Talk Nerdy to Me!
I feel that I have to address the issue of fruit, and sugar on the keto diet, once again. I have had numerous insulin-resistant and/or diabetic people come to me, asking about fruit consumption; either asking, or more often, informing me that fruit is healthy, and that they don’t know why their blood sugar remains high. Let’s get one thing straight. If you have a normal, or fast metabolism, small amounts of fruit is fine, and will only kick you out of ketosis for a few hours after consuming it. If you are obese, pre-diabetic, or diabetic, you aren’t quite as metabolically flexible. Trust when I say, I’m sorry. If you are attempting to lose weight, this post is primarily for you. However, knowledge is for everyone!
At the molecular level, all sugar is either glucose, or fructose. Just because fruits have vitamins and minerals, doesn’t mean that the sugar within them is somehow inherently better than corn syrup. It’s the same. The benefit of eating fruit, and berries in particular, is of course the fiber. Blueberries wouldn’t spike your insulin AS quickly as a spoonful of white sugar, but, is that the marker we should be measuring our success against, as keto krusaders? When pre-diabetics or people with full-blown diabetes approach me, and tell me they get hangry, and their blood sugar gets too low if they don’t eat breakfast, I scoff on the inside. The very definition of that illness dictates otherwise, and the fact that they, themselves use that word “hangry” proves that they have only teased ketosis, if that. If you have a gut, and you get hangry (a euphemism for jonesing for sugar, any drug addict can attest to this), your sugar hasn’t been too low, in years.
Fruits are healthier than fruit snacks. Let’s not argue the obvious. My point here is that sugar is sugar, no matter the source, and people that claim that they are in ketosis, and eat fruit everyday need to check their blood ketone levels and calm their soap box methods. There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. This is to say, that you could go your entire life without ever eating a piece of fruit, and live a healthy life. You have to bring yourself back in time, when hunter gatherers would roam the land in search of fruits that were in season. Meaning that they didn’t eat them year round. They couldn’t march into a Berkeley Bowl and find mangoes, in California. I ask you; what is natural about a Californian boy eating a mango? Not a damn thing. At all. Fruit is healthy for a month out of the year. Not every day. Seasonal carbs. But since insulin is the growth hormone, and literally makes you save fat from what you eat, spiking it with sugars, no matter the source, is against the purpose and progress of your goals.
Every company within the food industry wants to convince you that their products are healthy, and that you can and should consume them, and some fruits are better than others. If you were selling fruit wouldn’t you tell everyone it was good for you? As insulin-resistant people, our sugars are too high. And, I don’t mean to patronize you, but the best way to lower blood sugar, is to not eat sugar. This seems simple. But, if you have stalled on the keto diet, my first piece of advice is to cut fruit. Worked like a charm for me at least. Even since starting the ketogenic diet, I have yo-yoed. But when I have been able to rein it in, it has been the times I counted carbs religiously. Over the last month or so, I have gained some weight back. But we returned home to our routine, and suddenly the weight came right off again. This fruit eating fruit thing is a difficult habit for sugar addicts to break. Addicts convince themselves they need what they want. This is sadly also the case with fruit. There is no fruit on earth that you need. Especially if you are obese, like me. Don’t get it twisted. If you begin making up stories about why it’s ok this time, and that you haven’t had it in so long, or it’s ok because it’s berries etc… slow down, stop that thinking loop.
Being keto means drastically limiting carbs. It is a physiological state, it is factual, you can not desire it into fruition. It doesn’t mean limiting your choice of carbs. It doesn’t mean limiting all carbs, except bananas. It means depriving your body of it’s primary fuel-source, the one it’s been used to your entire life, sugar, and switching to the only other viable source of energy left in your body, fat. Your body WILL NOT do this by choice, so don’t give it one. You can’t afford to. Either you cut your sugars, or you continue the status quo of eating sugar, and crashing, over and over. What I have noticed most in myself, is that when I eat fruit, I end up craving something else, and something else. Cheat meals turn to cheat days, into cheat weeks. I have found it’s better to stay full of keto safe foods, until my cravings subside. Just try again if you go off track.
We are all works in progress,
Chuch, Happy Eating,