Even though the fruit doesn’t tend to be a big component of a keto diet for most people, there are some fruits you can still consume in moderation. Is pomegranate one of them?
Keto is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that utilizes fat for energy instead of glucose. It prioritizes high-fat foods like avocado, bacon, or cheese and reduces carbs to a minimum. (*)
Lots of fruits are very high in carbohydrates. Therefore, they are not recommended for keto dieters.
But here’s the good news. The standard serving of pomegranate seeds only contains 4g of net carbs. (*) And a lot of additional health benefits.
That means pomegranate is keto-friendly, unlike most other fruits.
This article will explain why to eat pomegranate and how to incorporate it into your keto diet.
Following a ketogenic diet? Then you probably know it’s all about being in a metabolic state called ketosis. (*)
Normally, your body uses glucose for energy. This is present in carbohydrates. By minimizing carbs from your diet, your body adapts and starts using fat for energy.
As the glucose levels in your body decrease, your liver starts using the fat you eat as well as the fat stored in your body to create ketones as its main source of energy.
That’s why staying in ketosis is the main goal of a ketogenic diet. And to do so, most keto diets recommend consuming less than 30g of carbohydrates per day. (*)
It takes around one or two days of depleting your body of glucose to get it into a state of ketosis. This is where you experience all the main benefits of the diet.
Fruit and Ketosis
Why is fruit not a big part of the keto diet? Once you get your body into a state of ketosis, you need to keep your carbohydrate consumption low to stay there.
Fruit doesn’t help.
Eating over 50g of carbohydrates in a day would get you out of ketosis. And then it would take you around two days again to get back into ketosis.
That’s not very efficient, is it? That’s the reason why most people try to stay in ketosis without breaking it too much.
Some fruits are very high in carbohydrates. Eating a banana or an apple would add more than 20g of carbs into your daily intake.
If you’re on keto, that’s most of your recommended daily carbs already.
Can I Eat Fruit On Keto?
Don’t panic, though. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat fruit on keto.
Some fruits are actually very low in carbohydrates. You just need to know which ones.
It’s important to note that eating fruits has a lot of benefits. Packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, eating fruit is good for your health. Whether you’re keto or not.
What types of fruit are keto-friendly? Berries are known to be some of the most keto-friendly fruits out there. (*)
Some of the other fruits allowed in moderation are plums, watermelon, fresh figs, and apricots.
But what about pomegranate?
Focus on Net Carbs
Keto diets use net carbs when determining daily carb intake.
What are net carbs? Net carbs are the value of carbohydrates in food without fiber. (*) You can calculate net carbs in a portion of food by subtracting the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbs.
Here’s an example. If a fruit contains 20g of carbohydrates, 4 grams of which is fiber, the net carbs of a given fruit is 16g.
Fiber is an insoluble carb that helps with digestion and therefore is beneficial, even for keto dieters.
What Is Pomegranate?
Pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, packed with nutrients and powerful plant compounds. (*) They have many benefits and may help you to reduce the risk of various illnesses.
It turns out that not many people buy pomegranates regularly.
It is a round fruit, around 5-10cm in diameter, similar to a big apple. It has hard, inedible skin, colored in red and yellow.
Once you cut it open, you’ll find hundreds of tiny red seeds that are incredibly juicy and sweet. These are called arils.
How Many Net Carbs Are in a Pomegranate?
A standard serving (28g) of these delicious seeds contains around 4 grams of net carbs, making pomegranate a keto-friendly fruit.
But be careful. The standard serving does not equal eating a whole pomegranate. But only a fraction of it.
Can you eat pomegranate on keto? Yes, if you control your portions, pomegranate seeds can be a part of a balanced keto diet.
Carbs In Pomegranate Table
Do you know how much carbs does a few pomegranates contain? Here is a detailed carb table (Source: USDA Food Central ) (*)
Carbs In Pomegranate Juice
Carbs In Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranate Juice and Dry: Keto Friendly or Not?
