The Hidden Agenda of Low-Carb Fruits In Ketogenic Diet

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    The Ketogenic diet is great for rapid and safe weight loss.
    The Hidden Agenda of Low-Carb Fruits In Ketogenic Diet.

    The Ketogenic diet is great for rapid and safe weight loss. In our previous posts, we have told you about some keto recipes and low carb keto-friendly vegetables. Here, we are going to uncover low-carb fruits that are great for you in your ketogenic journey.

    A Keto diet is a very strict diet. You need to maintain a strict fat to carb ratio of 75% to 5% respectively. Add to that, you are going to eat lots of fatty foods like cheese, butter, and oil. All of that can make your palette very heavy. In order to light up things a little, you would need to rely on alternatives like low-carb fruits and vegetables.

    But here is the trick you cannot eat just any fruits out there because fruits are the nature’s candy. They come jam-packed with sugars that can tilt up your minimum threshold of 20g carbs per day quite easily. Just because you are getting your sugar intake from fruits does not make it a good thing. In fact, sugar is sugar whether you get it from artificial sweets like chocolate or natural fruits like bananas.

    So how we are supposed to work around this issue? In the subsequent paragraphs, we are going to list down low-carb fruits that are great for your keto lifestyle.

    1. Berries:

    All berries are not created equal. They have different carb content. However, it is still great than most low-carb fruits out there. The ones with the least carb content are blackberries and raspberries. Blackberries have only 5g of net carbs per 100g or 3.5 ounces. Raspberries, on the other hand, contains only 6g of net carbs for the same amount.

    Total Carbs- Fiber= Net Carbs

    Berries are a great source of fiber too. You need 24g of fiber for your daily needs. And you can fulfill 33% of your fiber needs with berries in one serving alone.

    Berries have powerful antioxidants which are great for reducing inflammation among other health benefits.

    The berries that need to be avoided or eaten in moderation are blueberries. Because it contains 12g of net carbs for a 100g portion. It is sweeter and bigger than other berries, hence can be mistakenly eaten more than others.

    Strawberries are also a good source of low-carb fruits. It has only 6g of net carbs per 100g portion.

    So a good rule of thumb is that it is safe to eat blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries in moderate to small amounts.

    However, blueberries should be either avoided altogether or eaten in small portions only.

    green, naturally made traditional guacamole surrounded by fresh ingredients and nachos.
    green, naturally made traditional guacamole surrounded by fresh ingredients and nachos.

    2. Avocado:

    Although nutritionally its profile is much like a vegetable. Avocado belongs to low-carb fruits category. Some even call it seeded-berry.

    Apart from all the fuss about whether it’s a fruit or vegetable, avocado is ketonians’ rock-star. It not only has low carb content but has an excellent fat composition which is great for a keto diet.

    Serving size of avocado is hotly debated as of its nature. Some expert says 1/2 avocado can be eaten in one sitting. While others say 1/3 or 1/4. It can come down to personal preference because at any serving it still has very low carb content.

    Half avocado contains 2g net carbs along with 15g healthy fats.

    For a 100g diet, avocado contains only 1.8g net carbs

    This is great news for ketonians because it’s much easier to maintain 20g daily carb intake with avocados than let’s say apples or bananas.

    To clarify, 100g apples contain 10.6g net carbs; and 100g bananas contain whopping 20.2g net carbs. So say no to bananas if you want to stay in ketosis.

    There are numerous health benefits to eating avocado. One of it is linked to its high potassium content. In fact, avocado has more potassium than bananas. Good levels of potassium in the body help reduce blood pressure and risk of heart attack.

    3. Coconut:

    By loose definitions, a coconut is three-in-one, a fruit, a seed, and a nut. However, we can classify it as low-carb fruits because it can be eaten raw and is the seed itself.

    Coconut is an excellent source of healthy fats and has a low amount of carbohydrates. A 100g serving of coconut contains whopping 33g heart-friendly saturated fats and only 6g net carbs.

