Fruits and berries: A keto guide
Fruits and berries contain a lot of carbs. That’s why they taste so sweet. They are Nature’s candy.
In general, the sweeter or larger the amount of fruit, the more sugar it contains. On the keto diet, while berries are fine in moderation, for the best results avoid all other fruit.
Below is a visual guide. On the left are the best keto choices.
On a keto diet, small amounts of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are okay. Be careful with blueberries, because their carbs can rapidly add up. Eat only small portions, infrequently, or not at all.
If you eat just 20 grapes (about 24 grams of carbs) or a single medium-sized banana (25 grams of carbs) you will have exceeded your daily carb allowance on a keto diet.
Fruit = Nature’s candy
On a keto diet (<20 carb grams per day) you can have a few berries every-so-often and it won't likely take you out of ketosis. You might even be able to eat a few cherries or a small plum. Be careful, however, and when in doubt measure your ketones to assess how fruit impacts you.
Don’t we need fruits’ nutrients? No, you can easily get all the nutrients you need from vegetables. In fact, some vegetables, including bell peppers and kale, have more vitamin C than any of the citrus fruits — and a lot less carbs and sugar.
Top 5 fruits to choose
From time-to-time you can indulge in fruit as a treat while still staying in ketosis. Try them with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.
Here are some of the best choices, in net carbs:
- Raspberries: Half a cup (60 grams) contains 3 grams of carbs.
- Blackberries: Half a cup (70 grams) contains 4 grams of carbs.
- Strawberries: Half a 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.
In a pinch, fruit is still a much better choice than other snacks or treats, like a muffin or candy.
Even though other fruits are higher in carbs, you can indulge every-so-often. Treat it like candy and eat small portions. Here are examples of the carb amounts of other fruit.
- Mandarin: One medium size (75 grams) contains 7 grams of carbs.
- Kiwi: One medium size (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 size (150 grams) contains 13 grams of carbs.
Fruit then and now
Many people ask: “Isn’t fruit a healthy, natural choice?” But today’s fruit has been selectively bred to maximize yield, sweetness and transport. Modern fruit is very different from the fruits of the past.
In addition, for most of human history, fruit would have been available in a short seasonal window. Just like primates in natural environments and other mammals like bears today, ancient humans would have gorged on fruit when available, using the excess carbs to pack on pounds to survive through lean times.
In short, in modern times many find that their bodies cannot handle the excess carbs and sugar in fruit available 365 days a year.
Here are some of our best keto recipes for berries, with the lowest amount of carbs per serving.
Similar keto guides
Total carbs minus fiber ↩