Pomegranates can be hard work. Since getting the small edible seeds from underneath the inedible skin can be time-consuming and messy, many people opt for pomegranate in a more convenient form, dried or juiced.
Are these keto? Both dried pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice are full of added sugar.
You’ve guessed it. They are not keto.
One serving of pomegranate juice has around 30g of sugar. (*) So while eating fresh pomegranate is allowed on a keto diet, you should stay away from pomegranate juice or dried seeds.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
There are plenty of benefits to eating fruit. And even more benefits to eating pomegranate. (*)
Carbs shouldn’t be your only focus when following a keto diet. A well-balanced diet should include vegetables as well as a fruit because of their nutritional benefits.
And pomegranate is a fruit that packs a few. What are the benefits of pomegranate?
1. Full of Nutrients
Fruit is nutritionally rich and full of vitamins and minerals. Pomegranate contains fiber that helps digestion and Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, and Potassium that boost your overall health.
2. Powerful Medical Properties
Pomegranate contains unique substances that give this fruit so many health benefits. (*)
Punicalagins are potent antioxidants found in the juice of pomegranate seeds. These have been proven to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine or green tea.
The second one is punicic acid found in pomegranate seed oil that has potent biological effects. This is actually a fatty acid found in the arils—good news for keto-dieters.
3. Anti-inflammatory Effects
Because of the two powerful compounds above, pomegranate’s antioxidant properties have anti-inflammatory effects and help fight chronic inflammation that leads to many diseases.
4. Can Help to Fight Cancer and Heart Disease
Because of its high anti-inflammatory properties fighting chronic inflammation, pomegranate helps fight many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Pomegranate extract has even been shown to inhibit the reproduction of cancer cells. Now that’s powerful!
5. Can Help Fight Arthritis and Joint Pain
So many people in Western countries suffer from joint pain and arthritis. These most commonly involve inflammation in the joints.
Because of its high anti-inflammatory properties, pomegranate can help treat arthritis. Some studies even suggested that pomegranate extract can even block enzymes that damage joints.
6. Can Improve Memory
Pomegranate has further benefits of improving memory. (*) The studies found that people with Alzheimer’s disease, older adults, or people post-surgery can benefit from improved memory when consuming pomegranate.
7. Can Boost Your Exercise Performance
The benefits don’t stop there. Because pomegranate is also rich in dietary nitrates, it has been shown to boost athletic performance. (*)
This is because it can improve blood flow, delay fatigue, and improve efficiency. And with many keto-dieters participating in physical performance, this an important benefit to consider.
How to Eat Pomegranate Seeds?
You can eat pomegranate on keto, as long as you limit yourself to a single serving. Or a serving and a half.
The serving of pomegranate seeds is 28 grams. That’s not a lot.
That’s why it’s a better idea to incorporate pomegranate seeds into your keto meals rather than eating the seeds by themselves.
Following a keto diet can have the benefit of exploring new flavors and creating new dishes. And adding a serving of these nutrient-rich seeds can elevate your everyday meals.
Ways to eat pomegranate on the keto diet:
- Add them to your salad
- Make salsa with them
- Mix them with avocado
- Mix them with nuts
- Eat them with olives
- Add them to water
The Bottom Line
While it is true that fruit doesn’t tend to play a big part in a keto diet, because of its higher carbohydrate content, you can still eat some fruit and stay in ketosis.
A standard serving of pomegranate seeds only contains 4 grams of carbs and is, therefore, keto-friendly.
The fruit has many health benefits and should be a part of a well-balanced diet. Keto or not.
When selecting the type of fruit that you can fit into your keto meal plan, pomegranate is one of the best choices out there.
It contains vitamins and minerals and potent antioxidant properties that can help fight inflammation, fight cancer, and even boost athletic performance.
Just remember to stay away from sugar-loaded dried pomegranate or pomegranate juice. Instead, toss the fresh seeds into your salad, salsa, or make your own keto-friendly fruit and nut mix.