Fruit is an essential part of every diet. It's full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, especially Vitamin C, which gives your immune system a boost. Fruit is also a great way to take care of your sugar cravings without reaching for those pre-made snack cakes and cookies, all of which contain plenty of refined sugar.
With that said, it can be tricky for people following the keto diet to find fruits that are low in carbs. Many of the most popular options are actually pretty high in carbohydrates. Thankfully, we've created a list ofketo-friendly fruits you’re sure to love.
Why Do You Need to Watch Your Carb Intake While on the Keto Diet?
To properly follow the ketogenic diet, you need to eat a certain, very low amount of carbs each day. Otherwise, your body might get out of ketosis, which would undo all of the hard work you've put in. It generally ends up being a high-fat, high-protein diet. You’ll cut out carbs like pasta, oatmeal, and other grains and grain-based foods, as well as many fruits and vegetables.
Keeping an eye on your macros (protein, fat, and carb) intake is very important and requires some calculations to ensure that you stay under your limit of net carbs every day. This means that you can't just reach for any piece of fruit that you want and maintain your carb counts.
Instead, you need to choose one that's low in carbs. Which ones are those?
There are a number ofketo-friendly fruits that you can add to your daily diet. Here are just a few:
For years, people have assumed that tomatoes are a vegetable. After all, they're sold in the veggie section of the grocery store, surrounded by broccoli and lettuce, right? Technically, tomatoes are a type of fruit, and they're also low in carbs.
One cup of sliced tomatoes contains a mere 7 grams of carbs, as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals. Consider combining tomatoes and olive oil with keto-friendly chicken and rice (add in a little oregano, salt, and pepper) for an Italian-esque dish that’s also low in carbs.
Who doesn't love a goodavocado? This fruit is full of healthy fiber, and it's low in carbs. A single serving of avocado (that's around 3.5 ounces, for the record) has around 8 grams of carbs. It has almost as much fiber as well – 7 grams.
When you look at how versatile avocado is, as you can place it on sandwiches, tacos, and more, it’s easy to see it’s a clear winner on a keto meal plan. Whether you prefer your avocados straight from the skin or on top of a spinach salad with bell peppers, it’s always a good idea to incorporate them into your daily diet.
Berries, like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, make atasty snack. They are very low in carbohydrates (between 9 and 3 grams per cup-sized serving, depending on the berries you choose). They are also loaded with natural fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins A, C, and K, which contribute to a well-rounded diet. Berries are also chock full of antioxidants.
Plus, their natural sweetness will help with those sugar cravings. Consider incorporating them into a smoothie or shake alongside other low-carb ingredients, or even make a keto-friendly shortcake.
Few things go better with strawberries than sliced kiwi. This strange, hairy fruit with a green center is distinctive, as well as decently low in carbs. Since kiwi isn't as low as other types of fruit on this list, as one single 75-gram kiwi contains 10 grams of carbs, a little goes a long way.
When you want to incorporate something different into your diet, kiwi is the way to go. It makes a great addition to a low-carb fruit salad when mixed with berries and melons. It’s also the perfect topping for yogurt or cottage cheese.
Believe it or not, plenty of melons are low in carbs. Watermelon, for example, has 11 grams of carbs in a single, cup-sized serving. Another option, cantaloupe, is close. One cup of cantaloupe has around 12 grams of carbs.
Neither is as low as some of the other options on this list, like lemons. However, there's nothing wrong with incorporating small amounts of melon into your diet, as long as your other meals are low in carbs. Serve melon slices alongside your morning eggs for a delicious, low-carb breakfast.
Plums are low in carbs. This sweet purple fruit has only 8 grams of carbs, as long as the plum weighs in at 75 grams. Obviously, bigger plums will have more carbs, so be careful when choosing one for a snack. On top of being low in carbohydrates, plums are also full of potassium, phosphorus, and fiber.
Thankfully, star fruit is becoming easier to find throughout the United States, because it's very low in carbohydrates. A single, one-cup serving of star fruit (native to Southeast Asia, for the record) has a mere 7 grams of carbs. It also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, like potassium, copper, and vitamin C, making it quite good for you as well.
Very low in carbs (one lemon's worth of juice contains only 2 grams of carbohydrates) and extremely versatile, you can put lemon juice in your water and tea or even use it for cooking dishes like lemon garlic chicken. There's nothing quite like it, so make lemons a staple of yourmeal planning.
While you're probably more familiar with rhubarb as part of the filling of a strawberry rhubarb pie, this fruit is quite versatile on its own. Consider chopping up a one-cup serving and using it in a smoothie or juice, as it only has 2 grams of carbs. On top of being low in carbs, rhubarb also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Fruits You Should Avoid
Of course, nothing is perfect, and that includes fruit. Some are very high in carbs and can harm your macro ratio. Here are some of the fruits that you want to avoid if you want your body to stay in ketosis:
Bananas are tasty and easily accessible in practically every store that sells foods. Thanks to their decently long counter-space life, you’d think that purchasing a bunch would be a good way to incorporate fruit into your low-carb diet, right? Wrong.
The fruit is actually high in carbs, and one medium banana has a whopping 26.5 grams of carbohydrates.
This tropical fruit isn’t always available on grocer’s shelves, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find. However, if you’re on a keto diet, it’s one fruit that you don’t want to search for.
One single medium-sized mango has a very high amount of carbs: 50 grams in all, so you definitely don’t want to add it to your daily diet. That one single fruit can send you out of ketosis, leaving you to start the entire diet from the beginning.
Raisins are grapes that have been dried. They are often sold in small boxes that are easy to carry around for when you need a snack. They also contain plenty of fiber.
Of course, there’s always that one exception. Raisins are very high in carbs, with one cup of this tasty fruit containing 34 grams. This means that not only is trail mix off the list, but so are those cute little raisin boxes.
Cherries are tasty. Whether you prefer them fresh from the tree or from the store with their pits removed, there’s no argument about this classic snack.
While they might be good for you, with plenty of vitamin C and potassium, they have too many carbs for those following a keto diet. One single cup of pitted cherries has 19 grams of carbohydrates.
Apples are available year-round in many varieties. Whether you prefer a classic Granny Smith or a newer hybrid Fuji apple, all of them have one thing in common: a lot of carbohydrates.
With one medium apple containing around 26 grams of carbs, they are one fruit that you want to avoid.
Other Fruits To Avoid
When looking for something to snack on or a new fruit to include in keto recipes, keto dieters will also want to avoid the following:
Keto-Friendly Fruits for the Win
As you can see, there are plenty of tasty fruits that are low in carbs and just as many that contain a lot of the macros your body needs to stay in ketosis. The key to keeping everything in balance lies in zeroing in on your macros. So, simply watch your carbs carefully and incorporate some low-carb fruit into your daily diet, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful keto journey!