February 20, 2019
January 29, 2019 by Dr. Varner in Ketogenic Diet
Easily one of the most common questions I get about keto is—what about fruit?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?
When cutting out carbs, most people are surprised that this includes fruit as well. After all, we’ve all been raised on the idea that fruits are one of the most important sources of vitamins and minerals.
While a bowl of fruit is undoubtedly better than a piece of cake for you, this doesn’t mean that they’re 100% good for you. Yes, they contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, but they’re packed with sugar. And yes, ‘natural’ sugar still counts.
Today fruits are bigger, sweeter, tastier and better looking than ever before. Thanks to genetic modification, fruits have evolved to contain far more sugar than they did centuries ago.
So just like high fructose corn syrup, the fruits we consume today are a modern invention that our bodies are not built to handle eating as frequently as we do.
That being said there are some fruits you can have on a keto diet. The key is determining which fruits have the lowest carbs and will have the least impact on your insulin levels…
Read on in today’s post for the top 5 fruits you can eat on keto.
Why you want to cut your fruit intake
Humans have been messing around with nature since the beginning of time. You know what a carrot looks like, right? It’s big, orange and juicy. But carrots didn’t always look like that. The natural color for carrots actually used to be purple.
There were other colors around too, like red, yellow and white ones, but it was the Dutch in the 17th century who crossbred the carrots to become the orange color we see today. It was done as a tribute to William of Orange, who fought for Dutch independence.
Your average fruit is no different. Most fruits used to be shriveled and tasteless, but humans have since made them tastier and bigger. This process really ramped up after 1930, when the Plant Patent Act came into force.
This encouraged farmers to experiment to make new fruits, and many began working on how to make them bigger and sweeter.
Fruits may be nicer to eat nowadays, but unfortunately, it means they’re loaded with sugar. In fact, some zoos have taken fruit off the diet of many animals, because the sugar content is making them sick.
Too much sugar can make humans sick too. It causes energy spikes and crashes, brain fog, lethargy, and most chronic illnesses under the sun. And let’s not forget the obvious teeth rot and weight gain.
All this sounds pretty bad, so are there any fruits you can eat on keto? YES!
The key is in finding fruits with higher fiber ratios, to eat them in small portions and to keep track of your ketone levels.
Fruits you can eat on keto
Don’t let the sweet taste fool you, with only five grams of net carbs per cup raspberries are actually a good low-carb option. This makes them excellent additions to give some flavor to unsweetened yogurt as a tasty snack.
In addition, like most berries raspberries are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, quercetin and gallic acid.
Coconut is an especially good option on keto, because it is loaded with good fats. Just the kind of thing we want on keto. Coconut is also known for containing high levels of fiber and potassium.
But watch out, because a lot of store-bought coconut products have a ton of added sugar. Be sure to check the label before you buy to make sure that there’s no added sugar.
Or go straight ahead and buy a real coconut to prepare yourself, the coconut milk that comes with it is a perfect fatty milk-alternative.
Despite their small size, strawberries are loaded with nutrients. They contain lots of minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium, and are also rich in vitamins B6, K, E, C, and B9.
Even if you’re doing a strict keto diet of just 20 grams of carbs per day, a quarter cup of strawberry halves only contains TWO carbs or 10 percent of your limit. Definitely a worthwhile addition. Combine it with heavy cream or full-fat yogurt for an easy keto dessert.
Unlike the other fruits on the list, you’re probably not going to down a whole lemon in one sitting. But lemon zest and lemon water are highly desirable add-ons to your keto diet.
Although the pH levels of foods don’t actually affect your blood pH, how they act when your body processes them certainly can.
Purine is found in many keto foods such as caffeine, organ meats, turkey, game meats, sardines, and seafood. When this is processed it turns into acid. Lemon juice is also acidic but becomes alkaline when it’s digested.
So lemon juice is essential to maintaining a healthy pH balance on keto. If you fall on either side of neutral too hard, you can end up with a lot of health problems.
Mix lemon juice with sea salt and water for a great electrolyte drink to kickstart your mornings.
Whenever something is designated as the new ‘superfood,’ I take a closer, albeit skeptical look. But the acai berry is a game changer because it’s a genuinely great food.
The açai berry is packed with antioxidants, fiber, and is full of the monounsaturated fatty acids which help with inflammation.
Also, it helps promote heart and digestive health and helps keep your skin clear.
In its natural state, açai is sugar-free. But be careful, most açai products that you find in the supermarket have added sugar— and a lot of it at that.
Understanding that fruit isn’t as healthy as you thought is another big step towards starting your new, healthy diet.
While some fruits, like those mentioned above, fit easily in the keto diet. Most fruits are packed full of sugar that spikes your insulin levels and contributes to weight gain. You especially want to stay away from dried fruit, which are even more concentrated in sugar.
Luckily fruit isn’t the only source of vitamins and minerals available to you. In fact, you can get all that you need and more from strong, green vegetables. Bone broth also packs a serious nutritional punch, making it an invaluable addition to your diet.
How hard has it been for you to start leaving fruit out of your diet? Let us know below.