Low Carb

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, the lower-carb options are to the left.

Berries

Low-Carb Berries

All the numbers represent the percentage of digestible carbohydrates i.e. net carbs (so the fibre is not counted).

This means that 100 grams of berries (3.5 ounces or about three handfuls) – will contain that number of grams of carbs.

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 only eat them occasionally in small amounts.

Fruits

Low-Carb Fruits

So how about fruit? As you can see, all fruits contain quite a bit of 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 (3.5 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 strict 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 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.

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.

 


 

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.


 

 

Similar low-carb guides

Meal plans


Low Carb in 60 seconds

 

More low-carb snacks and desserts

More

How Low Carb is Low Carb?


Strict

Strict low carb


Moderate

moderate low carb


Liberal

Liberal low carb

Learn more


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54 Comments

  1. Agnese
    where are all the other berries????
  2. Cindy C
    What about green bananas or green plantains?
  3. 1 comment removed
  4. Thiago
    Acerola is a small fruit, rich in vitamin C and has few carbs.
  5. Sean K
    Thank you very much for this, Diet Doctor!

    These visual aids will not only provide guidance for my own home but also, as a family doctor, provide visual guidance for my many patients with Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes.

    What a wonderful visual resource!

  6. Cindy C
    Are we just reducing sugar, or fructose itself? Is the sugar content of fruit mostly fructose?

    http://familywellnesshq.com/fructose-in-fruits-veggies-nuts-seeds-leg...

  7. Cindy C
    This was in recent news. The particular diet used was dairy free and lower in saturated fats, but higher in other fats.

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-paleolithic-type-diet-future-di...

  8. Santiaggie
    Where is the Avocado?
  9. 2 comments removed
  10. Geraldine Denise
    You don't have GOJI-BERRIES in the list. I've been buying them, here in Brazil they're a slimming craze. Cranberries?
  11. Sheila
    what about grapefruits?
    Reply: #52
  12. Liv
    What about green Bananas and Plantains?
  13. marie
    what about japanese purple potato, yuca, malanga, yellow plantain?
  14. janet halliwell
    Is there an app I can put on my phone please? It would make it easier when shopping & cooking. I'm dairy free but finding tinned coconut milk as a replacement is gorgeous in coffee & on fruit.
    Reply: #16
  15. Hi!

    Sorry Janet, it's a great idea but there will not be an app in the near future.

    Is there an app I can put on my phone please? It would make it easier when shopping & cooking. I'm dairy free but finding tinned coconut milk as a replacement is gorgeous in coffee & on fruit.

  16. Tammy Culp
    Hi what about spaghetti squash
  17. Leanne
    I'm a vegan how is the best way for me to replace all of the meat and dairy? I have put on 6kgs in 6 mths of being vegan due to all of the fruit and carbs I have been eating. I have started having protein powder in smoothies for breakfast and a early evening beverage, made with water. I know there is a lot of protein in tofu and tempeh but are there other options. Thanks great website.
    Reply: #45
  18. Robert
    Pumpkin ??
  19. isabella
    Hi! I am from Brazil, and in here, most fitness diet are based of Tapioca, because it's a gluten free satisfying meal. Do you know anything about Tapioca's carbs? Thank you :)
  20. Ana
    What about watermelon?
    Reply: #23
  21. Vespe
    "Any nutrient in fruit can more easily be had from vegetables"

    Incorrect -- at least when it comes to micronutrients, which occur in far higher concentrations in various berries and herbs, fruit to a lesser extent.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841576/table/T1/

    Berries and fruit blow the vegetables out of the water when it comes to total antioxidant count. This is before we even start talking about the specific types of antioxidants you can find in higher concentrations in berries and fruits, such as xantophylls and resveratrol.

    I do, however, find the information on low-carb fruit useful, so I'm thankful for that. I have no intentions of not eating quite a bit of fruit and berries, though (especially when micronutrients are considered) -- I'm actually underweight, and was looking for the low-carb info for relatives and potential future use.

  22. Alice
    21 grams of carbs for 2 cup serving. Low in calories, 80 calories per serving, high in natural sugar with 20 grams per serving.
    http://www.watermelon.org/assets/Nutrition/FDA%20Watermelon%20Label.pdf
  23. Anna
    Thank you for the article, it is really interesting and useful! As for me, I prefer Dr Simeons diet, which helped me to lose 11 kilos. I did the diet with Anat Stern, and she really helped me to go untill the end by constantly motivating and giving useful advises. I would recommend this diet to everyone who is willig to lose weight, because my own results are fantastic!
  24. Bonnie
    A diet of 90% fruit then would not be a good one.
  25. Mark
    I advise anyone who is considering giving up fruit based on this article to read the following article in the New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/making-the-case-for-eating-f...

    This article contains advice from Dr David Ludwig and Dr Robert Lustig and explains that the fibre contained in fruit slows down the absorption of sugar. These two men are hugely important in the fight against the diabetes pandemic.

  26. Wasseem
    I am from Middle East and we do like dates much. So what about it?
  27. Shabeela
    I am from South Africa an I like apples..so what about it?
    thanks
    Reply: #29
  28. Hi Shabeela!

    Apples is not a part of a strict LCHF diet.

