Cherries are a sweet and sour fruit that’s considered a treat in many dieting circles due to its high sugar content. However, it’s also widely known to offer many health benefits in addition to being an excellent source of antioxidants. So are cherries keto and should you incorporate them into your diet?
Let’s take a closer look and find out.
What Makes Cherries a Popular Choice for Low Carb Dieters?
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of whether or not cherries are keto, we’ll first take a look at just a few of the reasons why cherries are so popular in the first place:
- Cherries are a low calorie fruit that goes with a lot of recipes, especially desserts.
- While they contain low amounts of both dietary fat and protein, cherries are still incredibly nutrient-dense.
- Cherries are a particularly good source of vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and folic acid.
- In addition, cherries are an excellent source of disease fighting antioxidants.
- Cherries also contain some dietary fiber, with 100 grams of cherries offering up 1.6 grams of fiber.
Are Cherries Keto?
The main reason why cherries fall under so much scrutiny in the keto world is due to the high sugar content. However, one must remember that not all people are aiming for the exact same daily macros. Some people restrict themselves to 10 grams of net carbs or less, while others feel and perform better by going as high as 60 grams per day.
While a 100 gram serving size of cherries could be enough to knock you out of ketosis, that same amount could make for the perfect nutritional snack for someone else.
Also take into account that recipes may not contain a full 100-gram serving of cherries. Some will just have a few pieces mixed in, which could end up being just 30 to 60 grams of cherries for the whole recipe. This helps trim down the carb content significantly.
Finally, consider that cherries are sometimes available soaked in syrup, freeze-dried, or glazed in sugar, which could vary the carb content by a wide margin. The best options for keto dieters would be fresh cherries or freeze-dried cherries since these would not contain any added sugars.
At the end of the day, cherries are an easy recommendation to make for any keto dieters as long as you enjoy them in moderation.
Cherry Nutrition Facts
Here is the approximate nutritional breakdown for a 100 gram serving size of red cherries:
- 50 calories
- 0.3 grams fat
- 1 gram protein
- 12 grams carbs
- 1.6 grams dietary fiber
- 8 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 3 mg sodium
- 173 mg potassium
Keto-friendly Cherry Recipes
Health Benefits of Cherries
With all of that out of the way, let’s look at some of the main reasons why you should be including cherries as part of your keto diet plan. Here are the top 3 health benefits that cherries provide:
- Rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. While there are a variety of different types of cherries (red cherries, sweet cherries, etc.), one thing that they all have in common is the fact they’re rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. As a matter of fact, several studies show that cherries have the ability to lower inflammation markers. (1)
- Excellent source of antioxidants. Studies also found that cherries are incredibly effective at reducing oxidative stress. That isn’t surprising as cherries are incredibly rich in beneficial plant polyphenols that have proven benefits when it comes to protecting against diseases like cancer. (2)
- Good for cardiovascular health. The combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in cherries also provide quite a few great benefits for your heart health. Cherries are also a particularly good source of potassium, which studies have linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. (3)
Keto Cherry Alternatives
While it’s possible to make cherries work on the keto diet, if they contain a bit too much sugar for your liking, then you can easily use any of the following options as a keto-friendly substitute:
- Dried cranberries