When it comes to keto diets, they greatly influence your weight management by limiting your carbs intake to 30 – 50 grams per day. This puts your body in a state of ketosis which burns fats as a fuel for energy rather than burning glucose.
Since your body uses fat for energy under ketosis, it allows you to burn your body fat much faster which results in weight loss over time. However, with the carbs limitation in keto, you may think there are only a limited number of foods to consume.
While that is true to some extent, there are plenty of different foods including fruits and vegetables that you can fit into your keto diet. Talking of foods, you may think about rambutan. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and essential minerals, but is rambutan keto friendly?
Let’s look at what rambutan is and whether or not you can fit it into your keto diet plan.
What is Rambutan?
Rambutan is an edible fruit bearing tree which is also referred to as Nephelium lappaceum. The term rambutan is derived from the Malay word “Rambut” which basically means hair. The reason why it is called rambutan is because the fruit has long spin terns (soft spines) resembling hairs.
It is native to the Southeastern parts of Asia including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Philippines, and Singapore. However, it has made its way to other parts of the world including African countries, Central America, Hawaii and the Oceania.
Rambutan fruit sprouts from evergreen plants and has a rather short growing span of just 2 months containing just a single large seed. These are small tropical fruits almost the same size as a small sized apple or a large kiwi fruit.
Rambutan has a distinct red texture with white flesh and has a unique flavor offering a perfect balance of sour and sweet. It is somewhat related to other fruits including lychee, guinep, longan, and pulasan.
These fruits are a rich source of nutrients including antioxidants, calcium, carbs, dietary fibers, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and plenty of other essential minerals. More on the nutritional profile of rambutan is discussed in the later sections of this article.
Considering the nutrition in rambutan, it can be significantly beneficial for your health and will lead to an overall improvement in your health.
Due to their rich and slightly tart flavor, rambutan is usually consumed as a snack food. However, many people prefer consuming it as part of a tropical salad with other fruits, or as a topping on yogurt, ice-creams, and other sweet desserts.
Moreover, rambutan can also be used to add a tart touch to cocktails. Generally speaking, you can get creative with rambutan and consume it in different ways according to your personal preference.
But, before you go ahead and consume rambutan, let’s first look at whether rambutan is keto friendly or not.
Is Rambutan Keto Friendly?
For a food to fit in the keto diet, it has to be low in carbs. Now, looking at the carbs content in rambutan, a single rambutan fruit (9g) has 1.88 grams of carbs, whereas a typical 100 gram serving has over 20 grams of carbohydrates.
Considering the carb content of rambutan it makes it difficult to fit in the keto diets. The carbs in a single serving of rambutan is too high and will fill up more than 70% of your allowed carbs limit per day. So, it is best to avoid rambutan if you’re on a strict keto diet.
However, if you want to benefit from the antioxidants and nutrients in rambutan, there is a workaround for this. You can safely consume a few rambutan fruits 3 – 4 either as a standalone serving or by adding it to your favorite keto foods.
This way, you can receive the nutrients in rambutan without having to forcing your body out of ketosis. When consuming rambutan, make sure to consider your overall carbs intake per day or you will be risking your ketosis and all the hard work you’ve put in to achieve ketosis.
Here’s an insight into the nutritional profile of rambutan to give you an idea of what nutrients you can receive from the fruit!
Rambutan: Nutritional Profile
According to the USDA, a 100 gram serving (equating to over 11 – 12 rambutan fruits) of rambutan has the following nutrients.
|Total lipid (fat)||0.21 g|
|Total carbohydrates||20.9 g|
|Dietary fiber||0.9 g|
|Vitamin C||4.9 mg|
|Carotene beta||2 mcg|
|Vitamin A||3 IU|
Rambutan is filled with nutrients including vitamins, dietary fibers, and essential minerals as you can see from the list. Apart from these, rambutan also offers trace amounts of vitamin B-6, and manganese.
If you’re wondering how these nutrients can benefit you, here is an insight into the health benefits of rambutan.
Health Benefits Of Rambutan:
There are plenty of ways rambutan can benefit you. These include:
1. Good source of folate:
Folate is a crucial vitamin required by your body for the healthy development of cells in your body. It can also help in terms of DNA duplication, specifically for pregnant women.
2. Rich in potassium:
Rambutan contains a high dose of potassium. It is an essential mineral that can help your body in different ways including:
- Improves your heart health by maintaining your heart beat
- Improves your kidney function
- Improves the contraction of muscles
3. Lowers the risk of cancers:
Rambutans are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C. Antioxidants are a crucial requirement of your body as they help eliminate free radicals from your body that would otherwise cause substantial damage to your cells.
