Fruits are a sensitive subject for ketogenic dieters because there is so much conflicting information out there about fruits. Often referred to nature’s candy, fruits are typically avoided with as much self restraint as you’d show when avoiding those sugar cookies Carol left in the breakroom. Let’s get one thing straight, a balanced diet is important regardless of what diet you follow...any diet that tells you not to eat fruits or vegetables is not a diet worth following. Fruits are nutritional powerhouses that contain minerals, electrolytes, water and fiber; rounding out a healthy diet (1).
Not all fruits are created equal, some may fit your goals better than others and you should enjoy fruits while following a ketogenic diet.
The guide below will show you which fruits are the lower carbohydrate options and the benefits of incorporating them into your diet. You’ll notice fiber is important in selecting fruits to add to your ketogenic diet since fiber can be subtracted from the total carbohydrate amount, called Net Carbs. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate (2), so it will not count towards your net carbohydrate goal. Always reach for fresh rather than dehydrated fruit, which contains a higher amount of carbohydrates per serving (3). If buying frozen fruits for smoothies, or to reduce cost (a great option!), read the label to ensure no sugar has been added.
Fruits can be especially helpful in the early stages of keto when the sweet tooth won't leave you alone. To slowly release the grip sweets have on you, you can use fruits and fruit-based dessert recipes to fill that void until you're used to doing without the sugary treats.
Another amazing benefit to including fruits in your daily carb count is the fiber and mineral content most fruits carry. The minerals from keto friendly fruits will help deliver the electrolytes you need as a keto to avoid the keto flu and energy dips in the early goings. Fiber is the other great help that fruit brings as it's fiber that keeps things moving through your body's plumbing.
So don't allow differing opinions to dissuade or confuse you about fruits any longer. Fruit is fine on the keto diet and highly encourage, just keep track of the carbs tolls they bring to your daily allotment.
(1) PEM, D., & JEEWON, R. (2015). Fruit and vegetable intake: benefits and progress of nutrition education interventions- narrative review article. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 44(10), 1309–1321. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4644575/.
(2) Mudgil, D., & Barak, S. (2013). Composition, properties and health benefits of indigestible carbohydrate polymers as dietary fiber: a review. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 61, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2013.06.044.
(3) Drayer, L. (2017, September 8). Is dried fruit healthy? Retrieved September 5, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/08/health/dried-fruit-healthy-food-drayer/index.html.