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What Fruits Can I Eat on the Keto Diet?

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  • What Fruits Can I Eat on the Keto Diet?

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    Let's take a look at the most painful keto question - can we eat fruit on the ketogenic diet?

    On keto, we avoid fruits and allow ourselves a small amount of berries. No keto rule raises so many questions and protests. “Fruits are vitamins! We have eaten them from time immemorial!

    What about antioxidants, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances? Microbiota! What does it eat? " - beginners are lost. “Fruits contain fructose, and fructose is poison,” experienced keto followers say. - And in general, how can you want an apple when you have a steak? You're just doing something wrong! ” Let's figure it out.






    Are fruits toxic?

    About 10 years ago, Dr. Robert Lustig gave a famous lecture on the dangers of fructose to the body. "Fructose is alcohol without intoxication!" - warned the children's endocrinologist.

    A university lecture that hit YouTube went viral as a cat video. Since then, Lustig has not tired of talking about the harm of fructose, recording new lectures, and publishing scientific papers on this sweetener.

    In one of these in the comparative table "Drunkenness and regular consumption of fructose" 8 out of 12 consequences coincide.


    Alcoholics and those with a high fructose diet suffer from metabolic disturbances, insulin resistance, and liver problems.


    At the same time, quite a number of studies show that fruit consumption lowers blood sugar, helps to maintain and even lose weight, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    For example, Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies.

    Such studies are usually observational, that is, people are asked about their eating habits once, for example, a year. As we remember, this is not the most accurate way to establish the truth.

    In such works, it is very difficult to identify which particular factor influenced a person's health - eating fruits or quitting smoking.

    If the participant replaced the rolls with apples and potatoes fried in transfats for bananas, he/she certainly improved health.

    But this does not mean that fruits are unambiguously healthy, and so necessary and should be present in the diet every day.

    At the very least, you need to compare the health effects of replacing salmon with an apple. Results may not be as straightforward.

    On the other hand, the work of Lustig and many others that talk about the dangers of fructose is based on studies in which people consumed high-fructose corn syrup.

    In the body, only the liver can metabolize fructose.

    It spends fructose on the synthesis of triglycerides and glycogen, which replenishes its own reserves. When the “stores are full”, the liver starts de novo lipogenesis - the conversion of glycogen to fat.

    Both the liver itself and the whole body get fat. The liver is not able to cope with the amount of fructose that enters the human body with modern foods. A healthy liver can cope with an apple.


    Bottom line: Is it possible to equate fruits in terms of harm to sugary soda containing fructose syrup? Not. Are fruits toxic? Not. Can they be keto? In some cases.






    Are fruits natural?

    On the keto diet, we eat whole, natural foods. Fruits seem to be natural. But modern fruits are the result of selection.

    For many centuries, people have tried to develop varieties that are resistant to pests and weather disasters, larger and sweeter.

    The modern banana has nothing to do with the ancient ancestor. You wouldn't eat a regular plant - that unsweetened pulp with seeds.

    A starchy banana melting in your mouth is the result of a mutation, it has no seeds, it reproduces by rhizome processes (sometimes with the participation of scientists who are developing new varieties).

    It is not for nothing that watermelon is called a berry - once it was also small in size, and not a ball that not everyone can bring home.


    When they say that our ancient ancestors ate fruits, we are talking about just such plants - wild, with seeds, not very sweet.


    Separately, it should be said that fruits were specially cultivated somewhere between the sixth and third millennia BC, 8-5 thousand years ago, and some plants were domesticated at all in the 19th and 20th centuries, for example, blueberries, kiwi.

    That is, fruits, as we know them today, appeared in our diet quite recently. And they were only available in season, they never formed the basis of the diet, and were not present daily.

    More often than not, fruits were a luxury. In the second part of The Godfather, Vito Corleone, who has not yet become a godfather or even a criminal, brings his wife a present - a pear neatly wrapped in a newspaper.

    In the third part, Don Corleone is the owner of the city, he imposingly indicates to the merchant what to put in a paper bag. And when a shootout starts and he falls wounded on the pavement, about 20 oranges will roll along the pavement (sorry for the spoiler).






    Do fruits contain vitamins?

    And much more. Vitamins, minerals, and bioactive substances. The problem is, they are packed in an amount of sugar that most people can't afford. A medium-sized apple contains 0,67 oz (19 grams) of carbohydrates.

    Yes, there are some benefits, but if you have diabetes, insulin resistance, and PCOS, this is not the best way to deliver vitamins and fiber.

    If you already have metabolic disorders (and you may not know about it), then an innocent natural apple will prevent you from losing weight, will inflame your appetite as well as harmful candy.

