Eating healthy and losing weight are challenging enough by themselves. Finding a weight loss solution that works for your goals and lifestyle can be even more difficult. Add meal planning, shopping, prep, and tracking, and you might be inclined to give up.
Despite their restrictive nature and the effort and dedication required for success, keto diets have become popular in recent years. The reason behind their popularity is their results — after seeing real progress, people who follow keto diets tend to find ways to stick with the plan.
Keeping track of everything recommended on a low-carb diet can be a struggle. Even foods you always thought were good for you might not work with your plan. This article will provide a helpful list of keto-friendly fruits you can enjoy and some you should limit or avoid altogether.
Let’s start by discussing what keto means.
Keto and ketogenic are names given to diet plans that are low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in fat. There are a few variations of the keto diet, but they all have the same goal — to put the body into ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural state in which the body's metabolism is forced to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. In your normal metabolic state, your body’s natural instinct is to burn up the sugars and starches (types of carbohydrates) and to store the fats to use later.
But “later” in this scenario never comes — we just eat more carbs, and the fat never gets burned off.
You can blame our ancestors for this metabolic betrayal. But don't be too hard on them — after all, they had to worry about famines and lean winters, so their bodies developed this survival technique over time.
It’s why we’re all here today.
We don't typically face these same problems today; our diets don't depend on the harvest season or geography, and we have access to many foods year-round. Yet our bodies still want to burn the carbs and store the fat.
In the simplest terms, ketosis forces your body to burn that fat by severely limiting your intake of carbs via a keto diet. It usually takes a couple of days to reach ketosis.
While many people can handle it just fine, a keto diet isn't appropriate for everyone. It's rare, but the keto lifestyle can pose health risks to people with certain temporary or chronic conditions, including those with kidney disease, liver failure, metabolic disorders like type 1 diabetes, and familial hypercholesterolemia. This type of diet is also not recommended for people with increased caloric and certain nutrient needs, such as pregnant women and children under 18.
If you have — or think you have — a health condition or any questions about how a keto diet might affect you, it's always best to consult a medical professional.
But for those who are in relatively good health, keto is a safe and effective method of losing weight by burning fat. Studies have shown that a keto diet is more effective at weight loss than a low-fat diet.
Another way to determine keto's effectiveness is by measuring its popularity. When a diet works, the participant is more likely to stick with it and even recommend it to others. If it doesn't, they’re more likely to move on to a new diet type.
But the numbers show that ketogenic diets aren't just a fad. They have exploded in popularity; in fact, the keto product market is projected to grow from just over $10 billion in 2021 to around $14.75 billion by 2027.
Still, there's no denying that keto is a challenge for some.
In a survey of keto dieters, maintaining self-control was the biggest challenge in following a keto diet, followed closely by the time commitment necessary for meal planning and carb tracking. Carb counts can certainly add up quickly!
Well, yes and no. Any fresh foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and even some kinds of bread, are generally going to be "healthier" than most mass-produced, packaged, overly processed foods.
But that doesn't mean they're all "good for you" or that all fresh foods will work with your diet goals. What ketogenic dieters look for is the number of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus total fiber) they put into their bodies. And while there are some low-carb fruits, participants of keto diets have to be careful — carbs can add up quickly.
Most keto diets allow for 20-50 g of carbohydrates per day, depending on the person’s overall calorie count.
However, gender, size, and activity level all impact the number of calories a person should consume each day. So it's important to keep track of your intake to make sure you're staying within your daily target carb limit.
Keeping track of carbs can be especially tricky with fruits. They're high in natural sugars that can push your body out of ketosis, yet they contain many of the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
It's a delicate balancing act.
Just to add to the complexities of carbs, there are also net carbs to keep in mind. Net carbs are determined by subtracting the number of grams of fiber from the number of grams of total carbs. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate (vs. a simple carb like sugar) and can't be fully digested by the body, so we don't count it in the total carb calculation. And some foods that are high in carbs are also high in fiber, giving them a low net carb count.
Like other diet types, keto can seem a little restrictive, and it can be confusing trying to determine what's suitable for your weight loss goals and what might push your metabolism out of ketosis. Keeping track of everything can get to be a real pain, especially when there's always so much else going on in life.
Fortunately, planning and tracking your carb intake is way easier — and less time-consuming — with a personalized plan from CertifiedKetoDiet. CertifiedKetoDiet offers consultations with certified nutritionists who can design a personalized ketogenic diet plan for you. Each meal plan contains only the items that you want, and it adjusts as you progress toward your goals.
Alright, so which fruits are okay for a keto diet? Well, all fruits contain carbs, but some have more than others. Some are also high in fiber, which makes them ideal for maintaining a low net carb count while getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that the body needs.
