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

Meal plans

Get lots of weekly low-carb meal plans, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our premium meal planner tool (free trial).
 
 

 

Alternative low-carb snacks and desserts

All low-carb snacks recipes

 

More

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

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92 Comments

  1. Nita
    Working fine on mine
  2. Erica
    That's what I was thinking too! I love grapefruit!
  3. Toby
    Reply to comment #12 by Sheila
    February 22
    Yes, what about grapefruit? I love to snack on them.
    Reply: #56
  4. Chavonne Lafleur
    This was great and easy to understand. Love the pictures. You guys should make an app.
  5. judy
    I'd like to try this as well. I see a few people asking about grapefruit and I am wondering as well. If I am trying to lose weight and eat 1/2 pink grapefruit with my eggs at breakfast each day, is this still too many carbs? I exercise 5x a week. Thanks!
  6. Geraldine D. Zimbler Kuss
    Grapefruit SUCH a terrific Breakfast food! Why isn't it listed ? SO ubiquitous.
  7. L. Louis Loushin
    Why don't you have a chart that lists the quantities along with the carbs?
  8. Tara Alde
    My brother in law grows Haskap berries or sometimes known as honey berries. They have 3 times the antioxidants than blueberries. I would think they would be a great fruit on your low carb list? They are like a cross between blueberries and Saskatoon berries. Not very sweet and very juicy. Have you heard about them?
  9. Lillianne Cameron
    May 16/17........I am about to begin the program on Sunday. I too am asking about the pink grapefruit....this is a refreshing fruit and would be great with breakfast. Please advise if this fruit is allowed and when.
    Regards,
    Reply: #66
  10. Lori Miller
    People might also consider Dr. Richard Bernstein, a practicing physician, researcher and type 1 diabetic since 1947. He says he hasn't had a piece of fruit since 1970.

    I don't eat fruit, either--more than a few berries gives me a stomach ache. Giving up fruit hasn't done either one of us any harm.

  11. Lori Miller
    For all those wondering how many carbs are in certain foods, this might help: http://en.lmgtfy.com/?q=nutrition+data+fruit
  12. Laura
    Is making blueberry smoothie with coconut water better than coconut milk?
  13. Warren
    What about pork rinds, they taste great and work just as a good a chips for dipping and you cancrumble them for croutons. Almost no carbs and very cheap!
    Reply: #79
  14. Margie
    Thank you for this list of low carb fruit, as I see some options that are affordable and available where I live. Most berries are extremely expensive here, however I would be able to occasionally have strawberries or blueberries, a kiwi, plum, clementine or peach.
  15. Beth
    I'M also wondering about pork rinds. They are my cheat food.
  16. geraldine denise kuss
    Grapefruit's quite high in carbs. As are oranges. Unfortunately. Here in Brazil Guava is another fruit that is much eaten that's not on his list. Guava is fairly low in carbs. Internet has far more comprehensive lists of fruit & veggies. Radishes aren't on the veggie list. All very strange, I don't see why you'd give people lists that aren't complete . Especially with foods that are common the world over.
  17. 1 comment removed
  18. Robert Bertie
    mushrooms ??
    Reply: #85
  19. L
    M&Ms actually have between 25-30g of sugar per portion. A quick google search can tell you that.
  20. Melanie Tremblay
    I would like to know about onions and garlic? How many carbs. Thanks
  21. Stephanie Thrasher
    this is the best site i have seen for low carb! thank you!
  22. Bucyrus
    I have a banana and apple every day at work, at 10am and 3pm respectively. What's a good substitute that's easy to grab in the morning, easy to store and easy to eat?
    Reply: #73
  23. Jolie
    Having an apple a day is fine. I always give apples a pass because of the fiber content and it is truly a nutrient dense fruit. As for the banana, try mashing half of of one in cottage cheese or have a clementine or plum instead which is half the carbs of a banana.
  24. stacey
    I been on Atkins or low carb for a long time, I don't like onions, but have heard they contain a lot of sugar. I love this diet, I can eat and lose weight. I've stopped craving sugar and breads, pasta, etc...:)
  25. Corrie Kelly
    How about adding celery. I believe it has little or no carbs and many people enjoy celery.
  26. Dell0821
    Hello, I can't seem to find the reply about grapefruit raw natural. Is it allowed
  27. 1 comment removed
  28. Julie L
    Does anyone know if having a bad thyroid stops the low carb diet from working?? It’s been a month and I’ve only lost 5#’s. I’m very discouraged bcuz 10yrs ago I lost 45#’s easily with low carb! HELP PLEASE!!!
    Replies: #83, #87
  29. Lynn
    Why kill an animal for taste. You don't need to for health. So uneducated. And cruel. And against the environment. Eat chips if you want chips.
  30. Ekaterina Vinnik
    Hi! Would it be possible to indicate the source(s)/database(s) this website is using for nutritional information? Thanks!
  31. Sami
    my weight is 133KG......how much calories I can take a day?
  32. Robert Bertie
    pumpkin and mushrooms ?
  33. Jenny
    Hi Julie, I have hashimoto and the diet seem to be working fine. Just weigh all the carbs .. If I go over 20 gram of carbs the weight loss stops. Also, buy the keto stix.. It helps because you’ll know if you are in Ketosis and if you are doing it right.
  34. P L
    Wtf???

