The keto diet can be challenging when it comes to incorporating certain foods, especially fruit. This is because the ketogenic diet focuses on minimizing carbohydrate intake, and some fruits contain high levels of carbs due to their sugar content – often more than you might expect.
The goal of the keto diet is to keep your body in a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. To achieve this, the diet emphasizes foods that are high in fat, low in carbs, and moderate in protein. By maintaining ketosis, you can experience weight loss and improve your overall health and body function.
Determining which fruits are keto-friendly can be confusing, and it ultimately comes down to their net carbs. Net carbs refer to the total carbohydrates in a fruit minus its fiber content. So, where does the juicy, vitamin-C filled orange stand for those following a keto diet?
The verdict: oranges are NOT keto-friendly
Regrettably, oranges are not considered suitable for a keto diet. While oranges contain fiber, the amount is insufficient to offset their carb content. As a result, oranges are classified as high-carb fruits that don’t align with the requirements of a keto diet. Unfortunately, this means orange juice is also off-limits for keto followers.
Due to the need to restrict daily net carb intake on the keto diet, oranges would consume too large a portion of that allowance to be considered a keto-friendly snack or meal addition. Most individuals aiming to maintain ketosis stick to a range of 20 to 50 grams of net carbs per day, depending on their specific needs.
On average, a medium-sized navel orange contains approximately 16 grams of total carbohydrates. With less than 3 grams of fiber, the net carb count for an orange is nearly 14 grams. This means that consuming one orange could account for half of your net carb intake for the entire day. While opting for a smaller orange or a different variety like a mandarin can lower the carb count, oranges overall still contribute too many carbs for a keto-approved choice.
However, enjoying a single orange will not automatically disrupt ketosis. You can certainly indulge in a squeeze or slice of orange occasionally, or even explore recipes like keto orange chicken. If you crave that orange flavor, there are substitutes that work well within the keto diet, such as orange zest or orange extract, which can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Which fruits are keto-friendly?
While oranges may not be keto-friendly, there are still a variety of fruits you can enjoy that satisfy your fruit cravings or add sweetness to your day without jeopardizing ketosis.
Most fruits, like bananas, apples, mangoes, and dried fruits, contain high amounts of carbs and sugar, similar to oranges. However, some fruits, like berries, contain a decent amount of fiber and have a lower net carb content, allowing for moderate consumption while maintaining ketosis.
The following fruits are all low in net carbs and are excellent options for those on a keto diet:
So, while oranges may not fit into a keto diet, you can still enjoy a range of other fruits that align with your health and dietary goals.