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Keto fruits are fruits that fit into a keto diet. Keto fruits are by definition fruits that are low in carbohydrates and sugars. While you may know many of the health benefits of these fruits, this article will also explore some lesser-known and impressive health benefits of low-carb, low-sugar fruits.
In this article, you will also learn about the risks associated with certain keto fruits so you can determine if keto fruit is right for you.
What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic, or keto, diet is a restrictive eating plan focused on eating extremely low carbohydrates. People following the keto diet are instructed to limit carbohydrates to less than 50 grams per day.
There is some variation on the amount of carbohydrates allowed per day, and some sources say to consume no more than 20 grams per day. For context, 20 grams of carbohydrates is roughly equal to a single potato, half a cup of cooked pasta, or half a sandwich.
However, the keto diet isn’t just a low-carb diet. It is also a high fat diet. This method of feeding for weight loss or diabetes prevention, treatment and management has been used since the 19th century.
How the keto diet works
The keto diet is said to work by sending the body into a state of ketosis where the body starts using stored fat for fuel. This process produces ketones or acids that are released when the body breaks down fat for fuel. Our bodies naturally go into ketosis during periods of intentional or unintentional fasting, such as while you sleep. The keto diet aims to extend the period of ketosis for weight loss or to help manage certain health conditions.
Ketogenic diets have also been used to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders and to help people cope with the symptoms of psychiatric conditions, migraines and brain trauma. That’s not all, though. The keto diet has also been studied for its effects on other health conditions. Such conditions include cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (POS), and Alzheimer’s disease.
What fruit can I eat on the keto diet?
While following a keto-friendly diet may seem restrictive, there are some fruits you can still eat. In general, these fruits will be low-carb, low-sugar options. Some, like avocado, will also include a healthy dose of fat, making it an even more keto-friendly choice.
Avocados are often used as a vegetable in savory dishes, but they are actually a fruit that bears seeds. Avocados are often promoted for their healthy, rich fat content, but they’re also keto-friendly in the sense that they’re low in carbs.
Avocados contain about 8.5 grams of carbohydrates, 6.7 grams of fiber and about 14.7 grams of fat per 3.5-ounce fruit (a 100-gram serving). In addition to being low in carbohydrates and high in fat, avocados contain various essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folate.
Watermelon is also a keto-friendly fruit. Watermelon is high in water and low in carbohydrates compared to many other popular fruits. Watermelon contains 7.5 grams of net carbs (the total carbs minus the grams of fiber).The fiber per serving is 0.4 grams.
Watermelon is worth working into your keto diet. It provides hydration and an array of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene, and minerals like potassium and even copper.
What is Lycopene?
Lycopene is the plant nutrient that gives watermelon its pink hue and is especially helpful in fighting inflammation and diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Strawberries and watermelon have somewhat similar nutritional profiles. Strawberries are considered a low-carb, keto-friendly fruit, with about 11.7 carbs and 3 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving of halved berries (a 152-gram serving).
Strawberries also contain antioxidants, including vitamin C and lycopene. Other vitamins and minerals in strawberries include manganese, calcium and folic acid. A 2021 study published in the Journal of Nutrients suggests that eating a few strawberries on a daily basis could help promote better functioning of blood vessels and protect against the risk of heart attack.
Lemons are a particularly solid choice for the keto diet. Lemon contains 6 grams of carbohydrates and 1.8 grams of fiber per fruit (for a total of 65 grams per lemon) or 0.7 grams of carbohydrates per wedge (8 grams per slice).
It also provides loads of flavor and is a great source of vitamin C. Lemons are also considered to be a low GI food that won’t cause large spikes in blood glucose. This is one reason why the American Diabetes Association considers lemons to be superfoods suitable for people with diabetes. Lemons also provide calcium, phosphorus, potassium and folic acid.
Tomatoes are another low-carb fruit suitable for those on a keto diet. Tomatoes come in a variety of sizes, so keep that in mind when considering the total amount of carbs per serving. For example, one medium tomato (123 grams) provides 4.78 grams of carbohydrates and 1.48 grams of fiber per serving, and one cup of cherry tomatoes (149 grams) contains approximately 5.8 grams of carbohydrates and 1.79 grams of fiber. per serving.
Tomatoes provide essential nutrients, including lycopene but also other disease-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin C. Tomatoes are also sources of essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium and folate.
Eating tomatoes before a meal is associated with healthier cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Raspberries are another excellent berry choice for people on a keto diet. About 19 raspberries contain 2.6 grams of carbohydrates and 1.4 grams of fiber, making this serving a great addition to a high-fat, protein-packed snack of nuts or cheese.
Raspberries are considered one of the healthiest fruits. They contain high amounts of antioxidants and are low in sugar compared to other fruits, including other berries like blueberries. Raspberries also contain more antioxidants than some other fruits, making them a great choice for fighting inflammation and reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Peaches are a fuzzy stone fruit considered suitable in moderation on keto diets. Peaches contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates and 2.25 grams of fiber per medium-sized fruit.
So while they are considered a low-carb fruit, peaches should be eaten with serving size in mind if you are on a strict keto diet. Pairing a few slices of peach with another low-carb, high-protein food like cottage cheese would work as a keto-friendly snack.
Peaches are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as boron, a mineral that contributes to bone health.
Like watermelon, cantaloupe provides essential nutrients in a low-carb serving. One cup of diced melon is only 12.7 grams of carbohydrates and 1.4 grams of fiber. Melon can be more filling and satisfying than other fruit options, such as berries.
Melon is also considered to be one of the best sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is also associated with eye health. Melon also provides other essential nutrients including vitamin K, potassium, folic acid.
Carom (carambola) is a star-shaped tropical fruit popular among those on a keto diet for its exceptionally low carbohydrate content. One cup of diced starfruit, for example, contains just 8.8 grams of carbohydrates and provides 3.7 grams of fiber.
Carambola is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folate, selenium and zinc. Nutrients in starfruit such as vitamin C are associated with a lower risk of developing disease and an increased ability to fight off disease, including cancer and heart disease.
Blackberries are another low glycemic index superfood berry. They are relatively low in carbohydrates (especially compared to blueberries). One cup (144 grams) of blackberries contains 13.8 grams of carbohydrates and 7.6 grams of fiber.
As with other berries, blackberries are high in the powerful disease-preventing and fighting vitamin C and other essential nutrients, including high in immune system-supporting nutrients like vitamin K and manganese.
What Fruits to Avoid on Keto?
The following foods are all fruits and are generally considered healthy. However, if you’re on a strict keto diet, that means you need to limit your total carb intake. These fruits are considered too high in carbohydrates to be included in the keto diet. If you’re not sure whether the keto diet is right for you, consider speaking with a dietician to discuss the pros and cons of keto foods.
Fruits to avoid on the keto diet include:
- At your place
Keto fruits are acceptable fruits to consume when following a strict keto diet. Keto fruits by definition are low in carbohydrates. You still have to exercise portion control with the most keto-friendly fruits to be within the bounds of a keto diet.
Keto-friendly fruits include avocados, watermelon, strawberries, lemons, tomatoes, raspberries, peaches, melons, star fruit, and blackberries. If you’re not sure whether the keto diet is right for you or how it might affect your health, consider talking to a dietician or your doctor.
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