    But if you eat a more liberal LCHF diet then you could eat an apple or two every 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."

    I am from South Africa an I like apples..so what about it? thanks

    Reply: #30
  29. W8er
    Indeed, there are those too sweet. All the calories are from sugar there. Just two large ones may score your free sugar recommendations as http://nutritional.top/apples_raw_with_skin says, even though not the calories.
  30. Elaine Crittenden
    Arti chocks backed with lemon parm cheese olive oil yum but how many carbs?
    Reply: #32
  31. Linn
    I would suggest using a Web search engine to find a tool to calculate the amount of carbohydrates. You would need to know the contents of each product you're using as well as how much of each ingredient is being used in the dish.
  32. Aron
    Just to let you all know lchf is a way of life and not just a diet thank you
  33. Drachula
    Goji berries have 65g carb per 100g, so not a diet pill! They are very low in fat, and probably have other benefits, but the sugar is way too high, like any dried fruit.
    There are lots of web tools to look up carb content. It is confusing because the way different countries classify fibre is different, but you get an idea.
    Try looking up "goji berries calories" or whatever you are looking for, then change the amount to 100g. Then take fibre off the total carbs if it is a US site, and you get total carbs. More or less.
  34. Mark Bousquet
    I broke down and got some organic bananas recently, basically to do some n=1 sleep experimentation. Haven't had a banana since before I went LCHF 3.5 years ago. When I unpeeled it, I got hit in the face with its sugary aroma... and then I bit in... Oh, it was sooo good! Definitely a dessert! As for my n=1 experiment, my sleep tracker app didn't note anything different those nights I consumed it. Oh well, I'll stick to berries for now.
  35. Keith
    These guides do not appear to work correctly on Apple platforms. Or is it just me?
    The figures for each item do not appear!
    Reply: #37
  36. Hi !

    Have you tried with another browser? It's a weird because it's a picture...and not being able to see the values doesn't make sense.

    Best,
    Peter

    These guides do not appear to work correctly on Apple platforms. Or is it just me?
    The figures for each item do not appear!

    Reply: #51
  37. Keith
    Not yet. A bit limited to MacBook, iPhone and iPad. No picture either. Everything else works fine!
    Thanks for suggestion.
  38. Michelle
    What about pomegranates? Are they high or low in carbs?
    Reply: #40
  39. What about pomegranates? Are they high or low in carbs?

    Hi Michelle!

    Pomegranates have about 7 grams of carbs per 100 g or 3,5 oz.

  40. Keith
    Yes, works fine on PC (Google Chrome), and on Apple device with Chrome. Just seems Safari not compatible with some of the guides. Some work some don't. Can you fix?
  41. Claire
    I am new to this plan, and sop far it's easy for me as I never ate a lot of sweets, breads etc...

    Is there a meal plan anywhere on here? I'd like to get an idea of how much I need to eat. I am 5'6 @ 148. Want to lose 20 lbs. I've been LCHF for 1 1/2 weeks. Lost 2 lbs. I have not eaten carbs for the exception of veggies, not even berries. I am trying to keep it to 25-30 carbs a day. How much protein and fat should I eat to lose?
    Thanks!

    Reply: #43
  42. Hi Claire!

    Why not try our two week challenge, then you will get a good feeling on how to eat. :)

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-get-started-on-low-carb-take-our-br...

    I am new to this plan, and sop far it's easy for me as I never ate a lot of sweets, breads etc...
    Is there a meal plan anywhere on here? I'd like to get an idea of how much I need to eat. I am 5'6 @ 148. Want to lose 20 lbs. I've been LCHF for 1 1/2 weeks. Lost 2 lbs. I have not eaten carbs for the exception of veggies, not even berries. I am trying to keep it to 25-30 carbs a day. How much protein and fat should I eat to lose?
    Thanks!

  43. Brenda
    Recipes that use coconut flour; I like to see an alternative option where you can substitute Almond flour/meal.
  44. Brenda
    I would review the Vegan recipes on this site.
  45. 1 comment removed
  46. Sofie
    Are those blueberries you listed the ones that are pale green inside? The normal (dark purple inside) ones in my freezer say they have 7g carbs / 100g.
    Reply: #48
  47. Hi Sofie!

    I think the values can vary a lot. I have seen everything between 7-14 g carbs.

    Are those blueberries you listed the ones that are pale green inside? The normal (dark purple inside) ones in my freezer say they have 7g carbs / 100g.

  48. James
    Just want to say a massive thank you for preparing this wonderful website of information. It truely is amazing.
  49. darla
    I would like to know if radish is low
    I enjoy them as a snack and would like to know if they are okay, considered low carb.
  50. Nita
    Working fine on mine
  51. Erica
    That's what I was thinking too! I love grapefruit!
  52. Toby
    Reply to comment #12 by Sheila
    February 22
    Yes, what about grapefruit? I love to snack on them.
    Reply: #56
  53. Chavonne Lafleur
    This was great and easy to understand. Love the pictures. You guys should make an app.
  54. 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!
  55. Geraldine D. Zimbler Kuss
    Grapefruit SUCH a terrific Breakfast food! Why isn't it listed ? SO ubiquitous.
  56. L. Louis Loushin
    Why don't you have a chart that lists the quantities along with the carbs?
  57. 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?

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