Here's a list of keto-friendly fruits you can easily incorporate into your diet, as well as their net carb counts, some of their added benefits, and their fiber counts.
Yes, avocado is a fruit, and it's arguably the superhero of keto fruits. 100 g of avocado chunks contains, on average, 4 g of fiber and only 2.4 g of net carbs. And the little green giant also provides a whopping 22 g of healthy fats that help you feel fuller, which is ideal for a keto diet plan. Plus, it goes on everything.
These little guys are sweet and pretty high in total carbs (about 5.6 g per 100 g, or just over one-third of a cup), but they're also packed with fiber, giving them a net carb count of just 2.4 g per 100 g. They're also high in antioxidants and other nutrients, so they make a great snack or an addition to salads and desserts. You can even use them to flavor water.
Like their raspberry cousins, blackberries are high in fiber (3.2 g per 100 g), which gives them a low net carb count of just 6 g. Plus, they're high in manganese, which promotes bone density. Try them in a smoothie, mixed into Greek yogurt, or just by the handful.
As sweet as they taste, strawberries are relatively low in carbs, which is good because they're also relatively low in fiber — only about 1.2 g per 100 g. And they only have around 9 g of net carbs, so they make a great addition to a ketogenic diet plan. Like their other berry cousins, they're good in desserts, or just by themselves.
Tomatoes are pretty low in fiber, but they have hardly any carbs, to begin with — just 1.6 g of net carbs and only 0.8 g of fiber in 100 g. But they're high in antioxidants and lycopene, which studies have shown may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. So cut a slice or two for your next lettuce wrap, or toss them in olive oil with some fresh mozzarella and basil.
This tropical rockstar has only 2 g of net carbs, 2.8 g of fiber, and an impressive 10.8 g of fat in 100 g. Coconut is also a decent source of protein, B vitamins, and manganese. Plus, it's versatile — it can be made into a creamy, high-fat "milk" for sauces and soups or turned into flour for desserts.
Star fruit is a unique fruit that's gaining in popularity. It looks like a five-pointed star when you slice it (hence the name), and it has a sweet and sour flavor that can add an interesting twist to some of your more bland or boring dishes. High in potassium and vitamin C, 100 g of sliced star fruit has only 2 g of net carbs and 1.6 g of fiber.
Lemons are an excellent fruit for a ketogenic diet because they are naturally very low in sugar. The juice from one lemon has negligible fiber content, but with only 3 g of carbs, it hardly matters. Lemon juice can also enhance so many different parts of your diet, from fish to vegetables and even beverages.
Going keto doesn't mean you have to give up fruit altogether, but it does mean that you should be keeping track of how much you do take in. That includes knowing which fruits you should be limiting or avoiding completely. Here are a few of the worst offenders:
With less than 1.6 g of fiber to balance out the 13.6 g of carbs in 100 g of sliced banana, this fruit is definitely near the top of the "fruits to avoid" list. You can get your potassium from more keto-friendly sources, like avocado or coconut.
At 5.6 g of carbs per 100 g, peeled apples have a similar carb count as raspberries, but their dismal 0.4 g-per-100 g fiber count means this fruit isn't as keto-friendly. However, by keeping the peel on, you can increase your fiber count and lower your net carb intake for this fruit. You don't need to cut them out completely, but limiting your apple intake is probably a good idea.
Grapes are high in sugar with very little fiber. A couple of grapes slipped into your lunch might not be a major issue, but 100 g of them delivers 10.8 g of carbs and barely 0.4 g of fiber. Careful, wine drinkers — that includes the juice.
Unlike raspberries and blackberries, blueberries are very low in fiber. As a result, their high sugar content means a high net carb content of 8.4 g per 100 g (with only 1.6 g of fiber). Even so, tossing a few into your breakfast smoothie really isn't a big deal. Just try to keep them to a minimum if you can.
100 g of mango pieces runs around 10 g of carbs — with about 8.8 g coming from sugars — and only 1.2 g of fiber. There are plenty of alternative sources for vitamin C, so you're probably going to want to skip this one.
Keto can be an effective way to lose weight, but the restrictions can be confusing to some, and keeping up with tracking your daily intake can be a pain. As with any diet plan, the most important thing is to stick with it and not "cheat." One helpful method of doing this is by using a meal planning and tracking app.
CertifiedKetoDiet is a medical institution that offers ketogenic nutrition plans developed by expert nutritionists and tailored to your individual needs and weight loss goals. If you want help with developing your personalized keto diet plan, speak with a nutritionist at CertifiedKetoDiet.com today.