    If you want to enter ketosis and experience all the benefits of this state - from anti-inflammatory action to the effect of “mind-clearing” - spending the entire day's supply of carbohydrates on an apple is irrational.


    Fruits are not food or a package of vitamins. This is a natural dessert. A natural piece of cake.


    Bottom line: If you are on a low-carb, high-fat diet, that doesn't mean you have to forget about fruits forever. This means that when you find yourself next to the fruit counter, you have to ask yourself the question: "Is it worth it?"






    Which is worse - fruits or rolls?

    It sounds monstrous, but when it comes to the stage of transition to a low-carb diet, fruits on the keto diet can be worse than buns.

    If you chose the LCHF style of eating, removed bread, pasta and potatoes from the diet, but stick to fruits on keto, as for the last bastion, you know that this is how you sabotage the entrance to ketosis.

    It is because of fruits that you cannot begin to lose weight in any way and know all the benefits of ketosis.

    Fructose is a sugar that only the liver can use. The liver breaks it down and stores it as glycogen. And this is the organ that is responsible for the production of ketones.

    So, for this process to start and you enter ketosis, the supply of glycogen in the liver must be minimal, so as to only maintain normal blood glucose levels.






    5 rules for eating fruit on keto

    When you are just learning to use fat as fuel and you feel like you’re not doing well, it’s better to opt for a roll between a roll and a fruit (preferably a grease bomb, but let's be realistic).

    The whole body can use the energy of glucose. Despite the apparent violation of the regimen, you may not even be kicked out of ketosis.

    And the fructose from the orange or apple will go straight to the liver, the glycogen stores will be replenished, and you have to start over.

    When you are already keto-adapted – your body can use both fats and carbohydrates as a source of energy and easily switches – the bun is a more terrible enemy.


    Total: Fruits will sabotage the switch to fatty fuels. It is better for beginners to abandon them altogether for a while.


    In previous articles we have already sorted out in detail which “natural” plant foods should not be consumed on the ketogenic diet and sent all jams, even those with zero calories, dried fruits, and juices to the dustbin of history.

    And we also found out: fructose is harmful to liver health. Sure, it is difficult to bring the liver to hepatosis with apples - except perhaps to become a fruitarian.

    But staying in ketosis is impossible if fruits remain in the diet.

    However, from time to time you can afford fruit. How often and how much depends on your initial health, whether you have achieved metabolic flexibility, and how much fruits make up your happiness.

    In any case, I advise you to follow the below-listed simple rules.




    Integrity rule

    On keto, we eat whole, natural foods. That is, an apple sometimes - yes, apple juice - no. Even natural and freshly squeezed.

    By the way, juices became popular thanks to Don Francisco, a publicist for the California Fruit Growers Exchange.

    In the early 20th century, many Americans ate half an orange in the morning with a special spoon.

    But when, through the efforts of Don, juice became synonymous with a healthy lifestyle, citizens began to consume 2-3 fruits in a squeezed form. Fruit sales went up.




    Grandmother's rule

    In any incomprehensible situation, give preference to those fruits, berries, and, by the way, vegetables and herbs, which traditionally grow where you were born and raised.



    Market Rule

    If in the mellow season you find yourself in, say, Sardinia and go to a weekend market, do you know what fruits and berries you will find there? Apples and ... That's all.

    30 types of sausages, 40 types of cheeses, botarga, arugula in buckets, tomatoes of all sizes. And apples. Because it's not the season.

    Yes, now you can buy fruits and berries in the supermarket all year round.

    But if you were born in a cold region and your ancestors did just fine without raspberries in November, then there is a good chance that you can do it.




    The rule to trust yourself

    “The closer to the ground, the less sugar” - many experts recommend giving preference to the fruits of herbs, not trees. But all the cards are confuseв with shrubs - raspberries are much less sweet and rich in fiber than strawberries. But, of course, both of them are far from sweet cherries.

    Everything is much simpler. The sweeter something tastes, the more sugar it contains.

    Watermelon and banana are worse in terms of the keto diet than lemon and blueberries.




    Common sense rule

    Dr. Joseph Mercola's book on the keto diet says that you can afford berries and a couple of grapefruit slices on the diet. The latter is because it is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber.

    Okay, but why not a pomelo with roughly the same fiber and sugar parameters? Or an orange - there is more sugar, but also more fiber! Why not a pomegranate?

    If you like peaches, sometimes eat half instead of choking on grapefruit.






    Let's sum up

    The best fruits are berries. From a health standpoint, fruit is unnecessary. But we are so arranged that we love different and far from the most correct things.

    Choosing a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite fruits forever.

    This means that they will move from the category of the mandatory part of the diet to the column "rare excesses". And only after you become keto-adapted.

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