6 Healthiest Low Carb Fruits

6-healthiest-low-carb-fruits

There is always controversy on if you should eat fruit when trying to lose weight.

What about all those carbs?  

The sugar…

The fructose…

The conversations and arguments go on and on.

So can you or can’t you eat fruit?

Today’s article gives you the solution…

We know that fruit is a healthy food and that we should be eating 3-4 fruit servings a day.

Fruit is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and other powerful disease-fighting nutrients.

The valid question though is if I eat all this fruit won’t that be too many sugars and spike my blood sugars?

The response is “It depends on the type of fruit you are eating.”

You see some fruits are very high in sugars, some are low in carbs and some are much higher in fiber.

When looking for carb cycling recipes or following a carb cycling diet you should choose fruits that are low in carbohydrates.

Yes, it is true there are fruits that are lower in carbohydrates.

Below are 6 low carb fruits that you can add to any carb cycling diet.

They can also be eating on a strict low-carb diet.

These fruits are packed full of antioxidants, polyphenols and other disease fighting properties.

So don’t shrug off the importance of eating fruit daily.

They do more than you think in regards to keeping you healthy and disease free.

Let’s get started with Fruit #1.

#1:  Blackberries

Blackberries are rich in bioflavonoids and antioxidants.  It has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruits. 

Did you know that Blackberries can help to promote the tightening of skin and tissue? 

This is a great way to make skin look younger. 

They are a great food source to reduce intestinal inflammation and that deadly internal inflammation that scientists are linking various diseases to.  It accomplishes this because of the high tannin content 

Blackberries are also a great anti-cancer fighting fruit including lung cancer, colon cancer, and esophageal cancer thanks to micronutrients. 

These micronutrients provide chemopreventive effects and prevent the growth of malignant cancer cells.  Scientists have conducted various studies and also attributed the large amounts of anthocyanin and other phytochemicals such as ellagic acid, which inhibits tumor growth.

One final powerful benefit of Blackberries is their defense of endothelial dysfunction.  Researchers are discovering that the health of the inner lining of blood vessels and of your heart is a key indicator for risk of heart disease and vascular issues. 

Cyaniding-3-glucoside is a component of Blackberries that fights oxidative reactions and helps to normalize the factors involved with a healthy heart inner lining or what is called endothelial function.  Thus reducing the risk for heart health issues. 

Carb Level:  Half a cup only contains 7 grams of carbs and 4 of those 7 grams are healthy fiber.  So eat up and take advantage of all the healthy disease fighting nutrients.

#2:  Raspberries

An exciting new area of research involves raspberries and their potential in fighting off obesity.  The phytonutrients found in Raspberries are believed to increase the metabolism in our fat cells.

So what does this mean?…

It means you use up more stored fat for energy.  AKA:  You Burn Fat. 

So if that wasn’t a big enough reason as to why you should be eating this low-carb fruit here are a few more reasons. 

Raspberries contain powerful antioxidants such as quercetin and gallic acid that help to fight off cancer and heart disease. 

They are also high in something called ellagic acid, that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

New research is showing that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of Raspberries may reach even farther. 

A phytonutrient called ellagitannins may be able to decrease cancer cell numbers by changing the signals that are sent to potential and existing cancer cells.  They essentially send a signal that tells the cancer cell to die. 

How awesome is that?…  🙂

As this research evolves we may find other foods that contain this phytonutrient and we can really start defeating cancer in a big way. 

Carb Level:  Half a cup contains only 7 grams of carbs and 4 of those 7 grams are healthy fiber.

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#3:  Strawberries

A Harvard study has shown that 3 servings of strawberries a week can reduce the risk of a heart attack in women by 32 percent. 

It is has been well documented that strawberries are beneficial for the cardiovascular system thanks to the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that strawberries have. 

Something that might be just as important and powerful as reducing the risk of a heart attack is the control of blood sugars. 

One would expect blood sugars to rise after eating strawberries. 

After all it is a fruit that has carbs and sugar right? 

