The low-carb ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is a popular weight-loss eating plan. Why is it so popular? Mainly because it works!
On keto, you cut your carb intake to 50 grams or less per day. This forces your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy. Needless to say, any diet that increases fat burning will soon lead to weight loss.
Most keto dieters lose ten or more pounds in the first two weeks. While much of this weight is water, it’s also a good indicator that fat loss will soon follow.
You can eat lots of filling high protein and healthy fat foods and meals on keto, but carbs like bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes are off the menu.
You can’t eat a lot of fruit on keto either, as fruit is high in fructose, which is a type of sugar. Even one banana could kick you out of ketosis, derailing your diet.
This raises the question, are apples keto-friendly? While apples are relatively low in carbs, you may not be able to eat them on keto and continue losing weight. In this article, we discuss how (or if) apples fit into the keto diet.
Are Apples Keto?
What are Apples?
Apples are one of the most popular fruits and are eaten (and grown) all around the world.
They originated in central Asia, and there are over 100 different varieties, only some of which are edible.
Most apples can be eaten raw but are also often cooked, which makes them softer and sweeter.
The skins are usually edible and are a good source of fiber. However, some people prefer to eat their apples peeled.
Popular edible apple varieties include:
- Golden delicious
- Granny Smith
- Pink lady
- Red delicious
- Yellow delicious
Apples are also used to make apple cider vinegar. However, apple cider vinegar is free from sugar and carbs as they are digested by bacteria during the fermentation process. Apple juice and alcoholic and non-alcoholic ciders are also popular beverages.
Apples are very nutritious and contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They’re considered so healthy that some people even say, “an apple a day will keep the doctor away.”
The nutritional values of an apple depend on its variety and its size. For example, where an average-sized Fuji apple contains 25.2 net grams of carbs, Honeycrisp comes in at 17.1 grams.
An average medium-sized raw apple weighing 6.6 ounces provides:
- Calories – 95
- Carbs – 25
- Fiber – 4.5
- Protein – 0.5 grams
- Fat – 0.3 grams
In addition, apples are an abundant source of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Apples also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidants are nutrients that provide protection against free radicals, which are unstable molecules.
Free radicals can cause damage to cells and DNA, leading to a host of illnesses and diseases, including cancer. Antioxidants disarm free radicals, rendering them safe.
Are Apples Keto?
Eating much more than a small apple will probably cause you to exit ketosis.
Most ketogenic diets stipulate a carb intake lower than 50 grams per day, and most apples contain between 20-25 grams of net carbs.
Given that most foods contain trace amounts of carbs, the rest of your diet would have to be all but carb-free to leave space for apples in your diet.
As tasty and healthy as apples are, there are plenty of other nutritious foods that contain far fewer carbs and calories, making them a better choice in keto.
Zucchini, broccoli, peppers, and jicama are all good options.
Jicama is an especially good apple alternative as they taste similar, although not as sweet, and contain just five grams of carbs.
Because of their high sugar and carb content, very few fruits are keto-friendly.
The main exceptions are avocados, which contain more fat than carbs, and some low-sugar berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Almost all other fruits are not keto and are best avoided on the low-carb diet.
That doesn’t mean you CAN’T eat apples on keto. For example, if you had a day of eating nothing but carb-free foods like meat, fish, and eggs, you could probably eat an apple and remain in ketosis.
Add in some exercise, and you might even be able to eat two!
However, while apples are nutritious, there are lots of vegetables that contain many more nutrients, less sugar, and far fewer carbs.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away but, on keto, they’re probably a no-go. Most low-carb dieters would be better off eating lots of non-starchy vegetables than eating 1-2 apples. It’s a question of keto cost versus reward.