As a result of these antioxidants, cellular damage is reduced which lowers the risk of cancers in your body.
4. Rich source of Vitamin C:
Interestingly, rambutans contain a high amount of vitamin C. In fact, a single serving (100 grams) of rambutan can provide you with up to 66% of your daily RDA of vitamin C.
The vitamin C in rambutan not only serves as an antioxidant but it also supports your immune system. Vitamin C is required by your body to fight off diseases and lower their associated symptoms.
Consuming vitamin C from rambutan will substantially improve the health of your immune system which in turn improves your overall immune function.
Apart from this, vitamin C can also aid in the synthesis of collagen in your body. Proper synthesis of collagen is required for your joints, hair, and maintaining your skin health.
In addition to this, vitamin C also increases the rate at which your body produces glutathione. It is an important antioxidant which is naturally produced in our bodies. So, consuming vitamin C based foods can help boost glutathione levels in your body.
5. Supports your digestive system:
Rambutans contain dietary fibers both in their soluble and insoluble forms. These help in making your digestive system more stronger and improve your overall digestive system health.
The fibers from rambutan can help counteract the symptoms of constipation by bulking your stools. Furthermore, the insoluble dietary fibers in rambutan serve as a source of energy for the good bacteria in your gut. This helps your intestine process foods easily and fluently.
6. Serves as a decent source of manganese:
A 100 gram serving of rambutan can provide you with over 10% of the RDA of manganese. It is another crucial mineral that your body requires for its role in a number of biological processes in your body.
Manganese basically serves as an activator for the enzymes in your body. Enzymes rely on such activators for their optimal performance. This is why it is crucial to have a diet consisting of manganese containing foods like rambutan otherwise it will lead to a manganese deficiency.
Manganese deficiency can cause imbalances in glucose tolerances, maintaining optimal glucose levels, and affects the growth and reproduction system as well. In worst cases, it can also lead to skeletal abnormalities.
Apart from this, manganese is also responsible for the formation of healthy cartilage and strengthening your bones.
7. Rambutan provides your body with a polyphenol called Gallic Acid:
Rambutan contains a polyphenol referred to as gallic acid. It is associated with a number of health benefits in terms of boosting your cardiovascular health. However, gallic acid is primarily found in the peel part of rambutan fruit.
However, there is a catch. To benefit from gallic acid in rambutan, you will have to consume the extracts from the peel part.
How To Incorporate Rambutan In Your Keto Diet?
If you’re wondering how to incorporate rambutan in your keto diet, there can be a number of ways. Rambutan can be consumed in a number of ways including:
- Eating 3 – 4 fruits of rambutan by itself.
- By adding small chunks of rambutan flesh in your keto salads.
- By adding a minimal amount of rambutan in your veggie meals or adding it as an ingredient to your favorite sauces.
- You can also make luscious marinades with a fruity profile by adding the juice of rambutan in a keto friendly marinade.
- You can also make keto friendly smoothies containing a blend of rambutan with a mix of other keto friendly fruits.
When consuming rambutan fruit make sure to follow these steps:
- Pick ripe rambutan fruits and avoid unripen ones which are usually green, or red. Ripened ones are yellow.
- Make sure the rambutan fruit is freshly picked. A good way to ensure this is to examine the color of the hair-like spines. If green, it means the rambutan is fresh. However, if the spines are black, you should avoid them.
- After picking ripe and fresh rambutans, remove the skin part of the rambutan using a pairing knife.
- Next, cut the rambutan in the center around the seed part. Remove the seed and enjoy it however you prefer it.
On a side note, as stated earlier, rambutan fruits are not entirely keto friendly in larger amounts. Make sure to consume no more than 3 or 4 rambutan fruits in one serving. Or else, you will be risking putting yourself out of ketosis.
Is Rambutan keto friendly? Unfortunately, no. A 100 gram serving of rambutan contains 20 grams of carbohydrates which is extremely high considering ketogenic diets.
There are plenty of nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in rambutan and if you want to enjoy these nutrients, you can consume 3 – 4 rambutans.
This is because a single rambutan fruit (approx. 9 grams) contains only 1.88 grams of carbohydrates. This way you can enjoy rambutans while staying in ketosis and benefit from the nutrients in rambutans.
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below: