Have you been told that fruit is a no-no on a ketogenic diet?
But it’s not necessarily fair-game either.
Fruit is like Mother Nature’s candy. She even wraps it up in beautiful, colorful packages for us!
Not all fruit is off limits, but you do need to make informed choices when it comes to what fruit you choose and how much.
An apple a day keeps ketosis away. Maybe it wasn’t the poison that knocked poor Snow White out, maybe she just went into a carb coma! One medium apple has over 20g!
Those little boxes of raisins you used to hate getting for trick-or-treat? At 33g, that little box is your entire day’s carbs – and then some! Now that’s a scary treat!
Grabbing a juicy mango as an afternoon snack? Back away from the mango – it has nearly 50 carbs! What!?
When it comes to fruit on keto, berries are typically your safest choice. Although technically bananas are berries – don’t grab a banana! That yellow monkey berry has around 25 carbs!. Other surprising berries are avocados, kiwi, eggplant, and tomatoes. And strawberries and raspberries aren’t actually berries. But let’s not get too biology-y here.
To keep it simple, let’s just call anything with “berry” in its name a berry.
Berries are generally low in carbs and high in fiber – sounds like Mother Nature understands the need for keto candy too! She even threw in lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and other health benefits. That’s my kind of candy!
So how do you choose the best types of berries and not throw your macros out of whack?
Sweeter berries are generally going to have more sugar than their tarter cousins. For example, a handful of raspberries (about ¼ cup) will only cost you 1.5 net carbs. And a handful of blueberries (¼ cup) will be around 4 carbs – still a great low carb treat but with a little extra sweetness.
A lot of people find that once they’re in ketosis, natural sugars – like those in berries – taste WAY sweeter. That’s because once you start to limit sugar, your taste buds adapt and actually change to receive tastes differently. Eventually, your tastes can evolve to taste the natural sweetness of vegetables you never thought of as “sweet” before.
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Before we talk about the best berry options, let’s talk about the worst berry options.
Think about a handful of cherries, you would probably be satisfied snacking on 4-5 whole cherries. But would you consider 4-5 dried cherries a snack? ¼ cup of juicy cherries is 4 grams of carbs while ¼ cup of dried cherries is 40 grams of carbs. Once fruit is dried, you’re left with mostly concentrated sugar.
Another pitfall to avoid is juice. A small glass of fruit juice may sound like a healthy choice, but the amount of fruit you have to squeeze to make one small glass is usually 3-4x a serving. After juicing you’re left with mostly sugar. So grab your water bottle and avoid the juice!
One of the great things about the keto diet is that you don’t really have to deprive yourself, you just have to find the right options that fit your macros. Here is a list of some great keto candy fruits you can enjoy without joining Snow White in a carb coma.
½ cup Blackberries 3 net carbs
¼ cup Blueberries 4 net carbs
¼ cup Cherries 4 net carbs
½ cup Raspberries 3 net carbs
½ cup Strawberries 4 net carbs