One thing that many people don't expect when they first begin a low-carb diet is just how prevalent sugar really is. Most people have no idea just how much sugar is in the foods they eat every day, even in foods that are considered healthy and necessary, such as fruits. Without a good knowledge of healthy low-carb foods, you may go into ketone testing and not see the results you want. The truth is that fruits are high in sugar, some more than others. In fact, it's best to avoid most fruits if you want to achieve and maintain a ketogenic state.
But don't you need fruit? Not really. You can get most vitamins and nutrients from vegetables, with a lot less carbs. Still, it's nice to have a sweet treat once in a while, and while all fruit contains some sugar, some are more keto-friendly than others.
Berries Are Best
Hands down, berries are the best way to indulge your fruit cravings. Specifically, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, in that order. Strawberries have the most sugar, but are still better than pineapples, oranges, grapes, bananas, etc. Those are all to be avoided. While you could certainly indulge in a small amount of these sugary fruits, you wouldn't be able to eat much and still expect to stay in ketosis. It's best to avoid these fruits altogether.
Berries are the perfect indulgence for those on a ketogenic diet, because they are not only lower in sugar than other fruits, they are also high in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. Eat them when they are in season during the spring and summer months. A good way to enjoy them is to purchase them locally and eat them fresh, although you can also buy them frozen. Choose organic berries and other fruits to avoid pesticides.
If you do purchase frozen berries, be sure they are not sweetened. They are great in smoothies or low-carb dessert recipes, or on their own. Be careful not to overindulge!
Other fruits you can indulge in include avocados, rhubarbs and tomatoes. While these are not typically considered fruits, they do qualify as such and are not only tasty in your favorite salads and low-carb dishes, they are also good for you! Just don't overdo them, they still have a relatively high sugar content compared to vegetables, such as broccoli or celery. It's best to keep track of your sugar and carb intake, and do regular ketone testing to ensure that you aren't consuming too many sugary foods. Ideally, you will need to stay at or below 30 grams of carbs per day. Use ketone strips to check your levels, and keep a food diary to see where your carb "sweet spot" is so you are able to remain in ketosis while not depriving yourself of the foods you love.
Berries are a tasty, versatile and low-carb alternative to other sugary fruits or processed sweets. With this tip in mind, you can enjoy a sweet snack without sacrificing your keto diet. Don't forget, even when you're being careful, it's best to track your ketosis journey with ketone testing and ketone strips to be sure you're on the right track.