    Why don't you give the different amount of carb for the SAME quantities of different fruits????,,

  35. Vicky
    Pumpkin would be a lot like sweet potato carb wise. Mushrooms are 3g carb.
  36. Barbara Sylvain
    Grapefruit also interferes with a LOT of medications...maybe that's why it wasn't included. But my doctor said he eats pork rinds as a filler. Personally I find them like packing peanuts, but desperate times...! Maybe dipping them in sour cream would help!
  37. Stephanie
    See "Hormone Cure" book by Dr Gottfried to get help fixing thyroid. Likely your doctor has outdated info. Try Maria Emmerich's "30-Day Keto Cleanse" to read the basics on how keto works and what to do when your weight loss stalls.
  38. Yuliya
    I feel a little pain in my left part of belly, what it can be? I’m on 3 day of the diet
  39. Erica
    Your Blueberries Net carbs have quite a bit of inconsistency on this page. Your diagram says that they have double the amount of net carbs as strawberries, yet your chart says that blueberries and strawberries have the same amount of net carbs.
    Reply: #90
  40. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Erica!

    Thanks, we have updated the information.

    Your Blueberries Net carbs have quite a bit of inconsistency on this page. Your diagram says that they have double the amount of net carbs as strawberries, yet your chart says that blueberries and strawberries have the same amount of net carbs.

  41. Amira
    How many carbs is a banana?
    Reply: #92
  42. Karen
    Anything better than m & ms. They have artificial color which is slow poison to many.
  43. 1 comment removed
  44. ANNETTE RIGDEN
    what about dried fruit??
  45. Max otto
    This article is a perfect example of how worthless medical doctors are when it comes to diet and healing the human body. If you think that eating a low fruit diet is healthy you are sadly mistaken. Meat and dairy are the most acid forming foods and medical doctors are still promoting high protein diets. Does it make sense to avoid fruit when they are alkaline forming and nutrient dense, and highly astringent? If any of you want real nutritional advice check with a naturopathic doctor. Medical doctors are simply licensed drug
    pushers that are incapable of healing anything.
  46. Alex Ng
    What is the average net carb for one grapefruit?
    Is consuming just one grapefruit per day is more than enough for low-carb diet plan?
  47. Liz
    Hello
    Please can you tell me if I can have watermelon on keto diet?
    New to this and trying to understand it all.
    Thanks in advance
    Liz
    Reply: #99
  48. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Liz!

    Sorry but water melon contains a bit to much carbs so try to avoid them. But water melon in resonable amounts as a part of a sallad for instance should be OK.

    Hello
    Please can you tell me if I can have watermelon on keto diet?
    New to this and trying to understand it all.
    Thanks in advance
    Liz

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