Low-carb fruits and berries – the best and the worst

What are the best and the worst fruits and berries to eat on a low-carb diet? Here’s the short version: most berries are OK low-carb foods in moderate amounts, but fruits are candy from nature (and full of sugar).

For more details, check out this guide, with the lower-carb options to the left.

Berries

Low-Carb Berries

The numbers above are the percentages of digestible carbohydrates i.e. net carbs (fiber is not counted) – think of them as numbers of grams carbohydrate per 100 g of berry (3½ ounces).

Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries can be eaten in small amounts on a strict low-carb diet, and you can have pretty much all you want if you’re on a more moderate low-carb diet.

Blueberries contain a bit more carbs, so don’t overdo them – on a strict low-carb diet eat them only occasionally, in small amounts.

Fruits

Low-Carb Fruits

So how about fruit? As you can see, all fruits contain quite a few carbs (mostly in the form of sugar). That’s why fruits are sweet! Fruit is candy from nature.

For easy comparison all numbers are still grams of digestible carbs per 100 grams (3½ ounces) of the fruits.

A medium-sized apple (150 grams) may contain about 18 grams of carbs.

How much fruit can you have?

This means that on a keto low-carb diet (<20 grams per day) you're probably better off having some berries instead. Or perhaps a small fruit like a plum or a couple of cherries, once in a while. You can eat plenty of vegetables instead. You can easily get any nutrient in fruit from vegetables – without all the sugar. So there’s no need for fruit.

Even on a more moderate low-carb diet (20-50 grams per day) you’ll have to be careful with fruit – probably no more than about one a day.

On a liberal low-carb diet (50-100 grams per day) you may be able to squeeze in two or three fruits a day, if that is your biggest source of carbs.

As you see, grapes and bananas are the highest-carb fruits of them all.
 

Top 10 low-carb fruits

Top 10 low-carb fruits

Let’s say you occasionally want to eat a fruit (or some berries) while still staying relatively low carb. What fruit would be the best choice?

Below, you’ll find the best options, ranked by grams of net carbs per serving (one medium-sized fruit or half a cup). The lowest-carbs options are at the top. All numbers are net carbs.1  

  1. Raspberries – Half a cup (60 grams) contains 3 grams of carbs.
  2. Blackberries – Half a cup (70 grams) contains 4 grams of carbs.
  3. Strawberries – One cup (100 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
  4. Blueberries – Half a cup (50 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
  5. Plum – One medium-sized (80 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
  6. Clementine – One medium-sized (75 grams) contains 7 grams of carbs.
  7. Kiwi – One medium-sized (70 grams) contains 8 grams of carbs.
  8. Cherries – Half a cup (90 grams) contains 9 grams of carbs.
  9. Cantaloupe – One cup (160 grams) contains 11 grams of carbs.
  10. Peach – One medium-sized (150 grams) contains 13 grams of carbs.

 
As a comparison, a medium-sized orange contains about 15 grams of carbs, a medium-sized apple about 18 grams and a medium-sized banana about 25 grams of carbs.

 

Isn’t fruit natural?

banana1banana2

Most people believe that fruit is natural, but today’s fruits in the supermarket have very little in common with what fruit used to look like before:

What fruits and vegetables looked like before

Fruit is candy from nature.

Berry recipes

A moderate amount of low-sugar berries can be OK on a low-carb diet. Here are our top recipes:

 

 

 

 

Worse choices

Muffin or M&M's

Of course a fruit is still better than many other snack options – like a muffin or candy. All fruit (even bananas) are much lower in carbs than these.

 

 

Q&A

Below you’ll find a few common questions about low-carb fruits, with answers. For more like this, check out our full low-carb FAQ.

What fruits are the lowest in carbs?

Berries like raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are your best bet, with carb counts of around 5 or 6 net grams per 100 grams. Beyond that, perhaps a plum or a few cherries? Check out the visual guide above for exact carb counts for all common fruits.

What fruits are high in carbs?

The worst offenders are bananas, at 20 net carbs per 100 grams, and grapes, with 16 net carbs per 100 grams. But most fruits, including oranges and apples, are fairly high in sugar and carbs.

What is the best fruit to eat to lose weight?

There are no great fruits to eat if you want to lose weight on a low-carb diet. But a handful of berries is a fairly safe option if you want something fruit-like, without eating a lot of sugar.

 
Full low-carb diet FAQ

 

 

Similar low-carb guides

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All low-carb snacks recipes

 

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14-day low-carb diet meal plan
  1. Net carbs = digestible carbs, i.e. total carbs minus fiber.

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102 comments

  1. BrightonKeto
    Bananas are not keto.
  2. Dulce
    Is MONK FRUIT sweetener good for keto diet?
    Reply: #103
  3. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Dulce!

    You can read about sweeteners here (including monk fruit):
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/sweeteners

  4. J Schaef
    Section on fruits and berries has many inconsistancies. Ex: blueberry = 12 carbs in pics, 6 carbs in list.
    Reply: #106
  5. Dan
    In reference to pork rinds, they are a fantastic snack for keto, find some low or no carb salsa, put some in sour cream, and be ready for a rich great tasting low carb high fat snack
  6. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi J Schaef!

    I can agree that it's a bit confusing. In the picture we compare carb content in 100 gram berries. In the text further down it's more like a small serving (50 gram of blueberries). But it's at least correct. :)

    Section on fruits and berries has many inconsistancies. Ex: blueberry = 12 carbs in pics, 6 carbs in list.

  7. 1 comment removed
  8. Jenny
    Hello,
    a question please, it seems only common sense to follow guideline recommendations re lower carb fruits and this is great, what happens to those who may be pre diabetic and/or diabetic, as to my understanding if not wrong? all fruits lowest carb grade also, that its fructose and this goes straight to the liver which is not good for diabetic people.

    Do we take it, that even eating 2 or 3 strawberries, or 3 raspberries for example, is a no no for pre diabetic, and more so diabetic people? or such small amounts, in moderation, special occasions can be taken without causing any good work controlling insulin situation.

    As within without doubt the recommended and fruits noted are excellent, this is just an observation curious question no more or less?

    Jenny

  9. GG
    Banana is not for a Low carb diet!
    Why would you even define 50-100g per day carb as moderately Low carb?
    I have been in LCHF diet for 9 months now and have not done calorie counting for the first 8 months. Without eating bananas, I was (and still am) successful at LCHF diet (lost close to 30 lbs. Only in the last month have I tried calorie counting, and I tell you banana carb content will not pass for the true LCHF diet (keeping carbs below 50 grams per day).

    But l if you must, then eat banana, just don’t call it Low carb. Invent a new term.

  10. GG
    By the way, why did water melon makes the list? It’s 8 grams carb per 100 grams of fruit? Honeydew is 9 grams per 100 grams fruit. Watermelon is my go to fruit during my first 8 months of LCHF diet.
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