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Can I Eat Fruit Once I Lose the Weight on Keto

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 01/05/2020

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of patients reach out to me wanting to know if they can eat fruit on keto once they lose their desired amount of weight.

Well, the short answer is yes you can eat fruit, but it comes with a package. Let’s talk about the details.

In this article, I will cover four points you must take into account if you’re considering reintroducing fruit into your keto diet:

  1. Fruits today are sweeter than they used to be
  2. Year-round fruit consumption means high fructose
  3. Many fruits are not keto-friendly - so you have to stick to the ones that are
  4. Consider your history with sugar
     
 

1. Fruits today are sweeter

Modern fruit is selected to be larger and sweeter


Fruits have been grown to be sweeter and higher in sugars than they once were.

If you take a look at an apple now, it’s like eating candy because it is so filled with sugar. In fact, at the Melbourne Zoo, fruit has been phased out of many animal diets completely because the fruit that humans have selectively bred over the years has become so full of sugar the zoo's fruitarian animals were becoming obese and losing teeth.

This, in large part, has to do with cross-breeding in agriculture. It makes sense: if a fruit is small, tasteless, seedy, bitter, or tart, it is less likely to sell, so farmers have selected the sweeter, larger fruit for generations.

This has resulted in fruit that’s high in sugar and lower in other nutrients (like cancer-fighting phytonutrients) than its historic counterparts. Now, this doesn’t mean that fruit is bad for you - it simply means that you should understand what’s happened to it and inform your consumption accordingly.

 

2. Fruits are seasonal

Fruits are seasonal, but you can buy them all year round.

If you’re constantly eating a lot of fruit, you’re getting a lot of fructose. The problem is that the liver has to deal with that sugar, and this can put a lot of strain on the organ. Let me explain a little more. When you consume glucose, all of the cells in your body can deal with the sugar. Anything that’s high in fructose, though, forces the liver to metabolize it.

Fruits Can Contribute to Fat Storing Hormone Resistance


That can lead to all sorts of issues, including Fat Storing Hormone resistance, which is when Fat Storing Hormone can no longer get into your cells to normalize your blood sugar.

Here’s what’s going on. Fat Storing Hormone is a hormone that exists to lower blood sugar in the body. The idea is that, if you eat something really sugary - like a bunch of fruit that’s high in fructose - your blood sugar will spike and Fat Storing Hormone will be released to get it back down to normal. In that way, it’s a great tool.

The problem, though, is that the average American consumes over 30 times more sugar than they’re supposed to every day. There’s a massive amount of sugar in their blood at all times, and the body has to release too much Fat Storing Hormone to try to combat this problem.

Eventually, the cells notice this influx and they start to resist the Fat Storing Hormone. It’s too much and it’s unhealthy, so they don’t want to let it in anymore. So the Fat Storing Hormone can no longer get in the cells to lower the blood sugar.

It’s a complex problem, and it can contribute to diabetes and a ton of other health concerns. You need to normalize the Fat Storing Hormone resistance first if you want to overcome it. In fact, overcoming Fat Storing Hormone resistance is one of the reasons why many people start keto in the first place, and you could be sabotaging these efforts with high-fructose fruit.

If this is the boat that you’re in, then this is important to consider.

 

3. Not keto-friendly

Because of this high fructose content, fruit, in general, is not considered to be keto-friendly.

Keto-Friendly Fruits

That said, there are certain fruits that aren’t as high in sugar. Avocados, for example, don’t really have any sugar. Other low-sugar fruits include:

  • Lemon and lime: You can start eating as many lemons and limes as you want. Of course, you’re probably not going to do that because that’s not the fruit that people usually have in mind.
  • Coconut: Coconut is a fruit that’s very low in carbs. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about coconut water, which is very high in carbs and considered a refined product.
  • Tomato: With all the fiber, tomato is generally pretty safe.
  • Pomegranate seeds: These are ok as long as you don’t consume the pomegranate juice.
  • Star fruit: Star fruit is lower on the glycemic index
  • Berries, including raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries: A small amount of berries is totally fine.
     

“Maybe” Fruits

Those are the fruits that we consider to be in the green if you’re on keto but don’t necessarily want to lose weight anymore. Now, let’s talk about some fruits that are in the gray area.

First, cherries. People often ask me about cherries. Cherries aren’t super high in sugar, but they are right in the middle. That said, tart cherries are certainly better than really sweet cherries if you really want to incorporate them into your diet.

What about melons? Is watermelon keto? Cantaloupe is better than watermelon, and if you have small amounts it’ll probably be ok. Just keep in mind that you can overdo it really easily.

 

4. History of abusing sugar?

This is the big question.

Say you’ve hit your ideal weight goal or your health goal and you want to add some fruits back into your diet. Well, then the question is what is your history of abusing sugar?

I personally abuse sugar to the extreme, so if I try to go back to any amount of carbs, I do not do well. My system is very sensitive to carbs, and I really only do well on the ketogenic plan.

That said, let’s say that you haven’t abused sugar, you weren’t raised on sugar, you don’t have Fat Storing Hormone resistance, and you don’t have a weight problem. Well, if that’s the case, then you can probably get away with more fruit than most people.

Go ahead and test it for yourself and see how you do. The main thing is that you want to take a look at all of the data, make a judgment call, and think for yourself as opposed to having a rigid cookbook approach where you’re blindly following an exact diet without having the full understanding. Listen to your body and proceed accordingly. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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