    However, you should consume only half cup of coconut in one sitting. This way it contains only 2.5g net carbs and 13g of fats.

    You can buy canned-dried coconut or raw whole seed. In the canned version make sure it does not have any added sugar. If you don’t find one without sugar, go for the raw one and scoop out the coconut meat.

    Coconut has a lot of health benefits. It curbs appetite and aids in weight loss. The fats in the coconut help increase good cholesterol levels in blood and reduce heart failure.

    Apart from the coconut itself, coconut oil is the staple oil of the ketogenic diet. It is because it has medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) that directly metabolizes ketones in the liver. On the other hand, long-chain triglycerides have a longer digestion process.

    There are two variations possible here. One is the coconut oil itself and the other one is MCT oil. The difference is that coconut oil has only 55% mct content whereas mct oil has 100% mct content. Coconut oil has more lauric acid and less number of other 4 types of mct’s like caprylic and capric acid.

    Caprylic and capric acid burns faster than lauric acid and hence more beneficial for ketosis.

    The bottom line is you can opt for coconut oil but mct oil is better because it has a shorter digestion process.

    Bottle pouring virgin olive oil in a bowl close up
    Bottle pouring virgin olive oil in a bowl close up.

    4. Olives:

    Olives belong to low-carb fruits category and are oval in shape. They are either green or black in color. The green ones are less ripe and bitterer in taste. The black ones are less bitter and riper.

    This stone fruit shares similarities with drupe fruits like mangoes, peaches, and cherries.

    It is an excellent source of healthy fats. In 100g of olives, there are 10.7g fats and only 0.5g net carbs. So it not only provides healthy fats but keeps your carb count under check as well.

    Olives contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin e that fight cancer and osteoporosis. It’s also great for your heart health.

    Good fats in olives are used to extract extra virgin olive oil. It is the staple food for Mediterranean diets all around the world. Apart from that, olives are profusely used in sandwiches and salads for its tangy taste.

    A palm full of olives, usually 10 in number, are enough for a single serving. It also contains adequate doses of sodium that is important for staying in ketosis.

    Regular use of Olives reduces blood pressure, fights inflammation and improves bone mass. People in Mediterranean countries have lower rates of osteoporosis than people living in Europe. For which scientist believes it is due to the high use of olives in Mediterranean diets.

    5. Lime and Lemon:

    Lime and lemon are usually thought as one and the same. They both belong to the same citrus family and class. The difference is in size, color, taste and some of the nutritional content. They both are low-carb fruits full of essential vitamin c.

    Lime is green in color smaller in size and more zits in taste. Ironically it has more sugar content than lemons. However, limes can turn yellow if it is left to overripe, letting people believe falsely that lime and lemons are the same.

    Lemons, on the other hand, are yellow in color, bigger in diameter and less sour in taste. It has lower sugar content than limes. There is one minor change in the nutritional content of both. Lime has slightly more calcium whereas lemon has more potassium.

    100g of lime or lemons provide 5g net carbs. However, the typical serving size of a pinch, a wedge or a whole lemon provides a negligible amount of net carbs. It’s no wonder why we use them so much in salads, garnishing, and dressing.

    You can substitute lime for lemons at smaller doses of a tablespoon for tablespoon. At higher amounts, however, lime can be more zits in taste.

    Apart from its tangy flavor, there are several health benefits of these citrus fruits.

    Drinking lime water is shown to improve digestion by helping saliva to break down food. Because it has a drying effect, it may encourage people to drink lots of water. This spins a chain of events, as drinking more water has been shown to aid in weight loss.

    Also, it’s no wonder nutritionist advice drinking water before meals to avoid overeating. This is again beneficial for weight loss.

    It can also fix stomach acid reflux and heartburn issue. Just take 2 teaspoons of lemon with warm water 30 min before meals.

