When it comes to staying on a keto diet, sometimes the hardest part is determining what’s keto friendly and what’s not.
Even things normally classified as healthy, like pomegranates and other fruits, can be problematic for a keto diet if they have too many carbs.
Pomegranates have many nutritional qualities, but they also have a lot of carbs, making a normal serving size of pomegranate fruit a difficult addition to the ketogenic diet. If you want to include this fruit in a keto diet, you’re going to have to watch how much of it you consume, and how often.
This article explores how much pomegranates can be included in a keto diet, what the health benefits are, and what the drawbacks might be.
Are Pomegranates Keto Friendly?
Pomegranates in general are considered to be a non-ketogenic food. They might be healthy, but on average pomegranates are too high in carbs to be friendly for a ketogenic diet.
Of course, the amount of carbs depends on the size of the fruit. But a large pomegranate averages about 41.4 grams of net carbs…practically the entire day’s allotment for many keto dieters.
If you really love pomegranates, you’ll need to look into different methods of preparation to mix them into your meals. But you probably don’t want to eat a whole fruit in a single day if you’re on a keto diet.
Is Pomegranate Juice Keto Friendly?
In some cases, even if a specific fruit or vegetable isn’t particularly ketogenic, the juice alone will be better suited to a keto diet. Unfortunately, pomegranate juice is almost as carb and sugar heavy as the whole fruit.
One cup (~8 oz) of pomegranate juice packs about 32.4 grams of net carbs. This is a little better than a whole pomegranate, but it’s also a very high carb count if you’re on a strict keto diet.
Are Pomegranate Seeds Keto Friendly?
Pomegranate seeds, called arils, are the part of the pomegranate that’s closest to keto guidelines.
A quarter cup of arils has about 6.4 grams of net carbs.
This is still considered a bit high, but at least a single serving like this won’t max out your carb count for the day.
It should also be noted that fresh seeds are suggested over dried seeds, as dried seeds may have extra sugar as a preservative.
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What Are the Recommended Serving Sizes for Pomegranates?
For a regular diet, the average serving size is half a pomegranate.
In a smaller pomegranate, this serving size would yield about 14 grams of carbs. In a larger fruit, this might be about 20 grams of carbs or more.
On a keto diet, you’d want to have half to one-quarter of a normal serving size in order to keep from maxing out your carbs and falling out of ketosis.
How Many Pomegranates Can You Eat Daily?
For a person who is not on a keto diet, the recommended daily serving of pomegranates is 1-1.5 cups of raw fruit, which is roughly 174 grams, or a little less than one full pomegranate a day.
An easier way to measure it might be pomegranate juice, which is recommended daily servings would be about 1-2 cups of juice.
However, for a keto diet, this much pomegranate daily would make it almost impossible to stay in ketosis.
To stay in ketosis and still enjoy pomegranates or pomegranate juice, you’d want to halve, or possibly quarter the regular recommended daily serving.
So For Ketosis
you’d want 1/4 to 3/4 a cup of fruit, or the same in terms of juice. Or 2 to 8 ounces of juice, in other words.
What’s The Best Way to Eat Pomegranates on a Keto Diet?
The best way to enjoy pomegranates when on a keto diet is to stick to the seeds. The seeds carry many of the benefits of pomegranates, with much less impact in terms of carbs.
Pomegranate seeds are fairly tasty and can make a good snack or salad garnish.
If you’d prefer the whole fruit or juice, small amounts can be mixed with other foods to add a little bit of flavor without adding too many carbs.
What Are the Possible Health Benefits Of Eating Pomegranates?
Pomegranates offer many health benefits. Some of the main ones include:
– Potassium: To help the function of the body, particularly the heart, muscles, and nerves
– Antioxidant: Boost the Immune System and reduce the levels and impact of free radicals in the blood.
– Manganese: Helps keep bones and joint tissue healthy
– Folate and Thiamine: Help with cellular function and development
– Fiber: Aids digestion, among other things.
– Vitamin C: Helps boost cellular health and overall physical health.
– Heart Health: Helps prevent atherosclerosis and lower blood pressure
– Diabetes: Can help reduce insulin resistance and overall blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics
Pomegranates also contain significant amounts of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Magnesium and Copper.
What Happens if You Eat Too Many Pomegranates?
For those who are in ketosis, too much pomegranate will take you out of ketosis, so you’ll need to watch your consumption carefully for that reason alone.
There is also a small percentage of people who are allergic to pomegranates, so be alert for that.
Pomegranates may also react with certain medications, particularly blood pressure medications, so that’s something to keep in mind before adding pomegranates to your diet.
In some cases, eating too many seeds can result in irritation of the digestive system.
What Are Some Keto-Friendly Ways To Prepare Pomegranates?
If you want to add pomegranates to your diet without worrying about breaking ketosis, there are a few options beyond making sure you have small portions.
Some ideas include:
– Mix pomegranate seeds with chia seeds and other similar foods for a snack
– Use pomegranate seeds as part of a salad for a bit of pep.
– Mix a small amount of pomegranate juice with oil and vinegar and other ingredients to create a homemade pomegranate vinaigrette dressing
– Use as part of chutneys or curries for a distinctive flavor
Pomegranates aren’t particularly keto friendly with their high levels of carbs and sugar, but with careful moderation, you can still enjoy the flavor and benefits of pomegranates in your keto diet.
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