Think of the orange and you probably think of Vitamin C. This delicious citrus fruit is well-known for its high Vitamin C content, along with a whole host of other health enhancing vitamins, minerals and fiber. But is the orange a keto-friendly fruit? Read on to get the definitive answer.
You already know that oranges provide a refreshingly tasty fruit. But you may not be aware of just how good they are for you. Let’s begin with the most well-known vitamin that is contained in the fruit that has been described as nature s candy – Vitamin C.
A single orange will provide you with 50 percent of a person’s daily Vitamin C requirements. Vitamin C helps to protect the body against the free radicals that can cause so much damage to the body. This vitamin will also help to break down acids in the stomach that cause you to form ulcers.
In addition to providing you with a whole lot of Vitamin C, the orange is a great source of fiber for the body. As well as improving intestinal health, fiber is an aid to weight loss. Folate is another valuable vitamin that is plentiful in oranges. Folate is one of the B vitamins and is essential for healthy cell production in the body. Without sufficient amounts of folate, the body becomes susceptible to viruses that lead to sickness.
Another one of the B Vitamins that is plentiful in oranges is thiamine. Thiamine helps to maintain nerve function, while processing enzymes related to muscles. This makes it a vital contributor to overall health.
The orange also contain Vitamin A. It helps the immune system fight against such diseases as cancer. You won’t get all of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A by eating an orange, but it will take the load off other food in your diet.
A mineral that is abundant in this fruit is potassium. Potassium is essential for people who follow the keto diet. This electrolyte is often low in people on the ketogenic diet. It is responsible for keeping the body hydrated and the heartbeat regulated. Even though an orange contains only 237 mg of potassium, constituting just 6 percent of the daily requirement, it is a very tasty way to get that nutrient into your body.
Zeaxanthin is a phytochemical that helps cure inflammations and prevent rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, a single glass of orange juice has been seen to significantly reduce the risk of arthritis for some people.
Here is a breakdown of the nutritional content of the orange:
- Calories: 47
- Water: 87%
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Carbs: 11.8 grams
- Sugar: 9.4 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
As we can see from the above nutritional profile, the main components of the orange is water and carbs. Yet, they only contain small amounts of fat and protein. That is not a good sign when you’re looking for a keto-friendly option.
The type of carbs in this fruit are made of of the three simple varieties:
These types of sugar deliver the sweet taste of the orange. Yet, despite the sweetness, oranges are actually pretty low on the glycemic index. That means that the sugars contained in the fruit enter the bloodstream relatively slowly. The reason for this is that the orange contains a lot of fiber and polyphenols, which slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. This means that you do not get the dramatic fluctuations in insulin that you do when you eat food that is high on the glycemic index.
The orange is an excellent source of fiber for the body. In fact, one orange will supply your body with 18 percent of the recommended daily intake or fiber. The key forms of fiber found in this fruit include pectin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin.
Fiber provides many health benefits, including helping you to lose weight. It will help to normalize your bowel movements. This helps to reduce your risk of hemorrhoids and colon cancer. Fiber has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels. It does this by lowering the levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is considered to be the bad cholesterol.
There is even some preliminary evidence to show that fiber may be beneficial for heart health. It is believed to reduce inflammation and blood pressure.
An important benefit of fiber is its ability to help control blood glucose levels. It will slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Including a good amount of fiber in your diet will even help you to avoid developing Type 2 Diabetes.
An additional benefit of fiber is that fiber rich foods will fill you up more than foods that are lower in fiber. Such high fiber foods as an orange or an apple take longer to eat and contain relatively few calories. This makes them very nutrient dense.
What About Keto?
So, how does the humble orange stack up when it comes to the keto diet. Well, the answer is pretty obvious . . .
The high level of carbohydrates, low levels of protein and fats are not compatible with the macronutrient requirements of the ketogenic diet. The ideal macro breakdown for the diet is .
- 70% fat
- 25% protein
- 5% carbohydrate
The orange provides you with the following macro breakdown . . .
- 0.05% fat
- 0.05% protein
- 99% carbohydrate
That makes it pretty clear that the orange is not an allowable fruit on the ketogenic diet. However, all is not lost. There are so many health benefits associated with the orange, as identified in the section above, that it would be a shame to miss out entirely on its benefits.
On the odd occasion, you may be able to sneak in a slice or two of orange. If you are on a carb loading day, then you can safely add a few slices of orange to your salads. You can also eat a quarter of an orange immediately after your gym workout in order to replace the glycogen levels that you have used up in your workout session.
What Fruits Can You Eat on Keto?
Even though the orange does not represent a fruit that is readily compatible with the keto diet, the following 7 fruits are green lit for the keto diet . . .
Many people express surprise to learn that the coconut is a fruit. Coconuts contain medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These go directly to the liver for conversion to energy rather than entering the bloodstream. This makes MCFAs a superior form of energy. Not only do they provide you with faster, cleaner energy, they also do not raise insulin levels.
Blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are green lighted on the keto diet. Here is what you get in terms of carbs a three quarter cup serving of each of these berries:
- Blackberries – 5.68 grams
- Strawberries – 4.90 grams
- Raspberries – 5.44 grams
As well as being low carb, berries are packed with nutritional goodness. They contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Blackberries and other berries can be indulged in with whipped cream or used to top a pavlova or other keto friendly dessert.
The Star Fruit represents another fruit that goes well with the keto diet. One medium star fruit contains 3.93 net carbs. The star fruit has a delightful crunchy taste that is somewhere between an apple and a grape. The starfruit is high in both fiber and Vitamin C , which may just make the perfect keto diet friendly alternative to the orange.
As you have probably already figured out, avocados are a ketogenic diet super food. Their high fat, low carb and low protein content makes them idea for a low-carb diet. The avo represents an ideal snack option for anyone following the keto diet. Simply scoop out the meat of the avocado and enjoy it as a spread or on its own. With just 1.84 grams of net carbs in half an avocado, it’s easy to see why it should be your first port of call when you get the urge to eat fruit.
Tomatoes are a nutrient packed fruit that is light on the crabs. A small tomato will contain about 2.6 net grams of carbohydrates. However, you need to be careful about having too many tomatoes, as it is easy to add them liberally to your cooked dishes.
Because melons are so sweet, many people are surprised to learn that many of them are low in carbs. A hundred grams of watermelon contains 7.15 grams of carbs. As with all fruits, you need keep any eye on how much you consume. Always use a kitchen scale to measure out your portions.
Olives are one of the most keto friendly fruits out there. Two dozen black olives will deliver just 3.1 net carbs to your system. That makes them a great snack choice when you’re craving something rich and salty.
What Other Fruits to Avoid
In addition to the orange, it is best to stay away from the following fruits when sticking to the keto diet . . .
The carb content on these fruits makes them incompatible with the keto diet, as they will spike your blood sugar levels. Some people are concerned that their health will be affected because they are missing out on the vitamins and minerals in these foods. However, the fruits that you can eat, as listed above, will provide plenty of those health providing nutrients. On the keto diet, you will also be getting lots vegetables in your diet, which are also rich in vitamins and minerals.
Check out this video for an in-depth investigation of the keto fruit story.
The orange may be your citrus fruit of choice but, if you are a follower of the keto diet, it does not belong as part of your everyday diet. It is way too high in grams of carbs to make the cut. But that doesn’t mean that you have to go completely fruitless.
You can indulge in berries such as blackberries and raspberries, scoop out the meat of the avocado or coconut or even experiment with something new like the star fruit. By stretching your horizons, you will soon discover that there are plenty of fruit options with low enough grams of carbs that they won’t kick you out of keto.
Just be careful not to over indulge!