I have been asked my view on how berries fit within the basic LCHF food. Personally, I would say berries are okay in moderation – if you are not a super strict or sensitive person.
Looking at the human evolution, the humans has evolved as hunter-gatherers and fishers, during the last two million years. Edible berries were part of the carbohydrates our early ancestors consumed. The intake of these were only seasonal and never available all year around.
Some people I know living the LCHF lifestyle seem to be alright with berries on a daily basis and still loosing weight. Others I know are more intolerant and wouldn’t even on special occasions allow berries without noticing having an effect on the weight. It seems to depend on various factors:
- Berries may cause an increased food consumption throughout the rest of the day.
- Berries may on some people cause a too high increase in carbohydrates and in that way a too high insulin supplement.
- On more physical active people carbohydrates are used in an efficient way and may not cause any significant problems.
- Some people seem to cope better than others with carbohydrates. A better insulin sensitivity?
- People’s storage of carbohydrates (glycogen stores) may vary, either naturally or through increased muscle volume.
It is good to bare in that berries are delicious but do consists of various portions of carbohydrates in form of sugar (fructose, sucrose & glucose). A bowl of raw berries & full-fat cream can be ideal as a delicious snack after dinner, every now and then. However, a rule of thumb is to exclude berries if they cause you sweet cravings. Enjoying berries and full-fat cream on a daily basis, often stops the ability to loose weight.
Some berries are naturally sweeter than others. Food producers invest much money and time to breed even sweeter versions of for example strawberries than what were supplied a generation ago. These supermarket manufactured berries of today are produced to trigger off our craving for sweetness and to make us consume more. Instead, organically and naturally grown berries are to prefer and raspberries for example are generally less sweet than strawberries and blueberries.
I prefer seasonable, self-picked berries, knowing where they come from and how the berries have grown. Every summer when visiting family in Sweden mum and I go out in the rich, Swedish forest – full of wild and seasonable grown raspberries and blueberries. These berries are sustainable grown and delicious to enjoy during the late summer season. The actual picking experience is also a great joy for both body and mind.