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 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.
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
- Raspberries – Half a cup (60 grams) contains 3 grams of carbs.
- Blackberries – Half a cup (70 grams) contains 4 grams of carbs.
- Strawberries – One cup (100 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
- Blueberries – Half a cup (50 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
- Plum – One medium-sized (80 grams) contains 6 grams of carbs.
- Clementine – One medium-sized (75 grams) contains 7 grams of carbs.
- Kiwi – One medium-sized (70 grams) contains 8 grams of carbs.
- Cherries – Half a cup (90 grams) contains 9 grams of carbs.
- Cantaloupe – One cup (160 grams) contains 11 grams of carbs.
- 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?
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:
A moderate amount of low-sugar berries can be OK on a low-carb diet. Here are our top recipes:
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.
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.
Similar low-carb guides
Alternative low-carb snacks and desserts
Net carbs = digestible carbs, i.e. total carbs minus fiber. ↩