Is Fruit Bad to Eat if You're on a Low Carb Diet?

Anybody who has adopted a low-carb lifestyle has mastered the art of eating a low-glycemic diet, which keeps blood sugar levels steady without spiking. But fruit contains fructose, which does raise blood sugar levels.

So if you’re a fruit-loving low-carb dieter, should you give it up for good?

Like with most things in life, moderation is the answer. You want to avoid multiple trips to the all you can eat dessert bar. Some people may think that eating some melon and berries is infinitely far superior in health than a plate of pastries. While there are certainly more antioxidants in fruit than pastries, you don’t want to even load up one plate of a large serving of fruit.

Typically, to reap the health benefits of fruit, you only need a small serving size, say, for example, a handful of blueberries. For digestion, it’s better for you anyway to only eat one or two kinds of fruit at once.

There is a paradox of sorts when it comes to eating fruit and being low-carb. Another principle of digestion besides sticking to only one or two similar types of fruits (different kinds of berries) is that fruit should generally be eaten on its own.  Eaten with other starches, and perhaps proteins in some people, can result in bloating or gas.

To remedy this for the low-carb dieter: eat a handful of nuts along with the fruit. Fruit and nuts can generally be eaten together and digested well (unless, of course, someone has a food allergy to a specific fruit or nut).

The perfect time to eat a serving of fruit and a handful of nuts is in between meals. Late morning and mid-afternoon are generally a good time to keep energy levels steady.

It’s not wise to avoid fruit altogether. Fruits have certain classes of antioxidants that are not available in other foods. Though it’s recommended that those on a low-carb diet, or anybody else for that matter, consume more vegetables, especially low-starch varieties, than fruit, you’re really missing out on the pharmacy of natural antioxidants that’s rich in fruits.

Many low-carb dieters also erroneously believe that certain fruits like watermelon are high in sugar.

  • Watermelon, particularly, is actually low in sugar and very high in vitamin C. Unless you’re in a tropical climate and the only foods available are fruits, don’t be overly concerned with the sugar content of individual servings of natural fruit; do however avoid dried fruit as it tends to be much higher in sugar.

To eat fruit in the most ecologically-sound way possible, eat only organic or hydroponic (grown without soil and without chemicals) fruit that comes from a local or regional source and that’s only sold in season.

And remember not to be concerned with the fructose content of a single serving of fruit. The natural fat from the nuts that you’ll eat with the serving will down the release of insulin thereby controlling your blood sugar levels.

Let food be your medicine. And let that be fruit for thought…...


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