When you are following the keto diet, you need to be careful about foods that otherwise might appear to be perfect diet foods. This is especially true when it comes to fruit on keto. Even though all fruits are packed with life giving nutrients, it’s the sugars in them that are the problem when it comes to the keto diet.
On the keto diet, your goal is to consume less than 20 grams of carbs per day. So those innocent appearing sugars in fruits can make a big difference, especially when you’re after weight loss. That means that we can’t take fruits for granted on the keto diet.
Take the pineapple!
It’s one of the most beloved, sweet fruits that we have. And it’s packed with nutritional goodness. But is it keto diet friendly? Let’s investigate.
Is the Pineapple Keto Friendly?
Ok, let’s cut straight to the chase here – the pineapple is NOT keto diet friendly .
Here’s why . . .
The pineapple simply contains too many natural sugars for it to be a viable part of a ketogenic diet weight loss nutrition plan. Those natural sugars ramp up the carb count to an unacceptable level.
So ,how many carbs do they contain?
Well, a serving size of one cup of pineapple provides you with a whopping 22 grams of carbs. That is more than your total carb allowance for the entire day on keto!
If you were to eat the entire pineapple (about 900 g), you will be putting 119 g of carb content into your system. That is more than you would want to take in over the course of 5 days if you are strictly following the ketogenic diet. And if your pineapple was an especially sweet variety, that carb level would go up even higher – to about 122 g.
Here is a complete nutritional profile of the pineapple . . .
Serving size: 1 cup chunks (165 g)
Amount per serving:
- Calories 74
- Total Fat 0 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 2 mg
- Potassium 206 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 19.5 g
- Sugars 13.7 g
- Protein 1g
- Vitamin C 28mg
- Calcium 21 mg
Pineapples are high in water content and low in calories.
A Pineapple Primer
The pineapple is a popular tropical fruit. Its scientific name is is Ananas comosus and it belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae. Pineapples are native to southern Brazil and Paraguay. The pineapple is an herbaceous perennial plant.
At maturity, the pineapple plant has an average height of 1-1.5 meter and a spread up to one meter. It has a short, stout stem with a rosette of long leaves surrounding it. The leaves are thick, fleshy, and narrow and long pointed, tough-textured, waxy, and strap-like.
This is a multiple fruit formed by the fusion of its flowers. Ovaries develop into berries, which fuse together to form a multiple fruit. It is cone shaped, juicy and fleshy with a thick, tough, waxy outer covering or rind. The color of the flesh ranges from white to yellow.
The fibrous and succulent core of the pineapple fruit is actually the modified stem. The rind is divided into several green-colored hexagonal units which turn to yellow when the fruit is ripe.
Ways Pineapple is Served
Chunks: Fresh pineapple fruits can be consumed fresh as a snack. Small chunks of fresh pineapple fruits are used in pies, puddings, fruit salads, fruit custards, cakes, and pizza toppings.
Garnish: Chunks may be used as a garnish for decorating exotic food preparations, non-vegetarian foods and spicy rice preparations.
Pineapple Rice: It is a popular, spicy rice preparation in many Asian countries.
Pineapple Jam and Jelly: Fruit pulp is used for making pineapple jam, pineapple jelly, pineapple nectar, pineapple marmalade etc.
Pineapple Desserts: Crushed pineapple fruit is used in yogurt, fruit salads, custards and ice creams.
Pineapple Juice: Fresh pineapple juice is a powerhouse of nutrients and an important part of a healthy diet. Fresh pineapple juice is a healthy, natural fruit beverage and can be used as a main ingredient in preparing different types of healthy cocktails. Fresh pineapple juice can be processed into different products such as pineapple juice concentrate, pineapple juice powder and pineapple squash.
Pineapple Candies: Fruit chunks are immersed in sugar syrup and are dried or dehydrated to make candies.
Dried Pineapple: Dried slices of pineapple fruits are also in high demand among the consumers.
Toxicity in Pineapples: Bromelain, a type of proteolytic enzyme, is present in all parts of the plant. Unripe pineapple fruits and pineapple cores contain bromelain and calcium oxalate crystals in large concentrations. As a result, people often experience a sore mouth when eating them. These chemicals in large concentrations are toxic to our digestive system and therefore overconsumption of young pineapples and pineapple cores are not recommended.
Benefits of Pineapple
Pineapples are rich in vitamin C. This water soluble antioxidant is important in combating free radical cell damage. It is also an important weapon in the fight against heart disease and joint pain. Pineapples also contain aa healthy dose of manganese (2.6 mg per cup), which is important for developing strong bones and connective tissue. A study out of 1994 showed that manganese may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis in post menopausal women.
Pineapples are a very rich source of vitamins and minerals. It contains compounds that can help to fight against macular degeneration. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is essential for regular bowel motions and the health of the intestines.
As mentioned in the previous section, the pineapple contains a significant amount of bromelain. This is an enzyme that breaks down protein. There are some positive aspects to bromelain. It is shown to help with digestion, according to the American Cancer Society. It has also been shown to be healthful in the treatment of osteoporosis.
There are plenty of fruits low in carbs that will make forget all about pineapples (well, almost!)
Raspberries are a great keto friendly alternative to the pineapple. They are very low in carbs while being packed with nutrients that provide tons of health benefits. They are very high in antioxidants and have a particularly high polyphenol count. They help reduce blood pressure and prevent plaque build-up on the arteries.
Who doesn’t love blackberries? This delicious, sweet little prize reminds many of us of stuffing our faces in the wild fields of our hometown as a kid. Well, the good news is that blackberries are one of those low carb fruits that are definitely keto approved. They are high in ellagic acid and anthocyanin, both of which are recognized cancer fighters. And they are very high in fiber, with 8 grams per one cup serving.
By now you may be starting to see a pattern – the berry is good news on keto! The strawberry is no exception. In fact, strawberries have actually been shown to improve blood sugar levels, reduce insulin levels, and increase insulin sensitivity. That makes them not only great for people on the keto diet, but also perfect for people with Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
Find some great low carb fruit recipes here.
The humble pineapple doesn’t make it onto the keto approved list. Despite having a lot of nutritional value, they are just way too high in the natural sugars fructose and glucose. However, there are plenty of ketogenic approved fruits that are low in both carbs and calories that you can add to your meal plan. Focus on berries, adding them to your low carb recipes or simply enjoying them fresh.