    Lemons improve your immunity system and fight common cold and flu. It also helps cure scurvy that is due to deficiency of vitamin c. Apart from that, lime consumption treats tinnitus i.e. ringing in ears.

    A healthy salad with pomegranate, avocado, tomatoes, almonds and argula lettuce over a rustic background.
    A healthy salad with pomegranate, avocado, tomatoes, almonds and argula lettuce over a rustic background.

    The citrus fruit speeds up your metabolism and helps you shed more calories and fats even with a sedentary lifestyle.

    Established science shows that the use of lime and lemon helps prevent stones in kidneys. The high amounts of vitamin c and citric acid help deform or prevent certain kinds of kidney stones.

    Apart from health benefits lime and lemon are traditionally used for beauty and cosmetics industry as well.

    As citric acid found in them are drying agents, it is used in beauty products and home remedies alike to fix skin issues.

    Lemon juice can be used as a bleaching agent to lighten skin and eliminate dark spots. It’s also great for oily skin as it sucks excessive oil from the skin surface.

    Low-Carb Fruits Cheat-Sheet for Net Carbs.

    Following list of low-carb fruits is sorted from least net carbs sources to the most.

    •    100g olives contain 0.5g net carbs in olives

    •    100g avocado contain 1.8g net carbs

    •    100g tomatoes contain 2.6g net carbs in tomatoes

    •    100g cucumbers contain 2.4g net carbs in cucumbers

    •    100g bell peppers contain 3.9g net carbs in bell peppers

    •    100g blackberries contain 4.2g net carbs in blackberries

    •    100g lemons contain 5g net carbs in lemon juice

    •    100g raspberries contain 5.4g net carbs in raspberries

    •    100g strawberries contain 5.5g net carbs in strawberries

    •    100g coconut contains 6.2g net carbs in coconut

    •    100g lime contains 6.3g net carbs in lime juice

    •    100g grapefruit contains 6.4g net carbs in grapefruit

    •    100g blueberries contain 12.1g net carbs

    You are better off sticking to the sources that provide net carbs in 0g to a 6g range. So olives, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, blackberries, etc. are great

    Now take a minute and compare that with high-carb fruits list below and see for yourself, how unfit these sources are for your keto journey.

    Tropical summer salad of fruits and vegetables with tofu and feta cheese
    Tropical summer salad of fruits and vegetables with tofu and feta cheese.

    Below list of high-carb fruits is sorted from most net carb sources to the least

    •    100g dates contain 66.9g net carbs

    •    100g bananas contain 20.2g net carbs

    •    100g red grapes contain 17.3g net carbs

    •    100g green grapes contain 17.1g net carbs

    •    100g pomegranates contain 14.4g net carbs

    •    100g mango contain 13.2g net carbs

    •    100g pineapple contain 11.6g net carbs

    •    100g kiwis contain 11.5g net carbs

    •    100g tangerines contain 11.2g net carbs

    •    100g apples contain 10.6g net carbs

    •    100g pears contain 9.8g net carbs

    •    100g plums contain 9.3g net carbs

    •    100g oranges contain 9.1g net carbs

    •    100g nectarines contain 8.1g net carbs

    •    100g peaches contain 7.8g net carbs

    •    100g watermelon contains 7.1g net carbs

    •    100g cantaloupe contains 6.9g net carbs

    There are a few things clear from this list. You need to absolutely avoid dates, bananas, grapes, mango, and apples. You can eat selectively and very sparingly from further down the list.

    Note: Cronometer, a famous nutrition tracker app, was used to calculate above nutrition info

    We hope you like this week’s blog post. And after reading this you have come to know what low-carb fruits you can eat while on a keto diet. Refer back to the low-carb fruits cheat sheet for easy cross-reference. It will help you stay in ketosis. Take a copy of the cheat sheet and post it on your fridge. This way it will help you make the right choices on the spot. Leave a comment to let us know how your keto diet is going. We love to hear from you take care!

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