Well, what if I told you that strawberries may help you lower blood sugars that are consumed from other foods. 

Would you believe me? 

You should…

Researchers conducted a study and when the participants consumed 5-6 teaspoons of sugar their blood sugars spiked, which is normal and expected. 

When the participants simultaneously ate approximately 1 cup of fresh strawberries the blood sugar levels were reduced. 

It is speculated that the polyphenols in strawberries play a large role in regulating blood sugar response. 

For those wanting to maintain healthy blood sugars and those who have Type II diabetes this is great news. 

Carb level:  Half a cup of strawberries contains 6 grams of carbs and 1.9 grams of fiber.

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#4:  Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is very nutrient diverse.  It is full of vitamins and minerals and because it is a good source of carotenoids and flavonoids it is a great anti-inflammatory healthy fruit. 

This is very important with those with Metabolic Syndrome.   Metabolic syndrome is a group of health problems that include high blood sugars, high triglycerides and high blood pressure.   

These are the initial indicators that can then lead to Type II diabetes and heart disease. 

Since cantaloupe provides such a wide range of antioxidants and polyphenols researchers have seen metabolic syndrome risk decrease in those who have regularly consumed cantaloupe. 

They have also seen C-reactive protein (CRP) levels decrease.  CRP markers are used to assess the level of inflammation in the body. 

This is just another reason why consuming a wide variety of low carb fruits on a daily basis is a powerful strategy to reduce the risk of various diseases and health issues. 

Carb level:  Half a cup of cantaloupe contains 6.5 grams of carbs.

 


#5:  Plums

Prunes contain a high concentration of unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid.  They are effective in preventing free radical damage to fat and fat cells. 

This is important in keeping your fat cells healthy as we know when they become “sick” you start producing too many free fatty acids in the bloodstream that screws up your metabolism and hormones. 

The soluble fiber in prunes also helps to normalize blood sugars and slows the rate at which food leaves the stomach.  Thus delaying the absorption of sugars.  The soluble fiber in plums also increases insulin sensitivity, which allows your body to better utilize sugars for energy instead of storing them as fat. 

These are all keys to preventing overeating and weight gain as you feel fuller for a longer period of time. 

Carb level:  1 Prune contains 6.5 grams of carbs.

#6  Watermelon

Scientists are intrigued by a specific micro-nutrient in Watermelon and its beneficial properties. 

It is called Citrulline.

Citrulline is an amino acid that is converted into Arginine. 

So why do we care? 

Higher levels of Arginine can help to improve blood flow and other cardiovascular health functions. 

Some early research is also showing that arginine may help prevent the increase of fat in fat cells by blocking a specific enzyme. 

Watermelon is high in a combination of flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids which make it an obvious choice as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefit. 

The biggest powerhouse in watermelon is Lycopene.  It shuts down inflammatory responses which may lead to a host of diseases.

Carb Level:  Half a cup of watermelon is only 5.7 grams of carbs.

Pop Quiz:  When you eat 100 calories of either nutrient below, which one requires your metabolism to use up 27 of those calories to digest it?  

The Answer May Surprise You

A.  Fat
B.  Protein

C.  Carbohydrates

Click A, B or C and find out which nutrient is the correct answer.  

 

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References:

  • Basu A, Fu DX, Wilkinson M et al. Strawberries decrease atherosclerotic markers in subjects with metabolic syndrome. Nutr Res. 2010 Jul;30(7):462-9. 2010.
  • Ellis CL, Edirisinghe I, Kappagoda T et al. Attenuation of Meal-Induced Inflammatory and Thrombotic Responses in Overweight Men and Women After 6-Week Daily Strawberry (Fragaria) Intake: a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2011 Jan 13. [Epub ahead of print]. 2011.
  • Törrönen R, Sarkkinen E, Tapola N et al. Berries modify the postprandial plasma glucose response to sucrose in healthy subjects. The British Journal of Nutrition, 2010; 103(8): 1094-1097. 2010.

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