3 min read

Fruit and the Low Carb Lifestyle

You might be shocked to learn that fruit can be the reason you DON'T lose weight!
Fruit and the Low Carb Lifestyle
Photo by Jonas Kakaroto / Unsplash

One of the biggest reasons people don’t believe the keto lifestyle is legit is because they think eating fruit is so good for us and anyone telling us not to eat much of it must be an absolute quack! After all, fruit is on the food pyramid and we’ve been told we need multiple servings a day. Plus it’s full of vitamins and minerals right?

But fruit absolutely CAN be bad for us. Here’s why.

Part of the reason fruit can be bad for us today is because it has been bred for generations to increase the sweetness and that sweetness comes from fructose. Fructose is a sugar that can only be metabolized in our liver and it can cause big problems. It’s a very fattening ingredient that we should avoid as much as possible.

Think about high-fructose corn syrup.

This is an ingredient that was introduced in the 70s to replace sugar in most drinks because, at the time, they thought this would be better for us. High-fructose corn syrup is about 60% fructose and 40% glucose. It’s got a higher level of fructose than anything else - hence the name.

Because fructose is metabolized in the liver and causes fat to accumulate there, you could easily develop fatty liver disease — a medical condition that can be dangerous. But fatty liver disease also makes our bodies begin to develop insulin resistance, which causes inflammation as well as many of the diseases we deal with today. Increased insulin levels = increased health problems!

It’s true that some fruits have a lower fructose and lower carb level, making them okay to eat in moderation. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are great examples of this. However many fruits have such high fructose levels, you’re basically just eating a dessert by consuming them. Bananas, mangoes, grapes, and watermelon would be in this category.

So when you take in all that fructose, you’re increasing the workload of the liver and forcing it to turn that excess fructose into fat. This is not good.

Did you know that a glass of apple juice has 85 calories worth of fructose? A glass of pop of equal size only has 80! Yep, the apple juice has more sugar than the pop. So you’re basically drinking a glass of candy.

Many people will say that fruit is natural and it’s silly to think it’s bad for us but as I already mentioned, fruit has been bred over time to become sweeter and sweeter. It’s not the same as it used to be.

Since many companies know we have a sugar addiction and they can become rich from our addictions, they began creating fruit that is more like a dessert than a healthy and natural piece of food. They are creating an obesity epidemic by pushing fruit as the “healthy” choice … but it’s not.

Additionally think about how things are grown these days.

Fruits are now grown year round or shipped in from other countries, providing almost unlimited access to any fruit all 12 months of the year. Decades ago you could only get fruit when it was in season so it was eaten sparingly. So the fruit our ancestors enjoyed is not the same as what we have today.

Losing weight by not eating fruit.

It might seem counter-culture or absurd to believe such wonderful tasting food could be detrimental to your health, but it certainly can be.

If you’re trying to lose weight, keep your blood sugar at a healthy number, keep your liver healthy, and reduce your carbohydrates, you’ll probably want to avoid some fruits. And the ones you do choose to eat, eat only in moderation.

For more on this topic, peruse the following resources:

  • Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It by Gary Taubes (specifically chapter 13 as relates to this topic)
  • The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss by Jason Fung, MD (specifically chapter 14 for information about fructose)
  • Why We Get Sick by Benjamin Bikman, PhD (specifically chapters 7 & 17 as relates to this topic)