Keto-friendly diets are quickly becoming the talk of the town, with more and more people getting invested in its numerous benefits. Despite its practicality and effectiveness, following a keto diet is not an easy endeavor.
Not only is it hard to stick to fat, sugar, and carbohydrate-free food products, but it is also confusing to decipher which product falls into the keto-friendly category. This confusion propels people to ask unvarying questions about which food they can choose.
One common question that plagues the minds of health enthusiasts is, “Are mandarins keto?”. To be exact, they are not. Although several fruits are keto-friendly, all citrus foods do not make the cut and are thus unsuitable for a low-carb diet.
With the ever-augmenting number of keto-friendly foods cropping up in markets, opting for a keto diet is a better-than-ever option, but not before you take help from this guide to clear out the dilemma of “Are mandarin oranges keto?” once and for all by looking into their carb and nutrient count.
Are Mandarin Oranges Keto-Friendly Fruits?
Mandarin oranges, also known as clementines or “cuties” – a rather cute name, are unfortunately not keto-friendly. Although yummy on the lips, this juicy fruit is not fit for a ketogenic diet because it contains a considerable amount of carbohydrates per serving.
A single mandarin orange medium in size usually contains about 11.7 grams of total carbohydrates. This statistic is quite similar to oranges, which are also not keto-friendly and have about 10.1 grams of carbs in an equivalent serving.
However, if these carb statistics align with your keto diet's low-carb macros, you can opt for them as a healthy snack.
To provide deeper insight into its nutritional qualities and better answer the question of “Are mandarin oranges keto-friendly” let us look at the vital nutrition facts found in a medium mandarin orange.
|Total Carbohydrates||11.7 grams|
|Magnesium||10.6 milligram (about 2.5% of the average daily value or DV)|
|Potassium||146 milligrams (3% of the average DV)|
|Vitamin C||23.5 milligrams (26% of the average DV)|
Therefore, with an average of 11.54 grams of net carbs per 100g serving, mandarin oranges may disrupt your ketosis as it is ideal to restrict the net carb intake to about 20g-30g per day.
Not only is this fruit high in carbs, but it is also considerably low in fat, which makes up the 180-degree opposite of the macros a keto diet entails.
The ideal keto macronutrient ratio is about 20-25% protein, 70% fat, and only 5-10% carbohydrates, thereby necessitating keto foods to be high in fats and low in carbs simultaneously. Some common examples of ideal keto foods both high in fat content and low in carbs include salmon, avocado, and ghee.
Thus, although mandarin oranges are minimally processed, they do not make a suitable fit for keto due to their high carb content.
What Are Some Mandarin Orange Substitutes?
Sad that you cannot enjoy the tangy and fruity burst of flavor of cuties on keto? We have got you covered. Let us look at some common mandarin orange substitutes that will not disrupt your ketosis but will surely offer a feel-alike flavor to clementines.
One of the adequate ways of allowing your taste buds the tangy flavor of mandarins while keeping your ketosis safe from carbs is orange zest, which you can easily take pleasure of in orange sherbet or keto orange chicken!
Dried Orange Peel
Dried orange peel is quite similar in texture and taste to orange zest but usually supports a higher shelf life. It is also an efficient alternative to throwing away leftover fruit.
The citrus family is not all high in carbs: several keto-friendly options are available, including lemons and limes.
Some other alternatives to mandarin oranges include the following:
Citric acid can easily act as an effective substitute for mandarin oranges in recipes that requires a tangy and acidic flavor.
Orange extract is a convenient and keto-friendly substitute for clementines that adds the necessary flavor but keeps the carbs out.
If you are looking for a tangy and sour taste, vinegar is your best choice!
Qualities Of Keto Friendly Food
Keto-friendly foods and snacks are typically extremely low in carbohydrates, with some common examples being fish, seafood, vegetables, cheese, meat, and fresh butter. Foods high in carbs, including bread, sweets, rice, and potatoes, are a no go for those on keto-friendly diets.
Because of this complexity, dieters are always on the lookout for keto-friendly snacks, and this proves to be quite a hassle. To ease the snack and food selection process, let us look at a few pointers you should keep in mind when going snack hunting.
Look For Higher Numbers Of Total Fat Content
Since keto aims at consuming a diet high in fat but low in carbohydrate content, opt for a snack with a medium to high-fat content. It is crucial to be on the lookout for trans fats, excluding the instances where they are present in dairy products of grass-fed animals. Apart from these exceptions, trans fats may prove detrimental to ketosis.
Observe The Total Carbohydrate Content Closely
Keeping your total carb intake in check is unequivocally the most crucial part of a keto diet and is also the most attention-worthy portion of a snack's nutrition label. It is advisable to keep your total carb intake below 20-40 grams per day if you are on a keto diet.
You can count your total carb intake by calculating the total and net carbs. The total carb count entails the total number at the top, whereas the net carbs can be calculated by subtracting the sugar alcohols (if any) and the dietary fiber count from the total carbs.
Avoid High Sugar And Protein Contents
Irrespective of the number of the total and net carbs in a snack, you need to minimize your sugar intake – both natural and processed – as much as possible when on a keto diet.
In addition, although proteins are not the primary area of focus of a keto diet, it is necessary to opt for snacks with moderate to low protein content to align them with your macros.
Foods To Steer Clear Off When On A Keto Diet
By now, it goes without saying that foods high in carbs and low in fats disturb ketosis. However, it is central to keep in mind that processed foods and unhealthy fats also fall in the category of no-go foods for keto.
Although such foods do not generally prove detrimental to ketosis, they can trigger health complications such as inflammation, thereby rendering the purpose of attaining a healthy body weight null and void.
Some examples of regular foods that you should steer clear off when on a keto diet are as follows:
- Starchy vegetables
- Crackers and chips
- Fruits juices
- Fruits high in sugar content
- Flavored or artificially sweetened curd
- All kinds of pasta
- Baked items, may they be gluten-free or not
- Seed oils
- Products made from corn
- Syrup, honey, and sugar in all forms
Apart from these pretty obvious foods to avoid, some foods may contain certain ingredients, additives, or flavors that may result in insulin spikes, quickly halting your ketosis. Therefore, it is critical to look into the ingredients along with the nutritional facts in food.
Such ingredients may not always be obvious and are seldom camouflaged under scientific, fancy, or unconventional names to confuse an individual.
The ingredient list in sugary snacks may not always list sugar but may use deflecting alternatives such as castor sugar, grape sugar, beet sugar, demerara sugar, yellow sugar, invert sugar, confectioner's sugar, Barbados sugar, Muscovado sugar, icing sugar, coconut palm sugar, date sugar, or Turbinado sugar.
Similarly, syrup may sometimes be camouflaged as carob syrup, corn syrup, refiners syrup, golden syrup, buttered syrup, malt syrup, high maltose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, rice syrup, high fructose corn syrup, or sorghum syrup.
Some other cryptic ingredients include cane juice, dehydrated cane juice, Rapadura, barley malt, diastatic malt, caramel, HFCS, Florida crystals, Sucanat, cane juice crystals, Muscovado, and Treacle.
Mandarin oranges are a delicious and fun fruit to eat, but we cannot answer the question of “Are mandarins keto?” which is a solid no. Unfortunately, this fruit is high in carbs and low in fat, making it an unhealthy option for ketosis. You can opt for keto-friendly orange zest or mandarin juice as healthy alternatives.
Following a keto diet is confusing and taxing, prompting one to come up with apparently weird questions. If you have some, we are here to answer!
Here's information on whether some other fruits are keto-friendly or not: