassium (8.6 percent DV), and only 2.8 g of sugar. Try topping your salad with cubed avocado for a keto-friendly lunch.
Another low carb fruit is tomatoes, another tasty and delicious food (think low carb salsa!) you can use in various recipes. Ruled.me talks about tomatoes more below.
While sometimes referred to as a vegetable, tomatoes are pretty important to mention here. They are commonly consumed on a ketogenic diet in the form of sauces or added as a flavor enhancer in many recipes.
They do contain many micronutrients and essential vitamins, but they are most commonly used for their acidic properties.
Tomatoes can add up in carbs quickly, so make sure to use them sparingly and as a flavor enhancer only.
Low-carb tomato sauces are popping up on the shelves now, so make sure to double check nutrition labels before buying.
If you are following a nightshade-free lifestyle, you can use vinegar and mashed, cooked zucchini to replicate the taste and some of the texture that tomatoes have.
If you’re a berry fan, then you’re in luck because Ruled.me explains how berries, and in particular strawberries, are low in carbs and packed full of nutrients.
When summer rolls around, the first thing that pops into my head is making some strawberry lemonade popsicles. Strawberries can be extremely refreshing!
As with all berries, strawberries share many of the health benefits that the other berries have.
Strawberries have also been found to improve blood sugar levels, reduce insulin levels, increase insulin sensitivity when compared to groups that did not consume berries. This suggests that the combination of consuming strawberries and following the keto diet may have particularly profound effects for those with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
At around 5.5 grams of net carbs per 3/4 cup (100g) serving, strawberries should be consumed in moderation on the keto diet. As long as you are being diligent with the net carbs you consume, you can easily fit some strawberries into your diet without impairing your progress.
What about blackberries? Blackberries are another low carb fruit you can enjoy, and Everyday Health explains why that’s the case below.
Whether you’re whipping them into a recipe or snacking on a handful of them raw, blackberries can make a great addition to your keto meal plan. A ½-cup serving doesn’t contain much fat (less than ½ g) but is also low in net carbs, with just 3.1 g. The same serving size offers 3.8 g of fiber (15.2 percent DV) and 3.5 g of sugar. Blackberries also provide potassium, with 117 mg (2.5 percent DV) per ½-cup serving. It has 15.1 mg of vitamin C (25.2 percent DV) and 14.3 mg of vitamin K (17.9 percent DV). This fruit is also a great snack for weight loss, containing about 31 cal per ½ cup.
Diet Doctor provides an excellent “dessert” idea — top your berries with whipped cream for some extra fat in your diet! Yum!
From time-to-time you may be able indulge in a modest amount of fruit as a treat, while still staying in ketosis. Try them with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.7
Here are some of the best choices, in net carbs:
Raspberries: Half a cup (60 grams) contains 3 grams of carbs.
Blackberries: Half a cup (70 grams) contains 4 grams of carbs.
Strawberries: Eight medium-sized (100 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
Plum: One medium-sized (65 grams) contains 7 grams of carbs.
Blueberries: Half a cup (75 grams) contains 9 grams of carbs.
Health 24 reminds us that lemon is yet another fruit that’s nice to have in your diet. Lemon has many health benefits, and it also tastes delicious in water if that’s something you like.
No one’s asking you to bite into a lemon – though, if you’re into that, you do you – but when you need to dress up unsweetened soda water or plain tea, the sour citrus fruit has your back.
A squeeze from a wedge has less than a half of a gram of net carbs. That’s a negligible amount of carbs, so honestly, squeeze as many lemons as you want, says Jadin.
Read the Body Reboot book and read all about other low carb fruits and foods you can eat. The keto diet is far from boring — there are many delicious foods to eat and enjoy. To get a free copy today, help us cover shipping. Visit this page to get a free copy today.
Sources: Well + Good, Everyday Health, Diet Doctor, Ruled.me, Perfect Keto
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