The much sought-after and well-received ‘Keto Diet’ is not simply a diet, it is a lifestyle providing numerous health benefits such as weight loss, increased energy levels, better mental focus, controlled blood sugar levels, better skin and so much more. Keto is a low carb, moderate protein and high-fat diet which helps the body to enter a metabolic state called ‘Ketosis’.
For those following a keto diet, cutting out the carbs from grains is not much of a confusion. The doubts arise when it comes to fruits as they are an important part of a healthy diet. How does a Keto diet affect a fruit lover? Does you have to give up fructose-rich fruits completely? The simple answer is ‘No’. But you do need to be careful in choosing the right fruits to ensure they are compatible with a keto diet. Let’s take a quick look at some fruits that are allowed on a Keto Diet:
Avocados are fruits that are surprisingly high in fat and low in carbs. The monounsaturated fat found in avocados is a healthy type of fat that improves heart functions. Avocados are also loaded with many vitamins, minerals and fibre.
The amount of antioxidants found in avocados is higher than many other plant sources. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation in the body. The ratio of carbs, fat, fiber, protein and other nutrients in Avocado is ideal for a keto diet, so include it in your diet as regularly as possible.
When it comes to olives, either people love it or hate it. Olives do not usually come to the mind when we think of fruits. Olives are also contain high amounts of good monounsaturated fat and minerals such as iron and copper. Antioxidants such as vitamin E, polyphenols and flavonoids are present in olives. Polyphenols reduce oxidative stress in the brain. A daily serving of olives can increase memory by 25%.
Olives are good for bone health and may protect against Osteoporosis, so the older you are, the more the olives you should consume. Studies have proven that the polyphenols in olives are potential dietary interventions to prevent osteoporosis among the elderly. There is no nutritional difference between black and green olives, so choose whichever suits your taste buds better.
While on a keto diet, it is easy for the body to lose electrolytes through urination. Electrolytes are essential for the body as they have many functions, including the proper functioning of the muscles. Without electrolytes, muscles can easily begin to cramp. Lemons contain calcium and potassium, which combined with salt provides a balance for pH and fluid levels in the body.
Lemons play a vital role in maintaining the normal pH balance of the body, thanks to its alkaline components. Lemon and orange juice all have the necessary minerals for electrolyte replenishment. Lemon juice keeps uric acid at a normal level, keeping kidneys and the liver healthier. Lemons also helps the body in absorbing iron. Lemons have about 6.5 grams of net carbs per 100 gm.
Starfruit, also known as carambola, is a star-shaped tropical fruit. It has a mixed sweet and sour flavor. It is a low-calorie exotic fruit that is packed with vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.
The vitamin C content in star fruit helps in the treatment of colds, flu, and any other type of infection. The waxy peel of the fruit provides a good amount of dietary fiber. Fiber helps reduce the absorption of dietary LDL-cholesterol in the gut. It is advised that the people with kidney problems or those who take prescription drugs should consult with a doctor before having this fruit. For most people though, star fruit is a healthy and tasty addition to the diet.
Strawberries are not the lowest when it comes to their carb count but the health benefits they offer are worth a few extra carbs. But do watch your portions to ensure you stay in ketosis.
Improved eye care, proper brain function, relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout, and various cardiovascular diseases are some of the amazing health benefits strawberries promise. The polyphenolic and antioxidant content of strawberries makes them beneficial for improving the immune system, preventing various types of cancers, and for reducing the signs of premature aging.
Though blackberries are not a popular fruit, in a Keto diet they play a prominent role. Blackberries have an amazing taste. Tiny seeds of blackberries may get stuck in the teeth, but that can be considered as a small pay for enjoying this delicious fruit.
Blackberries are packed with vitamin C, K, and manganese. It is recorded that Romans and Greeks used them to treat various illnesses like gout. They help in the brain and motor functioning. They improve skin ailments and can reduce inflammation.
100 grams of blackberries will only give about 4.3 grams of net carbs.
Raspberries are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. It also has a high concentration of ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that prevents cancer. The oil from raspberries is used in sunscreens and is great for the skin.
Raspberries help in losing weight and is an ideal fruit for a weight loss diet. It also has anti-aging properties and improve the immune system. These are very easy to include in a daily diet. It can be eaten raw or made into smoothies.
Among the different types of berries, you need to be careful with blueberries while you are on a Keto diet. They have a higher sugar content when compared to other berries, totalling at 17.4g net carbs per 1 cup serving. So have just half a cup of blueberries, or adjust the rest of your carb intake for the day accordingly.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which promotes healthy skin. Being the rich source of fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrients, blueberries promotes heart health. They also help in reducing inflammation, improves blood sugar and reduces insulin responses.
Melons can be considered on a Keto diet only if they are consumed in small quantities. The carb content of various types of melons differ, so check the nutritional values before adding them to a keto diet.
The Honeydew (Casaba) Melon contains 5.7g net carbs per 100g, Watermelon has 7.15g net carbs per 100g and Cantaloupe has 7.26g net carbs per 100g. These melons are good sources of vitamins and minerals.
Tomatoes are yet another classic fruit which is easily mistaken as a vegetable by most people. Tomatoes are great because of the acidity they add to a dish. They contain numerous vitamins such as Vit C, Vit K and micronutrients that are key to improving health.
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps in reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. The redder the tomato, the more Lycopene it contains. A tomato has water as 95% of its content. Carbohydrates and fiber constitute the other 5%. One medium sized tomato (123 grams) yields only 22 calories.